I have a trip planned to Banff 1/21-1/27 with a 5 day lift ticket good at all 3 locations. My lift ticket will also include the free shuttle between the resorts. Right now there's an early season schedule published which shows a departure from Banff around 8:30 for Sunshine and 8:55 for Lake Louise. If I understand correctly, it's a 20 min ride to Sunshine plus another 15 min on a gondola. And a 40 min ride to Lake Louise.. So, we'd be lucky to be on the slopes by around 10am, an hour after opening.
I'm not sure if these are the times only because it's early season or if there will be earlier departures?
If this is the case then I'd think renting a car would for sure be the better option so we can leave earlier and be on the slopes at 9 am sharp. Does anyone know if the schedule will generally add much earlier departures?
Also, I realize Norquay is a much smaller hill but since it does offer night skiing, we'll probably feel adventurous one night and want to go check it out at least once. As of right now, there aren't any late night departures from Norquay, is this standard?
We'll be staying at the Homestead which shows free parking so I'm leaning toward renting a vehicle anyway because it's about the same price as taking a shuttle from the airport but I was hoping to use the free shuttle option to the resorts since I understand road conditions could be iffy plus we won't have to worry about parking and can be dropped off out front I'm assuming.
Is parking free at the resorts? Any other general info or tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm starting to get really excited now that the trip is getting closer and closer!