There are certain things that are quintessentially Canadian: a love of Tim Horton’s coffee, a propensity to elongate the ‘o’ in the word sorry and use it with a zealot’s fervour, and of course – all things hockey. Just as there are traits that are uniquely Canadian, the Banff National Park ski resorts have a few quirks of their own that scream Canuck. Here are our favourite tell tale signs that you are skiing on Canadian slopes.
1. Poutine Please
Though poutine is a French-Canadian delicacy originally from Quebec, the rest of Canada has embraced it and ski resorts are no exception. Any on-hill eatery offering the ‘basics’ will list poutine right next to their burgers. The dish, made up of a plate of fries drowning in gravy and topped with squeaky cheese curds, is so warm, filling and comforting, it’s the perfect food to fill you up on a crisp winter day. We dare you to walk through The Lodge of Ten Peak at the base of the Lake Louise Ski Resort without bumping into a poutine wielding skier or queue at The Alpine Grill at Sunshine Village without hearing a ‘Poutine please’. The Lone Pine Pub at Mount Norquay offers uniquely Albertan poutine with confit turkey or chili tossed on top. Try it once and you will be hooked. It is the ultimate Canadian comfort food.
2. Free Parking Paradise
Accommodating everyone, including their cars, is also a stereotypically Canadian trait and the resorts in Banff National Park are no exception. Even with plenty of shuttle options available, parking is free at all three resorts: Mount Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village. On busier days, resorts even offer free shuttles to take you from parking areas that are a bit further afield to save you from walking too far carrying your board or clip-clopping in your ski boots. Free and plenty of space… Oh Canada!
3. Encounters of the Wild Kind
While it’s easy to stroll down the main street of any number of ski towns and find yourself surrounded by some wild nightlife, in Banff and Lake Louise, your chances of running into actual wildlife are just as good as finding a wild party. A healthy population of Elk living in the east end of the National Park are so numerous it is not uncommon to see a hoofed friend nibbling on a lawn just a block off the main drag or head to the golf course where elk routinely wander across the course mistaking the fairways for an inviting salad buffet.
4. Kind Canadian Cliché
In one of his documentaries, Michael Moore went door to door in a small Canadian town to see if people actually left their doors unlocked and managed to open quite a few. Glimpses of this trusting attitude and seeming lack of fear of theft can be witness on the slopes too. There maybe signs warning you to lock your skis to avoid theft but you will see racks and racks of unlocked gear. Locals will pile their backpacks on hooks and storage shelves, leaving lockers empty for those needing them. While this attitude may have you scratching your head, this video will give you some insight into why Canadians are so trusting. Where else does a new GoPro lost in a pile of powder actually make it back to the lost & found and ultimately to its owner with a nice Merry Christmas video message on it? Only in Canada.
5. The Nearly Never Ending Season
Canada is fondly referred to as The Great White North for a reason: winter dominates here! Our ski season runs 7 months long and lifts don’t stop running until the May long weekend at Sunshine Village (Monday, May 18th). It has the longest non-glaciated ski season on the Continent. The moral of this story: there are still plenty of powder days left!
Find your next ski vacation at Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine: check out our featured ski and stay vacation packages or call us at 1-844-754-2443.