Is Fortress Mountain Resort open again?
Fortress is only open for cat skiing. We have been working on the re-development of Fortress for almost 6 years. Deconstruction has commenced and planning is in full swing for re-opening of this great resort. We are thrilled to offer cat skiing while this process is underway! Follow our Facebook page for updates: www.facebook.com/kpownow or our main web page www.skifortress.com
How long have you been doing this?
Fortress Mountain has been an active alpine resort since 1967. Fortress Mountain Holdings has owned the lease since 2010. Cat skiing at Fortress began during the winter of 2011/2012.
How much snow does Fortress Mountain get?
Fortress receives an average of 800 to 900 cms of snow annually. Even among Fortress veterans, we are always amazed at the transition from the somewhat dry Kananaskis valley at 1,200 meters to the base of Fortress at 2,000 meters. March and April typically have the heaviest snowfall with upslope storms!
What is the terrain like?
The terrain at Fortress is quite varied. There are cut runs, glades, chutes, gullies, and open bowls on a variety of aspects. Fortress is most famous for its glade skiing. The steepness ranges from 20-45 degrees. Each run is unique and can accommodate those who want to let it rip on wide-open terrain, or ski the great snow in gladed areas. Run choices are based on the ability of the group and the best snow conditions.
What are the ability and age requirements?
You should be strong intermediate to expert skier, telemarker, or snowboarder. You should be comfortable in powder snow, variable conditions such as wind/sun crusts, as well as gladed and tightly treed terrain. The usual minimum age is 14— cat skiing can be an amazing learning experience for a young person.
Understanding that youths have an array of different skill sets and abilities we will be happy to discuss bringing children younger than 14 if you have booked a full cat. It needs to be understood that they may have to sit out some runs if the leader deems them unable to keep up to the group.
How many runs/vertical feet can be done in a day?
We don’t put a limit on this—we will do as much as we can, all depending on factors like weather conditions, the length of the runs we choose, group skills and the number of daylight hours. Normally we have between 8 and 14 runs. We do not have a policy requiring you pay more if you get more than a certain amount of vertical feet.
What are the safety precautions?
While skiing and snowboarding have inherent risks that we all must accept, the safety of our guests and staff is of the upmost importance. K-Pow employs a highly experienced avalanche professional along with numerous experienced mountain rescue and first aid professionals to ensure that your day is as safe as possible. We conduct an extensive safety and avalanche briefing prior to hitting the slopes and all guests are required to wear avalanche beacons throughout their day on the hill.
How do I make a reservation?
Please visit our homepage and select "book now". You will be taken to our e commerce booking site where you can book and pay online.
How many people have to book?
You may book from one to fourteen seats.
We require a minimum of ten guests to run a day of cat skiing. Private cat bookings do not have a minimum number of guests as the price for the full cat is a set rate.
How do I get a discount?
Booking a full cat. You get 14 seats for the price of 12, OR a group of six or more gets one free seat.
What do I need to bring?
Lunch is provided and we do accommodate for special diet requests i.e. Gluten free and vegetarian with two days notice.
Mountain weather is notoriously variable and unpredictable. Layering your clothing is the ideal way to allow you to change with the conditions. Please expect the unexpected; there is plenty of room in the cat to accommodate extra clothing.
Your favorite ski socks.
Base layer top and bottom, ideally a synthetic material designed for wicking moisture.
Mid layer sweater or jacket for warmth.
Outer layer jacket & pant, ideally a wind/water proof material such as GoreTex
1 or 2 pair gloves & glove liners
Hat or helmet. Although not mandatory, K-Pow encourages you to wear a ski/snowboard helmet when out on the mountain.
Goggles & Sunglasses
Camera or video camera in protective case
Hand /foot warmers if you get cold easily.
Sunblock, lip balm
Any special snack foods, bars, sports drinks, etc.
Fat skis – we recommend a ski with a minimum of 100 mm under foot
Snowboarders – unless you have a powder board – move your bindings all the way back.
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If you are missing any of these items contact one of our preferred vendors.
Can I rent Fat Skis or Long Snowboards?
Please contact our preferred vendors if you are requiring rental equipment. We recommend a ski with a minimum of 100mm underfoot. If you are on a snowboard, please ensure it is a board that is suited to deeper snow and varied conditions, your bindings should be set back from center as well to improve floatation. Please inform your rental supplier that you are going cat skiing at K-Pow to ensure they recommend the appropriate equipment.
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Do snowboarders need poles or snowshoes?
While most of our terrain is immediately accessible from the drop off points, some terrain may require traversing or short walks. Although collapsible poles can be handy, snowboarders tend to manage getting around fine without them.
Do you offer lessons and coaching?
Our staff are more than happy to offer tips to make your day more enjoyable, but on a structured level, no we do not offer lessons at K-Pow.
Do you operate seven days a week?
No. To provide the best conditions and experience possible, K-Pow only operates between two to four days of the week depending on the time of year.
What do you have for washrooms?
There is a port-a-pottie at the garage assembly area and another at the far side lunch spot. For “real” washrooms the Fortress Junction Centex gas station has one. It is across the road from the Fortress Mountain access road. Many people stop in there before heading up the mountain.
Any tips for a successful day?
A good hot wax prior to your trip makes powder turns even better. Layering clothes are the best way to deal with variable weather conditions (if you bring a few extra layers you can leave them in the snowcat if you don’t need them). Friends make for good times, so make sure you bring some along.
Should I tip?
Gratuities are never expected but very much appreciated by the crew. All gratuities are pooled and split amongst all staff. Look for the old red helmet in the K’Pow Lounge at the end of your day if you wish to leave a gratuity. Also, please note there is no cash machine at the hill. Thank you.
If you are going to be late
If you are going to be late for the 8:45 am pick up at the bridge, please call our office at the mountain at 403-591-0320 and leave us a message with your estimated time of arrival and we will send somebody down the road to pick you up. Please note, there is no cell service at Fortress Junction; there is a phone at the Centex gas station.