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All Posts By

Dan Evans

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Norquay Ski Run Origins Rudi's Alley – Rudi Gertsch

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Rudi Gertsch – Rudi’s Alley #11

Early extreme skier and star of one of Bruno Engler’s iconic Norquay photos

Skiing at Mt Norquay for years, I’ve always been drawn to one Bruno Engler image of a young skier in leather boots and classic ski sweater jumping off the top of the Cliffhouse with awestruck on-lookers below. Rudi Gertsch was one of the best freeskiers in Banff at the time and a great pioneer to adventure skiing in Canada.

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New Routes are next level says ACMG guide

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Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 12.02.57 PMScreen Shot 2017-06-27 at 12.03.10 PMI had the opportunity to grab a sneak peek at this years big update to the Norquay Via Ferrata with some of the ACMG guides that will be guiding guests. I couldn’t be more pumped!

 

We went up on the start of the explorer route and soul slabs which offer a good warmup to the main event for the new Skyline and Summiteer routes.

The Skyline and Summiteer are rated at 5 hours and 6 hours, respectively. These are some of the most ambitious VF adventures to date.

Once on the climbing portion I was surprised to get in a really cool chimney feature with holds on both sides of the precipice of the rock. We all agreed this was the most vertical climbing on the Via Ferrata and guide Tim even chimed in with “this is next level”.

I found the climbing flowed very well as it follows up the buttress onto the ladder feature and then continues across a high cliff (climbing the whole way) which kept my focus away from camera work and my hands and feet busy on the traverse. A new 2 wire bridge completes the corner traverse with a bit of a balancing act. After that the star of the show, a 150+ foot long suspension bridge!

The original Explorer and Ridgewalker routes do the suspension bridge right away,  however these new routes leave the spectacular steps through space for close to the end of the climb. Putting the bridge that high up was amazing as you really get the feeling of walking above the whole mountain! The bridge itself is 3 times longer than the first bridge above the Cliffhouse Bistro, and the view opens right up to the whole valley. Amazing!

Head guide, John Thornton

Head guide, John Thornton

John Thornton, Norquay’s head of the guide program and ACMG Mountain Guide, created this route from what he called ‘the natural alpinist routes’ that he sees around the mountain. I look at this same rock face and don’t see anything, but John weaves some magic to create a very memorable climbing experience.

Although I don’t call myself an alpinist, I have some experience climbing, and this new route got my heart pumping! I love the fact that I can take my Dad or hiking friends on the Via Ferrata to give them a taste of what I love in the mountains.

On Canada’s 150th birthday will be the first opportunity for public to climb it. Come check them out for yourself and adventure close to Banff! Click below for more route information and booking options: https://summer.banffnorquay.com/adventures/via-ferrata/routes/

Bruno Enlger

Norquay Run Origins – Bruno's Gulley

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Bruno Engler – Swiss Mountain Guide, Photographer, Filmmaker, Banff character

One of the most famous of Banff’s mountain guides was also photographer, ski instructor, stunt double, filmmaker, storyteller. If there were mountains involved, Bruno Engler had probably tried and conquered it. As RW Sandford put it – “In many ways Bruno Engler is Banff. Even in the advanced age he embodies the carefree charm and youthful joy that many associate with the town and the park.” – (RW Sandford, A Mountain Life: The Stories and Photographs of Bruno Engler)

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Save a horse, ride a ski race: Cowboy ski race

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cowboy-dayHelp us invade the Banff slopes at Mt. Norquay this weekend with leather, flannel, and ten gallon hats. Mt. Norquay is proud to host the 5th annual Back on Track Canadian Cowboy Ski Race. No belt buckle is too big for racing this Saturday, March 18.

This might be the only time it’s appropriate to wear jeans to ski, and ski fast. Check out the events page for the full details if you think you’re tough enough to hang with some the salt of the Earth Canadian Cowboys.

All proceeds from the day’s festivities go to Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine team. This awesome team of professionals is dedicated to helping Rodeo athletes by providing care on site at Rodeo events across Canada. They have over 40 practitioners working hard to keep Cowboys and Cowgirls competing through the Rodeo season.

 

 

Registration is from 8:30 – 11:00 in the Cascade Lodge.  More info on our events page: http://winter.banffnorquay.com/event/back-track-canadian-cowboy-ski-race/

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Photo: John Evely

Bozo Memorial weekend 2017 Recap

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The ski racing and Bow Valley communities came together for the annual Bozo Cup race. It’s always a great spectacle and perfect reason for the community to come together and have a great time. Pete Bozinger put on a great head to head slalom event overlooking Cascade Lodge. Past and present Members of the Canadian Alpine ski team came out to carve out some exciting races vying for the $10000 in cash and prizes. Of course in true Norquay ‘fashion’ quite a few locals donned silly costumes and ear to ear grins.

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