Nakiska is a ski resort in the Kananaskis Country region of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is located 83 km (52 mi) from Calgary, west on Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and south on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail). Set on the face of Mount Allan, Nakiska has 64 trails with four chairlifts (3 High speed Quads and 1 Double), 1 Reg Magic Carpet and 1 Monster Carpet) set up over an area of 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi). The longest run has 3.3 km (2.1 mi), from a top lift-served elevation of 2,258 m (7,408 ft) to the base elevation of 1,479 m (4,852 ft). Nakiska is now owned by Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, also owner of the Fernie, Kimberley, Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham ski resorts. Construction of the resort begun in 1986, in preparation for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Nakiska hosted the ten alpine skiing events, as well as freestyle moguls skiing, then a demonstration event. A temporary surface lift to the gusty top of the mountain was used for the men's downhill event. This poma still remains to be seen when disembarking from the top of the "Gold Chair" and is sometimes turned on for avalanche control. The start of the men's downhill was at 2412 m (7913 ft). In 2008 Nakiska Ski Area was named the official Training Centre of Alpine Canada (ACA). Each year Nakiska, welcomes Alpine Teams from around the world for early season ski training. During the summer of 2008 the ski area embarked on a series of renovations. Snowmaking enhancements increased capacity by 33%. The 100 metre Monster Magic Carpet was added and the creation of a dedicated Training Run was completed on Mapmaker. In 2009, in preparation for the 2010 Olympics, more enhancements occurred. A new High Speed Quad lift was installed (Gold Chair Express) replacing the original fixed grip (Gold) chairlift. The ride time is 4.7 min compared to the old time of 9.7 min. In
009 new ski trails were also created with the addition of the new Monster Glades (trails in the trees). Kananaskis Country is a park system situated to the west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis Country can be accessed by three highways that run into or through the area: Highway 40, a 66 km (41 mi) segment of the Bighorn Highway and also known as Kananaskis Trail; Highway 66, a 28 km (17 mi) highway originating near Bragg Creek known as Elbow Falls Trail; and Highway 68, a 42 km (26 mi) gravel highway originating from the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) known as Sibbald Creek Trail. An ecological and environmental research station of the University of Calgary is located nearby, at Barrier Lake. A "Tim Horton Children's Foundation" summer camp is also located in the area. Easter Seals Camp Horizon is also located within Kananaskis along Highway 66. The area is named for the Kananaskis River, which was named by John Palliser in 1858 after a Cree. Kananaskis Country is noted for recreation and tourism. Recreation facilities in Kananaskis include several campgrounds, a golf course, a hotel, a holiday ranch, two alpine ski areas (Nakiska, which hosted alpine skiing and freestyle moguls skiing during the 1988 Winter Olympics and Fortress Mountain) and a competitive cross-country ski area (the Canmore Nordic Centre) that the public can use. The Canmore Nordic Centre was the venue for cross-country skiing events during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Most of the development is within Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and along the highway 40 corridor that parallels the Kananaskis River. Kananaskis has many kilometres of hiking, cross-country ski, and horse trails. Other activities popular in Kananaskis include mountain biking, scrambling, climbing, backpacking, hunting, and fishing.
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