Banff’s ‘Big Three’ Ski Resorts Set to Go Off This Year
Seemingly eager to please, the snow has shown up ahead of schedule in Banff National Park, and the skiers are stoked. The alchemical combination of over 30 cm of natural snow in the past week and pitch-perfect temperatures led to the earliest opening of Mt. Norquay in its vaunted 87-year history; leading the charge for all other Canadian ski resorts. Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Area are right behind, with opening dates set for November 9th. And all signs point to another record-breaking ski season for the area’s three world-class resorts.
Here in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, reliable early season conditions and dry, light snow make Banff an ideal choice for the discerning skier. With nearly 8,000 combined acres of skiable terrain on one convenient, tri-area lift ticket, the decision to shred or not to shred becomes obvious. With over 3,000 feet of vertical drop and waist deep powder just waiting for you, it’d be rude of you not to get involved in what is shaping up to be a killer season.
Plenty of powder runs and a wide variety of snow make this sprawling resort an excellent choice. Located 15km from Banff, Canada’s highest elevated resort has guaranteed snow conditions from December to May, with an average snowfall of 30 feet on 3,358 acres of terrain and four peaks. Ride the five-mile gondola up to the base area of Sunshine Village, basking in its namesake, and choose your adventure with 12 lifts featuring seven modern quad chairs (the most in the Canadian Rockies) and 107 named runs – plus gladed areas and offshoots. Reach the Continental Divide and carve the soft snow, weaving between Alberta and British Columbia on the same run, with the spectacular panorama vista of the Rockies stretching out to the horizon. There’s something for every inclination of skier and boarder at the alpine paradise of Sunshine Village.
- Days Open Last Year: 202
- Years Open: 84
- Average Snowfall: 914cm
Well worth the extra drive from Banff, wicked groomers and long route terrain is just some of what makes Louise world famous. Get your carve on through wicked banks and spooky triple-drop-downs, with wide-open bowls on the backside particularly inviting. Hit up the terrain park for towering jumps built over scaffolding and practice your flips with the new Big Air Bag Jump, designed by Hollywood stuntmen, pro snowboarders, and top-notch engineers to allow you to go as big as you want without worrying about the landing. With four awesome faces on three peaks and 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, Lake Louise is an abundance of stunning snow, guaranteed to keep you busy .
- Days Open Last Year: 178
- Years Open: 60
- Average Snowfall: 454cm
Located only five minutes outside of Banff and an hour from Calgary, Mount Norquay is an excellent choice for convenience and quality. As the first ski resort in Canada to fire up the lifts, Banff’s backyard playground is primed for some outstanding skiing and riding, not matter what your ability. This season, Norquay introduces a loading conveyor to the Spirit Chair to make embarking on the chairlift less intimidating for beginners and the whole process much quicker, meaning you get more runs and more fun. Hop on an inflated tube for a thrilling ride in the upgraded Tube Town, now with double the amount of tubing lanes, new lifts, and improved slopes. While Norquay offers only 28 runs over 16.4km, the terrain is diverse and exciting, like the quintet of super-steep, mogul-studded freefalls served by the double chair. A unique feature of Norquay is the night skiing (between 5-10pm on Friday and Saturday nights): it’s an awesome way to spend an evening, shredding beneath the lights in the Rocky Mountains.
- Days Open Last Year: 132
- Years Open: 86
- Average Snowfall: 300cm
Winter is Coming + You don’t want to miss out = BOOK NOW
An abundance of snow is approaching and the legendary ‘big three’ resorts are well prepared to make this the greatest season yet. Our destination experts will help you choose the perfect resort and ski package at the best available rates, guaranteed.
Share the good news with your friends and make this holiday season one for the record books.