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Anyone familiar with Banff???

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

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!

post #2 of 27

I think you are looking at the early season schedule. Mid season (starting December 17) departures leave Banff (some hotels are a bit earlier) at 8:00 for Sunshine.

 

http://www.skibanff.com/sunshine-village/bus-schedule/SSV%20Bus%20Schedule%20-%20Oct%2031-16%20mid.pdf

 

Lake Louise hasn't posted their mid season schedule yet, but the schedule also changes on December 17. I can't imagine they would aim to get you there after opening. 

 

I have never been night skiing at Norquay, and I am not really familiar with the details. I know that it is pretty limited though, with only the Cascade (beginner) chair running.It can be pretty cold at night, and I would be happier spending time in banff than cruising on Cascade, but the terrain includes the park, if that is your thing. \

 

Parking is free at the resorts, but get there early for a decent sport. Always make sure you arrive at Sunshine before 8:45 on weekend days. I would personally aim for 8:30 or earlier. The parking situation at sunshine is brutal, and late arrivals are often several kilometers down the road from the resort. The resort provides a shuttle bus for these people, but waiting on the side of the road can be pretty brutal. 

 

The drive to the resort is manageable most  of the time. The bow valley isn't too snowy, so things the highway is usually in decent shape. Access roads can be a bit tricky after a snow fall if you don't have winter tires though. A car is not necessary for skiing or for exploring the town of banff, but it will give you much more freedom to explore other interesting parts of Banff National Park and the surrounding area. You should make an attempt to visit Lake Louise (the lake) at the very least. 

 

Days are short in mid-winter, so don't expect a lot of scenery after the ski day. Sight seeing is better on an off day or half day.

 

 

If you have any other specific questions, let me know. I spend most weekend and holiday days (summer and winter) in the Canadian Rockies. 

post #3 of 27

Also, if you are a blue square intermediate skier, I highly recommend Sunshine (most of the hill) and the Larch area of Lake Louise. The Boomerang Run off the summit platter is also a really interesting high alpine (low crowd density) experience, but the ride up the platter can be a bit intimidating. 

post #4 of 27


Should be a good year to visit the Canadian rockies; they are getting hammered!  Been seeing a lot of photos from my friends out there things are shaping up nicely. 

 

As far as getting around Banff goes, I'm not that familiar with the shuttle.  I am familiar with driving my own vehicle around there and would definitely avoid it if you can (especially if you are planning on skiing Sunshine as the parking lot can be a zoo on weekends).  If you will be skiing during the week and aren't going to be battling the crowds I could go either way.  Parking is free at all 3 hills so that isn't really an issue.  Having a car gives you the flexibility to do what you want (like check out the Chateau at Lake Louise or whatever other touristy things you want to do), when you want (at the added cost obviously).  Night skiing at Nakiska is typically bulletproof unless there is fresh snow (don't really recommend).

 

If you are planning at taking the shuttle from YYC to Banff anyways, I would say go car free.  Or get one for a day so you can check out Canmore and/or the Chateau (or Kicking Horse :D)

post #5 of 27
That schedule will change - there are definitely many more departures than that, and you should be able to get there fairly early. I would say shuttle it if you can...I think it's probably driving is not that bad either - and I agree with @manchester81, the earlier the better. We try to be at both sunshine or Louise by 8.30.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post
 

I think you are looking at the early season schedule. Mid season (starting December 17) departures leave Banff (some hotels are a bit earlier) at 8:00 for Sunshine.

 

http://www.skibanff.com/sunshine-village/bus-schedule/SSV%20Bus%20Schedule%20-%20Oct%2031-16%20mid.pdf

 

Lake Louise hasn't posted their mid season schedule yet, but the schedule also changes on December 17. I can't imagine they would aim to get you there after opening. 

 

I have never been night skiing at Norquay, and I am not really familiar with the details. I know that it is pretty limited though, with only the Cascade (beginner) chair running.It can be pretty cold at night, and I would be happier spending time in banff than cruising on Cascade, but the terrain includes the park, if that is your thing. \

 

Parking is free at the resorts, but get there early for a decent sport. Always make sure you arrive at Sunshine before 8:45 on weekend days. I would personally aim for 8:30 or earlier. The parking situation at sunshine is brutal, and late arrivals are often several kilometers down the road from the resort. The resort provides a shuttle bus for these people, but waiting on the side of the road can be pretty brutal. 

 

The drive to the resort is manageable most  of the time. The bow valley isn't too snowy, so things the highway is usually in decent shape. Access roads can be a bit tricky after a snow fall if you don't have winter tires though. A car is not necessary for skiing or for exploring the town of banff, but it will give you much more freedom to explore other interesting parts of Banff National Park and the surrounding area. You should make an attempt to visit Lake Louise (the lake) at the very least. 

 

Days are short in mid-winter, so don't expect a lot of scenery after the ski day. Sight seeing is better on an off day or half day.

 

 

If you have any other specific questions, let me know. I spend most weekend and holiday days (summer and winter) in the Canadian Rockies. 

Makes sense, I was hoping the schedule would change during the regular season. I'll be skiing Sun-Thurs so only one weekend day. I'm hoping during the week isn't terribly crowded. Kinda got spoiled by going to Telluride as my first big resort trip, there was never ever a line anywhere! Do you know if the shuttles are usually full? Judging from the current schedule it looks like our hotel is the last stop and I'm assuming it's just one bus making all the stops?     I know Norquay isn't the main attraction which is why we don't want to devote a full day there but I'd still like to go just to say I went so we'll probably end up doing at least one night there. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post
 

Also, if you are a blue square intermediate skier, I highly recommend Sunshine (most of the hill) and the Larch area of Lake Louise. The Boomerang Run off the summit platter is also a really interesting high alpine (low crowd density) experience, but the ride up the platter can be a bit intimidating. 

Just watched a youtube video of Boomerang, looks fun but kinda steep!! I've never ridden a t-bar type lift before.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MantanaB6 View Post
 


Should be a good year to visit the Canadian rockies; they are getting hammered!  Been seeing a lot of photos from my friends out there things are shaping up nicely. 

 

As far as getting around Banff goes, I'm not that familiar with the shuttle.  I am familiar with driving my own vehicle around there and would definitely avoid it if you can (especially if you are planning on skiing Sunshine as the parking lot can be a zoo on weekends).  If you will be skiing during the week and aren't going to be battling the crowds I could go either way.  Parking is free at all 3 hills so that isn't really an issue.  Having a car gives you the flexibility to do what you want (like check out the Chateau at Lake Louise or whatever other touristy things you want to do), when you want (at the added cost obviously).  Night skiing at Nakiska is typically bulletproof unless there is fresh snow (don't really recommend).

 

If you are planning at taking the shuttle from YYC to Banff anyways, I would say go car free.  Oret one for a day so you can check out Canmore and/or the Chateau (or Kicking Horse :D)

 

Well, I'm planning on driving to Red Deer one afternoon to see some family so currently planning on renting a car at the airport since parking is free, it will be about the same cost as taking the shuttle. But I was hoping to use the free bus to the actual ski resorts to make it easier and not have to contend with the parking situation.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post

That schedule will change - there are definitely many more departures than that, and you should be able to get there fairly early. I would say shuttle it if you can...I think it's probably driving is not that bad either - and I agree with @manchester81, the earlier the better. We try to be at both sunshine or Louise by 8.30.

 

The good thing is I'm coming from NC with a 2 hour time change so getting up at 6am Banff time is like sleeping in for me!! So I plan to be there before opening.  The only reason why I want to take the bus is because I'll be renting a small front wheel drive vehicle and not sure how the roads could be to the resorts and also don't want to hike through parking lots! Walking in ski boots is my worst nightmare. 

