The Ski-Louise Dream

The ground, it glitters. A dusty coating of snow from the night before shines silver, and is heaven to your eyes.

The shimmer of pink and orange reflects at your feet from the late sunrise and the long shadows of morning remind you of the long winter ahead. Each morning as you step out the door, that perfect crunch of fresh snow underfoot makes your heart flutter. And how could one be cold, be sorrowful, or be lost in the dark days of winter when endless opportunities for adventure are at your doorstep?

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Lake Louise is a true heaven on earth. Trees sparkle, heavy with the adorning of Christmas lights, cars are lost for weeks on end beneath their silent snow blankets, and no matter where you find yourself, the 360 degree view is an embrace of the 10 peaks.

A ski-bums paradise. Just writing this makes me sick to my core with a longing to return.

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Lake Louise Ski Resort has 4200 acres of skiable terrain and is one of the largest resorts in North America. After 5 months of living on this resort I was still finding new runs, new chutes, and was constantly [knowingly] lost in the maze of powdery trees. After 5 months, my face was in pain from smiling so much.

The scenery is like nowhere else I’ve ever been. These vast jagged peaks, perfect, pristine and preserved in the heart of the Banff National Park. The resort is truly world class in every sense of the term.

If you find yourself toying with the extensive range of opportunities when looking for a ski holiday in Canada, I would look no further. It’s a massive resort, has incredibly dry snow conditions, there’s far less Australians than Whistler and the longest you’d have to wait in line for the base gondola is 5 minutes. The ONLY downside is it can be brutally cold dropping into the -30’s mid season. But this just means crystal blue skies for weeks on end and preservation of that utterly perfect snow base.

DSCF1656CIMG2612The après action is also world class and a few highlights are as follows:

Lake Louise Torchlight Ski Party

One of the most unique après experiences I’ve been on to date. People meet at the mid mountain Whitehorn lodge just before lifts close in the afternoon. A band is playing upbeat dancy tracks, drinks and appetizers are on-tap, and it often gets rather colourful with 60’s retro ski gear and old school moves.

Once the groomers and ski patrollers have finished their last runs of the day, it’s tipsy fresh tracks galore as you then ride down to the Sitzmark Lounge IN THE DARK. Lake Louise isn’t a lit resort like many others in the Northern Hemisphere. Instructors [me at the time] guide you down with flares on the end of their ski poles, and wear head lamps. It’s truly magic, and it’s a completely different world on the mountain after dark. The caribou roam free and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for cougars.

Beers at the Kokanne Cabin

This is THE place to be when the lifts stop running in the afternoons. Nothing can beat an ice cold beer after a day of non-stop gondola laps, and a few games of flip-cup with the locals never goes astray. The cabin generally boasts great live music on the weekends and was my most regular haunt after breaking my collar-bone one season. If you can’t ride, at least you can be on snow.

Find a full Banff Après Guide here.

Getting There

Calgary International Airport is the closest to Lake Louise and Banff. Lake Louise village is located in Banff National Park approximately 180km west of Calgary. Greyhound buses operate on this route multiple times daily.

Live Lake Louise Webcam