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Banff in the spring?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Friends, I have been trying to put together a big April ski trip for my family - wife and three teenage boys. We went to Whistler three years ago - our first big mountain experience. While it was a great experience overall, the snow was mush by the end of the day and we got rained out once. I talked to a Skican rep this morning. He strongly recommended Banff as having more reliable snow and conditions in mid-April. Cost from Boston with air, lodging and tickets was $955 pp. Would appreciate any imput regarding spring in Banff, or the area in general, or any other options out west I should consider that late in the season. Many thanks.
post #2 of 16
banff can be a crap shoot at this time of year, But it will be the best bet in canada for sure. base is still great, weather will not be rain, South faces can get slushy, N facing can be still winter powder,

I've had some of my best powder days in early may at SSV.

Best bet in the west at that time of year.

also can bike/golf and some hikes too at that time of year.
post #3 of 16
April in Banff is generally very reliable, and the Sunshine Village ski area consistently has the best conditions in Canada (and probably North America) that time of year with mid-winter snow conditions (Lake Louise can be pretty spotty by mid-April). When you get later in the season (early through late May) you may find it getting a bit slushy in the afternoon, depending on weather, but never as bad as Whistler. You can't go wrong skiing Banff in the spring. The great thing about skiing Banff is that winter is considered low season, so hotels are at their lowest rates of the year.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Robert Kennedy Jr. Celebrity Ski Invitational on television. It took place at Sunshine Village a couple of weeks ago and it will have some background on Banff and Sunshine Village.
post #4 of 16
Stayed in Banff the third w/e in April a few years a back and skied one day at LL and two at SSV. Great ski conditions. Norqay was closed, however. Lower elev???
I have to believe that you will have decent snow conditions considering their latitude. I don't remember any ice at all. In fact, we had 3-5 inches of snow every nite while there. And great sunny days with beautiful views! I loved SSV. Alot of above tree line skiing there.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
exracer and kdskis2, many thanks for the reports. Since we all had a great time at Whistler, sounds like Banff will be amazing.
post #6 of 16
BANFF....will be great in APRIL.... I have skied Sunshine Village and Lake Louise that time of year---- AWESOME...

I have made 7 trips to Banff and each one was good... but APRIL was best
post #7 of 16
Everyone else was correct in their suggestions. This would be a great year to do it too - they're having a big snow year. I'd highly recommend Sunshine. There's a shuttle from Banff to the mountain. Hotels in Banff on the weekend are about $90 - $120 /night. Lake Louise is nice too. The extra elevation there means they have even more snow.

Check with the park service on lodging. There's cabins available on the two-lane road between Lake Louise and Banff. They looked really nice when I was there, but there was no vacancy.
post #8 of 16
Reliable spring conditions at Sunshine. I skied it in Mid April and not a bare spot to be had.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
exracer and kdskis2, many thanks for the reports. Since we all had a great time at Whistler, sounds like Banff will be amazing.
Which hotel have you booked at?
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
exracer, seems that the loft arangement at the Douglas Fir was best for our family of five - with three teenage guys. Do you know the place?
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
exracer, seems that the loft arangement at the Douglas Fir was best for our family of five - with three teenage guys. Do you know the place?
It will suit you fine. It's one of the older places in town, but has had improvements over the years and is good value when you have a large group. You should be able to cook meals there as well, depending on the unit.

It's up on Tunnel Mountain (nice quiet location) but you will need a car to go back and forth into town after skiing for restaurants etc., unless you don't mind a 15-20 minute walk up and down the hill. You come into Banff on the main road (Banff Ave.), turn left at the second set of lights then left again in a few blocks where the sign says Tunnel Mtn.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
ex, much obliged for your thoughts. We are counting the days.
post #13 of 16
April can be one of the better times of year for either Sunshine or The Lake. I usually take a week off the first or second week of April and have never been disappointed (even early May can be great). Like someone said earlier it's been a good season for snow so the spring skiing should be great (you might even get some late season powder if the weather gods are smiling). Also: Douglas Fir Resort is a great place for groups or families - highly recommended.
post #14 of 16
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ighlight=banff

Lift tickets for Alberta and BC.
buy one, get one 50% off for
Fernie, Lake Louise, Kimberly, Jasper (Marmot Basin), Nakiska, Norquay (banff)
blackout dates for Dec 23 - Jan 7, Feb 15-25, March 24- April 9. and valid Monday to Thursday.
I have a bunch, each one good for one day at that resort, not valid at each hill.
Tickets are $60-80 a day so you can save $30-40 for two people. $10 each.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
mntlion, the deal I got through Skican includes five days of skiing. On of my boys does not ski, so they took about $200 off. Leads me to believe that the tocs are priced at around $40 per day and I can use them at any of the three hills.
post #16 of 16
tickets at the hill are almost $80 with tax. on ebay you can get $60/day for tickets (for adults) so you might want to take the tickets and resell.

not sure of adult vs kid/youth ticket prices
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