Words by Juliette Recompsat
Wide open, uncrowded access to 8,000 acres of the Rockies’ best ski and snowboard terrain is a hallmark feature of SkiBig3, and using your SkiBig3 lift ticket, Mountain Collective or Ikon Pass is an express pass to the uninterrupted mountain vistas of Banff National Park.
As you look towards next winter, now is the perfect time to start dreaming and planning out some favourite routes to fill your turns with a view and experience these breathtaking spaces. Follow these tracks to stellar views at Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt Norquay.
BANFF SUNSHINE VILLAGE
Carve & Cruise: Sunshine Coast, Goat’s Eye Mountain
The ultimate cruiser run wraps around the face of Goat’s Eye Mountain. From the top of the Goat’s Eye lift, there’s a wide-open panorama across the valley to Mount Bourgeau. This well-groomed run is true to its name, offering smooth turns with from tip to tail-end. As you traverse down and across the mountain, peek up at the famed Delirium Dive freeride zone.
Venture Further: Bye Bye Bowl, Lookout Mountain
The Great Divide Express Quad is worth a visit for the ride itself, which crosses briefly into British Columbia before arriving at the top of Lookout Mountain – nearly 9,000 feet above sea level. From here, head down skier’s left to the open slopes of Bye Bye Bowl. You’ll be treated to stunning views of Sunshine Meadows and Rock Isle Lake, not to mention the pinnacle of Mount Assiniboine – the “Matterhorn of the Rockies.”
LAKE LOUISE SKI RESORT
Carve & Cruise: Sunset Terrace
This run sets out from the aptly-named Top of the World Express. Make your way all the way up the front side of Mount Whitehorn and step out of your skis to make a slow spin across resort’s renowned back bowls. As you cruise back down the front side on Sunset Terrace, you’ll be treated to views right across the valley to frozen Lake Louise and glacier-capped Mount Temple towering above it.
Venture Further: Corridor & Eagle Ridge
If you’re looking for bonafide 360-degree views, Eagle Ridge is the place to be. From the top of the Paradise lift, hang a left and hike along the wide ridge that’s essentially the elevated backbone of the ski resort. The extra steps are well worth the vistas in every direction that include Lipalian Mountain, Deception Pass and Richardson’s Ridge.
MT NORQUAY SKI RESORT
Carve & Cruise: Bruno’s Gulley
Follow in the footsteps of Banff mountain guide and ski legend, Bruno Engler. A favourite amongst locals, this run represents the essence of Bruno’s boundless passion for the mountains. Ski the gulley in Bruno’s honour and take extra inspiration from Cascade Mountain that rises above, another icon of Banff.
Venture Further: Boundary Bowl
Ride the North American chair over the moguls of Norquay’s steepest terrain to the top of the lift-accessed area. You’ll find the Cliffhouse Bistro here, which is also open to those travelling without planks and boards strapped to their feet and offers treats for the tastebuds that match the visual feast. Ski over to Boundary Bowl and soak up the afternoon sunlight as you look out over the community of Banff, nestled in the heart of the Bow Valley.