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Banff Questions?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Been looking at destinations and Banff has caught my eye.  Was thinking about using the airport shuttle and the shuttles from town to the Mountains.  Is public transportation fairly convenient or would it be better to rent a car?  Any lodging recommendations?  We got offers for the Caribou Lodge, Brewsters, and the Banff Park Lodge.  Finally, how are current snow conditions?

post #2 of 12

Banff is a fun place to stay with some great mountains nearby.  I wouldn't make this trip with out a rental car for the flexibility.  The distance from calagary to Banff is considerable and other than Norquay which is close to downtown Banff, you will again be traveling a ways to Lake Louise and Sunshine.  Sunshine requires a gondola ride from the base to the lift areas and you don't really want to wait in the gondola queue on a powder day when four busses disgorge at the same time?  I like the flexibility of having the car and you can squeeze in a trip to Kicking Horse if the fancy grabs you.

post #3 of 12

Hi,

We were able to get around Banff without a car just fine, we used the buses from Banff to the mountains.

I don't remember how expensive they were. But there must be a deal combined with lift-tickets.

 

But still, the shuttle from Calgary airport was perfect - door to door and then not worrying about driving or parking was a relief, especially when the parking lots got crowded...

We stayed at a B&B - Casa Banff, its was tops! Good location, great breakfast and very good price (winter is their low season)

 

Banff Ntl. Park is really wonderful, i don't think they are getting lots of snow so far this season, but Sunshine Village is a very good bet for consistent -dry snow untill may.


 

post #4 of 12
One advantage of having a car is that you can use it to visit the sites around the National Park. A visit to Lake Louise (the lake, that is) is a must, and there are other spots that are worth quick detours while you're there that you won't be able to do without a car.
post #5 of 12

Hi,

 

Let me ask..and about the ski at banff???

Things as:

What kind of terrain?

Difficult?

Prices(lifts, rentals)?

Months of season or... beter months to go there?

etc...

 

Thanks

Eduardo

 

 

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlam View Post

Hi,

 

Let me ask..and about the ski at banff???

Things as:

What kind of terrain?

Difficult?

Prices(lifts, rentals)?

Months of season or... beter months to go there?

etc...

 

Thanks

Eduardo

 

 


Take a look at the websites of the major ski areas in the Banff Region

 

Sunshine Village www.skibanff.com

Lake Louise www.skilouise.com

 

And one that is nearby but usually overlooked because it isn't in the national park (but is a closer drive to the town of Banff than Lake Louise).  It's a cruiser's mountain (purpose built to host the alpine race events for the '88 Winter Olympics)

Nakiska www.skinakiska

 

By the way, Hardy's Ski & Snowboarding Guide in the U.K. rates Banff as the best in North America in 6 of their 8 categories.  It's also one of the easiest ski regions to get to from anywhere in the world.  Calgary is only an hour away and has one of the top rated international airports in the world, with direct flights from almost every major north american city and most of the majors in Europe.  You can easily get by without a rental car, unless you have money to burn, because there is an excellent bus shuttle service to the ski areas and you can easily walk everywhere in the town.  A car can actually be a hassle due to parking issues in town as well as at the ski areas, but it's personal preference... either option will work in Banff.

post #7 of 12

Thanks ExRacer!!!!

 

I'll take a deep look at the web sites.

 

BTW... Since we can saw you are from Calgary, just give us a little of your opinion about the ski in your region!! I'll appreciate and be very thankfull!!

I also think all others will too!!!!!

 

We are planing a trip to Whistler, not sure about when, maybe April. But, after read  a little about Banff and surround I became facinated and star to rethink the whole "first trip idea".  Let me explain... With the crisis the air fares to fly from Brasil to USA and Canada raises strongly.  Whistler closes midle of April(at least half of the mountain). If I'm not wrong Banff could be skied all year round.

That said, we can wait for better air fares and fly out of the season. That way, we'll can enjoy a trip to Banff, lake L, Calgary and also for other place as Vancouver in a not so cold temps.   

 

Regards ~ Eduardo

 

 

 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlam View Post

Thanks ExRacer!!!!

 

I'll take a deep look at the web sites.

 

BTW... Since we can saw you are from Calgary, just give us a little of your opinion about the ski in your region!! I'll appreciate and be very thankfull!!

