Snowboarding for a season, in the
Canadian Rockies was the trip of a lifetime I had been dreaming about for
years. I arranged to go to Banff and do a Snowboard Instructor course with Peak
Leaders. Arriving in Calgary airport, the bus transit was hassle free and
arrived in Banff within two hours.
Banff Avenue has many quality hotels and
restaurants to choose from. I stayed at the Rundlestone Lodge, which was an
extremely pleasant and comfortable stay.
Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Mount
Norquay are the ski resorts at Banff. Set amongst some of the most amazing
scenery in the world, I wanted make this place my home! All resorts have a
prompt bus service running every day to take you to the slopes, and pick you up
at hotel locations along Banff Avenue. I spent most of my time at Sunshine
Village, as this was where my instructor course was being held. The snow
conditions were the best I had seen, so made sure I was on the first chairlifts
opening at 9am to make fresh tracks. The terrain on offer suits all abilities
from mellow greens to steep black double diamonds and of course the legendary
Delirium dive for the experts, however transceivers and avalanche equipment is
required for “The Dive”. The terrain park is well maintained by the park crew
throughout the day, with various box rails, rails and jumps.
Waist deep powder was on offer during my
time at “Sunshine” due to the biggest snow fall in 40 years, so there was no
real need to head to the backcountry, also on offer. With all this record
breaking snowfall, all the pistes were in great shape. Being able to link up
the runs was so much fun, especially finding all the secret stashes of powder
through the joining tree runs. The terrain park is set up well with small, medium,
large and extra large features. So it’s great to practise some easier jibs and
build up to the big stuff! The three mountains at Sunshine have some amazing
riding allowing you to explore and pick new lines all day, loads of natural
hits and a river creek which I like to describe as a natural boarder cross
track with wall rides, berms, jumps and a 10ft cliff drop to deal with.
Après Ski in Banff is really good with
so many bars and restaurants to choose from. Banff Brewing Company is good for
a beer after a day’s riding. They brew their own beer and have some tasty food,
all in a relaxed atmosphere. The Gate is an Irish bar which also has good food
and friendly vibe. Just walking along Banff Avenue will show all bars on offer.
The night clubs (Dancing Sasquatch, Aurora and Hoodoo) and live music venues
(Wild Bills and Rose & Crown) will have you dancing the night away in this
vibrant and friendly town. I truly had an amazing time in Banff-I’ll be back!