Ski The Rockies: 5 Tips For Planning The Perfect Ski Vacation
Fresh powder, endless blue skies, and crisp mountain air make skiing in the Rockies an unforgettable experience. As autumn wraps up and winter blows in, Alberta’s biggest ski resorts are filling in with that champagne powder.
Planning the perfect ski trip takes a lot of research and a little patience! Be sure to ace your trip to the Rockies this winter with our top 5 tips below:
1. Do Your Research:
Of all the tips to plan the perfect ski vacation, doing enough research is always going to be our first and foremost. While Banff (& surrounding areas) have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to skiing and accommodation, deciding on where to go depends on skier ability and resort accessibility. Each resort has its own unique style and terrain; however you’ll be sure to experience spectacular views from each one.
Lake Louise: The largest of the three, Lake Louise offers 164 runs, from beginner greens to double blacks. The resort is located about 40 minutes from Banff, and 55 minutes from Canmore, accessible by car and by bus. There’s a plethora of beginner friendly runs and lifts, as well as an endless amount of black diamond and open bowls for expert level skiers. From the summit, catch jaw-dropping views of Mt. Temple, Hector, and Lake Louise – some of the Rockies best!
Sunshine Village: Typically the most ‘beginner friendly’ of the Big 3, Sunshine Village is conveniently located 20 minutes from Banff, 35 minutes from Canmore, and can be easily accessed by both bus and car. With over 120 runs ranging from beginner to expert, as well as beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain parks, Sunshine has options for skiers of all levels. Catch out-of-this world views from three different mountain peaks and if you’re lucky, a glimpse of one of the Rockies highest mountains, Mt. Assiniboine!
Mt. Norquay: Don’t be fooled by its size! Located the closest to Banff, Norquay is the smaller of the three, packing in 60 runs across over 190 acres. Rich in history, Norquay is Canada’s oldest ski resort. Find more than just skiing here – Norquay boasts Alberta’s largest tube park, and Canada’s oldest ski school. Catch breathtaking sunset views from the Cascade chair, as Norquay is the only resort to offer night skiing!
2. Book in Advance
Once you’ve decided on where you want to stay – Banff, Canmore, or Lake Louise – start booking your accommodation and activities as soon as possible. Banff is a hotspot for locals, Calgarians, and international travellers, and there is nothing worse than being stuck without a place to stay or things to do.
You may want to check out one, two, or all three of our local mountains, and lift tickets can be booked accordingly. Individual resort tickets can be purchased, as well as multi-mountain passes, giving you access to all three.
3. Rent quality equipment
Similar to booking lift tickets, you should aim to book rentals early. Château Mountain Sports offers equipment from industry leading brands, from beginner to expert.
If aiming to check out more than one ski resort, we are the best option. With multiple Bow Valley stores and easy drop off at any location, we offer unparalleled convenience.
4. Pack Accordingly
We mean it when we say this: check the weather, a lot. The weather in the mountains is prone to being unpredictable – from snow one second to sun the next. Plan your packing in advance, and aim to pack clothing and gear that is multipurpose. Layers are your best friend!
5. Take pictures!
Banff National Park is a special place, nestled among some of the country’s – ahem, world’s – most beautiful scenery. Our quick tip? Take pictures, vacations don’t last forever!
Skiing in Banff is a great way to take advantage of the season: from fresh tracks to deep powder, you’re sure to have a memorable time.