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC1090nc View Post
 

Makes sense, I was hoping the schedule would change during the regular season. I'll be skiing Sun-Thurs so only one weekend day. I'm hoping during the week isn't terribly crowded. Kinda got spoiled by going to Telluride as my first big resort trip, there was never ever a line anywhere! Do you know if the shuttles are usually full? Judging from the current schedule it looks like our hotel is the last stop and I'm assuming it's just one bus making all the stops?     I know Norquay isn't the main attraction which is why we don't want to devote a full day there but I'd still like to go just to say I went so we'll probably end up doing at least one night there. 

 

 

I don't have much experience with the bus, but many employees use the bus to ride to work, and the Brewsters bus stations seems to have a crowd in the mornings (I sometimes use this as a pit stop if I am drinking too much water and coffee on the drive in). I think you will be okay. 

 

I would not expect much of a crowd from Monday to Thursday. Unless there is a school holiday,  mid-week is rarely busy at Western Canadian ski resorts (Whistler being an exception), and apart from New Year's Day, January has no major holidays or breaks. I would expect to ski onto most lifts. 

 

Sunday will be busier.

 

Although Sunshine's parking situation is awful, once you are on the hill,  Sunshine handles the crowds better than Lake Louise. This is especially true for lifts serving intermediate and beginner terrain. Lake Louise is sort of vertically stacked, while Sunshine is more spread out. Though the gondola can have a small line, once you hit the village, there are 4 quad chairs serving four independent faces. The crowds disperse pretty evenly.

 

The base area at lake louise has only two lifts, and everyone wants to go up. With many intermediate or beginner skiers returning to the base for each run, it can get pretty busy. The backside lifts and the summit platter tend to be less busy, but there are fewer options for intermediate skiers. Again, I would recommend larch for fewer crowds, better runs, and better snow.

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post
 

 

I don't have much experience with the bus, but many employees use the bus to ride to work, and the Brewsters bus stations seems to have a crowd in the mornings (I sometimes use this as a pit stop if I am drinking too much water and coffee on the drive in). I think you will be okay. 

 

I would not expect much of a crowd from Monday to Thursday. Unless there is a school holiday,  mid-week is rarely busy at Western Canadian ski resorts (Whistler being an exception), and apart from New Year's Day, January has no major holidays or breaks. I would expect to ski onto most lifts. 

 

Sunday will be busier.

 

Although Sunshine's parking situation is awful, once you are on the hill,  Sunshine handles the crowds better than Lake Louise. This is especially true for lifts serving intermediate and beginner terrain. Lake Louise is sort of vertically stacked, while Sunshine is more spread out. Though the gondola can have a small line, once you hit the village, there are 4 quad chairs serving four independent faces. The crowds disperse pretty evenly.

 

The base area at lake louise has only two lifts, and everyone wants to go up. With many intermediate or beginner skiers returning to the base for each run, it can get pretty busy. The backside lifts and the summit platter tend to be less busy, but there are fewer options for intermediate skiers. Again, I would recommend larch for fewer crowds, better runs, and better snow.

 

Thanks for the info. Any other suggestions on areas or particular runs are appreciated! I'd consider myself an intermediate skier.  I'm comfortable on anything in the south east, in the west I'm comfortable on any green and most blues. Some blues at Telluride were a bit steeper than expected. I never had any problems, it's just I can be kinda timid which holds me back sometimes. 

Which resort do ya'll think would be the best to visit first? (on Sunday)

post #10 of 27

Just fyi - the hills have now added an earlier bus that is for staff only, so that has actually improved the shuttle situation considerably. Mid-week will be glorious, weekends a little bit more crowded. If I could make a suggestion generally, I would avoid Louise on the weekends. I find that the centralized frontside means that you can really 'feel' the crowds a lot more than at Sunshine. At Sunshine, even on weekends, the crowds really disperse across three mountains, and it seems much less busy to me generally. 

