I can’t believe it’s nearly snow sports season again, I refer to it as snow sports as I am a proficient skier and an amateur snowboarder myself – and I don’t get involved in the conflict between the two. They are both brilliant fun!
In honor to the snow season to come I thought it was a good time to look at one of A Wandering Memories best snow sports experiences in the Canadian resort of Sunshine in the beautiful town of Banff.
There is very high expectations surrounding this town, everyone seems to rave about the conditions and the quality of the slopes both on and off-piste. High expectations are usually met with disappointment, especially after having some of the best experiences and sublime conditions in other resorts, earlier in the season such as Mont Tremblant and Wildcat.
Well the town itself is beautiful, a real gem of a town nestled in the beautiful Rockies. I love these type of towns, they offer all the modern conveniences that are required, but seem to keep their authentic feel, which is something really special. Our hostel was a bit of a party location, which wasn’t why we were here but we got used to it! Hiking around the town was just astonishing with such beauty around every corner. We also found a local hot springs that had been transformed into a pool – a bit cliche but a great experience.
It was a toss-up between the 2 main ski areas of Norquay and Sunshine Village, which are accessible from town on a free ski shuttle. I researched and for our quality Sunshine outranks Norquay considerably, so we bought a couple of day passes. Arriving at the resort, we couldn’t even see the slopes, this was because you have to take a gondola up to even see this. It’s an incredible fifteen minute ride up to the resort and its stunning!
The resort itself is nestled in a bowl of numerous slopes, and is by far the largest resort I have ever seen – so much open space. There are trails everywhere and range from all abilities. We absolutely loved it, the runs were smooth and in some places deep, with fresh snowfall. The sun shone for most of our visit, however due to the altitude it did not affect the quality of the slopes. Upon the mountains summit we experienced a number of cloud covers, that threatened to make it impossible to ski – well impossible to safely ski anyhow :-). Coming out of the clouds at speed is just a feeling you can’t adequately describe. I find that skiing/boarding in itself just brings out a mix of feelings – fear, adrenaline fueled elation and a desire to push yourself and take a few chances.
One of my favorite memories of Sunshine was being able to record an alpine run at speed, zigzagging among the trees.. Re-watching it – proved to me my ability on skis was getting better and better.
I can’t recommend Sunshine and Banff high enough – it definitely sits in my top 5 ski resorts worldwide.
Enjoy the season everyone!