Update: This sweepstakes is now over, but stay tuned for more great giveaways on our Facebook page!
Week 2 was another great week of questions for the #BanffLocalLegends. Casey, Rocket and Stavros answered three excellent questions below, and the curious Facebook fans who asked them will receive and extra 5 entries in our random drawing for a legendary ski vacation to Banff and Lake Louise!
- What first drew you to Banff and Lake Louise? (asked by Peter Urubshurow)
- What’s the best mountain for a family with 4 skiers of wildly different abilities from absolute beginner to advanced? (asked by Mary Park)
- What are you looking forward to this season? What’s new and exciting? (asked by Jesse McLean)
Read on for the Local Legends’ answers, and enter to win here.
Casey Bouius’s Answers:
Question 1: Peter, I first came to Banff in fall of 1995 for the skiing. Growing up in Ontario, I always wanted to ski the Canadian Rockies, so when asking around about where to go, the stories about Banff and Sunshine Village drew me in. As ski instructor work is seasonal, I was looking for the longest season in Canada, and somewhere I didn’t have to ski in the rain. (I hate skiing in the rain; who doesn’t?) Due to the elevation of Sunshine, I think I have only seen it rain once during all my years here, and ski season stretches from early Nov to the end of May. So that’s what drew me here, and the area’s beauty plus the truth to those comments is what has kept me.
Question 2: Sunshine is great for a family of different abilities as the snow is soft and easy for everyone. Also as most runs come to the same lift (or area), families can ride the lift together but have choices for different run levels off of each lift. The terrain can be very mellow for the beginner, and yet the advanced skiers can rip a bump line (off piste) and join the beginner half way down again. This allows families to stay mainly together. Plus having most of the restaurants in the same area makes it easy to find the family for lunch if you do go your separate ways.
Question 3: Jesse, this season I am looking forward to a traditional winter this year. Rumors have it that we are going to have a normal year. That means that the snow should be good early in the season with lots of smaller snow dumps always topping up the fresh powder. It also means that we will have a great snow pack which will produce great spring skiing. What’s new at Sunshine? We have redone our base area with new guest services and retail, along with easier access from the ski out to the base gondola station, plus more parking. With this redesign, it will allow you to get up the gondola faster, basically reducing your time from the car to skiing.
Stavros Carlos’s Answers:
Question 1: I was born here. Traveled all over the world, but I love this area so much because we’re in a national park. The over-development of other mountain destinations can never happen in Banff. Nature has always and will always rule in Banff National Park.
Question 2: I grew up learning how to ski on Mt. Norquay. The mighty ‘Quay offers amazing opportunities to learn for the little groms; the mid station addition on Spirit Chair opened up significantly more terrain for beginners last season as well. For more advanced skiers/boarders, Norquay builds a great terrain park, and of course the incomparable Lone Pine and North American can’t be beat for some steep gnar gnar.
Question 3: I’m looking forward to my new skis and boots this year. Last year I got new skis, but I hid them at my brother’s house so my wife wouldn’t find out. This year I don’t have to hide them because I got my wife a new, pink Electra town bike as a bribe for me getting new skis. No more hiding gear for me!!! Moral of the story: buy wife something really nice then drop the, “I got such a super sweet deal on these amazing skis that I couldn’t afford not to get them. In fact you could say that I would be throwing money out the window if I didn’t get them… right? Honey???” that seems to work better than, “But all my friends have new skis…. everyone’s skiing on 116mm early rise skis now, and I’ll look like a Gorby if you make me ski on my old skis… no one will even ride the chair with me…. if you love me you’d understand why I need new skis.”
Question 1: I was racing a buddy’s sail boat on Lake Ontario late one summer and my buddy Brian Firstbrook asked what I was doing in the upcoming winter. As I had no plans other than dreaded school, he replied with, “Wanna go to Banff?” I thought about the plate I had in my leg from hitting a tree at Blue Mountain the previous winter and the advice of my doctor not to ski until it was removed. Then I thought of all those good times ahead and then I said “I’m in!!” That was 1983, it is 2013 now and I drive a mini van with a garage door opener. LOL!
Question 2: Why The Lake Louise Ski Resort, of course! The drop off at the base is easy, and often as easy as sending the kids to the learning area to ride the carpets or wait for their instructor while Mom and Dad park the car, (valet, it’s worth the 20 bucks!) get a coffee and regroup. The advanced riders will want to head straight up the chairlift to access ‘The Goods’. ‘The Goods’ at Lake Louise are so accessible from the top of all three lifts and the variety of terrain is arguably endless on any given day and one can stay in the sun all day too—that’s something not every ski area has going for them. The beginner can even enjoy skiing on the backside of the mountain. And when they’re ready to retire, they can take the gondola down and relax in the lodge or even head across the valley to the Chateau for an elegant cup of tea while they look back at the ski area and wonder where the rest of the family could possibly be on that huge mountain. When it is all said and done, everyone had an awesome day and sleep will come easy.
Question 3: I think I can say every season is new and exciting for many reasons. One reason, in particular, is the new staff that comes each year for the season of their lives. They breathe such fresh air into the resort and community, leaving you with the impression that Lake Louise is a great place to be and folks are genuinely having fun at work. The Events Department have filled the calendar with a plethora of, well, events, including a snowboard cross race at the World Cup level. That’s new and could prove to be a wild spectacle, especially because the course is extremely visible to the ski and snowboard public. I look forward to the numerous sunrises and sunsets that only those who ride all day can experience. Nobody could ever tell me they could ever get tired of the sunrises and sunsets at Lake Louise, its truly unreal scenery!
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