Category Archives: 2010

Good Bye Summer, Hello Autumn

The summer seems to have flown by this year.

It’s September 30 2010 and less than 2 weeks ago, the ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies received 20cm of fresh snow and we experienced way below average temperatures. The Canada Ski Blog posted some photos of this September snow. This last week, we have experienced above average temperatures (in the 20s°C) with sunny skies giving us another opportunity to take advantage of the many summer activities in the Canadian Rockies. This is typical of the Canadian Rockies as we are in the mountains at higher elevations.

Just check out the colours in the recent pictures taken in the Canadian Rockies. This is what we love about the autumn.

Autumn in Canmore

Cascade Mountain, Bow River, in the Autumn

The Rocky Mountaineer train departing tomorrow from Vancouver, October 1st 2010, is the company’s largest departure in their history, and will set a record for largest passenger rail train in North American history – a total of 1331 guests! This is one of the last Rocky Mountaineer train departures for 2010, but we already have 2011 packages in place with early-bird savings of up to $1,400 per couple.

50%OFF Panorama Lodging early-bird deal ended today but we have many early-bird deals for the 2010-2011 winter season, some of which are soon to expire. We are seeing some of the best ski accommodation deals in Banff this year with free nights accommodation and free ski deals for stays of 7 or more nights.

The early-birds will definitely be getting the best deals on ski packages and summer packages.

We hope you had a great summer and we thank you for reading our blog. We always love to hear from our readers so please feel free to post any relevant comments you may have.  Wishing you safe and happy travels.

Kokanee Crankworx Evening Events 2010

EPIC KOKANEE CRANKWORX EVENTS ROLL OFF MOUNTAIN AND INTO THE NIGHT

Deraylor Music Festival And Saint Deep Summer Photo Challenge Back For Second Year

WHISTLER, BC July 29 , 2010 – The world saw Whistler go off this February, and that spirit and vibe will be back in full force with Whistler’s other big event, Kokanee Crankworx.  With a sporting event roster matched by none, Kokanee Crankworx throws down huge in the special events department to keep the energy and excitement flowing day and night.

BLOCK PARTY – Skier’s Plaza August 7, 8:30pm

First up to kick start the biggest mountain biking festival on the planet is the Block Party.  This community event is free for all participants and will take place in Skier’s Plaza and the Boneyard.  The tenth anniversary of bike movie mavens Freeride Entertainment will be celebrated with a showing of their first film, New World Disorder 1. This movie epic played a huge part in bringing the sport of freeride mountain biking to where it is today. Huge outdoor screens, prizes, interviews from the original crew and a few surprises will make the Block Party an incredible all-ages launch for Kokanee Crankworx. The party will continue for those of age at the GLC with Metallica cover band Damage Inc. The $5 cover includes a live feed of the Block Party inside, great views of the action outside, an epic after party with Damage Inc and, of course, ice cold Kokanee will be flowing all night long.

PECHA KUCHA NIGHT – Maxx Fish, August 9, 7:30pm

Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat,” Pecha Kucha will open minds with an eccentric mix of Whistler locals presenting stories and photos. Each presentation will move through 20 images shown for 20 seconds each. Current presenters include Tyler Schramm, Schramm Vodka; Rick Harry, Aboriginal Artist; Keith Reynolds, Playground Builders; Robin O’Neill, Photographer; Peter Alder, Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners; Leslie Anthony, Writer, Paula Shackleton, Bookbuffet; and Carla Gutierrez, Fitness Model.  Tickets are $7 at the door or at Hot Buns Bakery.

SAINT DEEP SUMMER PHOTO CHALLENGE – Fairmont Chateau Whistler, August 11, 7pm

The Saint Deep Summer Photo Challenge is back for 2010 with an unbelievable list of confirmed photographers. Paul Morrison, Sven Martin, Nicolas Teichrob, Jordan Manley and two wildcard photographers, Steve Lloyd and Adrian Marcoux will work against the clock to create a slideshow from images shot over three days in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and on Whistler’s cross-country trails. Each show will be presented to a live audience of over 1,000 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Tickets are $17 and on sale now at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations.

DERAYLOR MUSIC FESTIVAL – Whistler’s Best Nightclubs, August 11-13

The Deraylor Music Festival takes place August 11, 12 and 13 with the Deraylor wristband granting access to more than 40 artists in six venues over three days for only $40. Venues include the Garibaldi Lift Company, Garfinkel’s, Maxx Fish, Merlin’s, Moe Joe’s and Tommy Africa’s.  The current Deraylor line-up includes strong talent such as DJ Nu-Mark (from Jurassic Five), Mike Relm, BCDC, Fort Knox Five, DJ Jelo, Marcus Visionary, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, Mishka and illScarlett and many more. The first 100 tickets sold online will also receive access to the exclusive Kokanee Silent Disco party at the GLC on Saturday, August 14. Admission to all shows is through a $40 Festival wristband only, and are subject to age (19+) and capacity restrictions.  Visit www.deraylor.com for all ticket and event information.

Rocky Mountaineer Train Holidays 2011

We are not even into August 2010 yet and the rates have been released for all Rocky Mountaineer Train and Cruise Holiday packages for 2011. They have kept most of the packages the same as 2010 but have added an Alaska cruise from Seattle onboard Holland America’s ms Oosterdam to seven of their existing popular 2010 train holiday packages. Alaska cruises from Vancouver for 2011 are still onboard the Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam, which, in our opinion, has to be one of, if not, the best cruise ship sailing up to Alaska from Vancouver, Canada.

Below are the new 2011 Rocky Mountaineer train holiday packages with the Seattle cruise add-on. The links are to PDF documents on RockyMountainHolidays.com.

Rocky Mountaineer with Cruise to Alaska from Seattle

New Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products for 2011

There have not been any major changes to the 2010 Rocky Mountaineer packages for 2011. Any changes are “tweaks” to already very popular and exciting train holiday packages.

Changes to Existing 2010 Products for 2011

  • All tours that overnight in Vancouver now include admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • All tours that overnight in Calgary now include admission to the Calgary Tower
  • RedLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages now utilize Ocean- View Staterooms (Category D).
  • GoldLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages continue to use Deluxe Verandah Ocean-View Staterooms (Category VC).
  • Classic Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Grand Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights – 5 nights is also available; this is the same as the 2010 Canadian Rockies Highlights.
  • Canadian Rockies Circle is now 9 nights in duration instead of 12 nights.
  • The westbound itineraries of Trans-Canada Rail Adventure, Canada’s Coast to Coast by Rail, and the post-tour cruise options of these packages now include 2 nights in Jasper plus a Jasper highlights motorcoach tour, but only one night in Lake Louise.
  • City Stop add-on products are able to be sold independently, with rail-only, or in conjunction with any Rocky Mountaineer packages. Please note that transportation to/from the station or airport is not included in any City Stop packages.
  • Taxi transfers to/from cruise terminals in Vancouver are no longer included.
  • Travel documentation will advise of estimated taxi transfer rates, and limousine transfers available for purchase.

Discontinued 2010 Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products

New for 2011 – Child and Youth Rates

New for 2011, Rocky Mountaineer holiday packages now include rates for youths (ages 12-18) and children (ages 2-11) when travelling with at least one single adult guest.

The published child and youth prices will apply for a maximum of 1 child or youth sharing with 1 adult. Parties of 1 adult and 2 or more children/youths will have to be booked with a minimum of 2 adults. It is not possible to book a single room with more than 2 persons sharing.


These are all the changes to the Rocky Mountaineer Holiday packages for 2011. Rocky Mountaineer package information which include cruises up to Alaska from Vancouver or Seattle can be all found at RockyMountainHolidays.com. You can view all the latest Rocky Mountaineer early-bird deals there too.

Canada Day – Canmore July 1 2010

Every year on July 1st, Canada’s birthday is celebrated across the country. Canada will be 143 years old on Thursday so make sure you get out and celebrate with us!

