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Banff trip report

post #1 of 2
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Hello all. Just got back from Banff. We skied Lake Louise and Sunshine Village for a week. These are two very different places, like Snowbird and Alta. We started off at Sunshine, poor snow coverage, lots of rocks. This limited where you could go. Lake Louise was the next stop. They have a lot of snow making so conditions where a lot better. The runs are long, Jackson Hole long. Huge bump runs, super long cruisers, and lots of steeps. At over 4000 acres the place is huge. You could spend weeks exploring it. The mens and womans downhill runs where steep and icy. I'm amazed that they run these at over 70 MPH. I now have even more respect for the racers.

With four peaks to choose from you can get almost any kind of run you want. All the peaks except the summit have an easy way down. The summit on the other hand uses a poma lift that is very steep, so getting up there is a challenge itself. The top of the world lift gets you to some really huge runs and great views. The best thing is that you can take the easier way for a while and jump into the steeps when you are up to it.

Paradise Bowl. Take a ride up the paradise chair for a truly wild ride. Paradise bowl is a huge steep, bumped up monster. It took me 3 times to get the nerve to jump into it. Visibility was so so, had to watch out for the rocks, a true no fall zone. It was the hardest run I have done yet. At 30 to 40 degrees with a large rock garden in the middle, you better be sure about doing it. There is no way out once you're in it. All the back bowls are like this, 2500 acres worth.

The cold weather and snow moved in on our last day so off to Sunshine Village for some powder. With no snow making Sunshine really needs some storms. They got about 6 inches so we could explore the whole place. Three different peaks to pick from. The continental divide chair opens up a ton of runs. The runs are more like vast fields, wrong turns can lead you to some super steeps and cliffs. Goats eye mountain is the hardcore pick. Very rocky in some spots, super bumped up most of the way. The standish lift was easier, good snow coverage and shorter runs.

They are getting snow all week, temps are dropping fast. It was below zero when we left. Expensive, the Vail of Canada came to mind. I would go again, maybe in Feb for better coverage.
post #2 of 2
Glad the hills didn't disappoint.

QUOTE]I would go again, maybe in Feb for better coverage.

For better than average chances at some good powder days, return mid-Feb or early March. Unfortunately, December/January tend to be pretty dry and it takes some time for recovery after Xmas holidays.
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