Berry pickers search for rare fruit at Castle Mountain Resort – Lethbridge

It was a berry picker’s delight on Saturday at Castle Mountain Resort. The location, oftentimes known for its ski hills, saw hundreds of people arriving in search of rare fruit.

Huckleberries aren’t easily found in southern Alberta, except in the high elevations of the mountain resort.

Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager with Castle Mountain, said the berries are plentiful in areas such as northern Montana, Idaho and the interior of B.C., but not in Alberta.

“In southwestern Alberta, they’re quite rare, in fact, the castle region, Waterton and perhaps further north are the only places you can find them,” Fawcett said.

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Since the mid-nineties, the resort has welcomed hundreds of guests in the summer months to take part in the Huckleberry Festival.

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“Huckleberry Festival is the one day, literally the one day all summer we open up the huckleberry chair lift and spin it,” Fawcett said.

The picking adventures often include traversing the mountainous terrain as the berries like a subalpine area of elevation.

“If you’ve ever had huckleberries you’ll know that they’re worth the effort,” said Marie Cameron who has worked with Castle Mountain Resort for two decades.

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She added this year’s crop isn’t quite as robust as previous years but noted the staff’s enthusiasm for the day makes up for any lacking’s.

“If their berry-picking bucket isn’t full their other bucket can be filled with the nature and the experience and the good jokes that I tell them here,” Cameron laughed. “The entertainment, the food… There are multiple opportunities for buckets to be filled today.”

The festival was also home to music, a market and even some games for children to enjoy.

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