The Town of Canmore organizes the Canmore Canada Day Parade. The parade starts at Main St. (8th street) and Railway Avenue at NOON.

***Railway Avenue will be closed from 10am – 2pm on July 1st for the parade and access to the downtown core will be restricted ***

To download full details on the Canada Day celebrations in Canmore, click on the image below for the downloadable PDF version:

Canada Day - Canmore July 1 2010

Canada Day 2010 – Canmore parade route map:

Canada Day Parade Route, Canmore 2010

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CANADA DAY:
The Canmore Canada Day Committee is in need of help – They need people to help out with set up and tear down at Centennial Park.
– Wed, June 30 at 10am – 4 people required to pick up equipment from the Canada Day Storage and transport to Centennial Park.
– Wed, June 30,  Noon to 4 – 10 people to do set up
– Thursday, July 1 at 5:30 – 12 people required for tear down and four to take equipment back to storage.

If you or anyone you know is able to help, please contact Chris Bartolomie (Town of Canmore, Supervisor, Arts & Culture and Canmore Canada Day Committee Town Liaison) at specialevents@canmore.ca

Source: Town of Canmore


Heading to Banff?

Check out what they have going this year: Canada Day in Banff

FREE night at Vancouver Fairmont 2010

Book a Rocky Mountaineer rail tour package of 3 nights or more on GoldLeaf Service or 5 nights or more on RedLeaf Service between June 7 and August 31, 2010 and receive a FREE additional night at a Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. Some conditions apply.

Book by August 31, 2010 to take advantage of this special offer!

Download the packages below or visit Rocky Mountain Holidays.


Circle Tour Holiday Packages (Start and finish in Vancouver):

One-Way Tour Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

Trans-Canada Rail Tour Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

Rail and Self-Drive Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

City Stop Add-Ons (To be added to any of our packages or purchased separately):


Alternatively you can call 0800-567-7542 (freephone) from the U.K. or 1-888-747-6259 (freephone) from within North America.

River surfing the Kananaskis

Source: Tanner Holthe, Rocky Mountain Outlook

Describing river surfing to a landlocked Albertan is a difficult task.

Traditionally, surfing has been an activity reserved for regions nestled by the ocean. However, with the new sport of river surfing gaining popularity, it is becoming a common sight to see surfers riding on the Kananaskis river.

Alberta River Surfing Association co-founder Neil Egsgard says, “When people think of river surfing they picture someone standing on a surfboard holding a rope or someone actually riding down the river. This is not the case. You are actually surfing. You just need fast moving water and an obstacle and then gravity and the river work against each other and you can ride the stationary wave.”

Egsgard’s journey into river surfing began when he saw a man surfing under the 10th Street bridge in downtown Calgary. Egsgard talked to the surfer and went out to the Kananaskis river that weekend and tried it. After organizing a small crew of devoted surfers, Egsgard and friends decided over a few pints of beer to start the Alberta River Surfing Association to help spread the word and develop the sport in Alberta.

Egsgard tries to head out surfing every weekend as he has developed a love for the sport.  “It’s the flow, the connection to the moment,” he said. “When you’re surfing, you can’t think of anything else. It is just you and the world.

“You are not attached to anything, but you are just perfectly in tune. When you surf well there is this thing called flow, everything is transcended, you’re on the edge of your ability. Your mind turns into action. You’re not thinking, you’re doing.”

The Alberta River Surfing Association has been successful at helping fellow Albertans enjoy surfing without leaving the province.

Jacob Quinlan took up surfing while backpacking for eight months in Australia. When he came home to attend the University of Lethbridge he started a surf club and brought fellow students down to California for annual surf trips. It was a member of his surf club that introduced him to the idea of river surfing, which Quinlan admits sounded like a silly idea at first.

“I thought it was dumb at first. I got to Kan and my first ride was awesome,” he said. “It is similar to ocean surfing because of the feeling and the stoke and the guys; that culture carries on. The mechanics are way different, an ocean wave is giving you this steep ramp and gravity pulls you down. A river surfing wave ramps in a completely different way.”

