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Calgary resort area recommendations

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
OK, let's pretend it's mid March. You're gonna take your family to ski near Calgary. 2 adults, 2 kids, 8 and under. Both kids can ski any blue in the East. 8 yr old can ski everything. Groomers can go at 40 mph+ or not...steeper is slower. Likes it in the trees.

You ski the blacks, your lady the blue groomers, yet timidly. The 8 yr old usually skis with you. The younger one wants to ski all day. (A camp is preferred.)

Where do you go? 6 days skiing total. Maybe all at one hill, prefer resort to hotels in town, but require a hot-tub - no motels. Car rental is ok.

Fernie? Lake Louise/Banff? Marmot? Combo trip? Other?
post #2 of 42
I have been to Lake Louise and Sunshine (Banff). I think both would have plenty of suitable terrain, but there is only one on mountain accomodation (at Sunshine - the Sunshine Village Inn, which does have a hottub). If you don't stay there, then you are stuck with a drive/shuttle every morning. Of course, there is nice lodging in Banff and Lake Louise, you would just have to resign yourself to gathering everyone up to go each morning and all returning together after you are done skiing.

I'm not sure about the situation at Marmot; I think maybe there is the same issue there with all the lodging being in Jasper, not at the mountain.

Fernie does have ski-in/ski-out, so from that basis alone I might suggest that would be more convenient, although it is a further drive from Calgary. Haven't been myself, but it seems a lot of people love Fernie, and I expect it would be quite uncrowded.

I would suspect in any case unless you want to endure shuttle rides with kids all vacation, you will likely need a rental. Maybe not in Fernie, except with it being so far from Calgary, it may be cheaper/more convenient to get the car just to drive to Fernie, as opposed to taking a shuttle to get there initially.

Good luck with your decision!

post #3 of 42
Lake Louise, mucho variety of terrain for anyone - green cruisers, nice wide blues, good blacks, as well as great double black steeps and chutes if you're so inclined. March tends to be one of the better snow months for Banff. Fernie is a great hill, but by March could be seeing rain (or huge dumps of snow) and its a bit more of a gamble than the Banff area.
post #4 of 42
Originally Posted by JeffW
Lake Louise, mucho variety of terrain for anyone - green cruisers, nice wide blues, good blacks, as well as great double black steeps and chutes if you're so inclined. March tends to be one of the better snow months for Banff. Fernie is a great hill, but by March could be seeing rain (or huge dumps of snow) and its a bit more of a gamble than the Banff area.
All true, mid March can be a real gamble for Fernie. If you stay in Lake Louise you are only 10 minutes (or less) to the hill. Sunshine has some on hill lodging but then you're stuck up there and kids could go snaky. Marmot is also under the benevolent guidance of Parks Canada so also has no on hill lodging.

Banff has more to do but puts you 45 minutes from Lake Louise and near the same to Sunshine once you factor in the gondola to get to the actual skiing.
post #5 of 42

Ski Big 3, Kicking Horse

Both Sunshine and Louise should be in great condition that time of the year. You can pick up passes that will work on all the hills in the immediate Banff area (Sunshine, Louise, Norquay). That gives you the option of trying them out and then concentrating on your favourite. For further information on this go to: http://www.skibig3.com/

Six days is an awfully long time to ski Marmot. There is no on mountain accommodation there, and the 3 hour drive from Lake Louise to Jasper can be pretty dicey at that time of the year. The snow at Marmot was marginal for most of last year, while the Banff resorts were doing well. You and the eight year old would probably like to do a single day at Kicking Horse--available as a bus trip from Banff hotels. There is also a daytrip bus to Panorama, but that will be heavily snow dependent. The only on-hill accommodation in the park is the Sunshine Inn.

I don't know how concerned you are about price, but from your preferences it's not going to be cheap. The premier hotels in the area are the Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise (both Fairmont properties). Within Banff there are a number of chalet/cabin resorts like Douglas Fir or the Rocky Mountain Resort, but these are not what I think of when I think of a "real" large resort hotel. Lake Louise has a small number of expensive hotels. Panorama is an Intrawest Resort, and Kicking Horse is starting to build out their on-hill accommodation, but it is still awfully early in development. Jasper has the Jasper Park Lodge (Fairmont) and the Pyramid Lake Resort (upscale cabins reputedly) but the other stuff is pretty basic.

For timeshares there are the Rocky Mountain Resort in the park, and a couple of others (including a Marriott) 15 minutes east of Banff in the quieter town of Canmore. Commute time from Banff to the local hills by car is: Norquay, 5 minutes; Sunshine, 15 minutes followed by 15 minute gondola ride; Louise, 35 minutes; Panorama, 90-120 minutes; Kicking Horse, 120 minutes. I'm estimating those times from the western overpass at Banff, people who've driven these routes more than I have are free to correct me if I'm wildly off base. Your best bet is probably to rent a car at the Calgary airport for the week, and make use of the shuttles and buses in Banff if you aren't all going to the same resort. Norquay should have night skiing on the Friday you are there.

If you restrict your skiing to the Big 3 and Kicking Horse, you're not going to be disappointed on a six day trip. There is lots of challenging terrain for you and your more adventurous son, your wife will probably find the blues at Sunshine a little easier than Louise or Norquay. Kicking Horse is considered more of an advanced mountain.

Fernie is 31/2 hours South of Calgary and about the same from Banff (going through the Columbia Valley in BC). I'd be more tempted to go there as a separate multi-day trip (with excursions to Castle and maybe Kimberley) but not as a day trip from Banff. Are you sure you don't want to do two weeks?
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks For The Tips!

I'd like to do the whole season out there!

It sounds like the plan is to rent a car/van, stay in/around Banff, hit Norquay on our day of arrival just to check it out, ski primarily "the lake", with an optional shuttle to Sunshine, and at least one bus day-trip to KH. Fernie (for two days?) ONLY if the snow is good -- may have to pass there.

The real decision is whether or not to stay at Sunshine. Right now, I'd say no.

The hot tub could be a pool for the kids. They never seem to stop.

Are there complimentary shuttles from Banff Hotels to Sunshine/LL? Any recommendations for actual places to stay in/around Banff?
post #7 of 42
Pretty sure the shuttles are free to LL & SV, they do a circuit around Banff to a lot of the hotels so you don't have to go far to pick them up; stay in Banff, nice town with a lot to do.
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Is there any chance that an intermediate skier will have enough to ski at Kicking Horse for two days? Looking at lodging/lift options, if we stay Banff for 6 nights / 5 days, then travel to Golden, KH has some pretty decent prices.


Friday : Arrive Calgary noon, Check into Banff, Ski Norquay
Sat - Wed: Ski LL/SV
Thurs :Travel/sightsee and rest enroute to KH/Fernie.
Friday-Sat: ski KH/Fernie
Sunday: depart Calgary late afternoon.
post #9 of 42
IMHO, no. It is definitely geared more toward advanced +. I went in January 2001, and the snow wasn't real good at that time. My wife was pretty bored by the end of the day. I can remember a small bowl that an intermediate can handle, but most of the intermediate trails are on the lower part of the mt. I think they have opened another lift since then, so not sure if that has changed.

There are probably others here that know the ski area better than me, but that was my impression.
post #10 of 42
I would NOT take any timid intermediate to either Fernie or Kicking Horse. : My husband and I absolutely LOVE Fernie, but it's challenging, and a lot is ungroomed. The groomed blues have quite a pitch to them and some might think they are narrow (I don't recall any wide-open groomed blues, but perhaps someone will remember something I don't). I would say that Fernie is for adventurous intermediates and above. We are going to Kicking Horse for the first time this winter, but all my friends who have gone say the grooming is spotty, and there's the real chance it will be too challenging for your wife as well.

I will also caution that you are on a tight schedule. IF you get a dump of snow, you may not be able to get through the passes from Alberta to British Columbia and you could miss a flight. You should really build an extra travel day in if you plan to do that.

Personally, I think you should stick to the Banff area. There are three wonderful resorts there, your wife will most likely love Sunshine and Lake Louise. Norquay has some nice blues too, they are steeper than at some resorts but their grooming is excellent. My husband and I are avid tree skiers (Jay Peak is our home mountain). The trees at Lake Louise are great, I think you will love them. Norquay has some nice trees too. Sunshine doesn't have much for trees, you'll be doing more bowl skiing there. What's nice about Sunshine is your wife can get high up and get wonderful views, but there are blue and green trails down. Same with Lake Louise.

The Ski Big 3 option mentioned above is perfect for you. Cost of lift tix includes shuttles to and from mountain, so you don't have to drive. If your wife wanted to leave early, there are shuttles throughout the day so she wouldn't have to wait for you and you wouldn't have to go if you didn't want to yet. Only drawback I saw with the shuttles was you had to catch the very first shuttle, very early, to get to the mountain on a powder day for first tracks (if you were so inclined).

I've been to Banff twice, once with my husband and two stepsons, once with my mom. My husband and I are experts, one stepson is a high-intermediate skier and one is an advanced snowboarder (both were intermediate to high-intermediates when we went), and my mom is an intermediate (used to be an advanced skier, but now that she's in her 60s, she's a rather cautious intermediate). Everyone loved it and wants to go back. When I was with my husband and stepsons, we stayed at the Douglas Fir Resort. They have condo-style lodging. PLUS there is an indoor waterslide and pools, steam room, saunas, hot tubs, etc. (included in cost of staying there). We could NOT get the kids off the slide after we got back from the slopes.

And really, if you go to Banff, you will want to STAY in Banff. There's tons of things to do, and the town is pretty. You'll want to walk around, explore, etc.

If you want more information about these three resorts and the accommodations at Douglas Fir, as well as some other lodging too, go to my website, www.skisnowboard.com, and you'll find full reviews of the three Banff resorts (as well as all the other major destination resorts in North America, so you can read about Fernie and Kicking Horse and see why I am steering you away from them). We write about the entire experience, from the atmosphere, to where to ski on the mountain by ability level and where to stay, eat and go for apres-ski. I am the one who wrote the reviews for all the Banff resorts and Fernie, so you can ask me questions, if you'd like (my husband is a ski patroller and had a lot of input on my assessment of terrain).

Of course, perhaps you can get your wife to agree to let you do a one-day trip via shuttle to Kicking Horse while she skis at one of the other resorts. If you're itching to go there, it's a great way to get around the problem of not having everyone happy there.

post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
OK, so KH is out for sure.

I do want to add that the intermediate has skied and enjoyed all of the blues on the north side of Mont-Ste-Anne, as well as those at Le Massif. Good grooming is very nice thing. Le Massif is as well groomed as an airport tarmack - similar to Norquay from the sounds of it.

Thatsagirl: Thanks for the heads-up. I read your reviews, and from that info, it looks like staying in Banff for the entire trip is a good idea. OTOH, gnjantzie writes that KH would be a fine day trip for myself and the 8 yr old.
post #12 of 42
I do think if you can get your wife to agree to let you and the 8 y.o. go to Kicking Horse for a day, you should do it. Just don't bring her with you.

Norquay is definitely well groomed. Reading what you've said about skiing at Mont-Ste-Anne and Le Massif, I continue to believe that she will not like KH or Fernie. Sunshine and Lake Louise will be the perfect step up for her from those Eastern resorts (I've skied them, since I live in northern Vermont). Start at Norquay to "ease into" the big mountain skiing; that's what we did when we went out there, and it helped the kids a lot to do it that way. It helped with the intimidation factor, since they hadn't seen mountains that big before...Banff was first Western trip for them.

Make sure to book everything through SkiBig3 (the website was provided to you above).

post #13 of 42
Oh, if you have to, you should be able to rent a car for the day-trip to Kicking Horse. There are several car rental agencies right in Banff.
post #14 of 42
Thatsagirl has some good points. The waterslide is a nice touch at DFR but the downside is you're a bit out of town and either driving or at the mercy of shuttles. (Probably too long a walk for the little ones). Across the road at Hidden Ridge Chalets they also have kitchen units as do Tunnel Mountain and Buffalo Mountain (all in the same area). Rocky Mountain Resort has chalets as well but is even further out of town. A couple of other small ones older hotels have kitchens as well. Those older ones lack hot tubs. The hill shuttles are free as long as you buy the big 3 passes. Norquay is great for a half day and since it's handy is convenient for a quick ski when you have something else to do that day. Norquay also lets you do half days in the morning if you like with a 1,2 or 3 hour pass you can use any part of the day.

Fernie has some groomed runs for cruising but as I mentioned before mid march is getting late there. To me Fernie is either really on or really off, that time of year you're increasing your odds of really off.

If you want to cruise you can do a day shuttle down to Panorama and cruise groomers until your legs quiver. Especially now that they have another quad to take you to the top.
post #15 of 42
good advice by Thatsagirl

Stay anywhere on Tunnel Mountain. Rent a car or take the shuttles. Ski one day at Norquay. Ski at Louise if the weather is cloudy. Avoid Sunshine on a snowy or grey day. It's almost all above timberline.
post #16 of 42
Hidden Ridge has nice units!
post #17 of 42
I tend to disagree a bit with what has been said about Kicking Horse.

Yes, it is geared toward the adventure skier and needs at least two more lifts on its lower expansion property before it can be called a balanced resort; but I don't think you should pass it up. There IS good intermediate and beginner skiing there, but it IS limited. ...The lure there is much like that of Aspen Mountain. Even if your wife does not see anything she wants to ski up high, the entire family can have a nice lunch in an amazing setting atop beautiful snow capped peaks; and then those who are called to adventure can take the plunge, while the others have the option of taking the gondola back down the mountain to tamer terrain. It is an experience you would regret having missed in coming years! ....A one day trip over there should be a part of any trip to Banff.

If there is any interest at all in a vehicle, do consider renting for a week in Calgary. A few years ago I was there with a group of 40 and was the only one that rented a vehicle at the airport. Those who tried to rent a car for a day of sightseeing found the one day rental was half of what I paid for a full week. ..I think a vehicle is essential up there because sightseeing is an intregral part of the trip to and from the ski hills.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!
post #18 of 42

Banff Acomodations

I've stayed at the Banff Caribou Inn several times at the end of the Main Street in Banff. The rooms are very nice and reasonably priced, There is a Keg Restaurant located there as well. Heated indoor parking and ski lockers as well.

They also have two very nice hot tubs there , both located inside. The Caribou has a very nice lobby that provides a real ski lodge type feel to the hotel.

I liked Sunshine better than Lake Louise probably because I rarely ski off piste . Goat's Eye has 2,000 verts a high speed and some very nice runs. Its easy to get to Lake Louise and that area should be skied as well. I think it was a 1 1/2 hr. bus ride to get up to Kicking Horse from the Caribou Inn. Buses will pick you up at your accomodations.

Never skied Kicking Horse , but did ski Fernie but everybody said it was the worst conditions they had had in about a dozen years. Fernie would be great if you could catch some fresh snow. The Lizard Bowl side of the mountain particularly. Norquay is very nice as well. The very difficult North American Run was closed because of avalanche work when I was there , but the very end of Norquay has 1500 vertical and a high speed lift with some very nice blue and black terrain.

Enjoy your trip to Alberta, and I hope you catch some powder. By far the most impressive alpine scenery I have ever seen.
post #19 of 42

Kicking Horse for Intermediates

Crystal Bowl is a good playground for intermediates and has some very easy glades to start tree skiing on. That's up at the top, so you do get a scenic ride on the gondola, and if the weather is good, a fantastic view. The Stairway to Heaven Quad will allow you to keep skiing the bowl, without having to go all the way to the bottom.

There are some good blue groomers down at the bottom coming from the Pioneer lift. Getting from the top to the bottom is quite easy along the 10 kilometer green run. You do need to be a little bit careful. We tried taking a shortcut on a "blue" run on the north side and ended up in 3 feet of powder and five feet of moguls all the way down.

I'd say there is plenty to keep an intermediate happy and busy for one day, but you'd end up repeating a lot of runs on the second day unless you wanted to push your envelope.
post #20 of 42
gnjantzie: It should be said though that the 10k run "Its a 10" is a cat track and is limited in interest, but the bowl is pretty good though not really very big. The Stairway to Heaven must be new (ie since 2001-2002) which should definitely help keep an intermediate interested. That said, unless you have some people who are very adventurous and good skiers, LL or even SV has a lot more going for everyone and are a lot closer to Banff.:
post #21 of 42
I feel the need to put in a word of caution here: BigE describes his wife as a TIMID blue GROOMED run skier. Kicking Horse and Fernie really are for ADVENTUROUS intermediates and above. Anyone who says they aren't is kidding themselves. Neither resort is known for meticulous grooming, which is what a timid skier likes, wants and NEEDS. The worst thing BigE can do is bring his wife on a trip that makes here HATE skiing! :

I continue to think he should set her up where she'll be happy as a lark and he will have plenty of his kind of skiing too. The Banff resorts provide this in spades. Then, as a few of us suggested, he takes the 8 y.o. to KH for a day, just the two of them. BigE's wife will most likely come away from this trip a more confident skier, because the Banff resorts are perfect for giving her a boost of confidence. Heck, she might become more adventurous in time for their NEXT vacation. But it's not going to happen on this vacation, so you've got to accommodate her current skills.

gnjantzie says of Kicking Horse: "You do need to be a little bit careful. We tried taking a shortcut on a "blue" run on the north side and ended up in 3 feet of powder and five feet of moguls all the way down."

Don't tell me this wouldn't scare the bejesus out of BigE's wife and make her never want to ski again...or at least make her ticked off at him for the rest of the vacation and maybe the rest of the year.

Please don't push someone into terrain that will intimidate them. We all want our loved ones to be as addicted to skiing as we are, yet we are often our own worst enemies by not taking them to appropriate resorts and terrain. I have so many girlfriends who would be avid skiers today if some guy hadn't scared them silly out on the mountain. It stinks no matter how you look at it.

post #22 of 42
You can only say the same thing so many ways. I think Big E gets it though. I certainly wouldn't subject her to kicking horse. Even that lift mentioned that I don't think is called stairway but at any rate it's a slow ride up a flat ridge that gets you little vertical and less terrain for an intermediate (or anyone else). A timid skier would be board to tears on that lift and eventually still have to head down the cat track which is dull, narrow with lots of cross traffic from other runs.
post #23 of 42
Am I missing something here?

Kicking Horse has roughly 1000 acres of terrain on the lower mountain that was originally Whitetooth Ski area. This has plenty of intermediate terrain serviced by the Catamount and Pioneer chairs. ...Why would a timid intermediate want to try skiing on the upper mountain with that much terrain available down below. ...But,,, unlike the other resorts in the area, Mrs. Big E can ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for a dining experience unique to only a few ski areas on the continent, and then return to the bottom of the mountain safely in the gondola.

Lake Louise, Sunshine, and Norquay all have extensive areas of very challenging terrain within their boundaries, and there is no outcry that this is going to discourage timid skiers who stay on the trails designated for their abilities. ...I see no difference with Kicking Horse, although I would think it good advise to keep timid skiers off any of the trails on the upper mountain.

I am in total agreement with the idea that groups with timid skiers should avoid extended stays at Kicking Horse right now, but I can't see how a one day trip over there would in any way 'scare' a timid intermediate.
post #24 of 42
feallen- you are right. My point was regarding Boredom rather than Fear. But let's face it, the lower mountain is definitely not all-that.
post #25 of 42
I'm pretty sure some of this is nonsense. I went to KH l;ast year with a large group of advanced skiers, three intermediates, one total beginner and one "timid intermediate". They all enjoyed the resort for two weeks (with a couple of day trips in the middle). And I don't flatter myself to think that it was the company!!

The grooming in the bowl to skier's left of the gondola sumiit is fantastic - massive wide race tracks sweeping through the terrain. On the bottom of the hill there is extensive and varied grooming.

There are also plenty of non-groomed runs which an intermediate could tackle without too much trouble.
I think a day at KH would be well worth it for a group of any make-up.

post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
Don't tell me this wouldn't scare the bejesus out of BigE's wife and make her never want to ski again...or at least make her ticked off at him for the rest of the vacation and maybe the rest of the year.
That's exactly what would happen. Wow, you must know her somehow!

A neighbour and his family went to Panorama last season. His wife is similar, though perhaps a bit better skier than Mrs. BigE. She absolutely hated it, although papa and son were fine. She felt reduced to skiing one run! So, from that alone, I think you are quite right.

There's more than enough to do in the Banff area -- I do think a day trip to KH with my 8 y.o. is in order though. My 8 y.o. will be able to judge if mom would like it, so mom does not need to worry about it. (I think I already have the answer though.)

The hype of KH being so challenging has already scared her. There is no way I will risk ruining a perfectly good vacation. Norquay must be first, just because it will be more comfortable. Thatsagirl is exactly right -- you've got to respect her timidity -- going directly to the top of LL would totally freak her out. I won't risk it. We have to ease into it
post #27 of 42

Banff for the timid intermediate

To try and reclaim my tattered reputation (I don't really take beginner skiers up to the top of a mogul run, tell them to let 'er rip, and push them down the hill), I'll offer my impressions of the relative difficulty of the Banff resorts. By the by, I still classify myself as an intermediate, though perhaps judging from some others comments I'd better amend that to aggressive intermediate.

