Gem in front of Holiday Mt. Trail map

Unseasonably warm temperature on Sunday, 12 February 2023 was sufficiently enough to be a valid reason for winter enthusiasts like us to go skiing, whether alpine or cross-country, and snowboarding. Heading to Holiday Mountain Ski Resort roughly one and a half hours southwest of Winnipeg to quench the thirst to slide down the slopes is actually a revisit to the resort having been here several times before. As posted at Global News, the ski resort was forced to close last winter season due to Covid-19 restrictions and then reopened last 26 December 2022 under new ownership, Paul and Renee Warkentin.

Situated at Manitoba’s Pembina Valley, Holiday Mountain Ski Resort is nestled in La Riviere, a town of 228 people living in 110 of its 134 total private dwellings. Founded in 1886 by Metis Franco-Manitobans who are predominantly English speaking, La Riviere was previously home to Hamm-tone Guitars and Mandolins and the Pembina Valley Guitar Building Course. However, travelers can still have their photos taken here at the Wild Turkey Statue, the icon of La Riviere, built to commemorate the community’s centennial in 1986.

Holiday Mountain Ski Resort was founded by Noel Later in 1959 becoming the oldest ski resort in the province of Manitoba. A prarie province of vast flat plains it may be hard to believe that the province has mountains or hills to downhill ski; however, there are valleys where slopes and hills are plenty. As the new general manager of the resort, Abe Sawatsky, says, “Holiday Mountain Ski Resort is an iconic place in Manitoba, a hidden gem in the valley that doesn’t really feel like you’re here in Manitoba – it’s so beautiful”.

The Anis Family skiers: Jimmy, Amy, Gem, Omar, Rico and Jerry

Holiday Mountain Ski Resort boasts the first snowmaking system, the first chairlift and the first snow camera in Manitoba. The founder’s favourite achievement though is the installation of the first Carpet Lift that may have revolutionized alpine skiers jus learning the winter sport. The Wonder Carpet Beginner does not require the new learner to hand- grab the rope tow to climb the bunny hill – just step onto the carpet and comfortably glide to the top of the hill. So great for beginners!

The resort offers alpine (downhill) and cross-country skiing and snowboarding, now the craze of the younger generation. Holiday Mountain has eleven (11) ski runs/trails that are all named after the people who helped the founder with the creation of the resort – Deacon, Nowak Express, Irving, 4 Ridley (the green easy favourite), McCoubrey, Groff, Turner, Bunny Hill, Reid, Champagne Bowl, and Barclay Bow.

La Riviere is not only a haven in winter but also in summer for hikers, bikers and canoeists to enjoy the hills and the winding Pembina River.

Ski chairlift tickets, full day for adults, cost Canadian$51; youth (13-17), student (ID required), and military (ID required) $46.; Junior (5-12), Senior (65+) $32; and Tiger (1-4) is Free. Lift tickets are plus 5% GST. Helmets are optional. Should you choose to wear one (for head protection) they have them available. Night skiing, 7-10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, costs $32.

If you are skiing for more than a day, on-site accommodations at the A-Frame cabins located at the base of the resort can be booked in advanced.

See you at the mountain. Have fun and enjoy safe SKIING!