Words and Photos by SkiBig3 Ambassador Will Lambert
If you’ve read our previous blog “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started in Ski Photography” and learnt some new skills and creative ideas to capture mountain-based images, now it’s time to take these and implement them at the SkiBig3 resorts. There’s a lot of terrain to cover, so here is a handy guide to the best spots for shooting at Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay.
Being in the Rockies, our resorts are surrounded by picture-postcard peaks. Capturing images here gives a great sense of location and the breathtaking mountains of Banff National Park.
1. Sunshine Village plays host to southerly views of Mount Assiniboine. Known as the “Matterhorn of the Rockies”, on clear days it can be seen from all over the resort. Head up the Great Divide chairlift and carve some groomer turns down South Divide (29). Shooting into the sun you’ll have the perfect opportunity to backlight your rider with mighty Mt. Assiniboine in the background.
2. Lake Louise Ski Resort lies in the Bow Valley directly opposite Mount Temple. This 11,000er is a giant quartzite and limestone pyramid. Topped with a hanging glacier, this is about as iconic as peaks get. The groomed piste of Cameron’s Way (8) creates a perfect avenue to draw the eye towards the mountain and enjoy some turns on the way.
3. Perched high about the townsite of Banff is Mount Norquay. Across the valley looms one of the most photographed peaks in the Rockies – Mount Rundle. From the top of the North America chair, take head straight down to Memorial Bowl (2). You’ll have a birds-eye view over town and fall line riding directly towards Rundle’s jagged ridgeline.
Unique Resorts Features
4. Banff Sunshine Village is well known for its freeride zones — Delirium Dive and The Wild West (91). These areas will get the adrenaline going with steep chutes, powder bowls, and sheltered tree skiing. With such variety in this vertical, it allows shooting a plethora of shots in one single run.
5. The Back Bowls of Lake Louise Ski Resort are home to the Alphabet Gullies (124-132). Running from A-I and increasing in difficulty and exposure, each has its own unique features and leeward aspect which holds the fresh snow for longer. Drop in and shoot some pow slashes!
6. Mount Norquay hosts the only night skiing of SkiBig3. What better way to welcome the weekend than ripping Cascade’s groomers (18/20) or hitting the park under the stars. Grab your camera and snap some night shots. The tubing park and its sidewinder course is the ideal spot for a GoPro video too.
Each of the SkiBig3 resorts offers incredible views over the surrounding mountains. Using your rider for perspective, taking shots including these vistas will generate scale to your images and showcase the awe-inspiring landscapes of Banff National Park.
7. Goat’s Eye Mountain at Banff Sunshine Village is one such spot. Towering Mt. Borgeau to the North and sweeping views of Sunshine Meadows back towards the Village in the South makes it the perfect spot for big landscape shots. It’s a great spot to catch a sunset in December when days are short.
8. On the front side of Lake Louise, the eye naturally trails across the valley to Lake Louise and the turquoise seracs of the Victoria Glacier. From Grizzly Bowl and Kernahan’s (33-34), a steep pitch awaits with ideal lighting for a shot including your rider and the Gem of the Rockies to the South.
9. Taking the Mystic chair, make your descent via Silver Legacy (49). You’ll get uninterrupted views down the Bow Valley towards the Fairholme range. It is a great spot to shoot some downhill images.
Grab your freestyle buddies and hit those cultivated kickers, boxes, and rails. A great place to lap and get a tonne of variety in your photographs.
10. Banff Sunshine Village’s Divide Park, built by Ben Suurallik and the ShredSSV team hosts an intuitive and varied selection of hits. Shooting from rider’s right on the park gets you backlit shots of sends, perfect on a sunny day.
11. Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Easy Street Park sits right above the Lodge of Ten Peaks at the base area. From hooting and hollering from onlookers on the Glacier Chair above, to the towering Mt. Temple in the distance, it’s a great spot to shoot skiers and boarders alike. Cameron Munro, Devan Mathers, Mitchell Reid, and crew make precision work look easy and showcase their quality and attention to detail in their park building.
12. At Mt. Norquay, the Cascade Park lies right below the chair. Erik Dunn’s team creates a haven for rail jams. Not only can you walk up and down the park at your leisure to grab different angles, but you can also shoot from above to get a totally different perspective of the riders.
Terrain with Trees
Canadian skiing isn’t complete without trees. The varieties in the Rockies and the conditions they keep make for great spots to shoot ski images.
13. At Banff Sunshine Village, the burnt trees of Glade Runner (79) and Horto’s Revenge (70) depict a history of summer wildfires. They’re also the perfect place for great contrast images in snowy conditions, as well as secret powder stashes!
14. In Lake Louise Ski Resort’s back bowls, the East Bowl Trees (86) are naturally gladed with golden Larches. These trees glow in the morning sun and hold that deep fluffy snow making it a photographer’s dream.
15. Directly below the North America Chair at Mt. Norquay, try skiing Big Line (9). With sheltered snow and a coppice of Pines, downhill photographs with a human element with make for interesting captures.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and hit the slopes. We can’t wait to see what you create – tag your photos with #SkiBig3 on Instagram to share your adventures with us!
Ready to explore the SkiBig3 resorts for your favourite photo spot? We’re here to help you book a quick get-away to ski your choice of Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise & Mt Norquay. Or, consider booking a SkiBig3 Spring-Pack, providing the ultimate in Ski & Stay convenience for a local escape at a great price. Skiing in Banff National Park rolls until early May, so there is still time to plan a last-minute getaway this season.