 

At Sunshine, for an intermediate, I would recommend the following: warm up on Wawa - there are a lot of great shorter blue runs there - Tincan Alley and Wawa Bowl, for instance. They are classic blues and have fun little areas with widely spaced trees that you can explore as an advancing intermediate. If you would like an ungroomed experience on Wawa, do Old T-Bar. The top part is very wide open and bumpy and fun - really nice in fresh snow. Even though it is listed as a black, the top is totally doable by a blue skier. the bottom however is quite narrow and might be intimidating. In that case, I would say, when you see the 'Old t-Bar' sign half way down the run, hang a left, and go under the lift to rejoin Wawa bowl and go back down to the lift. 

Lookout and Goat's eye are also great areas for intermediate skiers - definitely don't be intimidated by the blacks and double blacks on the map. On Goat's eye: Sunshine Coast is one of the more mellow cruiser blues - just watch out for some crowds on the traverse, especially with skiers merging from above you. I also think Wildfire is a beautiful run, alongside a burned out forest. If you are feeling more 'adventurous', Rolling Thunder is not a bad black, it has little steep sections followed by flatter terrain, then a steep, then a flat, then a steep then a flat. It is a good steeper run for advancing intermediates to try. I woudl just avoid it when it is very icy. On Lookout, the possibilities are endless - one of the things I've always loved about Lookout is how open it is, and how you can try a little bit of everything on it: groomers, glades, bumps, bowls...South Divide from the Divide lift is a classic blue cruiser than feeds into green run from the very top - amazing views on a nice day. The middle of the run is always groomed, and the sides are choppy or bumpy - so it's a fun place to try some bumps/ungroomed snow. World Cup Downhill is another classic cruiser run - one thing I've always loved about this run is the fact that there are lots of areas to explore adjacent to the run, especially once you get past Angel Traverse. The lower half of the run, you can pretty much go anywhere - stay on the groomer, dip into bumps, and the widely spaced trees on the lower part of Lookout are also a treat for an intermediate skier. 

Those would be my top suggestions for Sunshine!


As for Lake Louise, there are a ton of possibilities. Louise is a bit steeper than Sunshine, and the runs are much longer. I would encourage you to try out the blues on Larch mountain - they are classic blues, often groomed and fun to go down. Don't shy away from the back bowls - there are some great blue areas in the back. You can take the green Saddleback (which is groomed) from the top of the backside, and then choose a fun path through Saddleback bowl that you feel comfortable with. I think there are officially 2 blues off of Saddleback, but that whole side around the blue run labelled '111' is really fun to play in - sometimes there is a groomed path through it, sometimes not. And that area around #111 is a heck of a lot bigger than it looks on the map. Boomerang (#133) was one of the first blue runs that really wowed me at Louise - it's an incredible experience. If it is ungroomed that day, it will be more challenging, I woudl definitely call it a dark blue, but definitely worth it. Some of the blacks off of Boomerang were also some of my first blacks on the backside - you can see the area pretty well from Boomerang and pick a line you are comfortable with. Yes, the Summit Platter drag lift is 'a drag' :) but also an experience. 

On the front side, I love the runs from the 'Top of the World' lift - you can take Sunset Terrace or Home Run for wide (but at times steep cruising). One of my favourite runs off the top of the world is a narrower gully run "Grizzly Gully" that is great for an adventurous intermediate - can be bumpy on the sides, but usually groomed down the middle. If it is groomed, Meadowlark is also a long black on the frontside that is also doable for an intermediate skier. 

I love Louise - it's an amazing mountain!

 

I'm always more than happy to meet up for a ski day for one of the days you are here. 

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC1090nc View Post
 

Just watched a youtube video of Boomerang, looks fun but kinda steep!! I've never ridden a t-bar type lift before.

 

It's actually a platter, button, or poma lift (thought Poma is actually a brand that makes many kinds of lifts). T-bars are different because they take two people at a time who have to be somewhat in sync (assuming it's busy enough that you don't get your own "T"). A platter is a one person lift with a little round "seat" that pulls you up via your butt and backs of your thighs. 