If your wife is truly timid, she will probably find the blues at Sunshine a little bit easier than the blues at Norquay. There is no doubt that Norquay has fantastic grooming, and if you want to ski corduroy, there's nothing better than catching the 9:00 am lift. However the blues coming off of the Spirit and Mystic chair are pretty steep and I found them a bit intimidating the first time I skied there last year.

If she does go to Sunshine, she'll probably find the blue runs off Strawberry and WaWa are good confidence builders. If she has no problem with that, she may want to go up Lookout Mtn. to see how she likes the wide open spaces. My favourite intermediate run, South Divide, gives you a wonderful view of Mt. Assiniboine as you head down to rejoin the Green Run. Red 90, although marked as a blue is steep, and almost invariably icy, so the Green Run, with its tedious uphill half-way along is probably a better bet. The next stage is to go up Goat's Eye and take the Sunshine Coast all the way to the bottom (great bragging rights and not that difficult a run although the long traverse is a bit tight).

Louise runs seem just a little more difficult than their corresponding colours at Sunshine. I've skied the Larch blues comfortably, and I'm in the process of moving over to some of the higher blues on the front side. On the Louise map, they seem to recommend a mix of greens and blues for low intermediates, and that resonates with my experience of comfort level at that stage.

If the blues seem to difficult there are always the greens, and Louise and Sunshine both have a number of green runs that give you a good workout and fantastic scenery.

Have a great trip, I'm sure you'll find appropriate terrain for everyone in your family!
post #28 of 42
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
I feel the need to put in a word of caution here: BigE describes his wife as a TIMID blue GROOMED run skier. Kicking Horse and Fernie really are for ADVENTUROUS intermediates and above. Anyone who says they aren't is kidding themselves. Neither resort is known for meticulous grooming, which is what a timid skier likes, wants and NEEDS. The worst thing BigE can do is bring his wife on a trip that makes here HATE skiing! :
Superb advice!

The last run my wife ever made was at Louise. We ran into a terrible snow squall at mid mountain. It was some sort of weather anomaly....a micro burst/blizzard that dumped and blew for about twenty minutes.

It could have happened anywhere but the whiteout conditions and high wind scared the crud out of my wife. She hasn't been on skis since!
post #29 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gnjantzie
To try and reclaim my tattered reputation ... I'll offer my impressions of the relative difficulty of the Banff resorts.
Thank you for the detailed difficulty grading. It's very very appreciated. Although I'd love to jump over to LL asap, it may be a bit better to save that for later.

The missus now has the notion that the trip should be split into two separate stays -- one at Banff, and one in some swanky digs nearer LL. This new wrinkle is going to cost me way more than I wanted to spend, but as she says "If I'm going to go all the way out there, for the first time, I'd like to stay for a short while in a ritzy place.... just to say I did....". She's never even SEEN the Rockies in real life!

From gnjantzie's description of the ease of Sunshine, it sounds like staying right at Sunshine Village for a 3D3N package may be a good idea. Is it posh enough to warrant the cost difference?

Our preferred approach is to go condo, because we can probably save near $40/day on breakfast alone.
post #30 of 42
They've been renovating the Sunshine Inn, so it's nice, but nothing fancy. Thing about staying at Sunshine is you are stuck there for three days. No chance to check out Banff. You have to eat at the same restaurant every night. There's not much to do.

I think staying in Banff is the better choice, simply because if your wife has never been to Banff, she'll want to spend time in town. Plus you have kids to keep occupied. Banff has so many great places to eat, doesn't matter what your budget is. Oh, and lots of non-ski activities if she's too tired to ski one day (like go to the Hot Springs ). I probably shouldn't tell you about all the fabulous shops...but you know you'll have to bring back SOMETHING as a memento.

I don't blame her for wanting to stay at some swanky place in Lake Louise. I am assuming she wants to stay at the Chateau or the Post Hotel? If it makes you feel better, you're getting your money's worth!

I'd save money by staying in a condo in Banff, then splurge in Lake Louise. It won't hurt the pocket book quite so much...

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