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What is the skiing like at Sunshine village ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Planning a trip for early April and just curious about what the skiing is like at Sunshine village. I am lerking over Michael's shoulder regarding places to stay. I am specifically interested in the Sunshine Inn. Apparently it is ski in and ski out but at the top of the gondola. Is this a bad idea?

thanks,
Perry
post #2 of 17
Cool place. The blue runs have a flat spot. The greens have a small uphill.

Goat's eye has some steeps though.

The gondola is plenty long enough for a quickie.

I might not want to stay too long at the village, sort of isolated. Downtown Banff offers more entertainment.
post #3 of 17
Awseome skiing as I recall it. Lots of skiing above the tree line.We stayed in Banff and drove about half hour to the hill. No kids in tow at the time so ski in/out was not as important. Banff itself is a lovely town with lots going on.
post #4 of 17
You're better off staying in Banff because there isn't much to do up on the mountain at night. It's fun to be up there for a couple of days, though.. quiet and relaxing.

The mountain has something for everyone... high alpine, below treeline, glades, plus the most extreme terrain in the region if you're willing to go for it. It's a good all-round family mountain as well.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtrips View Post
Awseome skiing as I recall it. Lots of skiing above the tree line.We stayed in Banff and drove about half hour to the hill. No kids in tow at the time so ski in/out was not as important. Banff itself is a lovely town with lots going on.
Mostly an intermediate cruiser hill, although Goat's Eye offers more challenging runs. Wild West and Dellerium Dive offer extreme skiing if ability and conditions allow. Sunshine should have the best snow conditions of all ski hills in the area.

Sunshine Inn has 2 sections to it. The hotel portion has been remodelled and is quite nice. The "wing" is extremely old and run down and not worth staying in. Like mentioned, it is quiet up at the Inn and probably good for only a night or two before you get bored. There are a few restaurants and a big outdoor hot tub. Banff offers more options for accomodations, dining, shopping and entertainment. If you are coming for only a few days, staying the Sunshine Inn simplifies things as you don't need transportation or have to decide on where you are eating which meal.

Like all ski destinations, if you stay in Banff please use the shuttle buses to get to the ski hills. Far too many people stay in Banff and glog the streets, highway and parking lots when they can easily use the bus service.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Cool place. The blue runs have a flat spot. The greens have a small uphill.

Goat's eye has some steeps though.

The gondola is plenty long enough for a quickie.

I might not want to stay too long at the village, sort of isolated. Downtown Banff offers more entertainment.
LOL,

SSV is a great experience. The scenery is to kill for and worth the trip from anywhere just to look out over the mountain ranges. The mountain is good to ski with tremendous variety if you include the Dive. The remainder of the area is steep in places and flat in places. I could see someone getting really frustrated with the flats if they ski too slow & end up walking.

I had a great time today and the conditions are awesome.

Michael
post #7 of 17
Sunshine has more steeps than just Delirium Dive. Wild Side and Far Side (and the bowls beyond that) provide some really good lines. The Teepee Town area is rarely skied and has some pretty steep glades. "The Shoulder" is also a good run that always has the best snow on the mountain, and is the best way to get over to Goat's Eye. There's also some steep but short chutes to the left of the Standish Chair heading over to the Lookout Express.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex C View Post
Sunshine has more steeps than just Delirium Dive. Wild Side and Far Side (and the bowls beyond that) provide some really good lines. The Teepee Town area is rarely skied and has some pretty steep glades. "The Shoulder" is also a good run that always has the best snow on the mountain, and is the best way to get over to Goat's Eye. There's also some steep but short chutes to the left of the Standish Chair heading over to the Lookout Express.
That's right. There has been a considerable amount of radical new terrain opened recently, that has been out of bounds in the past. Delirium Dive is just one of many choices now for steeps.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
LOL,

SSV is a great experience. The scenery is to kill for and worth the trip from anywhere just to look out over the mountain ranges. The mountain is good to ski with tremendous variety if you include the Dive. The remainder of the area is steep in places and flat in places. I could see someone getting really frustrated with the flats if they ski too slow & end up walking.

I had a great time today and the conditions are awesome.

Michael
I'm going to be up there on Saturday touring a press trip around from the U.K. Maybe we could hook up for a run if I have time. PM me your cell number if want, and I'll give you a call on the mountain depending on how things are working out with my group.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the input. Very helpful. Maybe we can get HS to do the dive and film him.....Sorry I couldn't resist. (If you don't know what I'm referring to, your not missing anything)
post #11 of 17
Sunshine Village & Lake Louise are awesome right now;

http://www.putfile.com/barrettscv/images/89998

[ IMG ][ /IMG ]

Trip report to follow,

Michael
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Sunshine Village & Lake Louise are awesome right now;

http://www.putfile.com/barrettscv/images/89998

[ IMG ][ /IMG ]

Trip report to follow,

Michael
Great pic Michael! Where are you staying in SSV? Have you hit any of the other nearby mountains?
post #13 of 17
The pic above is from Lake Louise, so I am guessing he has at least tried that one

Anyway, here are some thoughts about the Banff area hills.

