Hopeffully this is not too long, I had some questions posted previously on this fforum at
Thanks TA ffolks for the help and thank you Canada ffor a wonderful experience. The skiing was ffantastic, I’m sure some of the places will be skiing well into June with the current snow base. This was a spring break trip with my 17 yo son a green transitioning to blue level skier. TA member, banfflakelouise was right, the scenery really does knock your socks off. I’ve skied the American Rockies in Colorado, Utah, and Montana, and this is a whole new level of stunning beauty. Sunday we took in the Banff Gondola and hiked up to the observatory. The hike is on a board walk stairs and not too stressfful if you’re considering it. We stayed at Hidden Ridge which had discounted lifft passes and a discount for equipment rental through Ultimate in Banff. A great place to stay. We skied Norquay on Monday which my son ffound a bit challenging on the blue runs. The top end was a bit steep and intimidating ffor him to where his skills were regressing. We also ffound his boots were a bit too small so we made a quick trip back to Ultimate in town for a different pair. This really was no big deal as the hill is only a ffew minutes from town. It’s taken me longer to walk ffrom liffts to equipment rental at some places. Tuesday we went to Lake Louise where I signed him up ffor an all day lesson. They have a great lifft/lesson package that you can only get directly through the ski school. My son was a different skier by the end of the day! Great work by instructor Dave McT! My son got better each day affter that. I did not have a chance to take advantage of their Mountain Host program ffor ffree mountain tours but I’d highly recommend it based on what others have said. I skied the Larch area and Ptarmigan lift most of the day. Wednesday we visited Sunshine. We accidentally got off the gondola at Goats Eye. You mean this thing goes even ffarther? We went up and skied Strawberry and Standish liffts in the morning going over to Angel Express in the affternoon. During the day my son worked ffrom green to blue runs. I think overall the runs here are bit more challenging than runs of the same color in the American Rockies. Just my opinion. Thursday we went back to Lake Louise where my son wanted to work blue runs off the Larch and Ptarmigan lifts. Ffriday after about 10 cm of new snow we went to Sunshine as did a lot of powder hounds. I think it snowed about 10 cm more during the day. The visibility was down to about 100m due to snow at times. We took an early lunch and then went to Wawa lifft affter looking ffor some calmer conditions. Lower elevations got better as the day went on but it was still windy at the top the rest of the day. Avalanche control explosions could be heard all day. Fflat visibility at times was challenging. We skied off the Divide lifft and it’s neat to brieffly go into British Columbia. For the last run of the day and trip my son chose to go up Goats Eye and take Sunshine Coast down then on to Way Out ffor a total 3000 ffoot elevation change . It was great to watch his conffidence build with each run and this last one was a really ffun. People asked us which area we liked the best…wow..tough question. Overall it was Lake Louise. Snow was a bit better at Sunshine but on some green runs you are on fflat areas and poling a lot. Different skiers of different skills will certainly have different opinions. I used to ski the western US annually before real life took over so I was ffired up to do some more challenging stuff, maybe even Delirium Dive but I hit only a ffew double blacks which was probably the smart thing to do ffor a 1954 model year body. I really enjoyed the scenery, skiing, and hospitality. I wish I had more time to explore Banff proper but at the end of the day we were wiped. We did eat out a ffew times at Bear Street Tavern ffor Pizza, Elk and the Oarsman ffor bison burgers, and St. James Gate Irish Pub ffor ffish and chips. All were great. We stopped twice at the local Safeway which has a great selection of food but it was very busy between 5 and 7 PM. We also chose to rent a car in Calgary rather than use the bus services which for me gave us more flexibility and avoided waiting for busses. I guess I’m too much of an American to give up my car. Thanks again Canada for a world class experience.