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Trip advice: Snowbasin/Powder Mtn versus Banff

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Our family is trying to decide between a condo in the Huntsville area and going to Banff. This would be a week long trip in the beginning of March. Flight times and tickets are just slightly better for SLC but not by much. The snow depth looks fine for both areas. 

 

A little background. We know the area around Huntsville and would be fine the great skiing and a quiet week there. All we know about Banff, is that the views are amazing. I have read a few trip reports for Banff here and on a few other sites. I just can not get a good read on the character of the Lake Louise and Sunshine mountains.

 

In the past we have skied Whistler/Blackcomb, SLC: liked (Solitude, Alta, Snowbasin, & Powder Mtn), Tremblant, Vermont, and Tahoe. 

 

Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 8

If it was me I would head to Banff over Huntsville.  I have skied both areas and they are both very good, but I think Banff has the edge.

 

1.  New experience for you by going to the Canadian Rockies which are beautiful and remote.

 

2.  Wild animals, traffic "jams" in Banff because of elk are common in the morning and late afternoon.  Seeing large herds of elk regularly is fun and there are chances to see other critters.

 

3.  Higher latitude preserves the snow at the Banff areas better than Powder Mtn or Snow Basin

post #3 of 8

i have never skied Powder mtn or Snow Basin but can tell you for a beauty you can't beat the Canadian Rockies. Sking will also not disappoint. Lake Louise is one of my favorite places to ski (stay on the backside snow is always better)  There are some bad feelings toward Sunshine at present see "snow patrollers fired" but if that is not an issue sking there is also good. Norquay is best for a rest day or 1/2 day if you like bumps. If you rent a car or shuttle Kicking Horse is also about 2 hours from Banff and the best ski area I've ever been to.      

post #4 of 8

Since you've been to Snowbasin, go to Banff.  It's beautiful up there in the Canadian Rockies, although I've only been there during the summer.  With the way the weather is this winter, seems like the conditions may be better farther north.

post #5 of 8

In July 2012 put in a reservation for Jan or Feb 2013 at  Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's  -  Village Center Inn with lift tickets included.  The cost is very reasonable.  It runs around $550 per person for 7 night with 5 lift tickets per person.   Its not fancy, the rooms are dated, but there very clean and include a full kitchen, which is very convenient  for a family. The Village Center Inn, located in Teton Village,  is 50 feet from the TRAM and 200 feet away from the Gondola and other lifts.  Location location location.   For a family it doesn't get any better than this. 

post #6 of 8

I love Snowbasin and Powder Mountain but given the options I would get out my passport and head north.  I've never been to Banff but I have never heard anything bad about the skiing or the views.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

In July 2012 put in a reservation for Jan or Feb 2013 at  Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's  -  Village Center Inn with lift tickets included.  The cost is very reasonable.  It runs around $550 per person for 7 night with 5 lift tickets per person.   Its not fancy, the rooms are dated, but there very clean and include a full kitchen, which is very convenient  for a family. The Village Center Inn, located in Teton Village,  is 50 feet from the TRAM and 200 feet away from the Gondola and other lifts.  Location location location.   For a family it doesn't get any better than this. 


 

Am I missing something or does this have nothing whatsoever to do with this thread at all? Sounds downright spammy.

 

To the actual thread question:

 

Skiing wise, I think it's a wash. I'd say LL and Sunshine have more expert terrain than Snowbasin and Powder (assuming it's all open), but either set has more than enough terrain for a trip. And if you want to even the playing field, you could always do a day or two at Snowbird/Alta/etc.

 

I've only done one day riding at LL, but the snow was very good despite no storms in weeks. I think there's something to that latitude-preservation that another poster mentioned. That said, you really don't get much better snow than UT, and if it snows during your trip, Snowbasin and Powder are two of the places to be.

 

The national park scenery really can't be beat in Banff area - you get a world-class national park trip and ski trip all rolled into one. Banff is also a more fun ski town than Eden/Huntsville/Ogden with all kinds of outdoor activities, restaurants, etc.

 

Since you've never been, I'd give an edge to Banff (and I'm typically more than a little biased toward Powder/Basin : )

post #8 of 8

I love Snowbasin - my favorite in UT. But our trip to Lake Louise and Banff was one the best we ever made: it is really someplace special, great skiing at Lake Louise and Sunshine and totally over the top scenery. It is at the top of my return trip list. If any of you are racers, you might also make a side trip to Nakiska which was the site of most of the Calgary olympic events and has a number to trails kept in a race like condition (injected snow, etc.). It is used for training for a number of national B teams. The drive there from Banff was also great.

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