Banff, Alberta (June 19, 2014) - This June, Mount Norquay ski area is opening up summer experiences to visitors for the first time in 23 years, offering legendary views from the North American Chair and new Sightseeing Pathway, as well as introducing a brand new visitor experience to Banff National Park - the highly-anticipated "Via Ferrata".
Visitors to Mount Norquay can take the 15-minute open-air sightseeing ride up the North American Chair to an elevation of 8,040ft. A piece of Banff’s history, sightseers will be riding the same chairlift visited by none other than Marilyn Monroe back in the summer of 1953. Visitors can then take in the legendary views of Banff and the Bow Valley along the new sightseeing pathway, seeing the Banff Townsite and world famous Mt. Rundle from a different angle.
“This is a huge milestone for us at Mt. Norquay,” says Mt. Norquay’s general manager Andre Quenneville. “We’re thrilled to be introducing new summer activities to Banff National Park, providing local and international visitors alike the opportunity to take in a new view and summer experience at Mt. Norquay.”
Launching June 21, 2014 - Climb Banff’s first and only Via Ferrata.
The Via Ferrata (Italian for 'iron road') is an assisted climbing experience along two breathtaking routes on the cliffs above the Norquay ski area. Led by a certified guide, participants will climb ladders, cross a 30-metre suspension bridge & experience views of Banff rarely seen before. Protected by a system of cables and fixed anchors the thrill is there, but so is the safety. No climbing experience necessary, if you can climb a ladder, you can climb the Via Ferrata.
Norquay launches two of its three routes this summer. For those limited on time, the 2-hour Explorer Route ($139CAD/person) includes an introduction to the equipment, climbing a few pitches and crossing the suspension bridge.
To get a greater feel for heights and exposure, the next step in the Via Ferrata experience is the 4-hour Ridgewalker Route ($169CAD/person). A half-day excursion that takes guests high up on the Norquay cliffs, climbing Memorial, Sunrise and Vista buttresses and traversing the 30-metre long/50-metre high suspension bridge.
Coming July, 2014 - Relax and enjoy a unique dining experience in the newly refurbished Cliffhouse Bistro.
A 1950′s teahouse refurbished, now the 2014 Cliffhouse Bistro. The Cliffhouse has always been a special place to Norquay and the Banff community. Families and friends enjoyed the engineering marvel starting in the mid-20th century, and the tradition will live on this summer. Even though the Cliffhouse has been open for viewing, it now will act as a full service eatery up on the mountain for everyone to enjoy during their visit.
Diners can savor the unique and inspired flavors of Mt. Norquay's new Executive Chef, Morne Burger. Joining Norquay from his previous role as Executive Chef at Banff’s Maple Leaf Grille, bringing with him his passion and belief in “good simple food”, Morne found his love for cooking in Cape Town, South Africa where he was born and raised. His career has taken him across the globe through London, England and eventually to Banff, Canada.
“As a Chef I am privileged to spend time doing what I love. We are how we present ourselves, and I would like to think my food is a good interpretation of who I am. I’m really looking forward to my opportunity at Mount Norquay; I have tasked myself with revolutionizing on-hill dining in Western Canada.” - Morne Burger.
The North American Sightseeing Chairlift opens to the public on Thursday, June 19th, followed shortly after by the Via Ferrata on Saturday, June 21st.