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Tag: Castle Mountain Resort

Collage of photos at Castle Mountain Resort ski hill near Pincher Creek on front page of April 10 issue of Shootin' the Breeze

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – April 10, 2024

That’s a wrap

The vibes were good and a bit of fresh snow was welcomed as Castle Mountain Resort wrapped up its season over the weekend with a retro theme. “It was a tale of two seasons,” says Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager for CMR. “The first half of the year was challenging with low snow and high temperatures, but the back half was exceptional and we had the busiest March in history.” He also noted that the resort’s recent investment in snowmaking equipment paid off as it prevented prolonged closures in December and January when the weather didn’t co-operate. The hill is now closed but season pass holders have until the end of the month to renew at this year’s rates. | Photos courtesy of Castle Mountain Resort

RCMP logo over red and blue flashing lights on heading for Crowsnest Pass RCMP news

Magrath man dies in avalanche near Castle Mountain

A backcountry avalanche claimed the life of a 46-year-old Magrath man Saturday afternoon.

Crowsnest Pass RCMP reported that two adult males and two children were snowmobiling between Carbondale and Castle Mountain Ski Resort when an avalanche occurred.

RCMP say one of the men escaped with the children but the second male was buried in the snow. 

The incident was reported to Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek RCMP around 6 p.m., and an investigation determined the incident took place at approximately 1 p.m.

Pincher Creek RCMP recovered the body of the missing male early Sunday afternoon with assistance from Southwest Alberta Regional Search and Rescue, Fernie Search and Rescue K9 and handler, and Alberta Conservation.

Condolences are extended to the family and friends of the deceased.

 

Ad for Ascent Dental in Pincher Creek

 

 

Snow on the slopes of Castle Mountain ski hill

Ready, set, snow!

Conditions should be ideal for Castle Mountain Resort’s opening weekend, this Friday to Sunday, with daytime temperatures hovering near the freezing mark.

An added bonus for boarders and skiers: the resort will donate $1 from each lift ticket sold, up to $1,000, splitting the proceeds evenly between the Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass food banks.

Pincher Creek Co-op has agreed to match the donations dollar-for-dollar, doubling any contributions.

 

Ad for Aurora Eggert Coaching in Beaver Mines

 

Mustangs player, in dark blue, breaks free from other players with the footBALL

Shootin’ the Breeze – September 27, 2023

Mustangs break through

Pincher Creek Mustangs running back Jakob Klinec (15) tries to break a tackle by Lethbridge Bulldogs lineman Sawyer Kowa during third-quarter play Saturday at Matthew Halton field. The Mustangs (1-2) picked up their first win of the season, 34-6 over the Bulldogs. They’re on the road Sept. 30 to face the Lethbridge Coyotes.

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Scott Cooper, dressed in a red T-shirt, dark shorts and knee-high socks, puts his hands on his knees and catches his breath after crossing the Divide 200 ultramarathon finish line.

Shootin’ the Breeze – September 20, 2023

200 miles? No problem!

Looking none the worse for wear, Scott Cooper of Calgary was the first competitor to cross the finish line of the inaugural Divide 200 ultramarathon. One hundred racers started at Castle Mountain Resort and tackled a 200-mile course that included an elevation gain of about 12,335 metres (40,465 feet) in the backcountry. In next week’s issue you’ll learn how many made it back to the finish line and more about Scott’s amazing race.

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Choosing your wedding music

I really don’t remember much from my wedding — mostly the things that made me laugh and how tired I was that night — but I knew I just needed to hear certain songs that day. If you’re like that, there are ways to make it happen. If your budget doesn’t allow for live musicians, you can always choose the handful of tunes for the special moments and have someone press play and stop.

Basically, there are three songs needed for the ceremony: the processional (walking in), signing the register (this song can be longer as this takes a good five minutes or so for the signing and photos to be finished) and the recessional (walking out). I like to tell the bride or groom to choose something calming for walking in and a peppier tune for walking out, just to help with those jitters everyone gets at the beginning of the ceremony.

Obviously, a generic theme of love songs is a good start when it comes to choosing the music, but if the couple have some special memories tied to certain tunes, that makes it all the more memorable for them. I really don’t recommend having a different song just for one person in the processional (i.e. the bride or groom) — you’ll only hear about a minute of it and the changeover can be awkward. It’s better to just turn up the volume a little bit in that case, or maybe pick a song with a few verses before the chorus comes in.

