This is why you need to play in the snow

Ugh, it’s been a long winter already. The one consolation is that as more and more snow clogs up our cities, it’s also piling up in the mountains. The Rockies are only an hour’s drive from Calgary, which makes it oh-so easy to head out to Banff from the airport or any point in the city. Trust me, to get through a Canadian winter, you need to get out and play in all our mounds of snow.


This is why we play in the snow: Powder skiing in the Rockies
It’s hard to tell at times whether you’re in B.C. or Alberta as you ski across the Continental Divide at Sunshine Village

While there’s been a pretty steady build-up of the snow base in the mountains over the past few months, February added a lot – fast. The first week of the month had daily contributions of 10 to 15 cm, and last week capped it off with a whopping 38 cm on Thursday. Last Friday, the skies cleared and it was a bluebird day at Sunshine Village with not a not a cloud in the sky.

Check out this quick video of recent conditions at Sunshine

This filled up the Sunshine parking lot a lot quicker than what normally happens on a weekday. I’m sure a more than one meeting got rescheduled as the snow kept people from their work. Hmmmm… snow in the mountains keeps people from their jobs in the city? Sounds like a strange phenomenon, but we won’t judge.

This is why you need to play in the snow
Names withheld to protect the innocent.

While employers may not be rejoicing, powder hounds certainly are. The Huz and a few friends (names omitted to protect the guilty) played hooky last week to catch a piece of the powder. Naturally, they ended up at Sunshine Village in Banff National Park. (Good luck trying to get The Huz to ski anywhere else. They ought to rename the Goat’s Eye lift after him.)

tree skiing
The trees give a good indication of the amount of snow Sunshine has gotten.

Remember, the big snow months of March and April are still ahead of us. Spring skiing is actually my favourite, as low-pressure systems bring milder temperatures and leave behind loads of light, fluffy powder. Don’t Ski? At Sunshine Village you can take a snowshoe and fondue tour (check out my review of that here) or hit their day spa on mountain.

Skiing over Family Day weekend in Banff

If you don’t have plans for the upcoming Family Day long weekend, you might want to consider hitting the slopes. Throw your kids into their ski school (check out my review of it here) while you hit the powder stashes. Don’t be afraid of crowds, either. Some years the Family Day weekend is my first time out at Sunshine in a season. I’m always worried, but the mountain is so vast, it can handle a lot of skiers.

sunshine mountain gondola
Get off at the first Gondola stop to avoid lift lines. After you’ve hit Goat’s Eye, you can Gondola up to the Village.

My trick to avoid any chairlift lines, is to get off at Goat’s Eye and hit the lower mountain in the morning. Around 1pm take the Gondola up to the Village. You’ll miss the lunch crowds if you eat around 1:30, and the majority of folks ski the lower mountain after 2 pm. By switching it up, you get the best of all worlds.

This post is presented in partnership with Sunshine Village. While they don’t pay me, I do accept complimentary lift passes from them from time to time.

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