 

Good example and instructions :

 

post #12 of 27

@albertanskigirl provides very useful info. 

 

I visited Banff last year as a cautious intermediate and loved it, I plan to go back next season.  I spent 1 day each @ SSV and LL.  I took their ski shuttles and found it very convenient.  I did not visit Norquay because I was told it is small local hill w/ some steep runs.  

 

I joined the free mountain tours the days I skied at SSV and LL.  I found these tours very useful because, 1) it offers different tours for different level skiers, 2) I traveled solo, and not good at directions, tours is a good way to orient myself w/ the trails since both are places are huge.

 

SSV definitely has a "tamer" terrain than LL.  I had more confidence when skiing at SSV, snow condition was also better.  But LL definitively has better sceneries.  For me, after I've seen the sceneries at LL, everywhere else I go, it becomes less impressive....  My suggestion is starting your Day 1 at SSV to warm up, day 2  to LL.  Once you get the taste of terrains at both places, you can decide where to go on your subsequent days.  

 

My favorite run at SSV is Blue Bell (light blue).  I think the most unique chair at SSV is the Divide chair because you are crossing the provincial line (BC and Alberta) when you ride that chair, hence the name Divide.  The newest chair is the "bubble" chair (can't remember the name), I called it bubble because the chair is covered and has heated seat to keep your bottom warm.  

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

Just fyi - the hills have now added an earlier bus that is for staff only, so that has actually improved the shuttle situation considerably. Mid-week will be glorious, weekends a little bit more crowded. If I could make a suggestion generally, I would avoid Louise on the weekends. I find that the centralized frontside means that you can really 'feel' the crowds a lot more than at Sunshine. At Sunshine, even on weekends, the crowds really disperse across three mountains, and it seems much less busy to me generally. 

 

 

Great write up! Thanks for the info! I'm sooooo ready to get there, counting down the days. I booked this trip back in early August so I've been waiting a while! Luckily I only have one weekend day there which will be Sunday so I'll take the advice and go to Sunshine that day then try LL on Monday. What do you think about night skiing at Norquay? I know I don't want to devote a day there but I feel like I should at least check it out and my friend and I are really the nightlife type so won't have much going on after hours anyway. I know it's limited terrain at night, but is it good intermediate terrain? Also, does the shuttle usually run late there?   

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

It's actually a platter, button, or poma lift (thought Poma is actually a brand that makes many kinds of lifts). T-bars are different because they take two people at a time who have to be somewhat in sync (assuming it's busy enough that you don't get your own "T"). A platter is a one person lift with a little round "seat" that pulls you up via your butt and backs of your thighs. 

 

Thanks for the video. Doesn't look too difficult, I just hope not too many people are around when I first try in just in case! Haha. I'm guessing if you drop it mid way up, you're just supposed to ski back down and try again?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post
 

@albertanskigirl provides very useful info. 

 

I visited Banff last year as a cautious intermediate and loved it, I plan to go back next season.  I spent 1 day each @ SSV and LL.  I took their ski shuttles and found it very convenient.  I did not visit Norquay because I was told it is small local hill w/ some steep runs.  

 

I joined the free mountain tours the days I skied at SSV and LL.  I found these tours very useful because, 1) it offers different tours for different level skiers, 2) I traveled solo, and not good at directions, tours is a good way to orient myself w/ the trails since both are places are huge.

 

SSV definitely has a "tamer" terrain than LL.  I had more confidence when skiing at SSV, snow condition was also better.  But LL definitively has better sceneries.  For me, after I've seen the sceneries at LL, everywhere else I go, it becomes less impressive....  My suggestion is starting your Day 1 at SSV to warm up, day 2  to LL.  Once you get the taste of terrains at both places, you can decide where to go on your subsequent days.  

 

My favorite run at SSV is Blue Bell (light blue).  I think the most unique chair at SSV is the Divide chair because you are crossing the provincial line (BC and Alberta) when you ride that chair, hence the name Divide.  The newest chair is the "bubble" chair (can't remember the name), I called it bubble because the chair is covered and has heated seat to keep your bottom warm.  

Thanks for the response, I'll check those out!  I've been hearing about the mountain tours, I think that would be useful. I'm also planning on taking a private lesson or two while there. 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

Well I guess I won't be going to Norquay after all. Just read that it's only open  for night skiing on Fri/Sat!

 

 What is the longest run at SS & LL?

post #15 of 27

Below is the mtn tour info for SSV and LL:

 

SNOW HOST TOURS @ SSV

http://www.skibanff.com/sunshine-village/guest-services/

 

Free Mountain Tours With the Ski Friends @ LL

http://www.skilouise.com/activities-and-events/free-tours.php

post #16 of 27
Longest run at both is the ski out - Banff Ave at ssv and the ski out from Larch at LL. they are underwhelming though. I especially hate the ski out at Lake Louise, because there are some flats and some poling required. The runs are pretty long at Louise. Less so at sunshine. After the ski out, your best bet will probably be south divide, linking down to goat's eye, if you want a really long run. At lake Louise, the longest runs besides the ski out will be from the top of the gondola, or from summit platter down the front side.
post #17 of 27

Besides what was mentioned, when in Banff, have dinner at the Grizzly House. It's an old school fondue place that hasn't changed in decades, and I hope it never does.

 

Go to the hot springs after skiing on a weekday, and hope you're not there at the same time as a Chinese tour group or two.

 

Come prepared for cold. The highs right now are lower than -20C, but this is odd.

 

LL vs. SS, short version: Louise has better terrain, Sunshine has better snow. LL with fresh snow > SS with fresh snow> SS without fresh > LL without fresh. Scenery is great at both, but LL has the edge.

post #18 of 27

If you rent a car instead of taking the bus to Banff, I believe you need to pay an entry fee to the National Park.

 

More info here:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c13975/Banff-National-Park:Alberta:National.Park.Entry.Fees.html

 

We loved the bus at Banff, both to and from the airport and then to the slopes.

post #19 of 27
Park fee is waived 2017 because it is Canadian national park anniversary year.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post

Park fee is waived 2017 because it is Canadian national park anniversary year.

It's actually the 150th anniversary of confederation. Canada's 150th birthday.

post #21 of 27

Wife and I have done Whistler, but Banff looked appealing after Breck this year. Glad to see some good suggestions. How is the skiing compared to the western side of the Canadian Rockies?

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 

What does the trail markings mean at LL & SS? For example, at SS there's many that aren't a solid line, such as the blue 71 or green 1. And at LL, some of the greens are darker in color and some as highlighted green as well such as 9. I'm pretty sure the runs highlighted in yellow mean slow but I'm not sure about the green highlight or the dotted line runs?

 

Sorry, besides Snowshoe and 4 days at Telluride, I don't have any experience with big resorts so I haven't seen this before!

 

Also, will the park fees be waived for citizens only or non citizens as well?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post
 

Below is the mtn tour info for SSV and LL:

Thanks for the info, I'm gonna check those out. 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustypouch View Post
 

Besides what was mentioned, when in Banff, have dinner at the Grizzly House. It's an old school fondue place that hasn't changed in decades, and I hope it never does.

 

Go to the hot springs after skiing on a weekday, and hope you're not there at the same time as a Chinese tour group or two.

 

Come prepared for cold. The highs right now are lower than -20C, but this is odd.

 

LL vs. SS, short version: Louise has better terrain, Sunshine has better snow. LL with fresh snow > SS with fresh snow> SS without fresh > LL without fresh. Scenery is great at both, but LL has the edge.

Thanks for the info. Any other restaurant recommendations, especially for a quick early breakfast? We're staying at Homestead. & Yes, I've been checking out the hot springs! For sure gonna go!

post #23 of 27

Besides what was mentioned, when in Banff, have dinner at the Grizzly House. It's an old school fondue place that hasn't changed in decades, and I hope it never does.

 

Go to the hot springs after skiing on a weekday, and hope you're not there at the same time as a Chinese tour group or two.

 

Come prepared for cold. The highs right now are lower than -20C, but this is odd.

 

LL vs. SS, short version: Louise has better terrain, Sunshine has better snow. LL with fresh snow > SS with fresh snow> SS without fresh > LL without fresh. Scenery is great at both, but LL has the edge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RC1090nc View Post
 

Thanks for the info, I'm gonna check those out. 

Thanks for the info. Any other restaurant recommendations, especially for a quick early breakfast? We're staying at Homestead. & Yes, I've been checking out the hot springs! For sure gonna go!


Yes, the highlighted yellow is slow skiing. At SS the dashed lines are the easiest way down from each lift. At LL the highlighted green are the really easy beginner areas.

 

For other restos, really depends what you're into. There's a wide variety, depending if you want old school, cheap ski bum, fancy, trendy, whatever.

post #24 of 27

if you have enough daylight left after skiing a good walk to stretch the muscles is down to Bow Falls then up the stairs past the Walhus, enter the backside of Banff Springs Hotel off the terrace - nice  bar there, take in a great view - the hotel was originally built backward so the rear of the hotel has the better views. If its really cold outside a wandering around the hotel for an hour or so is always interesting same for the Chateau at Lake Louise. .   

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC1090nc View Post

 

Thanks for the info. Any other restaurant recommendations, especially for a quick early breakfast? 

 

If pastries and coffee would make for an acceptable breakfast, Laggan's in the Lake Louise Village is really good. Nice place to find some snacks for the day too.

 

Upscale meal: Post Hotel in Lake Louise Village. The Outpost pub is nice for an apres bite.

 

I haven't visited Truffle Pigs in Field, but it has been highly recommended. It is about 20 minutes from Lake Louise. The opposite direction from Banff, unfortunately, but the Kicking Horse Valley is worth a visit. Yoho  is my favorite of the Rockies parks. 

post #26 of 27
@RC1090nc:
"Also, will the park fees be waived for citizens only or non citizens as well?"

Yes, it applies to non citizen as well. Basically it applies to all visitors.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

38 days!! Man I'm so excited.. Been watching random youtube videos from people skiing at SS & LL..

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by rustypouch View Post

 

Yes, the highlighted yellow is slow skiing. At SS the dashed lines are the easiest way down from each lift. At LL the highlighted green are the really easy beginner areas.

 

For other restos, really depends what you're into. There's a wide variety, depending if you want old school, cheap ski bum, fancy, trendy, whatever.

Oh ok, that makes sense. Thanks! I've been studying the trail maps planning my first runs. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

if you have enough daylight left after skiing a good walk to stretch the muscles is down to Bow Falls then up the stairs past the Walhus, enter the backside of Banff Springs Hotel off the terrace - nice  bar there, take in a great view - the hotel was originally built backward so the rear of the hotel has the better views. If its really cold outside a wandering around the hotel for an hour or so is always interesting same for the Chateau at Lake Louise. .   

Thanks, we'll check that out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post
 

 

If pastries and coffee would make for an acceptable breakfast, Laggan's in the Lake Louise Village is really good. Nice place to find some snacks for the day too.

 

Upscale meal: Post Hotel in Lake Louise Village. The Outpost pub is nice for an apres bite.

 

I haven't visited Truffle Pigs in Field, but it has been highly recommended. It is about 20 minutes from Lake Louise. The opposite direction from Banff, unfortunately, but the Kicking Horse Valley is worth a visit. Yoho  is my favorite of the Rockies parks. 

Thanks for the tips

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post

@RC1090nc:
"Also, will the park fees be waived for citizens only or non citizens as well?"

Yes, it applies to non citizen as well. Basically it applies to all visitors.

Ok cool, thats a plus since we'll be renting a car!

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