Skiing in Banff

A week after Diane and I went on the CS Department ski trip, we ventured out for another trip with a couple of friends to Canmore for another ski trip! Kepi, Rob, Diane and I all took Friday off to head out around noon for Canmore. We had a reservation at the Canmore Inn and Suites with a pretty good deal - lift tickets included in our nightly rate. We arrived in Canmore around 5:00 and got ourselves checked in. All of us were incredibly hungry so instead of going hunting for good food we ended up eating at the neighbouring Smitty's restaurant. It was a poor decision I think, but our stomachs were pretty firm about getting food in them soon. It was a relaxing evening on Friday. We hung out at the hotel, and watched the hockey game, and then went to bed relatively early so we could get an early start the next morning.

We got an early start on Saturday driving roughly an hour to Lake Louise, which was our first mountain destination. Then we threw on our equipment and got on the hill. I hadn't been to Lake Louise yet, so my first impression was that the mountain was quite large! My mountain skiing destinations include Marmot, Kimberley and Panorama but Lake Louise sure seemed bigger than anywhere I'd been so far. The snow was really quite good, although it would have been nice if the sun had come out. It did make an appearance later in the day, but only briefly. It was gray and snowy for most of the day.

I spent most of the morning trying to keep up with Kepi and Rob while Diane spent the morning going down some greens and blues. I'm starting to think I should take some skiing lessons because I really am not all that good at skiing the more difficult runs. I'm pretty good at a nice green or blue run. I can even gain a little speed. A steep black run is challenging, but I can usually get down okay. Anything with moguls though I have a lot of problems with. I've managed to get some tips, but it might be good just to spend some time with some real instruction to improve my skillz.

Anyways, after lunch I spent a bunch of time skiing with Diane. My knees were starting to feel it after pushing it a bit on some moguls earlier in the day so I decided with another day of skiing to go that it was probably a good idea to go a little easier in the afternoon. It was a very enjoyable finish to the day on the slopes.

We returned to the hotel and relaxed for awhile before heading out for dinner. Since we weren't very familiar with the local restaurants, and we wanted to avoid another Smitty's, we asked the hotel staff to recommend something. Among the list was a local microbrewery and pub called the Grizzly Paw. This is a pretty nice little place to go! The food was quite good, the atmosphere was great, and they brew their own beer! It's kind of like Canmore's version of Brewsters. One of the things I really liked was most of their burgers and other platters included both fries and a salad. And it was a very tasty salad too! After dinner and a full day of skiing, we were pretty tired so the evening was pretty uneventful. We pretty much went straight for bed so we could be ready for the next day of skiing.

The next morning was absolutely gorgeous as we made our way to Sunshine. This was another new hill to me, and I was absolutely astounded at how much there was to ski there. With the sun shining, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous: you could see right across the expansive terrain. The slopes were also not that busy - I guess a bunch of people were home watching the super bowl or something. I wasn't complaining too much! I spent some of the morning skiing on my own since Kepi and Rob had taken off earlier and Diane went in to go warm up and adjust her boots. So I did several runs on my own and got myself warmed up. I'm really glad my knees felt good at that point because I sure wanted to be able to make the most of my day there!

We met up for lunch, and then headed back out to the sunny slopes where I joined Rob and Kepi for some more difficult skiing. We got in a few more runs before heading to the car and heading back home.

The drive home was pretty uneventful for the most part until we got onto highway 2 where we found ourselves behind a cop car going about 120 km/h down the highway. Thus began a very entertaining bit of time where cars would go speeding past us on the left hand lane and brake suddenly when they saw the cop car. Pretty soon there was a line of several cars all trailing this cop car. It was pretty effective at keeping people driving at a safe speed! All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend!