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which is better in alberta?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
which resort does anyone think is better, lake louise or sunshine village?
thanks
post #2 of 15
Been to both. Totally different. Sunshine has much more snow and therefore better chance of powder. Lake Louise feels bigger with more terrain. Also, one of the most beautiful places I have ever skied.Don't limit yourself to just one.
post #3 of 15
the lake is better, except possibly on the days that delirium dive is open but it gets tracked out fast....
post #4 of 15
I preferred Lake Louise, but definitely do both. Picture here from my trip
post #5 of 15
For beginners and low intermediates I'd say Sunshine, experts probably Louise. Sunshine has better snow, earlier in the year (Louise usually opens on man-made and very limited runs for the first couple of weeks). Sunshine's season goes a couple of weeks longer. Louise has better scenery. Sunshine has on-mountain accommodation in the Inn. Lake Louise has a bit more variety in day lodges scattered around the mountain. Sunshine requires a ride up to their village on a gondola (about 15 minutes), Lake Louise has lift access close to the parking lots. My current strategy is to buy a season's pass at Sunshine, and then buy a Louise Card which I split between Louise and Fernie.

If you're looking to ski both hills, and you're coming out from the east, you probably want to pick up one of the Big 3 ski passes which allows you to ski either mountain (and Norquay). If you do come out, you probably should leave at least one day to go to Golden, for a Kicking Horse of another colour...
post #6 of 15
Totally different.

Lake Louise is more charming, with better laid-out runs, vast terrain and stunning vistas. But, it has limited snow accumulation.

Sunshine has oodles of snow, and wide open high-alpine bowls. Derilium Dive is the proving ground (real experts - and you'll need avy gear which you can rent).

Most of Sunshine is above the treeline, and the runs are less defined.

Ask L7. He's the local expert.
post #7 of 15
I skied Norquay one afternoon in a snowstorm and had a blast. Neat place, not big but I think worth checking out. They also have reasonable priced half day tickets on your arrival day if you can get to Banff from Calgary in the early PM.
post #8 of 15
I agree with the above comments about the differences between Louise and Sunshine.

I personally prefer Lake Louise over Sunshine. But Sunshine reminds me a bit of the feeling you can find in the Alps (ie. above treeline terrain, no define runs).

Louise has traditional runs on the Front Side with some steep chutes on the backside.

Of interest, there's also:

Norquay (Banff): runs off the North American double are probably some of the steepest bump trails I have skied.

Marmot Basin (Jasper): beautiful scenery. Have expanded with more steep terrain in the last 5 years. Quiet place.

Fortress (Kananaskis): beautiful scenery. Good snow.

Other notable places that I haven't ski in Alberta:

Castle Mtn (south of the province). Heard some great stuff about this place. Not yet discovered.

Nakiska (Kananaskis): Although I haven't skied it, it reminds me of Sugarloaf (Maine). Steep groomers on top, looks more like an Eastern type mountain. Minimal natural but good snowmaking.
post #9 of 15
Castle is great. Nice groomers on the bottom, excellent powder off the red chair on top. They're opening a bunch of new intermediate trails on Haig and the new Huckleberry lift. The lift tickets are cheap like borscht too!
post #10 of 15

Lake Louise vs. Sunshine village

My $.02 are this:

I like LL better if only because the trails are better defined and below tree level.

Tons of runs for the intermediate..
If you have plenty of $$$ stay at the Post Hotel!

There is no finer lodging in Alberta...BUT IT IS EXPENSIVE
post #11 of 15

Beautiful area of the continent

This area is gorgeous - wherever you ski. In our various trips to that area we always do Sunshine and Lake Louise (we wouldn't miss either one). In our last coupleof trips we hit Kicking Horse and Marmot Basin. I'd definitely recommend Marmot for a) the beautiful drive up the Columbia Icefields Parkway, b) the beautiful town and country of Jasper, and not least of all for the spectacular skiing at Marmot - not nearly as large as Lake Louise, but a real 'in the rugged mountains' feel to it.

We've also skied at Big White and Silver Star. We absolutely loved Big White - cheap 'in town' accomodations - the main street is part of the mountain and skiable. It is also known as 'Big White-out' because of the fogs that often envelop it.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearberry View Post
I'd definitely recommend Marmot for a) the beautiful drive up the Columbia Icefields Parkway, b) the beautiful town and country of Jasper, and not least of all for the spectacular skiing at Marmot - not nearly as large as Lake Louise, but a real 'in the rugged mountains' feel to it.
I would place that drive from Banff to Jasper as probably the most spectacular I've done.

Marmot Basin is also great (as mentioned above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearberry View Post
In our last coupleof trips we hit Kicking Horse (...)We've also skied at Big White and Silver Star.
Kicking Horse, Big White and Silver Star aren't part of Alberta.:

Patrick, the geographer
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldefarms View Post
My $.02 are this:

I like LL better if only because the trails are better defined and below tree level.

Tons of runs for the intermediate..
If you have plenty of $$$ stay at the Post Hotel!

There is no finer lodging in Alberta...BUT IT IS EXPENSIVE
We loved the Post. Did it twice. It was pricey, but my daughter was young. We got a suite with a kitchenette and we had a huge bathroom, separate bedrooms for us and my daughter, fireplace, balcony... The ability to eat in was super and the restaurant was superb. MUCH cosier in my opinion than staying at the Chateau which felt "big city".

We got Christmas cards from the owners for five years after our stay. Apparently with genuine signatures. I guess the number of people staying 10 days in a row is limited. Anyway, we loved it. (And even though it was pricey at the time, it was HALF of what the Little Nell in Aspen would have been for the equivalent set up.)
post #14 of 15
Yup, agree with everyone's comments above. The views of the valley from the summit at LL are just awesome! especially in the morning. I thought LL offered more varied terrain, but I just went for a short visit, a few days. I liked the trees, blows, patches of powder and good base area.

Sunshine was also very enjoyable and the unmarked trails certainly added to that. Do both.
post #15 of 15
Ok I'll play the contrarian. I actually thought the views at Sunshine were the most incredible views I have ever seen. Not a man made structure in view, just magnificent. And I thought the skiing was better at Sunshine, probably due to the 6 inches of snow it received each night during my trip.

Louise is a Big Mountain with alot to offer for anyone. However, the snow just can't compare to Sunshine Village. If Louise has Sunshines snow it would be a top 5 resort.

Marmot Basin is a cool resort in a cool little town (Jasper) and as stated above, the drive from Banff to Jasper is spectacular.
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