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Old 10-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Visiting Banff early Dec!

So I'm visiting a friend in Calgary for 7 days from Toronto and decided to check out prices for hotels/ski packages in Banff. Saw a deal for 450 tax in for 4 nights/4 day lift pass with rides to and from the mountain and had to pull the trigger

Anyways main question is, what mountain do you guys recommend for an intermediate rider. I'm guessing I'll be sticking to blue runs, everyone who I talked to has told me that Ontario black diamond runs are not nearly as hard as western Canadian black diamond runs, which is understandable considering in Ontario we ride hills not mountains.

I heard that Lake Louise has a lot of crazy runs and I don't really want to waste a day riding a mountain that I won't enjoy as much as the other ones. Was thinking of sticking to two mountains and get familiar with them instead of trying all three

Let me know what you guys think I should do and if any locals can tell me which mountain would have more blue runs that would be great
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You would be fine at Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. I wouldn't waste time at any other hills in your situation.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Man I look at the trail maps for these hills and holy crap are they huge!! My local hill is so tiny in comparison. I wouldn't even know where to start...lol
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atr3yu View Post
Man I look at the trail maps for these hills and holy crap are they huge!! My local hill is so tiny in comparison. I wouldn't even know where to start...lol
I know right! Most of my runs in Ontario are less than a minute in length, this trip is going to kill the rest of my season in ontario haha
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The question which you should be looking into, is which mountain is lift tickets included in package. Lake Louise, Sunshine, Banff Norquay, and Nakiska are different companies. Its not like there is one lift ticket that allows you to choose any resort. If the tickets are for either Lake Louise or Susnshine, then you're fine. If its Banff Norquay or Nakiska, those are the best places to go. But any of those four places is still alot better then any place out east.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roboelmo View Post
The question which you should be looking into, is which mountain is lift tickets included in package. Lake Louise, Sunshine, Banff Norquay, and Nakiska are different companies. Its not like there is one lift ticket that allows you to choose any resort. If the tickets are for either Lake Louise or Susnshine, then you're fine. If its Banff Norquay or Nakiska, those are the best places to go. But any of those four places is still alot better then any place out east.
I know it includes Lake Louise - Sunshine for sure, I think it also includes another mountain as well.

Yeah after double checking its Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine

Last edited by faridk89; 10-14-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are there to "party" make sure you wear protection. Banff is locally known as the STD capital of North America. Wouldn't want you to have a bad experience.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roboelmo View Post
...Its not like there is one lift ticket that allows you to choose any resort...
Sure there is. Ski Big 3 has been doing this for many years. (Sunshine-Louise-Norquay).

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If you are there to "party" make sure you wear protection. Banff is locally known as the STD capital of North America. Wouldn't want you to have a bad experience.
Sure it is, but then again, so are 30 other "resort towns"

To the Original Poster...
Choose between Lake Louise or Sunshine. I would recommend Louise. Sunshine is spread out with flat areas, and you need to know your way to the short-steep stashes that exist there. Sunshine does get much more snow though and it's 30 min closer.
Louise has overall steeper runs (ie: less flats) and much more vertical drop. Plus the views there are spectacular (still beautiful at the 'shine). Massive acreage with plenty of varied terrain.
Either way you're going to have a blast coming from Ontario. Just don't forget to pick up your jaw off the ground. Be a tourist and take pics, it's f'n beautiful there!
Avoid the weekend if possible. In Banff: eat lunch at Barpa Bills and pop into Rude Boys. 7+ years in Banff, that is what I recommend.

Last edited by chupacabraman; 10-14-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chupacabraman View Post
Sure there is. Ski Big 3 has been doing this for many years. (Sunshine-Louise-Norquay).



Sure it is, but then again, so are 30 other "resort towns"

To the Original Poster...
Choose between Lake Louise or Sunshine. I would recommend Louise. Sunshine is spread out with flat areas, and you need to know your way to the short-steep stashes that exist there. Sunshine does get much more snow though and it's 30 min closer.
Louise has overall steeper runs (ie: less flats) and much more vertical drop. Plus the views there are spectacular (still beautiful at the 'shine). Massive acreage with plenty of varied terrain.
Either way you're going to have a blast coming from Ontario. Just don't forget to pick up your jaw off the ground. Be a tourist and take pics, it's f'n beautiful there!
Avoid the weekend if possible. In Banff: eat lunch at Barpa Bills and pop into Rude Boys. 7+ years in Banff, that is what I recommend.
Thanks for the suggestions!

So I guess I'll check out both Sunshine and Lake Louise and the one I like more I'll spend 3 days at.

As for the partying, I'll have a beer or two but not going to get drunk enough to do anything stupid. I'm there to snowboard as much as possible not go balls deep, plus I'll have a female friend staying in my hotel room so yeah...
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've only ridden Louise and Sunshine and in early season conditions. Given it was still early season my friends and I all thought Sunshine was more fun, but figured Louise would be better once the base had built up more.

If you guys are beginner/intermediate, the flat areas on Sunshine might be the death of you, we saw lots of boarders unbinding and walking. If you are all strong riders, you'll have no problem holding enough speed to clear the flat spots.
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