This winter at Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay we’ve enjoyed the same diverse terrain and great snow conditions as in seasons past, with a few adaptations and Covid-19 health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of our guests and local ski communities. These changes have allowed for wonderful mountain memories to be made all winter long, whether it’s a bluebird day or a powder day. And the same goes for those cooler days in the Canadian Rockies when the mercury starts to drop.
Coming prepared with right tips, tricks, and expectations for those chilly days on the mountain will ensure a positive experience while skiing and snowboarding at the SkiBig3 resorts. Here’s how to do it.
Use Your Vehicle As a Warming Hut
Vehicles in parking lots have served a multitude of ski purposes throughout this pandemic, whether as a locker room or picnic spot. They also come in handy on chilly days by serving as a warming hut.
Idling in a national park is not condoned, but it’s still possible to create the perfect base camp from your car. Keep an extra set of dry socks, accessories, and layers to change into. Stock up on warm drinks and meals preserved in heat-retaining food containers and bust out the luxury items like hut booties and down blankets or sleeping bags to get cozy in while you take a break. Check out our top tailgating tips to lunch like a pro.
Stay Hydrated and Fueled
While it might not be your first instinct to chug back water while your eyelashes are frosting over, staying hydrated will go a long way in making sure your core temp doesn’t drop. Drinking lukewarm water or non-caffeinated tea may be more enjoyable and easier to go down the hatch. Remember to stop for bathroom breaks, too! Holding on to extra ‘liquid’ also takes extra energy required from your body. And make sure to bring a toasty and delicious meal for lunch! Cold days are perfect for curries, soups, and (our favourite) ramen.
Learn How to Layer
Warm layers are key for those dry and cool conditions that Alberta winters are known for. De-layer when you’re more active and the muscles start to warm up, but before you work up a sweat – this will prevent any cold, damp fabric on your skin. Moisture-wicking base layers, thick ski gloves, wool or heated ski socks, and adequate face coverings to protect from the elements will help to regulate your body temperature and stay toasty.
All of these handy ski accessories are conveniently available at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub on Banff Avenue (along with rentals and SkiBig3 lift tickets). Seal in all that precious body heat with Gore-tex or wind-resistant shell pants and jackets.
As Covid-19 restrictions change throughout the season, access to indoor lodge dining and seating may not always be readily accessible. Coming prepared with a backpack full of the essentials – water, snacks, extra gloves and layers – will help avoid any uncomfortable moments on the mountain. For colder days, be sure to add in a thermos of something warm to drink, a puffy jacket, hand warmers, and extra gloves and toques to warm up quickly when needed.
Pop In To a Warming Tent
Banff Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort have both built additional temporary warming tents for guests to quickly pop in for 15 minutes or less, warm up, and grab a bite to eat.
At Banff Sunshine Village, designated warming shelters are available for you to use while skiing or riding. Designated warming shelters are located at the Village Sprung Structure, Goat’s Eye Sprung Structure, and the Old Gondola Sliver. There will be no food and beverage service provided within the designated warming shelters as these shelters are intended for guests of Sunshine Village to warm up in and to eat lunch while remaining seated. Designated hosts at each of the warming shelters are on duty to manage capacity, to keep the shelter clean and to disinfect tables and other high touch surfaces. Guests may bring bags and packs inside the warming shelters, and they will only be allowed inside when you are occupying the space. Storage shelves for your bags and backs can be found outside.
At Lake Louise Ski Resort, warming tents can be found at the base area outside of Whiskey Jack Lodge, and on the backside beside Temple Lodge. While there is no food and beverage service provided in the tents, guests can bring in their own food to enjoy at eating areas, which are thoroughly sanitized between each guest use. Staff are stationed at each entrance to ensure capacity is not exceeded to allow for proper social distancing. This is a great option for those who only need a short break before heading back out to ski some laps.
Ski Short Days With Frequent Breaks
Not only does arriving later in the afternoon ensure you’re avoiding peak times, it will also make for warmer temps! Even during short days at the resorts, taking frequent breaks either back at your vehicle or in a temporary warming structure will help to prevent the chill from setting in.
While operations look a little different this winter, you can count on finding amazing ski terrain across 8,000 acres and 3 mountain resorts. SkiBig3 has always been known for its wide-open, uncrowded slopes and this year is no different. Being active and outside is guaranteed to provide some respite during this challenging time. This winter could be the best time to experience all the outdoor adventures that make this place special. Mid-week is the ideal time to visit to enjoy lots of extra space.
In the spirit of keeping things flexible, SkiBig3 is committed to keeping you updated with ongoing health & safety information. Should you need to cancel or change your plans this winter our no-questions-asked cancellation policy allows for free changes and cancellations until 3-days prior to arrival. To book your winter ski vacation, call 1-844-754-2443 to speak with a reservation specialist or go online to access to some exceptional Ski & Stay Package deals and Short Stay Escapes.