Pass Powderkeg an unexpected gem of ski hill

Author: Joanne Elves


Tucked into the Crowsnest Pass and backing onto backyards in the town of Blairmore, Pass Powderkeg (PPK) quietly goes about its business. The micro-resort has been the same since 1938; untouched, unspoiled and underestimated by so many skiers. This is the time to slow down, pull off the highway and find out why it should be on your #BucketlistAB.

So, I have to confess. Just like so many others, I’ve passed Pass Powderkeg many times. In the summer I’d look at the trails cut into the forest and say, “I really need to check this place out.” In the winter, somehow excuses kept the car on Highway 3. This time I stopped. And, I was overwhelmed by the community, the resort, the snow and yes, the black runs!

Interestingly, the historic lodge is located at mid-mountain. Two T-bars meet there; one to unload the skiers from the lower runs that really do end curbside in Blairmore. The other takes skiers and riders to the ridge to explore at least a dozen more runs. There are a few green runs, but the majority are blue with some new black runs recently etched into the slope. I thought for sure the runs would be casually pitched but even the blue like Xpresso and Chinook are surprisingly steep. Short, yes, but sweet.

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