After planning this trip for several months, 2 friends and I finally made it come true last Feb/March.
A 3 week ski trip, driving about 1300 miles from Vancouver all the way to Banff (round trip!), crossing 4 national parks, and skiing 6 different resorts.
January was pretty dry in western Canada, but things started to get better around mid-Feb, so when we got to Vancouver on the 23th, it had been snowing hard for about 2 weeks.
After visiting some friends in town, it was time to check the conditions in the local mountains, and we picked Cypress.
Top of Cypress Mountain
Views from the top of Cypress
The Coast Mountains
After a few city days in Vancouver, it was time to head to the interior, and the first stop was Sun Peaks Resort, a little more than 250 miles from Vancouver.
A few years a go I spent a season snow bumming in Sun Peaks, so it is always good to be back up there, visit friends, and ski the mountains were I've skied more days in my entire life.
The first few days in Sun Peaks were extremely cold (-4F), with lots of dry snow, and literally nobody around.
A mid-week powder day in Sun Peaks is truly a private ski experience.
Riding Crystal chair
Snow was light and fluffy!
Burfield chair on a powder day
A little hike to hit some glades
Sun Peaks hosts the only FIS Speed Skiing race in North America, and we had the chance to watch racers from all over the world, trying to beat the course record.
At the end, Sun Peaks Local Kenny Dale, broke his own course record with a run at 110.6MP/H.
I made this short video, that explains a little bit the history of this event, and shows the local Speed Skiing vibe:
After more than a week in Sun Peaks, it was time to hit the road again, so we drove all the way to Banff.
On our journey we passed by Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, crossed Glacier Nat. Park, Yoho Nat. Park and finally Banff Nat Park.
The views are simply out of this world.
Glacier National Park
Yoho National Park
Our plan was to ski 3 days around Banff area, than head west, stopping in Kicking Horse and Revelstoke.
Just a couple days before we got to Banff, the region was hit by a "mild pineapple express"... lots of heavier than normal snow felt in the area.
The first ski day in Banff we skied Lake Louise, which is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I found that Lake Louise is a mountain not very easy to navigate if you don't know the place very well, even with all the heavy snow in the previews days, the off piste / non groomed terrain was full of exposed rocks. Since it was already March, I was always trying to hit the north exposed terrain, but the the rocks kept biting my skis!
The classic Lake Louise post card
After skiing Lake Louise, there was still energy for a 4/5 mile hike, around the lake
The second day in Banff was spent in Sunshine Village.
Sunshine Village is a different kind of resort, when you are at the base, you don't get to see anything you will ski when you hit the top.
Although both resorts have similar vertical drops, the runs in Sunshine are not as long as in Louise, (in Sunshine you don't go to the base very often), but the coverage was considerably better than Louise, so it was easier to explore and find soft snow in Sunshine Village.
The favorite terrain was accessed from the top of Goats Eye and Continental Divide.
The Canadian Rockies
During our last night in Banff, we got a bit of snow overnight, Louise reported 3-4 inches on the back bows, so we decided to ski Louise another day, and than drive to Golden to ski Kicking Horse the next day.
Golden is a very cool town, it has a real local feeling, and Kicking Horse is a very nice mountain with some very serious terrain.
Only one day was definitely not enough to get to know the place, I'll have to go back in the near future for a longer stay!
It was cloudy and snowing lightly all day in Kicking horse, so not many pictures from there...
But the place has some of the steepest terrain I've ever skied, Terminator ridge and whitewall are totally crazy!
After skiing Kicking Horse we drove through the famous Rogers Pass again, on our way to Revelstoke.
Revelstoke was our last day of skiing, and it was a powder day!
So again, we skied more than we took pictures...
Mid-March snowpack in Revelstoke is impressive!
This is a short video that shows a little bit of the highlights of the trip. It has lots of timelapses, and also some skiing (few POV shots) hope you guys enjoy watching it!
Canada treated us very well once again. Amazing mountains, gorgeous landscapes, great snow, and above all, very nice and friendly people!!
Looking forward to the next trip!