Know Where to Go on a Pow Day – SkiBig3 Ambassador Tips

Take it from the locals, when powder days happen in Banff National Park, there are some runs that absolutely can not be missed. And with 343 runs combined between Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay, you may be overwhelmed with choice on those crazy deep pow days.

Our SkiBig3 Ambassador Team know the ins and outs of the SkiBig3 resorts like their second home. We’ve taken the guesswork out of where to find the most epic snow, and asked them their favourite runs to ride when the pow piles up!

1. Whitehorn 1 – Lake Louise Ski Resort

Skier Eli Panning-Osendarp on Whitehorn 1 at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo by Travis Rousseau.

Terrain: Expert

If the breeze hits just right, Lake Louise Ski Resort’s back bowls are prime on a pow day! Whitehorn 1 is accessed via the front side Summit Platter. Hang a right at the top and head straight to the gate, and continue the steep ride down through Rodney’s Ridge.

2. South Side Chutes Glades – Banff Sunshine Village

South Side Chutes glades at Banff Sunshine Village. Photo by Will Lambert.

Terrain: Expert

Hike up hill, or traverse south after exiting the Goat’s Eye Express Quad. After a bit of a wild ride through your choice of the South Side Chutes on Goat’s Eye Mountain, the terrain mellows out into glorious tree glades with powder in abundance. Make sure your ski and snowboard skills are up to snuff before heading into this expert terrain.

3. Gun Run – Mt. Norquay

Matt Monod skies through the trees on Gun Run at Mt. Norquay ski resort, Banff National Park.
Matt Monod skies through the trees on Gun Run at Mt. Norquay ski resort. Photo by Dan Evans.

Terrain: Expert

These sneaky glades off the North American Chair are hidden gems when the snow falls. While most skiers follow the central fall-line off the chair, instead hook skiers left and discover these protected pockets of powdery sweetness.

4. Vertical Cornice – Lake Louise Ski Resort

Skier Eli Panning-Osendarp in ER7 at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo by Travis Rousseau.

Terrain: Expert

Accessed on the backside via Paradise Chair is one of the entrances to Vertical Cornice, it’s a run found in the area known as ER 7. Wind brings lots of snow into Vertical Cornice (even when snow didn’t fall the night before!) It tends to form a very daunting cornice at the top (hence the name), if you come to the edge you’ll see a traverse track that makes it much easier to get into. Once in, enjoy the snow! Lots of cliffs, jumps and other features to have fun with if you want to get more extreme!

5. TeePee Town Shoulder – Banff Sunshine Village

Photos by Will Lambert.

Terrain: Advanced

With Banff Sunshine Village’s TeePee Town chairlift, you can have your pow and eat it too! You can literally warm up your ski legs on their heated chair lift before a beautiful ride down. From the top of the chair, follow Ecstasy Run down until it joins with The Shoulder run. This area sports a zone of burn-out trees providing powder protection with lots of room to move.

6. Sunset Terrace – Lake Louise Ski Resort

Photo by Sarah Magyar.

Terrain: Intermediate

For a cruisey run where you don’t have to think about anything but the views and the pow, opt for Sunset Terrace on the front side of Lake Louise Ski Resort. Head up Top of the World Glacier Chair for those beautiful run.

7. Paris Basin – Banff Sunshine Village

Paris Basin at Banff Sunshine Village. Photo by Will Lambert.

Terrain: Advanced

Paris Bowl rides like a dream on a powder day! It’s a great area for the dark blue skier or snowboarder to test their skills on advanced terrain. Hang a left through the opening in the trees to make your way back to intermediate terrain in Wawa Bowl. Or, continue on through The Waterfall – an advanced run that is super fun with extra fluffy snow.

8. North American – Mt. Norquay

Kate Targett skiing Lone Pine Run at Mt. Norquay. Photo by Daniel Thomson.

Terrain: Advanced

Hit this run when it’s freshly opened on a powder day! While it’s usually a mogul run due to its popularity with skiers, a healthy does of fresh snow makes it a thigh-burning smooth ride with the perfect fall-line. Keep your eyes peeled for grazing goats, they love the view too.

9. Laryx – Banff Sunshine Village

Photo by Travis Rousseau.

Terrain: Advanced

From the top of Standish Express Quad, stay high and hang looker’s left to reach Laryx Run, right along the ski area boundary. As your ride down, enjoy stunning views of the snow-covered Sunshine Meadows on skier’s right, before reaching the top of Strawberry Express.

10. Tower 12 – Lake Louise Ski Resort

Skier on Tower 12 run at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Photo by Josh Segeleski.

Terrain: Expert

Right under the Larch Express chair, you will find Tower 12. A double black diamond tree glades run with lots of untouched pow. This lesser known run is a bit shorter but always worth it! To access it, head towards Lookout Run and hang a right to ski directly under Larch Chair. Once you’ve reached the #12 chairlift tower, drop in to the left.

Want the direct line to access these powder picks? Book a SkiBig3 Private Guide to show you the ropes and find you the best deep-snow slopes.

Talk to our in-destination reservations specialists today to book your next winter ski vacation to Banff National Park. Reach them at  1-844-754-2443  or plan your Canadian Rockies ski vacation online. Great Ski & Stay Packages available now.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Karen Moyer

    Hi, are there Ambassador Tours daily on each mountain? If so, what time and where to meet? We are arriving on Saturday and I cannot find the info on the web site. I remember doing an ambassador tour when I last visited about 10-15 years ago.
    Thank you!

    • Sarah Pearson

      There are several options for on-mountain tours. Both Sunshine (Snow Hosts) & Lake Louise (Ski Friends) offer complimentary tours each day. These are general public tours that will provide an overview of each resort. SkiBig3 offers Guided Adventure programs and Private Guides for those who wish to have a more comprehensive and individualized experience. Guided Adventures are small groups of like-minded skiers and Privates are exclusive experiences. Both programs are customized to abilities levels and terrain preferences.

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Chateau Lake Louise at Night.Boys snowboarding at Banff Sunshine Village, Banff National Park.