By the end of March, many ski resorts are wrapping up their ski seasons… but not in Banff National Park!
With the longest non-glacial ski season in North America, here savvy snow-seekers know how to take spring skiing to the next level – all the way until late May. Here are 8 reasons why you need to experience spring skiing in Banff and Lake Louise.
1. Take advantage of record-breaking March snowfall and North America’s longest non-glacial ski season
More than 71 cm (28 inches) of snow has fallen over the past week, and with more in the forecast, this Easter and spring ski season is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory. Banff National Park’s famously long ski season offers an excellent opportunity to experience all three Ski Big 3 resorts: Mt Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Banff Sunshine Village.
Want to ski at each unique resort this spring season? 10 minutes from downtown Banff, you can hit the popular slopes of family-friendly Mt Norquay, until the Easter Monday public holiday, April 17, 2017. At Lake Louise, snow-seekers can explore one of the largest ski areas in Canada, The Lake Louise Ski Resort, until this season’s scheduled closing day of May 7, 2017.
For the balmiest spring skiing opportunity, chase those powder turns all the way until the Victoria Day long-weekend, May 22, 2017, at Banff Sunshine Village. With the highest elevation of the Ski Big 3 resorts, Sunshine is home to the longest non-glacial ski season in North America – an impressive 7 months of skiing and snowboarding.
2. Bask in milder temperatures
Springtime kicks off in Banff National Park from late March, and it brings some of the mildest and most enjoyable conditions of the ski season. With average daytime temperatures around 3°C/37°F in March, 8°C/46°F in April and 14°C/57°F in May, this milder weather has a number of perks in contrast to the chill of mid-winter.
Needing fewer layers means you can pack lighter when travelling and hit the slopes sporting your favourite spring ski fashions. And with the coldest days of the season behind you, warmer days mean more time to work on your turns, perfect your goggle tan, and picnic on the patio.
3. Make your money go further
As closing day draws closer, late-season sales can offer substantial savings with last-minute deals, mid-week specials, and short stay packages. Spring ski and stay packages featuring 3 nights and 2 days of skiing start from just $99CAD ($74USD) per person.
Low season lift ticket prices come into effect on April 18, 2017, and when you book 21-days in advance you can cash in on additional savings – up to 17%. Don’t miss your chance to save on Easter lift tickets by purchasing before March 24, 2017.
Visiting from the US? The currently low Canadian dollar also means the exchange rate stacks up the savings even further in your financial favour.
4. Let the good times roll at slope-side events
In April and May, Banff Sunshine Village and The Lake Louise Ski Resort each host a Spring Music Series on the weekends to keep the après stoke alive. It’s the perfect time to head to the patio, open a cold one and kick back to the chill sounds of local music, while working on your goggle tan.
If you want to take spring skiing to the next level, head to Banff Sunshine Village for Holy Bowly: An International Gathering of Creativity & Flow (April 17-23, 2017). This event brings together some of the world’s best snowboarders to challenge their skills on newly-built transitional features. The park will then be open to the public from April 23 until the end of the season.
The weekend after, keep the spring-time stoke alive at Shake the Lake (April 29, 2017), one of the biggest events of the year at The Lake Louise Ski Resort. By day, head to the Shake the Lake Rail Jam and watch local talent throw down their best tricks, then join in on fun charity events and kid-friendly activities. Once the sun goes down, head to the base area where the Lodge of Ten Peaks transforms into the pumping Shake the Lake After-Party.
5. Experience a different kind of beauty
The onset of spring offers a great opportunity to witness the beauty of Banff and Lake Louise from a whole new perspective. As the snow begins to recede, the wildlife of Banff National Park emerge from their winter hideaways. The Park, home to 53 species of mammals, offers up great opportunities to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Note: for your safety and the safety of the wildlife, always keep your distance and never feed any wildlife (or face a hefty fine).
6. Find the Easter Bunny on the slopes
Travelling with kids? The Easter holiday break is a great time for the whole family to experience Banff National Park. On the morning of Easter Sunday, April 16, your little ones can hit the slopes for a very popular Easter egg hunt, free for all kids. The next day, Easter Monday, is Mt Norquay’s last day of the season (April 17, 2017).
You can also enjoy Easter egg hunts and Easter Bunny photo opportunities on-mountain at Banff Sunshine Village (April 15-16) and The Lake Louise Ski Resort (April 15-17). Spending a half-hour digging in the snow for hidden chocolate treasures left by the Easter Bunny and collecting some memorable happy snaps along the way are sure to make it a memorable long weekend.
7. Keep the adrenaline pumping with active après activities
Thanks to longer daylight hours, a spring visit to Banff National Park means you can spend more time skiing. Extended ski hours mean some chairlifts at Ski Big 3 resorts remain open until 4:30pm, giving you more time to enjoy the mountains.
During springtime, there’s also no need to head straight indoors once your ski day has ended. If you’re feeling extra energetic after hitting the slopes, keep the adrenaline going into the evening. Take up a summer-focused challenge offered at lower elevations, such as fat-biking, hiking, canoeing, cycling, rock climbing or maybe even a round of golf – the options are endless.
8. Send off the season in style
Ski season doesn’t end quietly in Banff and Lake Louise – it goes out with a bang!
At The Lake Louise Ski Resort, don’t miss closing weekend celebrations (May 6-7, 2017). Hit your favourite runs in amazing spring conditions, then head to Kokanee Kabin for live music, good food and drink, and an atmosphere to remember.
For guaranteed good times, don’t miss Slush Cup, Banff Sunshine Village’s biggest event of the season, held on closing day (May 22, 2017). This legendary pond skimming contest challenges skiers and snowboarders to skim across a pond of icy water, with a successful few taking home a top prize. Punters and participants are known for cranking up the spring vibe a notch or two, seeing out the season in style.
Ready for an unforgettable spring in the mountains?
Our friendly Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best vacation package for your style and budget. You can reach them via Live Chat (scroll up for the Live Chat link at the top of our website), or by calling 1-844-762-7190.