 

 

We’re not quite done with the ceremony yet — we can’t forget to entertain the guests! Having a playlist about 30 minutes long is great for taking care of before and after the ceremony, while the guests are milling around and visiting with each other. If you have live musicians playing, you can tell them who some of your favourite artists or styles of music are, and they can choose their songs accordingly.

Next comes the reception. Dinner music should just be in the background, as a lot of guests are enjoying catching up with one another and want to hear each other speak. These days, having music on during dinner might not even be necessary, as dinner is a great time to have the speeches instead.

You may need one or two special songs for the first dances (the couple with each other, then split off with parents) but otherwise a playlist does just fine, and even better — a DJ with a professional sound-and-light system. Then you know requests can be taken, the music choices adjusted according to how many people are dancing, and everything is taken care of by someone with a lot of experience. Nobody has to worry about renting equipment they may not know how to use, ideally the DJ has insurance to cover any revelry related mishaps, and it’s one less headache for the honeymooning couple to deal with later.

 

 

For hiring live musicians, keep in mind whether your venue is outside or inside and have a contingency plan in case of bad weather. Most musicians have played outside and know to bring what they need to deal with wind and bugs. Often they can provide a pop-up tent for an extra fee, but if not, this should be provided to keep the instruments and players safe from the elements as they will be stuck in the same place for a long time, often an hour between setup and takedown.

Placing them is also a consideration. Is there power nearby? Do you want to see them in the background of all the photos of the wedding party? I find that setting up somewhere that allows a sight line of the entire procession as well as the action up front is best, so musicians can watch for when to kick it up a notch, and when to stop the tune nicely. Off to the side or near the back with a good view down the aisle works well. Then actions such as getting the next music ready or retuning don’t distract the guests from the ceremony.

Many helpful websites exist with lists of popular choices for wedding music, and of course talking to each other and to the musicians who will play will help narrow things down as well. If you give live musicians about a month with your final choices, they will have enough time to buy or arrange and learn songs they don’t already know.

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Outdoor wedding considerations

From a picture-perfect view to the relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of reasons to have your wedding outside. However, you’ll need to take particular care when choosing your dress, shoes and hairstyle to ensure you look and feel your best. Here are some things to consider.

The ground

If you’ll be walking on grass or sand during the wedding ce­­­remony, stilettos are out of the question. For comfort and balance, choose shoes with a wide heel, or better yet, an elegant pair of ballerina flats.

The wind

A long veil, flowing skirt and loosely pinned-back hair can quickly get out of hand on a gusty day. Consider a birdcage veil and opt for a secure up­do style with beautiful pins to hold your hair in place.

The temperature

For a summer wedding, sandals and a strapless or sleeveless dress are the way to go. Consider a matching jacket or shawl in case it gets cool in the evening. For a fall ceremony, opt for long sleeves and booties.

 

 

Southwestern Alberta is a beautiful place to have your outdoor wedding, and many local venues are ready to accommodate your special day.

Castle Mountain Resort, Crowsnest Mountain Weddings, Heritage Acres and Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village all offer unique wedding packages that allow couples to celebrate their union while celebrating nature and the local scenery.

At Castle Mountain Resort, wedding goers can venture into the backcountry to exchange vows in the heart of nature.

Crowsnest Mountain Weddings uses SpringBreak Flower Farm as its venue. After the garden centre shuts down for the season, an outdoor area is provided for ceremonies and the greenhouse becomes the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful event while protected from the elements.

Heritage Acres is complete with beautiful grounds and heritage barns and buildings that can be rented for ceremony and reception. 

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village offers a gorgeous outdoor space for larger gatherings and rustic antique buildings for smaller gatherings.

The nice thing about outdoor weddings is the scenery itself is part of the decor.

As you plan your outdoor wedding, keep trusted local business in mind!

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort

Skiers and boarders get early start at Castle Mountain Resort

The immense snowfall that hit the region in late November allowed Castle Mountain to open earlier than ever before in its modern history.

On Nov. 22, a sneak-peek weekend was announced where the Huckleberry Chair, the Green Chair and the Buckaroo Carpet lifts were opened to the public, with the official opening of the season taking place Dec. 2.