SunshineVillage is a good hill. Their snow base is currently at 200 cm, so while there may be some rocks showing in the windy areas, coverage is pretty good.

Generally, the hill is best suited for intermediate skiers and many of their runs would be rated one color lower at other Western Canadian resorts. Goats Eye Mountain, however, has great terrain for advanced skiers and there are decent, albeit short, pitches in the teepee town area and the Standish headwall. If you have avalanche equipment, Wild West and Delirium Dive will offer the biggest challenge. Most strong skiers will be able to handle the main route in the Dive but this area is very large and more challenging terrain surrounds you. The Wild West Area is more technical than the dive. I have only skied the two easier lines (peyto’s and wheeler’s) but it is very unique terrain.

Positives: quality and quantity of snow, and a great lift system, “freeride areas” are a blast
Negatives: Can be somewhat windy, accessibility of steeps, short runs (apart from goat’s eye), alpine areas can lead to low vis days

Lake Louiseis the region’s biggest hill and, in my opinion, the most balanced. Although it gets less snow than Sunshine, I prefer the terrain. The back bowls are not only the home to the hill’s best snow, but also some of the best expert terrain in Alberta (and you don’t need a beacon to access it). The front side of the hill and the larch area are good for beginners and intermediates. Unfortunately, the snow on the front side is often hard and fast. One advantage Lake Louise has over Sunshine is the fact that most of its terrain is below tree-line. Therefore,cloud cover is less of a factor.

Positives: Back Bowls, decent tree skiing
Negatives: Less snow, bottlenecks in intermediate areas

If you are going to be in the Banff region, you might want to consider a trip to Kicking Horse. This hill is definitely geared towards a stronger skier. The upper mountain is really quite steep but fun for those looking for a challenge. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of easy ways down to the friendlier lower mountain. Beginners and intermediates may become bored with these routes.

Positives: Great steeps right out of the lift, touring options, lots of snow
Negatives: Terrible lift system (everybody funnels down to one gondola), upper mountain is not well suited for intermediates, out of the way.

Lastly, I too would recommend staying in the town of Banff. From the Sunshine Inn, the gondola is your only connection to the outside world. Once it is shut down (5 or 6 pm) you will be in for a quiet night. I would think that most people visiting the region would like a chance to see the Banff town site, Lake Louise village and other attractions. You would have to skip a day of skiing to do this from the Sunshine Inn.
post #14 of 17
Both Sunshine & Lake Louise are great.

Trip report: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=53627

Cheers,

Michael
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
great info, thanks to all
pbartski
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post
I'm going to be up there on Saturday touring a press trip around from the U.K. Maybe we could hook up for a run if I have time. PM me your cell number if want, and I'll give you a call on the mountain depending on how things are working out with my group.
The first article from the press trip I toured around ran in the U.K. press this weekend (very knowledgeable writer who has skied all over the world and makes comparisons it to other well known areas and regions like Whistler and Europe). I took him virtually around the entire mountain (with the exception of the 'controlled' extreme areas) and he was giddy over how good the skiing and conditions were. Aside from the usual 'factual errors' writers somehow manage to squeeze in (such as calling Lake Louise the site of the '88 Winter Olympic alpine events, rather than Nakiska) it's a great article.

Here's the link to the article. The Times-Mountain High in Alberta
post #17 of 17
SV is my home hill! I've been skiing there since I was 6 so I'm a little biased. Let me say that you are picking absolutely the best time to ski there. There should be nice weather and great snow. You can still hit a powder day and the coverage should still be great.

I was there on the weekend and the coverage is excellent despite some warm weather we've been receiving. I didn't see a rock all weekend. If you are strong on your skis, I definately recommend a trip into Delerium Dive although you need a beacon and a shovel. They do guided trips there on Sundays but its a little pricey.

There is fun advanced skiing on Standish (the face, Donkey's Tail and the Virgin) and you can always find a little powder stash just under the rope beside the Headwall. The Tee Pee town recommendation is also a good one especially at that time of year. On a powder day with no wind, Bye Bye Bowl off of the Great Divide is dreamy for strong intermediate or advanced skiiers.

Having said that if you're going to Sunshine you should also hit Lake Louise. Both are very nice mountains with different strengths. In terms of places to stay, the Hidden Ridge condos in Banff are great if you have a group. The Sunshine Inn would be great for one night but I agree with the person who said they wouldn't stay there for too long.
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