For several years now we have been going places with our passports and visas. For a change especially this winter let’s get rid of them and use our Manitoba driver licenses instead! At this time we won’t be crossing boundaries and international datelines because we’re heading to Manitoba’s ultimate winter destination, the Asessippi Ski Area and Winter Park, a four-hour drive from Winnipeg city centre. We’re not escaping winter, we’re embracing it!
From the city take the Trans-Canada highway west to Portage La Prarie and then head north to Neepawa, continue to the town of Russell where you follow the sign to Asessippi about ten minutes away on highway #83. Your GPS won’t lead you to a mountain as you might expect because the ski resort is nestled deep in a valley, the Shell Valley, located between the towns of Russell and Roblin.
The largest in the province, the family-friendly Asessippi Ski Resort with 25 downhill runs and 552 meters (1,810 ft.) of vertical is a great place to relax and enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding and snow-tubing. It is the only ski resort in our province to be certified to hold international slalom competition.
Alpine skiing has been a recreational activity for our whole family from grandkids to grandparents since 1980 when we begin to learn the sport with rented equipment at Springhill Winter Park just a few minutes from downtown Winnipeg. A family that skis together stays together!
Like any other ski resort Asessippi offers terrains for all abilities or skill levels. The green circle trails, with gentle slopes which are generally wide and groomed, are the easiest; blue square trails with intermediate difficulty slopes, usually groomed and steeper than beginner’s trails, are for intermediate skiers; and black diamond trails, most difficult, steep and narrow, may not be groomed, are difficult slopes for advanced skiers.
The outdoor facilities of Asessippi include one quad chairlift (4 skiers) named Squirrel Chair and two triple chairlifts, carpet tow in beginner’s area called bunny hill, and three “Laugh ’til you cry” downhill snow-tubing runs. Lift hours open at 9 am and closes at 4:30 pm. Night skiing and snowboarding are also available. With its snow-making equipment you’re guaranted snow from the river water down below the hills.
A full-day lift ticket is $48. for adults (18 & over); $40.80 for youth (13-17); $36.70 for junior (6-12). Pre-scholers are free (5 and under).
The resort has full hospitality service with a full food court for lunch, dinner and breakfast. There’s a snack shack, a grill, adults-only pub, and a lodge to warm up in.
If you’re not in the mood to drive for long hours you can join the Winnipeg Free Press sweet ski deal trips every Saturday from 8 February to 15 March, 2014, for only $129. plus taxes. You get a round-trip via Beaver Bus Lines to Asessippi, morning paper and coffee, ski rental, lift tickets, lunch at the resort, and dinner on the ride home. You’ll get a discount of $5. if you have your own skis or board. You can take lessons for an extra $10. Just call 204-697-7064.
Other downhill skiing resorts in Manitoba are Holiday Mountain, 90 miles from the city via hwy. 3 to La Riviere; Springhill Winter Park; Stony Mountain (Manitoba’s snowboarding capital) located 10 miles north of Winnipeg; Falcon Trails Resort located at the eastern end of Falcon Lake at the Whiteshell Provincial Park; and Mystery Mountain in northern Manitoba just outside of Thompson.
Snowflakes are falling and winter is calling you to hit the slopes of Asessippi. SKI SAFELY!