10 Reasons You Need to Ski The Big 3!
1. That Champagne Pow! This one’s a no-brainer. The Canadian Rockies are famous for that dry champagne powder that we all dream of floating through. Whether you decide to go to Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise or Norquay, you won’t be disappointed. With an average of up to nine metres of snow each season, there’s lots of snow to go around.
2. SkiBig3’s Guided Adventures! The ‘Guided Adventure’ product offered by SkiBig3 is a fairly new offering by the company. All three resorts over three days with the same guide. In addition to the guides catering the entire experience to you and showing you all the best places and hidden spots on the mountain, they’ll also offer coaching tips.
3. The Variety of Terrain! In total I’ve spent nearly 600 days snowboarding across Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mt Norquay, and I can tell you that the variety of terrain here is second to none! The beginner areas allow for a gentle progression to the intermediate runs. There’s an enormous mix of groomed and un-groomed intermediate and advanced runs (Blue and Black runs). For the real thrill seekers, there are double black diamond powder bowls, mogul runs, terrain parks and more.
4. You can make Banff your hub! Instead of moving hotels every few days to each ski hill, you can make Banff your hub for all three. This saves the hassle of packing and unpacking to try each mountain and maximizes the time you get to spend out on the slopes.
5. No need for a rental car! Leave the car at home or take one of the airport transfers offered by Brewster of the Banff Airporter. All three mountains offer frequent buses from various stops throughout the town of Banff frequently. This also means you can relax, have a drink (responsibly) at the ski resort and not have to worry about driving afterwards.
6. The Apres! Europeans have set high standards when it comes to Aprés-Ski, but Banff offers multiple options, including the bars, restaurants and lounges at each of the mountain’s own lodges. You can continue this back in the town of Banff. I recommend Banff Ave Brewing Co, the Elk and Oarsman or Wild Bills.
7. There are so many restaurant options! For being such a small town nestled in the mountains, Banff has so much to offer when it comes to its food scene. My personal recommendations are Nourish Bistro, Chuck’s Steakhouse, Park Distillery and the Bear Street Tavern.
8. There are endless hotel choices! There are lots of hotel choices in Banff that cater to all budgets so you can design your trip the way you want it. From hostels to mid-range and super luxury accommodations, you’ll find it all here. My personal favourites are the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and The Moose.
9. You can do more than just ski and snowboard! Take a rest day off of the skis and go snowshoeing or dog-sledding, go up the Banff Gondola, eat fondue at the Grizzly House or visit the historical Whyte Museum. Take a dip in the Banff Hot Springs, or go ice climbing or ice skating. My two favourite down-day activities are snow-tubing at Lake Louise and driving the Icefields Parkway.
10. It’s insanely beautiful! This probably comes as no surprise. Banff, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are some of the most beautiful places in the world and attract millions of people each year. Ski at Sunshine Village with Mount Assiniboine as your backdrop or snowboard at Lake Louise eye level with the Victoria Glacier. In the town of Banff, you’ll be dwarfed by the beautiful Mount Rundle, Cascade and Sulphur Mountain. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you’ll likely see deer and elk, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a moose, lynx, wolf and even bears closer to the springtime.
This piece was written in collaboration with Travel Mindset and Ski Big 3. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.