While ski holidays in European Alpine resorts are particularly popular with British skiers due to the proximity, to overlook North America as a location for a ski break would be a mistake due to the spectacular skiing conditions on offer there – it could be the perfect location for individual ski enthusiasts, or for group or family ski holidays.
The Canadian Rockies provide a sensational setting for ski holidays, and can outshine even the best of what the Alps have to offer. One of our favourite Canadian destinations, Banff, is home to some of the best conditions for ski holidays in terms of size, snowfall and slopes.
Anyone looking for variety on their ski break won’t be disappointed by Banff. The resort is located at the heart of the historic Banff National Park and offers an astonishing skiingarea of around 8,000 acres! This huge skiing expanse is separated into three individual areas: Mount Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. Lake Louise is the biggestof these, offering around 4,200 acres of skiable terrain
Ski holidays wouldn’t be anything without snow, and the Canadian Rockies receive snowfall of mountainous proportions, meaning skiers won’t be found wanting. Indeed, resort weather stations report piste snow in metres here, as opposed to centimetres like in the Alps. Altitudes aren’t excessive (Lake Louise’s peak elevation is 2,637m) but the consistently low temperatures throughout the winter months guarantee extraordinary snowfall and a powder that’s crispier, easier to float on and just more enjoyable than even the best snow in Europe.
All three resorts within Banff National Park offer beautifully groomed pistes and great forest and gully skiing, with the added bonus of views of the spectacular Victoria Glacier in Lake Louise.
It’s a paradise for freeriders and snowboarders, and it’s the world’s go-to location for heli-skiing; you can heli-ski around Banff for a week and still have the feeling of having only scratched the surface. Heli-ski tours cater for intermediate and more advanced skiers, although the famous ‘fat’ Canadian powder makes off-piste skiing here less difficult, more accessible and more enjoyable than in many other destinations.
This isn’t to say that beginners or families should feel put off by the variety of more difficult runs, however. Lake Louise’s unique layout actually makes it the ideal place for a group ski holiday or family ski break, as groups with varied ability levels can ski together and meet up throughout the day on the wide selection of cruising green and blue runs, which complement the trickier blacks, like Meadowlark.
A Canadian Rockies ski holiday is made truly special by the unique size, snowfall and slopes on offer. There’s also a wide range of comfortable resorts to choose from, where the whole family can have fun both on and off the pistes. And with a large selection of accommodation, from the stunning Scottish baronial style of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel to more traditional, cosy mountain chalets, you can be sure that you’ll experience the perfect ski holiday in Canada.