or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Banff Time to visit??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I have to book my Banff trip by August 31st.. I'm undecided on the date..

 

I'm looking at:

 

1. Jan 21-27

 

Or

 

2. Feb 18-24

 

I know January is one of the coldest times, which I'm not worried about. I'm more concerned with the weather! Some reports say January is dry and snow is iffy.. Opinions would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 18
Time period 1. The second is the week of Family Day. All those Calgarians who used to come here are going to stay home because of the Loonie. (Okay. I admit, I'm hoping.)
post #3 of 18

A lot of years (not all years though, someone would call me out on that) it snows a lot in november / december,  and then nothing until late february/ early march. 

I have the same dilemma every year, our ski club sign up for trips is in early october. Who knows where the snow is going to be in march!

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graham418 View Post
 

A lot of years (not all years though, someone would call me out on that) it snows a lot in november / december,  and then nothing until late february/ early march. 

I have the same dilemma every year, our ski club sign up for trips is in early october. Who knows where the snow is going to be in march!

That's what I've been reading..  I don't want to be dodging rocks!

I'd prefer to go in Jan because it's a month earlier, so countdown time is less!! And two, it's tradition to go to Snowshoe in late Feb.. But, this is a big trip so I'll go whenever conditions have historically been better,

post #5 of 18
Remember, crowds change "conditions". I doubt if you'll be dodging rocks in late January.
post #6 of 18

Yes - family day weekend is smack in the middle of your feb dates. There's usually more snow in feb though (though my previous statements that i find january to be a dry month appear to be statistically unsupported). It can be cold in either month - don't let the fear of cold determine your choice. 

 

And as I mentioned in another post, 'crowded' is all relative. The only days that will be busy during your feb dates is the actual family day weekend - for those days, you go to Sunshine Village where the crowds can disperse much more readily. Go to Louise the other days, as Louise has one centralized lift area at the bottom, so it can get more crowded in the morning. But at the end of the day, this still isn't Colorado or Utah or Europe. We ski weekends and holidays and we've never waited more than 12-15 minutes to get on the gondola (at Louise), and never more than a few to get on a lift. Usually we just ski right on. 

 

And...dodging rocks? 

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Remember, crowds change "conditions". I doubt if you'll be dodging rocks in late January.

 

How busy/popular is this family day? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

Yes - family day weekend is smack in the middle of your feb dates. There's usually more snow in feb though (though my previous statements that i find january to be a dry month appear to be statistically unsupported). It can be cold in either month - don't let the fear of cold determine your choice. 

 

And as I mentioned in another post, 'crowded' is all relative. The only days that will be busy during your feb dates is the actual family day weekend - for those days, you go to Sunshine Village where the crowds can disperse much more readily. Go to Louise the other days, as Louise has one centralized lift area at the bottom, so it can get more crowded in the morning. But at the end of the day, this still isn't Colorado or Utah or Europe. We ski weekends and holidays and we've never waited more than 12-15 minutes to get on the gondola (at Louise), and never more than a few to get on a lift. Usually we just ski right on. 

 

And...dodging rocks? 

 

I'm not worried about the cold, it can be -20 and I'll still be fine. I just want snow and limited crowds. The only big resort I've been to was Telluride last year and there was never a wait, anywhere except the bathroom line in the bar. I'd really like to book Banff for Jan. 

For those who live in the area or have been, which date would you choose if you could only do one?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

http://www.onthesnow.com/canada/sunshine-village/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2012

 

What the heck was going on in the month of Jan? Did the snow measuring guy have the weekends off? Lol

post #9 of 18

Apparently the snow measurer also had all of May off after the first week...

 

I would probably book January - but I also love having slopes to myself. If I remember correctly - you are an advanced beginner/early intermediate, yes? January is also a great time because there are all sorts of deals on lessons. I don't think any of the discounts are up, but Sunshine Village usually gives discounts on lessons in January - I think it's learn to ski month? You could call them and ask what kids of offers they will have in 2017. 

 

If you are interested in lessons, actually February would be great - Sunshine has great 3 day camps over the family day weekend - and that's one way to lose the crowds, you get lift priority as a ski school student. The info about the camp is here: http://www.skibanff.com/lessons-rentals/ski-school-programs/3-day-camps/

I've heard great things about it and am considering one myself. 

 

 

Again, 'busy/popular' is all relative...Alberta on family day is like a weekday at most N.American resorts. Will it be more crowded than usual? Yes. Will you have to wait for a lift? Probably not. Maybe the gondola in the early morning for about 10 minutes. Will you have runs to yourself? Some. If you can get on the blues, you'll have fewer than the greens. However, as you get closer to your departure, I'd also be happy to send a list of green/blue runs at SSV and LL that are amazing and don't get much traffic. 

 

Sounds like a great trip either way!

post #10 of 18
It's the equivalent of Presidents Day, which is the same week. It's also Reading Week for the colleges.

