The very best spring skiing is found right here, in the Canadian Rockies. While everyone is keen to golf on brown courses, slog through sloppy trails, or attempt spring cleaning, I say head back to winter, if only for a day. Here are five reasons why you should become a fair weather skier:
An entire mountain to yourself: Once April hits, it seems only diehards hit the slopes. It’s too bad more people don’t come out at this time of year, because it’s ideal for beginner and intermediate levels. There’s virtually no line ups on the chair lift, and nobody to run into on the runs.
Live music: Sunshine’s Spring Concert Series, rocks. If you want to enjoy patio weather, why not pick one on the top of a mountain, listening to a live band? With the sun on your face, a beer and burger in hand, you’re the envy of all those city slickers wedged shoulder to shoulder on soulless suburban patios.
Weather: In Alberta you’ll likely get one extreme or the next. Last weekend we found winter skiing conditions and it didn’t stop snowing all day. Or, you could get a nice tan while burning majoring calories at the same time. Whichever way the weather blows in, it’s rarely too cold to get out – unlike in January.
Oysters and champagne: Canada’s first Veuve Clicquot champagne and oyster bar is now open on the spring patio of Sunshine’s Trappers Saloon. This upscale après ski offering, well known at top resorts around the globe, allows guests to sample one of the most recognizable French champagne brands while enjoying freshly shucked West Coast oysters. Check it out each weekend until May 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More bang for your buck: You know who’s taking lessons right now? Nobody, that’s who. While there are no discounted rates on lessons at this time of year, the chances of your group lesson turning into a private lesson is high. As for lift tickets, Louise is slashing $40 off full-day regular lift tickets, while Sunshine offers discounted rates with their spring season pass and Sunshine Card.
(Credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Chris Moseley)
Lake Louise is open until May 5 and Sunshine until May 20. I’ll likely be back boarding on Mother’s Day and possibly for Slush Cup – one of our favourite May long weekend activities.
Have you ever gone spring skiing? How did you like it?
I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.