The Grizzly Bear Refuge and Eagle's Eye will be open as of Saturday

Kicking Horse set for early opening to summer season

The resort's Grizzly Bear Refuge and Eagle's Eye will be open for business seven days a week starting on May 30.

After a few years of increased summer traffic, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) came to the conclusion that it was time to expand Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s season, further diversifying its mountain sport offering.

“Our name is out there when you talk summer, and Golden as well. I think Golden has become kind of a hub for mountain activities whether it’s in the summer or the winter,” said Maxime Cretin, director of business development and guest experience at Kicking Horse.

“We’ll be seven days a week starting in May, we’ve never done that before…six or seven years ago, (this) wasn’t viable.”

The resort will re-open for the season on May 30 with Eagles Eye and its popular Grizzly Bear Refuge as the principal early summer attractions. Its regular downhill biking season will follow later in June with a preview weekend scheduled for June 20 and 21.

The beginning of July will see the unveiling of an all new offering, a via ferrata, one of only a handful in Canada.

“It is a big investment…It’s also a sign that we are committed to develop summer,” Cretin said.

The via ferrata will be built over the next month by a company out of France. The finished product will allow for both a two hour and four hour trip, including a climb across a suspension bridge that will be collapsible for the winter season.

A via ferrata involves a series of ladders along a fixed route, with participants connected to a cable at all times. Its design allows climbers of all experience levels to take part, from “never evers” to seasoned mountaineers.

With the extended season comes an increased effort to cater to package tours from overseas, and two such companies have stepped up to the plate so far this summer, one out of China and one out of Korea.

“It’s a lot of dates for sure,” Cretin said of the tours, which will involve a partnership with Bellstar on the accommodation side of things.

“We all want to do it but we have to work together on that one.”

As usual, Kicking Horse will be offering significant discounts for locals, especially with its early bird rate. The early season discount for a sightseeing pass for the summer is especially low, with the cost of an early-bird season pass coming in at less than the cost for a single day, allowing for unlimited hiking and gondola rides throughout the summer, as well as visits to see Kicking Horse’s largest resident, its grizzly bear Boo.

For more information on the resort’s summer offerings, visit kickinghorseresort.com.