CANADIAN ROCKIES SKI SAFARI
An Ikon Pass Adventure
For skiers and snowboarders Western Canada is a bucket list destination with some of the longest vertical in North America plus the famous fluffy champagne powder. The Ikon pass allows you to access the best of it with this short roadtrip hitting the key Ikon resorts and taking you to some of the biggest terrain with the biggest snowfalls in the biggest mountains!
Stop 1 - Banff & Lake Louise
Arrive at the Calgary airport and drive an hour and a half west to experience the light, fluffy powder snow at Banff & Lake Louise ski areas. Experience the three stunning resorts of Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay set within the pristine beauty of Canada’s first national park.
To ease into your trip hit up Mt Norquay, a local gem with terrain for every type of skier. Head to the Spirit Chair for wide open groomers to shake off the cobwebs and practice your turns. Legs warm, cruise over to Mystic Express for to challenge yourself on the various blue & black tree runs.
When your legs start screaming at you for a rest, head up North American Chair to Cliffhouse Bistro for a “top-of-the-world” dining experience in the 1950s tearoom turned modern bistro. Dine on some classic Albertan fare with a twist while gazing out over the town of Banff & the mighty Mt Rundle. After lunch make sure to snap a quick selfie on the patio before diving down the steep runs of Lone Pine, Norquay Gully or Boundary Bowl for a thigh-burning ride to the bottom.
After a day on the mountain, head to Lone Pine for a Caesar and some hearty pub grub. For the full local experience try the ‘Norquay 92 Beer’ specially created by the Banff Ave. Brewing Co. If you haven’t had enough skiing for the day, Mt Norquay offers the only night skiing in Banff-Lake Louise. Including a fully lit terrain park!
Banff Sunshine has over 3,300 acres of terrain and the novel opportunity to ski in both the province of Alberta and British Columbia on the same run. Grab a quick brekky at Sunshine’s Creekside Bar & Grill before jumping on the Strawberry Express or Dell Valley to get warmed up and make some floating powder turns.
With your ski legs back, head to Goat’s Eye Mountain to try out the South Side Chutes, which start well above tree line and boast a ridiculously steep line before turning back into the trees and onto the groomers.
If all the conditions line up take the Great Divide Express to the top of lookout mountain and pass through the gates to tackle Delirium dive. A freeride zone with some of the most extreme inbounds skiing in Canada. Mad Tapper’s smokehouse in the Old Sunshine Lodge is the place to go at lunch for pulled pork sandwiches, deep fried pickles and poutine.
Skiing done for the day, lower yourself into the steaming hot mineral waters of Banff Upper Hot Springs. Your aching body will thank you! Settle in and watch the sun set behind the mountains as the stars come out and snow starts to fall signalling an epic day on the slopes tomorrow.
Lake Louise is Canada’s playground with endless chutes, bowls, glades and gullies spread across 4 mountains. Pulling up to the mountain you’ll be keen to get on the slopes so swing by Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Delicatessen for a great coffee and a bagel to fuel up. Or grab one of their famous cookies for an easy on-mountain snack. Catch the “Top of the World” to the saddle where you can take in the 360 degree vista of Rockies on your way down the iconic Saddleback run. If you’re feeling up to it dive into one of the many steep chutes and wide-open bowls.
Nestled at the base of the back bowls you can duck into Temple Lodge for a quick refuel at the cafeteria. Or if you’re after a respite take a seat at Sawyer’s Nook and tuck into a homemade bison meatloaf or chicken pot pie. After lunch, If the powders deep head to the gladed chutes off larch express or carve and leap off and around the pillows in some of Lake Louise’s more hidden powder bowls.
Get your après-ski fix at Kokanee Kabin with live music and beer in hand it’s the perfect place to kick back and let off some steam. Feeling hungry? Grab some bison chili and a warm apple cider and settle into a comfortable leather sofa at Powder Keg Lounge. For something a bit more romantic grab some skates and glide out onto the most famous outdoor rink in the world, Lake Louise.
Stop 2 - Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Drive 3 and a half hours east through the big mountain back country mecca of Roger’s pass to get to Revelstoke Mountain resort. Home to some of Canada’s most extreme terrain and the longest vertical drop in North America (1712 metres). Take the two Gondolas and Stoke Chair to the top for world renowned powder glades, pillow lines, cliff drops and untouched corduroy all on the same run!
On a clear day at Revelstoke you have to take the short lung busting hike up Lemmings Line to the Sub Peak for views of the Columbia River and Selkirk and Monashee Mountain ranges. Drop into North bowl for endless fresh alpine lines with abundant spines and couloirs before twisting though the trees down to the chair. Hit up the mid mountain Mackenzie Outpost for gourmet burgers and locally brewed beers while soaking in the jaw dropping view of Revelstoke’s famous Mt Begbie.
Toast your day at the Rockford, located in the base of the Sutton hotel, with $5 happy hour drinks and appetisers from 3-6pm daily. For the full local experience join the boisterous collection of long-time locals, ski-bums and holiday makers at the Village Idiot and sample some of the classic local beers and delicious burgers while the flakes pile up outside.