I also think all others will too!!!!!

 

We are planing a trip to Whistler, not sure about when, maybe April. But, after read  a little about Banff and surround I became facinated and star to rethink the whole "first trip idea".  Let me explain... With the crisis the air fares to fly from Brasil to USA and Canada raises strongly.  Whistler closes midle of April(at least half of the mountain). If I'm not wrong Banff could be skied all year round.

That said, we can wait for better air fares and fly out of the season. That way, we'll can enjoy a trip to Banff, lake L, Calgary and also for other place as Vancouver in a not so cold temps.   

 

Regards ~ Eduardo

 

 

 

 

Hi Eduardo.
  

First, why don't you tell me what type of skiing you like to do and what is your ability?  Do you like cruising on groomed trails, wide open bowls, extreme pitches?  Are you looking for skiing that is suited to the entire family?  All of the ski areas in the Banff region are unique in terms of what they offer, so people here tend to have very distinct preferences depending on the type of skiing they like to do.

 

Also, the Lake Louise ski area generally closes towards the middle of April.  Sunshine Village is open until late May, and generally about 80-90% of the area is skiable at that time.  Most other ski areas that are open late in the year have limited terrain open at that time, but Sunshine is usually almost fully open until late May, then they close regardless of what the conditions are like.  In the Banff area in May, you will be able to ski and golf in the same day (or fish, or river raft, etc.).  It's a beautiful time of year, here.

 

The other advantage of skiing in Banff is that the winter season is considered low season, and hotel rates are the cheapest of the year.  During the summer season, tourist visits increase by 500% and hotel rates double, so for skiers, Banff is a bargain in the winter.

post #9 of 12

Whistler is a great hill. I think the terrain is better than what you will find in Banff. It also gets more snow. The weather in Banff is better though. Rain is a rarity. The Banff areas are less crowded too. As exracer said, Banff can be done on a budget, Whistler is generally expensive.

 

Whistler isn't having a good year, so if you might want to save that trip for later. It seems like snowfall stats are close to average in Banff this year.

 

Lake Louise almost always closes on the last sunday of April. Sunshine will usually close down Goat's Eye around this time as well, but the main part of the hill is open until Victoria Day. I think that is May 25 this year. Coverage is usually good until the end.

post #10 of 12

A lot of places on my wish list since I have never ski'd outside of NE. Italy, Colorado, Utah, Tahoe, Montana.....all on the wish list probably in that order .....

 

But, Lake Louise is no. 1 on the wish list.....been trying to talk my family up their for xmas for about 20 yrs....

 

Good thread, surprised Banff/ L Louise don't get more buzz on epicski.....

post #11 of 12
I went in April and LL and SSV were still getting lots of snow. About 5 inches a nite. Took the shuttle from Calgary to Banff. Never needed a car. Stayed at the Banff Park Lodge(ski/stay pkg) and the busses picked up at the door and delivered to both resorts. I liked SSV better due to the above tree line skiing. But, both were great. At LL, Larch area was good from my memory. There was another area of the mtn called Goat's Eye at SSV that was very nice. At the time, I was a mid intermediate/blue skier. Banff is an awesome town. Very quaint and walkable with lots of good shops and restaurants. I want to go back. We hit Panorama and Kimberly in '07 and loved them too, but I have a fondness for Banff area. Canada skiing (Canadian Rockies) can't be beat IMHO. And those Canuks are just the best and friendliest folks!
post #12 of 12

Hi, that's it! You get the point folks!!!

 

Let's us keep the post running 

 

I forgot to say, we are a family of 3. Me... well... maybe level 6, groomed terrain.Very bad in bamps! Some places as Tremblant I can down on blacks easily. My son,  16yo, level 7. Last year at Bariloche they down the whole mountain. My wife unfortunately need to stop to ski since a leg surgery, last year. But I'm very opmistic about her recuperation and realy hope she will be in shape for our next ski trip, at least for the green ones !!!

 

Well... Wish list... Banff, LL are definetvely in that. 

hrstrat57 Since you mention Italy, keep Austria in mind too. Stubai valey is a must. And they are closer !!

 

 Thansk you all !

 

Eduardo

 

 

 

 

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