Words by Ben Thompson, Grade Nine Student at Canmore Collegiate High School
When I was eight and moved from the big city of Toronto to the small town of Canmore it was quite a slap in the face to see how places in the same country could be polar opposites. I previously thought skiing in Ontario was super fun, but when I arrived and tried skiing in Banff it was more fun than I had ever anticipated. I moved to Canmore in Grade 4 and now being in Grade 9 it’s pretty cool to have 3 amazing mountains right in my backyard. It is such a perfect place as I love to ski and now I am lucky enough to be a SkiBig3 pass holder with many perfect days on these mountains so far.
Here is my guide to the best of the Big3.
Lake Louise Ski Resort
A 45 minute drive away from my house I have the amazing ski resort of Lake Louise. One of my most favourite things that can happen at Lake Louise is when there’s a nice fresh layer of snow and the beautiful sun is shining on my face. The first place I go is straight to the Glacier Chair and head to the very top. We immediately ski over into the backside and towards Paradise Chair. Paradise Chair is my ultimate favourite. I love how long it is and all the runs the feed off it. You can really access the whole mountain from there. After a great morning of shredding the pow I go into my favourite lunch spot at Temple Lodge and grab a fried chicken poutine with my dad, then back to skiing and maybe a lap on the Poma Lift to the summit to see the lake across the valley.
Banff Sunshine Village
Sunshine is also one of my favourite places to ski with my friends. Just a 30 minute drive from my house I’m there in a jiffy. The most amazing thing about Sunshine is the gondola up to the runs and the upper village area. My friends and I use the time in the gondola to plan our day on the hill. Talking with your friends and planning your runs is so fun and the views are the most amazing thing ever. You’re in a huge bowl and just surrounded by endless peaks and snow, as far as the eye can see. You’re really in the heart of the mountains. It’s a blast to go right after a massive dump of snow. My favourite runs at Sunshine completely depend on where the best snow can be found on that day. Exploring is my favourite part of skiing.
Norquay, being super close to the town of Banff, is perfect for me to go for a quick half day rip. Often when all three resorts get a huge amount of snow, Norquay doesn’t get quite as crazy as the other two, so the runs are super quiet and just as good. When we get there, we travel around and explore as much of the mountain as possible. I am always looking for good snow, moguls and a few trees. Night skiing happens every Friday and Saturday and after that, if your not ready to leave, there’s crazy tubing. And its best to end it all off with an awesome poutine and a burger.
Moving from Toronto I never thought I would have the opportunity to ski at such amazing resorts. Every time I go skiing I take the moment to recognize how lucky I am, especially on those perfect sunny days.
Want to experience Banff and Lake Louise for yourself? Call our in-Banff SkiBig3 Vacation Planners today at 1-844-754-2443 or plan your next Canadian Rockies ski vacation online. Great Ski & Stay Packages available now.