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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216

    how to ski banff

    So this is how to ski the banff area.

    Few basic assumptions: you are a good skier, you have a medium budget.



    getting to banff: If you are just skiing banff, and flying into calgary take a shuttle. If not rent a car, and try to get AWD and/or winter tires.

    Once you are in banff its free shuttles to the hill(pick up at most hotels, drop off at ski area front door, enjoy a beer before coming home, drink a coffee and watch the sun rise on the way to the hill) and town is all walking distance. cabs are $15/ride max

    Skiing: go to both Sunshine Village (SSV) and Lake Loiuise (LL) most locals will have a favourite, but you should check out both

    SSV: high elevation, more snow, if the freeride zones are not open, less high end terrain. Check out standish as a play ground. TP town for longer steeps, and go explore goats eye. If freeride zones open (call 403-762-6511) or twitter, Go do the dive lap. No mandatory air, but you CAN get into trouble fast if you expore. Take it easy, look up at things first. DONT rush, its not squaw valley/whistler.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6zBCZczEqg (go to 2:00 for a “sporty lap”)

    LL: front side is lower elevation (ice, less snow) but locals will use the summit platter, and paradise chairs. Basic “lap” is up summit, down the headwall, up summit, down backside (white horn 2, A-I gullies) and up paradise, down ER3, 6 or 7, and up paradise and back to summit. Repeat until legs fall off

    also check out norquay: Ride the “big chair” its one of the 10 oldest lifts in north america, have lunch in the top/tea house, go rip a few groomers on mystic. Great for a 1/2 day to get the legs warmed up, or before you fly out, or when you are hungover

    Shuttles avail to panorama and kicking horse for $100/ticket&ride Reve or Fernie is 4 hours away, and might have road closed due to Avi control (Revel-stuck)



    Food:

    http://taximike.com/specials.html (usually close to accurate, but call restaurant to confirm)

    https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restauran...k_Alberta.html (close to the best of the best)

    for bakery/coffee: whitebark is best in town for treats JK bakery.


    Skis: locals are usually on 100mm and a bit longer sidecut and length. We have a LOT of alpine terrain so a big, fast, lazy turn is common. You can tour from the lifts, into the park.
    Its a national park, so you need to buy a park pass, This helps to fund the parks, covers your rescue, and keeps the views amazing.


    non-skiing stuff:
    https://www.banffadventures.com/ (booking for everyone in town, plus their own hockey tours)
    https://www.banfftours.com/ (they do a LOT of tours etc)
    http://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/willow-stream/ (full spa service)
    http://backatitmassage.com/ (massage and no pools, etc)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    95
    Great resource!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    257
    Ramen at Chaya is amazing. I been there twice but never with my riding partner so sadly I have yet to venture out of the gate.... next time I’ll try to hook up with some peeps from here. I’m sure my girlfriend will understand.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    So this is how to ski the banff area.

    Few basic assumptions: you are a good skier, you have a medium budget.



    getting to banff: If you are just skiing banff, and flying into calgary take a shuttle. If not rent a car, and try to get AWD and/or winter tires.

    Once you are in banff its free shuttles to the hill(pick up at most hotels, drop off at ski area front door, enjoy a beer before coming home, drink a coffee and watch the sun rise on the way to the hill) and town is all walking distance. cabs are $15/ride max

    Skiing: go to both Sunshine Village (SSV) and Lake Loiuise (LL) most locals will have a favourite, but you should check out both

    SSV: high elevation, more snow, if the freeride zones are not open, less high end terrain. Check out standish as a play ground. TP town for longer steeps, and go explore goats eye. If freeride zones open (call 403-762-6511) or twitter, Go do the dive lap. No mandatory air, but you CAN get into trouble fast if you expore. Take it easy, look up at things first. DONT rush, its not squaw valley/whistler.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6zBCZczEqg (go to 2:00 for a “sporty lap”)

    LL: front side is lower elevation (ice, less snow) but locals will use the summit platter, and paradise chairs. Basic “lap” is up summit, down the headwall, up summit, down backside (white horn 2, A-I gullies) and up paradise, down ER3, 6 or 7, and up paradise and back to summit. Repeat until legs fall off

    also check out norquay: Ride the “big chair” its one of the 10 oldest lifts in north america, have lunch in the top/tea house, go rip a few groomers on mystic. Great for a 1/2 day to get the legs warmed up, or before you fly out, or when you are hungover

    Shuttles avail to panorama and kicking horse for $100/ticket&ride Reve or Fernie is 4 hours away, and might have road closed due to Avi control (Revel-stuck)



    Food:

    http://taximike.com/specials.html (usually close to accurate, but call restaurant to confirm)

    https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restauran...k_Alberta.html (close to the best of the best)

    for bakery/coffee: whitebark is best in town for treats JK bakery.


    Skis: locals are usually on 100mm and a bit longer sidecut and length. We have a LOT of alpine terrain so a big, fast, lazy turn is common. You can tour from the lifts, into the park.
    Its a national park, so you need to buy a park pass, This helps to fund the parks, covers your rescue, and keeps the views amazing.


    non-skiing stuff:
    https://www.banffadventures.com/ (booking for everyone in town, plus their own hockey tours)
    https://www.banfftours.com/ (they do a LOT of tours etc)
    http://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/willow-stream/ (full spa service)
    http://backatitmassage.com/ (massage and no pools, etc)


    This is Good stuff, Dave - Thank you... tj
    " ... I will do anything to go Skiing ... There Is no pride ... " (Miriam , 2005-2006 epic)

    Dec21, 2016. LittleBigLost :
    " I think about it everyday. It is my reminder to live life to the fullest. I get up early, go to bed late, 'cuz I got shit to do. Like I said, I'm 61. Not going to wait till I'm 81 to do stuff, ...

    Get out there and do stuff!

    Enjoy life to the fullest!!

    See you on the slopes! "

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
    Posts
    2,237
    Stoke thanks.

    Any housing beta in Banff or Canmore? Need a spot on either end of a hut trip this spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Stoke thanks.

    Any housing beta in Banff or Canmore? Need a spot on either end of a hut trip this spring.
    banff options:
    cheap: hostel/YWCA in banff are cheap, (and filled with Aussies, dirtbags, but have some private rooms too)

    Mid range: PM spooky, for rundlestone for smaller, independant, hotel

    high end: Rimrock, banff springs

    Canmore will have airB&B, banff has none (national park)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    864
    ^^^I've had very good luck with AirBnBs in Canmore thanks to the condo fiesta that's gone on there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    9,512
    1st place I went out west, must have been about 1980.

    For a youngster from Indiana it blew my mind.

    a Banff and Taos trip pretty much convinced me to move west.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12,248
    This should be a sticky or there could be a new sub forum with mag insider recommendations for their home resorts.

    Good eats and places to stay plus tips to get around on the mtn by folks who have been there sharing the knowledge. More business for good establishments and places for mags to meet and unite doing things they love to do.

    Well dun Dave!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    So this is how to ski the banff area.


    SSV: high elevation, more snow, if the freeride zones are not open, less high end terrain. Check out standish as a play ground. TP town for longer steeps, and go explore goats eye. If freeride zones open (call 403-762-6511) or twitter, Go do the dive lap. No mandatory air, but you CAN get into trouble fast if you expore. Take it easy, look up at things first. DONT rush, its not squaw valley/whistler.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6zBCZczEqg (go to 2:00 for a “sporty lap”)
    This is so great, thank you!

    Would you like to expand on the above quote. More about delirium drive, etc.? That video was way "sporty".
    In what way are you referring it to be different than squaw/whistler?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Banff, AB
    Posts
    342
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_pretzel View Post
    This is so great, thank you!

    Would you like to expand on the above quote. More about delirium drive, etc.? That video was way "sporty".
    In what way are you referring it to be different than squaw/whistler?
    He will correct me if I'm wrong but he means snowpack and snow and rocks. I.e. Squaw and Whistler both get much bigger bases with heavier coastal snow which sticks to everything and covers up the nasties. The lighter Rockies snow leaves hungry sharks lurking. Hence scope and take it easy until you figure things out.

    Delirium Dive is mostly made up of moderately steep terrain which tends to have deeper and less tracked snow than the main resort. It is the best inbounds skiing in the area IMO. The easiest way down is not too challenging, but there is a lots to explore for the more adventurous (and it's easy to get in trouble if you don't know where you're going/don't scope things properly).

    That line Dave posted is on the very border of what's open and does not see traffic, but there's lots of fun stuff in between that and the easiest way down.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    72
    Why would you use 100mm skis in an area that gets so little snow? Make sense in Fernie or Revy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    9,748
    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    Why would you use 100mm skis in an area that gets so little snow? Make sense in Fernie or Revy.
    Because the 110's have coreshots.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Banff, AB
    Posts
    342
    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    Why would you use 100mm skis in an area that gets so little snow? Make sense in Fernie or Revy.
    This doesn't make any sense to me. 100mm is a reasonable all mountain ski width for most places out west. There is lots of soft snow to be found around these parts, and believe it or not, many people ski on wider (I mostly skied on 125mm waisted skis last year).

    More importantly though, who cares how wide your skis are? Ski on whatever skis you want.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    127
    My all- mountains are old Mantras with 100mm underfoot (187’s). With the side cut, they’ll do knee deep to hardpack easy, which is what one needs out here, IMO... When we skied Norquay every week with the kids, 7 1/2 minute round turns on Mystic were what kept me living. On a pair of Atomic SL9-11’s in 167 cm... One day in very early 2000’s there was an overnight mega-puke and we had waist deep on the big chair. The Volkl Vertigo Motions were heavy, stiff and not very wide, but we made do.

    Best breakfast place in Banff used to be Blfstplks, or however it was spelled. Don’t think it is there any more....mtnlion?

    VD dance party? Sasquatch.

    Late night pizza....Aardvarks...is it still there?

    I play the Banff Springs golf course once a year and every couple do a corporate ski day in Banff and dinner/ Sasquatch (bottle service because that is the only way to reserve a table and the office kids love it). Probably there this Friday evening.





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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7,369
    Thanks Dave. This is timely as I'm looking into a family trip to the area in March. I'd like to hit up a different mountain each day. My 13 yr old wants to go to KH. But I can't see doing a whole week there. Would it be reasonable to base out of Banff and day trip to KH for a day or two, or better off skipping KH and hanging out at Norquay, LL, and Sunshine?
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216
    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Thanks Dave. This is timely as I'm looking into a family trip to the area in March. I'd like to hit up a different mountain each day. My 13 yr old wants to go to KH. But I can't see doing a whole week there. Would it be reasonable to base out of Banff and day trip to KH for a day or two, or better off skipping KH and hanging out at Norquay, LL, and Sunshine?
    just do a day trip as needed to KH
    https://www.banfftours.com/activities/kicking-horse/
    price is for lift and shuttle (same price as buying a ticket at the hill)


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216
    Quote Originally Posted by dufferdan View Post
    My all- mountains are old Mantras with 100mm underfoot (187’s). With the side cut, they’ll do knee deep to hardpack easy, which is what one needs out here, IMO... When we skied Norquay every week with the kids, 7 1/2 minute round turns on Mystic were what kept me living. On a pair of Atomic SL9-11’s in 167 cm... One day in very early 2000’s there was an overnight mega-puke and we had waist deep on the big chair. The Volkl Vertigo Motions were heavy, stiff and not very wide, but we made do.

    Best breakfast place in Banff used to be Blfstplks, or however it was spelled. Don’t think it is there any more....mtnlion?

    VD dance party? Sasquatch.

    Late night pizza....Aardvarks...is it still there?

    I play the Banff Springs golf course once a year and every couple do a corporate ski day in Banff and dinner/ Sasquatch (bottle service because that is the only way to reserve a table and the office kids love it). Probably there this Friday evening.





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Joes batifsplicks is gone: other Bfast places: juniper, Mels, Coyotes

    Ardvarks is still in the same place


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7,369
    Great, thanks.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    127
    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Thanks Dave. This is timely as I'm looking into a family trip to the area in March. I'd like to hit up a different mountain each day. My 13 yr old wants to go to KH. But I can't see doing a whole week there. Would it be reasonable to base out of Banff and day trip to KH for a day or two, or better off skipping KH and hanging out at Norquay, LL, and Sunshine?
    Can also get Day trips to Panorama, if interested. Lots of fun runs there for your 13 yr old. If you are there when we are, happy to show you around.


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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Cornvalley
    Posts
    245
    Thanks a bunch for this info. I am headed out to Banff and Revy (Mtn Collective passhole) next week- Jan 14-22nd.
    We're going to Banff for 5 days to ski LL & Sunshine then on to Revelstoke for 3 days.

    I am renting a car at the Calgary airport. It appears that I should reconsider my low cost car option and get a car with 4x4. Or could I buy chains in Calgary and hope for the best?

    Also, my phone won't work in Canada (Straight Talk plan). Anybody have a suggestion for a cheap alternative for the week?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    70
    I think the key is to have proper snow tires. You'd have to check with the rental company which cars do. I would hesitate go further west than banff on regular tires, and would avoid it completely past lake louise and through rogers pass.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216
    Quote Originally Posted by Verde View Post
    Thanks a bunch for this info. I am headed out to Banff and Revy (Mtn Collective passhole) next week- Jan 14-22nd.
    We're going to Banff for 5 days to ski LL & Sunshine then on to Revelstoke for 3 days.

    I am renting a car at the Calgary airport. It appears that I should reconsider my low cost car option and get a car with 4x4. Or could I buy chains in Calgary and hope for the best?

    Also, my phone won't work in Canada (Straight Talk plan). Anybody have a suggestion for a cheap alternative for the week?
    4wd is best. Or real winter tires. Chains suck

    Lots of free wifi in Banff


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Cornvalley
    Posts
    245
    Thanks for the feedback. I will upgrade to 4WD with some proper tires.

    Will I also need to buy a Banff National Park Pass? I will be parking at the hotel in Banff for the most part while I am there.
    I hope I do not need a pass for me and my wife for the 5 days we'll be in the Banff area. That would be about CAD$100

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,216
    Quote Originally Posted by Verde View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I will upgrade to 4WD with some proper tires.

    Will I also need to buy a Banff National Park Pass? I will be parking at the hotel in Banff for the most part while I am there.
    I hope I do not need a pass for me and my wife for the 5 days we'll be in the Banff area. That would be about CAD$100
    technically you DO need the pass to get into any national park. And parks does to checks on the way to the ski areas. That said, if you are driving into towm, parking the car, adn taking bus to the hill, and then driving on to KH/Reve odds are slim that they will do anything. Worst case you buy one when they do the check,


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