/ Living in canmore on the cheap
It's going to be tricky - summer or winter?
Probably possible to camp nearby in summer (or at least in the nearby provincial parks)
My only real suggestion is to ask on gravsports which has a lot of the local winter climbing community.
ACC Canmore hut maybe?
My mate lives up in Lawrence Grassi Ridge and he has a self contained flat beloiw his house that he is considering letting out. I'll drop him a line and see if he has made a decision yet failing that, ask for a room on Grav Ice sports as suggested above.
My retirement plans may include Canmore!
I'm afraid you are more or less "all out of luck". The whole Banff/Canmore area has become phenomenally expensive in recent years. Canmore is virtually unrecognisable compared with 20 years ago. (It used to be very good value.) House prices skyrocketed a few years ago. Banff is a top-end mountain resort with prices matching Jackson Hole or Aspen; this is the place to buy top-end fashionable ski gear at twice the cost of the UK and four times the cost of Texas. Your best bet for Canmore is probably to get in touch with local Canadian climbers (Yamnuska climbing school, Canadian Alpine Club etc) for advice.
Last time I was there, on the way back to the airport we went through an estate basically right on the outskirts of town, forget the name of the estate but a security guard stopped us so we had a chat, we were just looking for lookings sake.
He said that 95 percent of them were easily worth over a million quid and empty 11 months of the year, bloody shame. Fantastic place to live but utterly unaffordable. My mate bought his house 15 years ago sohas dipped in.
You should be able to rent a room in a house for around $400-500/month quite easily. Best best is to check the classifieds at the back of the Rocky Mountain Outlook (free paper), also the Canmore Leader. Also try kijiji.ca - there's a Banff/Canmore section. Damage deposit is usually one month's rent but you'll get it back if you're good ;-)
Rooms are often (but not always) unfurnished. The Canmore thrift store (near the high school) sells cheapish mattresses (and everything else you can think of), or check kijiji again. Or sleep on your thermarest.
Alcohol is expensive, both in bars and from the store. Food is cheapest at Safeway or Sobeys. Cheaper supermarkets in Calgary if you can get in with a vehicle to do a big shop.
Save any drinks bottles, you get money back from them (admittedly not a lot, but it helps). Hitching into Banff/Sunshine is easy. Into Kananaskis not so much. No public transport to speak of. Really worth having a vehicle if you can afford for getting out climbing/backcountry skiing. Petrol is cheap!
In which case, get winter tyres. Do not con yourself that they're not worth the money, or that you'll drive carefully and be ok without. A written off car is not only the cost of the car but also the towing fees... etc. Not to mention cramping your style transport wise somewhat.
All season tyres are NOT winter tyres.
I may have learnt this from experience ;-)
Oh, and the day-old muffins from Beamers (coffee shop) are excellent, get reduced at 6pm, are $1 and don't freeze anywhere near as solid as a sarnie. :-)
Should have done it 30 years ago - get out there and I am sure it will sort itself out - what a place - Marry a local!
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