Ski Louise

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Howdy folks,

I've been to Sunshine Village 18 times in the last 3 months so it was time for a change and that was the Lake Louise ski village. Ski Louise is the biggest ski resort in the Canadian Rockies and one that I had been wanting to check out. There are so many ski areas in Western Canada and around Banff there is Sunshine, Ski Louise, Norqua and Nakiska. Even if you travel a bit further there is Kicking Horse at Golden, Marmot at Jasper and Panorama at Invermere. Calgary has a piddly little ski hill at Calgary Olympic Park for those on tight budgets.

Anyhow, going to Ski Louise isn't a cheap experience. The cost of a ski ticket and a return bus trip was $100 plus making a lunch, but it was worth it. I finished work at 7am on Wednesday and went home for a quick nap before catching the 9am bus with Dave and Louiselle. I rested my eyes on the 1 hour journey and we were out on the hill by 10:30am. We caught the gondola to the top of the hill and snowboarded down the back side to the Larch Lift. Ski Louise doesn't have as many lifts as Sunshine, but the runs are much longer and it doesn't have as many flat sections. After doing half a dozen runs down from the Larch lift, we caught another lift back up to the top of the hill and snowboarded down the front side to have lunch.

The Lake Louise ski lodge is much bigger than the Sunshine one and we were in a separate area which was less crowded. Around 1pm we went back out and stayed on the front side catching the Glacier Express up then getting onto the Top of the World Express to the top ridgeline. There was one lift that went even higher called the Summit Platter, but it was a T-Bar lift which you have to put between your legs and get winched up so was pretty uncomfortable.

By 3:30pm, I was pretty exhausted and we caught the 4:30pm bus back to Banff and I had a nice nap on the bus.

The main differences I found between Lake Louise and Sunshine were as follows:

1. Ski Louise has longer, wider runs which are more groomed (by machine).

2. Sunshine has green runs from all but 3 lifts, whereas Ski Louise has one from every lift except Summit Platter.

3. Sunshine is more in a valley which means some runs can get pretty crowded.

I still like Sunshine, but I think I will try Ski Louise a few more times and hopefully a few others by the time I'm done!
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