Banff Sunshine Slush Cup is coming up and here’s what you need to know. This neon, nutty, nail-biting pond skimming event, now in its 95th (ish) year, is back on May 22, 2023.
Traditionally celebrated on the last day of the Banff Sunshine winter season (North America’s longest non-glacial ski season), Slush Cup is all about who can cross an ice-cold pond (in the craziest costume) on skis or a snowboard. It’s hilarious, it’s cringe-worthy, and it’s the best entertainment in Banff and Lake Louise.
If you’re in town, you’ve got to grab a gondola and fly up to Sunshine Village for this once-a-year event. If you’re thinking about competing or watching the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup, here’s everything you need to know.
Can’t make Banff Sunshine Slush Cup? No worries! The Slushine Rail Jam usually happens the weekend before.
Guide to the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup
Where to register
Let’s start with where to register (for those of you crazy and brave enough to enter). Registration will take place from 8:00am to 9:00am on the day of the event. This event is so popular, that we advise that you arrive early, there are limited spots to compete in the famous pond skimming spectacle! Once you arrive at the Event Tent, located in the Upper Village, you’ll receive a Waiting Number Card to hold your spot in the queue. After all of the Waiting Number Cards have been handed out, the Banff Sunshine events staff will start the registration process.
When should you arrive?
If you want to compete, you should arrive as early as 7:15am to snag a spot in the line that forms at the base of the Gondola. Even though registration doesn’t open until 8:00am, keen costume-clad competitors will be there to snag a spot in line before the lifts start spinning.
If you want to watch, you can arrive anytime before 12:00pm. The first jump of the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup will slide down the mountain at high noon. Arrive even earlier to hike up the course and beat the crowd to find the best vantage point.
Who can compete?
To compete in the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup you must be 18 years of age or older. That being said, there is no age limit on who can come and watch the action. Bring the family and pack a lunch, this one will entertain the kids for hours!
What you’ll need
If you’re a competitor, you’ll need:
- One piece of government-issued photo ID (to prove you’re 18 or older)
- A signed waiver and photo release form (signed at registration)
- To participate in a mandatory Safety Meeting the day of (more details at registration)
- Your cheesiest smile (prepare for your photo to be taken with your event Bib)
- A crazy costume and hilarious costume description
TIP: Don’t forget to make your costume description funny! It will be read out loud to a huge, cheering crowd by the MC.
If you’re an onlooker, you’ll need:
- Your favourite and funniest pair of sunglasses
- Sunscreen (they don’t call it Sunshine Village for nothing)
- Layers, prepare for a range of temperatures (you’re in the mountains, after all)
- A lawn chair or sit-upon
- Snacks! Don’t forget to pack out your waste and forgo feeding the wildlife
- Noisemakers of any kind. The nosier the better!
What to wear
If you’re planning to compete, crazy and clever costumes are highly encouraged. In fact, the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup has seen almost everything so it’ll take something really witty or hilarious to mark your place in history. Some of our favourites over the years have included, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, a human pinata, a full tuxedo, leather pants, and a road cycling kit.
If you’re planning to be a bystander, neon and party shirts are the way to go. Uniquely shaped sunnies, banana costumes, colourful wigs, bikini tops, and retro ski fashion are also fan favourites. Take a look at these ideas to get inspired.
What do you win?
We can’t give the surprise away, but let’s just say there will be lots of Banff Sunshine swag up for grabs. Not to mention, the glory of skimming the length of the icy pond or sending the most spectacular wipeout. No guts, no glory.
Other important rules and safety reminders
- Competitors must be 18 years of age or older
- For competitors, no alcohol or drugs will be permitted before or during the event
- No inverted maneuvers will be allowed
Banff Sunshine Slush Cup: More Hot Tips
Where to eat
- Sunshine Burger Company: Gourmet burgers and great poutine in the heart of the Upper Village.
- The Chimney Corner: Table service with a cozy interior or sunny outdoor terrace.
- Sixty Five South: Taco truck featuring flamin’ hot tacos, burritos and more.
Where to drink
- Mad Trappers: Apres o’clock starts at 11:00am with local tap beers and party vibes all day long in front of their Coors Untracked Concert Series stage. Trappers is will be the center of the party at the Banff Sunshine Slush Cup.
- The Lookout Lounge: Sit indoors and enjoy the best views of the village with floor-to-ceiling windows, located on the top floor of the Centennial (main) Lodge.
- Java Lift Coffee Bar: Located in the lobby of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, boost your Slush Cup energy with an espresso shot or hot chocolate.
What runs to hit
- South Divide
- Wawa Bowl
- Sunshine Coast
Take a look at the trail map to plan your last turns of the season.
Dreaming about next winter?
If you’re already missing the slopes, take a look at our SkiBig3 Ski & Stay packages. There are always early booking deals that can save you BIG on your next spring skiing trip. Our reservations team will be happy to help you book your next winter adventure anytime throughout the year. Give them a call at 1-844-754-2443 or go online to book.