By the time Castle Mountain began regular operations, it had already seen a total of 200 centimetres of snow.

While the Westcastle Valley location is well known for having the highest accumulative annual snowfall in Alberta, the initial snowfall proved exceptional even by the resort’s standards.

“It’s been a great start to the season. The snow has been really fantastic,” says Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager at Castle Mountain Resort.

“Since 2019, we’ve extended our season by two full weeks and it has had a positive impact on our ability to host people and bring a few more people out.”

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

When Dec. 18 rolled around, the resort’s 19th operating day, the mountain had seen 300 centimetres of snow, roughly a third of its average annual snowfall, only 15 per cent of the way through the season.

However, snowfall has slowed drastically since hitting the 300-centimetre mark. The mountain has seen only another 79 centimetres of total snowfall and just six in the seven days prior to Monday.

Despite low snow accumulation in recent weeks, the resort is still working with a snow base of 128 centimetres and staff remain optimistic about the season continuing to be a great one. 

“We’ve hit a bit of a dry spell, which is kind of sad, but the alpine is still skiing really nice,” says Kevin Aftanas, marketing co-ordinator at the resort.

“The area is obviously fairly windy, and when there’s wind overnight, even if we haven’t seen much snow in a couple of days, it moves the snow around so it skis like new.”

Five of the six lifts are operational during the week, with the T-Rex lift open only on weekends. 

Additionally, 89 of 95 downhill ski trails are currently open for public use.

 

Ad requesting memorabilia from CNP music festival

 

While the resort has snowmaking equipment should the dry spell continue to persist, the hope now is that snow will fall at a greater, more consistent pace moving forward.

“If we could get 50 to 70 centimetres every week, kind of just in dribs and drabs, it keeps things fresh, keeps us skiing and riding really good, and it allows us to kind of keep up with things without breaking our backs doing it,” says Cole.

Base-area chairlift operations run every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until April 9, barring any changes.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort
A snowboarder shreds the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort. Photo courtesy of CMR
Man wearing black clothes and toque points out a location beside a red stone building with a blue door

More EV chargers for Pincher Creek

A climate change initiative is set to deliver electric vehicle chargers to Pincher Creek, the outlying municipal district and Castle Mountain Resort.

The project combines funding from the SouthGrowth Regional Initiative, a non-profit economic development organization based in Lethbridge, and Enel Green Power, which operates Pincher Creek’s Castle Ridge wind farm, according to Tristan Walker, energy project lead for the town and MD. 

The town will install a public EV charger on the northeast corner of the Pincher Creek Spray Park at 1020 Robertson Ave., where batteries can be topped up at an estimated cost of between $2 and $5 per hour. The charger will fit any EV, with a special adapter required for Teslas, Walker said.

The spray park was selected for its easy accessibility and for the average length of stay at the nearby multipurpose facility, which includes the town’s swimming pool, library and Memorial Community Centre Arena. An hour’s worth of juice will fuel most EVs for between 50 and 75 kilometres.

Town hall hopes that the added boost will ease EV drivers’ “range anxiety,” especially as they travel between regional swim meets and hockey tournaments.

Two more EV chargers are destined for the MD administration building and work yard at 1037 Herron Ave. One will be installed for public use in front of the main office, with the second dedicated to the MD’s vehicle fleet, which doesn’t currently operate EVs.

“The MD is looking at bringing in electric vehicles within the next one to five years,” Walker said last week.

All four chargers will run off the province’s energy grid, drawing electricity powered by coal, natural gas, wind and solar energy. 

“You’re going to propel an electric vehicle much further, using much less energy, regardless of where that energy is coming from,” Walker said, contrasting EVs’ 80 per cent fuel efficiency with the internal combustion engine’s 36 per cent. As an added benefit, EVs don’t emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. 

All four EV chargers are due for installation in early 2023, according to Walker.

Nov. 2, 2022

 

Kids trick or treating in lion costumes – one roaring and one smiling on the front page of Shootin' the Breeze. Alberta news from Pincher Creek area and Crowsnest Pass.

Nov. 2, 2022

Lion’s share of fun

Ames and Miles were spotted enjoying Spooky Town and the great weather Saturday at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek.