If you are heading to Banff in the winter, bring extra layers! Or do what most people do and head there in spring (March).
Banff is probably best known for its massive amounts of snowfall. But what we like about it, is its ability to excite and entertain all abilities of skiers. From glacier-carved bowls to remote powder chutes and challenging mogul fields, the world-class ski and snowboard schools will help you to conquer it all. The ski hill closest to Banff is found at Mount Norquay, a 10 -15-minute ride on the regular shuttle buses from town and various hotels.
If you are looking for power-filled slopes all to your self, well Fernie could be your best bet. Tucked away in the middle of the Canadian Rockies, Fernie has it all. All levels will find something here, with nice cruising flat runs for beginners and some steep chutes that will test the metal of any advanced skier. Beginners will find the Mini and Mighty Moose Chairs more to there liking, while the intermediates of the group can enjoy the Timber Bowl Express runs. Expert skiers will have their pick from chutes, bumps, glades and any one of the 5 powder bowls.
Lake Louise has it all. With more that 11 square miles of skiing to be had this mountain caters for all ability’s. Take any lift and you will find runs perfect for beginners, intermediates and experts. These guys are ready what ever the weather, making use of Canada’s largest snow making system so snow is almost a guarantee.
Whilst everyone will find a run that suits their ability the experts will be the busiest. Lake Louise offers endless glades, gullies, chutes and bowls as well as the Telus Snowtime Park. The park is graded into 3 sectors so its ideal place to hit your first kicker.
A great little bonus here is that the tourist office offers free daily ski guiding, so you can get to know the place and make the most of your trip.
Panorama, probably best known for its beginner and intermediate slopes, but can also excite the expert skier as well. Home to one of the best nursery areas, full of great nursery slopes and moving carpet lifts make this place brilliant for the family. Once you’ve got your ski legs the pistes offer some gentle tree lines trails to help you progress at a comfortable pace.
The intermediate / advance skier will find excitement in the 1000 acres of chutes, gullies and tree skiing. Powder can be sampled in the Sun Bowl or the trails of the Extreme Dream Zone.
Panorama has become well known for Heli Skiing allowing you to access the 930 square miles of untouched powder for some of the best skiing you will ever have.
The second largest ski area in Canada, home to 4,270 acres of skiable terrain. Sun Peaks offers a little something for everyone. With perfect groomed slopes, beginners should try the 5 Mile which is ideal for learning and leads straight back to the main village. The more advance riders of the group will love Freddy’s Nightmare with its steep black runs.
With it’s 755 acres Tremblant offers a wide mix of terrain for all types of skiers and riders. Its just a quick 9 minuet ride to the top of the mountain in the The heated ‘Telecabine Express’ Gondola. From this point experts have a choice of both north and south side of the mountain, offering tree runs, bumps and powder. If you are looking to slow things down Tremblant has plenty of pisted runs perfect for cruising with beautiful views over the Laurentian. Beginners will find the 2 acre learning area an ideal place to make their first turns with the friendly English speaking instructors of one of Canada’s best ski schools, before progressing to long but easy top-to-bottom green runs.
Whistler is probibly one of the best known ski resorts in the world, and there is a good reason for that. With a veried mix of terrain difficultys averaging out at 17% beginner, 55% intermediate and 28% advanced there is definitely something for everyone. Acsess to these slopes couldnt be easier with its network of high-speed lifts allowing you to ski over 200 trails, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers and dedicated snowboard areas in a number of minutes.
Beginners should head streight to the excellent ski school and Family Zone, and make the most of the Emerald Express chairlift.
Intermediates should make the most of the vast array of runs – many tree-lined and in great scenery, such as the gladed runs on Blackcomb off the Catskinner chairlift.
Advanced skiers and boarders should head for the bowls and send it down the longest vertical drop in North America (1,600+m) back to the village.