Quinlan says that when he started there were only a few guys surfing in Alberta, but now when summer rolls around, there are a lot of people coming out to try the sport.

“The guys that go out know it’s cold and they know it’s a shitty wave,” said Quinlan. “The people that are gonna pick it up and love it are going to do it for the right reasons.”

Surfing in the Kananaskis can be done year-round. Water temperatures remain relatively constant, therefore, a good wetsuit, boots and gloves are needed all year to ensure comfort in the water.

Egsgard says he has comfortably surfed the Kan when air temperatures have been as low as -25 C. In addition, sport is also ecologically sustainable. According to the Lower Kananaskis River Users Association, “Due to the river shutting off at night and environmental assessments, the lower Kananaskis River was built into a kayak course. Over the years, the features have been regularly adjusted and changed to create unique and well-used whitewater.”

Egsgard feels river surfing is a safe and eco-friendly sport.

“There is almost zero environmental impact,” he said. “When we build waves we use environmentally safe materials that cannot break down.

“We want to share the current ramp we are building. River waves should be like skateparks, they are way cheaper and safer. And the cost is so minimal. There is no reason why every fast moving river shouldn’t have a surf area.”

River Surfing Kananaskis RiverKananaskis River, Alberta. Photo Source: Undercurrents

Calgary store Undercurrents is offering river surfing lessons starting in June and have gear available for rent. For more information check out www.undercurrents.ca

Rocky Mountaineer Holidays 2010

The Rocky Mountaineer® Train offers spectacular rail journeys across Western Canada in the spring, summer and autumn months.

The Rocky Mountaineer® train operates through the Canadian Rockies in either direction to Vancouver from Calgary, Banff or Jasper and also to Whistler from Jasper. The train only operates during daylight hours to maximise your viewing experience and pleasure.

Rocky Mountaineer Routes

The Whistler Mountaineer™ train now known as the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb, is a three-hour experience connecting North Vancouver and Whistler which allows you to take a complete rail loop from Vancouver, Whistler and Jasper.

Make sure you make your holiday in Western Canada a Rocky Mountaineer Holiday.

Source: Rocky Mountain Holidays

Rocky Mountaineer Tax Increase 2010

Rocky Mountaineer Logo

With the introduction of the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in British Columbia, Rocky Mountaineer Holiday packages will increase by up to 7%.

For those of you who are planning to book your holiday in Canada, or are about to book your holiday, be sure to read the following as you could save up to 7%. If you book and pay in full by the end of this month (April 2010), then you will only have to pay the standard Federal goods and services tax (GST) of 5%.


IMPORTANT ADVISORY – CHANGE IN CANADIAN SALES TAXES

The Province of British Columbia, Canada, has tabled legislation to introduce a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on goods and services, effective July 1, 2010. This tax will merge federal (GST) and provincial taxes (PST) into one single amount, the HST and will, unfortunately, increase the cost of your Rocky Mountaineer® Holiday by up to 7%.

The HST applies to all Rocky Mountaineer bookings with travel dates beginning in Canada after July 1, 2010.

Below summarises three options for consideration in the implementation of HST:

1. Bookings received prior to May 1, 2010 with a payment due date by April 30, 2010

Transitional rules allow bookings made prior to May 1, 2010 to be taxed under the old GST rules if the payment is due and paid for by April 30, 2010.

2. Bookings made after April 30th, for travel before July 1, 2010

Transitional rules allow bookings made prior as of May 1, 2010, for travel before July 1, 2010 to be taxed under the old GST rules.

3. Tax rate increases for bookings made after April 30th, for travel after July 1, 2010

The changes required to comply with the new HST will result in tax increases to an effective rate of 8% – 11% for Rocky Mountaineer bookings. Please note the following exceptions: Whistler Sea to Sky bookings all have a 12% tax rate, bookings with a cruise or VIA Rail component will have a tax rate determined by the originating province of the trip.


Please visit RockyMountainHolidays.com for more Rocky Mountaineer Tax Information.