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Currently in Whistler - Makes sense to go to Banff?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 


Hi everybody. I'm currently in Whistler with my family where we had planned to stay until Feb 6. Unfortunately, it seems that we arrived in one of the worst weeks in oneof the worst seasons ever. Conditions are really bad and don't seems to improve during our stay. Back from the slopes, and almost desperate, I start thinking if it makes any sense to move to, for example, Banff. We have rented a SUV so transportation is not an issue.


Taking that decision implies loosing a lot of money in already purchased tickets and accommodations. But I feel I'm loosing that money anyway due to the conditions. (Note: Whistler seems to be an excellent resort, unforttunately we had bad luck)


Are snow conditions better in Banff? Is worth the investement in money, time, etc? If the answer is yes, where should we go? I didn't make any research about Banff (something I will start doing now).


Thanks in advance

post #2 of 8

Do you realize how far Banff is from Whistler? It's about a 11-12 hour drive through the mountains in good conditions.


Something near Kelowna (Big White), Vernon (Silverstar) or Penticton might be a better choice at roughly half that distance

post #3 of 8

Sun Peaks has great spring skiing right now mostly due to the 20+ years of summer grooming, pulling stumps, picking rocks cutting weeds, planting grass. Very few rocks are showing but the best skiing right now is on groomed runs. Sun Peaks can have 50cm thinner base than other areas and still have equal to or better coverage.


Sun Peaks Resort is the closest major ski resort to Whistler and the best and shortest way to get here is to avoid driving through Vancouver. Instead from Whistler drive north to Pemberton on highway 99, through Lillooet to highway 97 to Kamloops, highway 5 to Heffley Creek where you turn off the highway and head to Sun Peaks.


It has already started to get colder here. I had to scrape a very thin bit of ice off my windshield this morning. There is a small amount of snow maybe 5cm predicted for Sunday. In any event temperatures are supposed to remain below freezing. However it may also be getting cooler in Whistler, so check the local weather forecast before moving anywhere.

Edited by DanoT - 1/29/15 at 2:34am
post #4 of 8

Unfortunately most mountains in BC are in fairly poor condition right now and have been most of this season, but in terms of finding the best coverage/groomers from where you are I'd suggest sun peaks or big white... off piste is shit everywhere right now due to a heat wave followed by a dry cold snap.  There is a trickle of hope moving into Sat-Mon that may improve things a bit including whistler

post #5 of 8

It'll be quite a drive and the costs not might be worth it.


But I can say the conditions at Sunshine have be fantastic so far this year.  Lake Louise has also been good, but find that Louise tends to get packed out and icy pretty quickly. Paradise bowls are usually fine as the trail markings tend to scare a lot of people from that area.  If you're coming this way I'd hit both areas.  Sunshine has more consistent snow as the resort is higher up in elevation.  


We've been to both resorts for the past few weekends, both resorts literally got dumped on this past weekend for snow.  I believe Lake Louise got 16cms Friday night and can say Saturday was some of the best conditions I've even skied in at Louise. Paradise and Larch chairs were great as they are on the backside and less busy.  Top of the world had some great snow, a bit windswept at the very top.   Being + temps on the Celsius side didn't hurt either.  Sunshine was also great all over the mountain....we preferred to lap Goat's Eye, Divide and Standish chairs.


Ski conditions in both Banff and Jasper have been great this year.  If you do make the drive, I'm certain the conditions will be worth it compared to the conditions you have in Whistler right now.  However it is a big cost for time (driving will be fine as the roads are good right now....should be less than 10 hours), accommodations and lift tickets.  With a week left in your trip only you can factor the cost benefit.  


However if you are the coast, perhaps Big White, Fernie, or something closer has good conditions as well?  I know Fernie doesn't quite have the base they normally do, but it often pukes snow from time to time.....it also has been raining though.


If you do head to Lake Louise and Sunshine, Costco has discounted lift passes for both resorts; off the top of my head it works out to about 25-30% off the daily adult rate.  Louise comes in packs of 2 and Sunshine in packs of 3.  All separate passes and not consecutive days.


Just a couple sense from an Alberta local.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments. I think I'll stay in Whistler waiting for snow on Sunday.

post #7 of 8

Lets hope this happens... and more... 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Markoncarp View Post

Lets hope this happens... and more...

Yesterday its snowed about 16 cm and the conditions improved a lot. More snow is supposed to come on Thursday.

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