Banff Ski Resort Guide
Boarders love Banff, the nearby mountains offer good fun parks and half pipes and some excellent free riding for the more experienced riders. Norquay offers a special snowboard park lift ticket for those who only wish to ride the park. Boarders should avoid some of the greens which can be very flat and require long walks!
The skiing in
Banff has 7000 acres of skiing, with 219 different runs. It offers a great variety of slopes for all levels. The skiing is in two areas, Mount Norquay (10 minutes by regular shuttle bus) and Sunshine Village (20 minutes away). You can buy a tri area lift pass, which covers the two mountains at Banff and Lake Louise. The slopes at Sunshine village are set on the continental divide and as a result get lots of fresh snow. (Banff claims to have between 360 and 400 inches of fresh snow each season).
Despite its name (Sunshine village) in the early season it can be very cold and bleak in cold or snowy weather, so pack the thermals!
Mount Norquay is much smaller but well worth a visit, particularly in bad weather, as its wooded slopes suit all levels of skier. As most visitors prefer the larger area of Sunshine Village it is often quieter.
The whole areas setting is dramatic, and its wildlife prolific with elk often seen on the slopes and sometimes in the town; and bears often seen at the edge of the highways in early spring!
Après ski in Banff
Due to the distance from the slopes of the town the après ski slopeside is limited, although the Mad Trappers Saloon at the top of the Sunshine Gondola is worth a visit at the end of the day when they have happy hour.
Banff itself bustles with bars, restaurants, shopping and après-ski action. Familiar names such as the Rose and Crown (with live music) and the Henry the VIII draw in the crowds. Do not miss the country and western experience at Wild Bills.