I'm down in Whitefish, and until last year when the Loonie started dropping, it was almost as bad as Christmas week prior to that. There was a noticeable decrease in traffic last season, and those people went somewhere. Maybe it was Fernie, but while it's not metro area traffic connections, it's still something to factor in.
post #11 of 18

I vote for late January.

 

I think it has already been said but it is worth mentioning a second time: Even if lift lines are reasonable in February the increased number of skiers on the runs chews up the powder or corduroy faster or creates bigger moguls faster.

 

So, worth mentioning a second time: January.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

So far all votes for January.. Just based on the dates, that's my preference too so I can still go to Snowshoe in late Feb.

 

Anyone ever stayed at Banff Park Lodge or Banff Aspen Lodge? Just a few dollars difference between but BAL includes free wifi and a breakfast buffet which is nice.. BPL is $10 a day for wifi and their restaurants are pretty pricey. 

post #13 of 18

I like Banff Aspen Lodge a little better - rooms are a little more updated and comfortable, having breakfast is great. It's a little further from the main part of Banff Ave, but just a few minutes walk. Banff Park Lodge is right in the middle of things, and it has a pool. I hate paying for internet though...

 

Both have easy access to tri area ski shuttle if you are going to be shuttling it.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

I like Banff Aspen Lodge a little better - rooms are a little more updated and comfortable, having breakfast is great. It's a little further from the main part of Banff Ave, but just a few minutes walk. Banff Park Lodge is right in the middle of things, and it has a pool. I hate paying for internet though...

 

Both have easy access to tri area ski shuttle if you are going to be shuttling it.

Well dang, just realized the only room option for this promo at BAL is one queen. I'm going with a friend so we need two beds. Homestead was the other, dirt cheap option and apparently you can use all the amenities at Park Lodge across the street. But Homestead looks a little run down. & Yes I agree, I hate paying for internet too!

 I'm most likely going to be using the shuttle, probably easier than renting a car. But I do want to go to Lake Louise, like actually see the lake and get a couple pictures cause it's where my grand parents honey mooned. So I don't know how far the actual lake is from the ski area?

 

How's cell service in the area and at the resorts? I have Sprint. Might not even need wifi, I think I have free international data roaming.

post #15 of 18

Homestead Inn is fine. Bow View Lodge is a couple of dollars more but cleaner. I would do Bow View is you want to go dirt cheap. If you don't go the dirt cheap route - there's High Country Inn. Pretty nice rooms, free wifi and pool. 

`

The lake is not easy to get to from the ski area. You have to go to the village and then it's about 4km uphill from the village. You could cross country ski it - there's trackset trails. But no shuttle goes to the lake. I think your only option is by taxi and my understanding is that there is only one taxi in Lake Louise and it's expensive. You would be better off trying to make friends with someone at the ski hill and have them take you up for an hour - offer to buy them a drink at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - it'll be cheaper than a taxi! Once you have your dates locked in too, you could probably check here on epic and see if anyone local will be up at the lake on those days you are skiing there....

 

Full cell service at Norquay. Cell service is great at Lake Louise, can be in and out on the backside sometimes. No cell service at Sunshine once you get to the top of the gondola. However, there's wifi now at SSV at the top of pretty much every lift, and there's wifi in the main day lodge. 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post

Homestead Inn is fine. Bow View Lodge is a couple of dollars more but cleaner. I would do Bow View is you want to go dirt cheap. If you don't go the dirt cheap route - there's High Country Inn. Pretty nice rooms, free wifi and pool. 
`
The lake is not easy to get to from the ski area. You have to go to the village and then it's about 4km uphill from the village. You could cross country ski it - there's trackset trails. But no shuttle goes to the lake. I think your only option is by taxi and my understanding is that there is only one taxi in Lake Louise and it's expensive. You would be better off trying to make friends with someone at the ski hill and have them take you up for an hour - offer to buy them a drink at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - it'll be cheaper than a taxi! Once you have your dates locked in too, you could probably check here on epic and see if anyone local will be up at the lake on those days you are skiing there....

Full cell service at Norquay. Cell service is great at Lake Louise, can be in and out on the backside sometimes. No cell service at Sunshine once you get to the top of the gondola. However, there's wifi now at SSV at the top of pretty much every lift, and there's wifi in the main day lodge. 

How would you say the room sizes are? Bow view looked exceptionally small.. Homestead looked much bigger and park lodge looked to be the largest.

Thanks for the info on the cell service and taxi. I'm determined to make it to the lake for a quick picture at least!
I wonder if there's any uber drivers there! 😁
post #17 of 18

homestead is bigger. bow view is smaller. but hey - you're not going to be hanging out in your room. basically you get what you pay for.

 

no uber here - actually here in alberta there's big controversy over uber. still no uber in calgary. 

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info..  I booked Homestead. Bowview reminded me of a cruise ship room, just too small and the price difference from Homestead and park lodge will pay for wifi and breakfast!

 

I'll be there in Jan! Can't wait!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion