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banff skiing...

sandkastle4966

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if you are going to this area to ski - what resorts do you recommend - and how are the drives to the resort and ski areas.

help much appreciated.
 

Tacoma

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Banff has 3 "local" ski areas. Norquay is the closest and the smallest. Likely 5-10 minutes only from town. Years ago it ws beginner and export no intermediate at all but they expanded and have a better variety today. I believe they may have night skiing. Sunshine is our favorite and about 15 minutes from Banff and then you go up a gondola which adds on another 20 minutes. Lots of terrain, lots of lifts, good variety of skill levels covered. Generally gets the most snow in the area that's why we like it. Lake Louise is the largest and has the most expert terrain and is about a 30 minute drive and the lifts are right by the parking. THey do extensive snowmaking on the front side but the back has awesome mainly expert terrain. Since I hate artificial snow and am not an extreme skier Lake Louise is a bit tough but many people love it and hate Sunshine. The runs are the longest at Lake Louise. THere are lots of other resorts if you wish to go further Kicking Horse is in Golden and also caters to the expert ski level. What month do you plan to go as that can affect where you ski?

JOan
 

sandkastle4966

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looking at end of jan/beginning of february, and are considering the worldmark in Canmore.......concerned about the roads to lake loius and sunshine from there....(and time to drive)
 

bizaro86

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Sunshine is also my favorite, as I find it has the best snow. Also, the place is so huge that you can ski it 3 days in a row and not really repeat yourself. Lake Louise is great also, but its a little bit higher level skiing as the previous poster mentioned.

That being said, Sunshine also has some great double black diamond runs as well. I have a friend that went down Delirium Dive, and said it was a bigger rush than sky diving. I specifically disclaim **any** responsibility for anyone who tries to ski that run!

Anyway, both are great, and if you're coming here to ski I'd do both.

Another great resort that hasn't been mentioned is Nakiska, which accordign to their website is 56 km (35 miles) from Canmore. And its where they held the winter olympics in 1988, so you know its not bad, although it is a bit smaller.

Michael
 

calgarygary

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looking at end of jan/beginning of february, and are considering the worldmark in Canmore.......concerned about the roads to lake loius and sunshine from there....(and time to drive)
Sunshine and Lake Louise will not be an issue getting to unless you are trying to get there in a blizzard. Both are along the Trans Canada and you can expect the highway to be very well maintained at all times. Forgot to mention Sunshine is just outside Banff so expect 15-20 min. from Canmore and Lake Louise is a further half hour to 45 min.
 

djyamyam

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I'll put in my two cents for Sunshine as well. We prefer Sunshine to Lake Louise, but if you haven't skiied on either, you should do both. We don't like the manmade snow at Lake Louise and find it more icy than Sunshine.

One thing to note about Sunshine is that when the sun is out, it's absolutely the best place. However, if there's flat light, it is much more difficult if you don't know the hill.

Regardless of which hill you ski, definitely take advantage of the "hill guides". I don't think that's exactly what they are called but they are volunteers that take you around the ski hill to give you a lay of the land and make recommendations on which runs to take depending on your level of ability. Check in when you're getting your tickets and they'll direct you when and where to go. Typically, it's first thing in the morning or after lunch. It's a great way to get familiar with a hill.
 
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