Insider’s Guide to West Bowl: Exploring Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Newest Terrain

Insider’s Guide to West Bowl: Exploring Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Newest Terrain

This winter, Lake Louise Ski Resort is serving up brand new in-bounds terrain for the first time in 25 years! Previous sidecountry and backcountry slopes found just beyond the former ski resort limits will now be accessible to resort guests. And it’s all thanks to adjusted boundary lines and a brand new quad chairlift.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to explore West Bowl this winter!

Skier in West Bowl at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Skier in West Bowl at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Photo by Matt McDonald

Getting There

The Summit Platter previously accessing Whitehorn’s peak is now a nostalgic mental souvenir. It’s “replaced” with the brand new Summit Chair fresh for the 2020-21 season! Access this chair from the top station of Top of the World chairlift, which then drops skiers and snowboarders off at the same summit location as the old platter.

Summit Chair lift at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Lake Louise Summit Chair, Photo by Matt Quigley

A four-minute ride up the ridge of Whitehorn Mountain brings both new and old terrain right to your ski tips. This includes runs previously accessed by the Summit Platter, the back bowls, and now West Bowl. 

Mountain Stats

Fast Facts - West Bowl & Summit Chair

Terrain

The business in the front, party in the back layout of Lake Louise Ski Resort is no more! But the new, front side West Bowl stays true to back bowl style. Wilderness skiing is emulated with nature-enhanced snow conditions, an all-natural landscape selectively maintained with areas of tree glading, and no machine grooming. 

Skier in West Bowl at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Skier in West Bowl at Lake Louise, Photo by Matt McDonald

West Bowl terrain carries intermediate, advanced, and expert ratings, and is divided into zones rather than cut runs. This gives skiers and riders endless possibilities of natural routes and fall lines through steeps, powder bowls and gladed tree areas. After taking your pick, all terrain naturally funnels into a newly built egress. This two-kilometre path channels back to the junction of Men’s Downhill and Juniper Jungle on the front side. From here, it’s just a short ski down to the base.

As with the expert terrain accessed from Top of the World, Paradise, and Summit chairs, West Bowl terrain will open throughout the season as snowfall builds and conditions allow.

Know Before You Go

Although West Bowl is now considered in-bounds terrain, it is recommended that skiers and boarders continue to carry avalanche safety gear in this area and acquire the training to use it correctly. LLSR Snow Safety will maintain the terrain for safe access with avalanche control, and will now be monitoring and providing safety rescue services to this area.

Avalanche Skills

Avalanche Safety Training Level 1, or AST 1, is the standard entry-level avalanche skills course for beginners. Lake Louise Ski Resort is a proud partner with Avalanche Canada and offers 2-day AST 1 courses throughout the winter season taught by their very own snow safety professionals.

Avalanche gear can be rented in Canmore from Gear Up in Banff from Snowtips-Bactrax and in Lake Louise from Wilson Sports.

Test Your Ability

While “light blue” runs are accessible from the top of Summit Chair, such as Boomerang on the backside and Sunset on the front side, It’s important to keep in mind that there are no novice or low intermediate runs accessible in West Bowl. Once you’ve dropped in, you’re fully committed.

Before dipping a boot in the bowl, test out your abilities on wide-open terrain with easy-to-bail access back to a blue run – such as Boomerang (intermediate), Upper Boomerang (advanced) and Shoulder Roll (advanced) or Whitehorn 1 (advanced) on the backside. 

Ski and Snowboard Lessons

Need to build up your ski skills first? Consider taking a lesson or two to get brush up on your technique. SkiBig3 can help you secure private guides for your group, adult and child lessons no mater your skill level. Learn with top-level CSIA certified instructors who know these mountains like the back of their hand and can quickly work to improve your on-mountain skills.

Ready to dig in to West Bowl and endless amazing terrain at SkiBig3 this season? Call us today at 1-844-754-2443 to chat with one of our local Reservations Team members. Our team can help navigate your booking to find the right balance for your budget, style and spacing needs.  Vacation packages are also available online, check out our latest deals and reserve your winter holiday today.  We’re just a call or click away.

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