Update: This sweepstakes is now over, but stay tuned for more great giveaways on our Facebook page!
Week 3 was another great week of questions for the #BanffLocalLegends. Casey, Rocket and Stavros answered four 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!
- Which ski runs are your favorite at each of the three resorts and why? (asked by Marcia Tarrant)
- I have never been to the Banff and Lake Louise area. I’ve heard it is beautiful. What is the best month to visit? (asked by Peggy Mende)
- Ever polar plunged into Lake Louise? I dare you to… (asked by Amy Mathiowet)
- What do you like better about skiing in Canada over Alaska (AK) or the Lower 48? (asked by Erick Heng)
Read on for the Local Legends’ answers, and enter to win here.
Casey Bouius’s Answers:
Question 1: A few of my favorite runs at Sunshine: Teepee Town Main Chute. Starting right at the top. Up top it is narrow and has several lines to pick through the trees. As you are starting to feel the fatigue the run widens into big gnarly bumps. On a powder day or even a night with a bit of wind the trees up top and the chute down below willget blown in with nice pockets of snow, so you can almost always guarantee a face shot. This run will keep the adrenaline going and heart rate up. If you are looking for groomed well nothing will let you feel the pull and power of gravity like Gold Scape Goat will, especially right after it has been groomed. Straight fall-line with lots of room to arc it up. Strap on a pair of world cup GS boards and try to hold tight GS turns down this pitch—it is sure to make you double guess your ability and equipment.
Question 2: I would have to say March is the best month. There is great snow coverage. It is usually warm and sunny with longer days of light. Even with the sun, due to our high altitude, the snow stays in its winter chalk like state. March is usually a guarantee for a few good dumps. Plus, sunny, après-ski outdoor patio sessions are in full swing up at Sunshine.
Question 3: Can’t say I ever have, nor will I. Cold water really is not my thing. I learned my lesson the hard way many years ago, never jump into a lake with a glacier at the end of it.
Question 4: I have never skied in AK and how I would love to. It looks awesome. I really can”t comment till I get there, on AK. The Lower 48 definitely has some great skiing. Here in the Banff area we have great light snow and lots of inbound big lines and chutes that will scare most people. There’s awesome slackcountry (sidecountry) skiing to be be had all around the resorts’ boundary. And if you are into backcountry there are some great places to tour and ski close to town. Our ski season is also quite long. Sunshine has one of the longest seasons in North America (early November to the end of May). Plus the views are just spectacular and the lift lines are basically non existent.
Stavros Carlos’s Answers:
Question 1: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Nothing—anywhere—beats the Long Pine for pure fall-line awesomeness. You slash a turn over the roll and the run just opens up below you. Plus everyone on the mountain can watch in awe as you make the gosh darn prettiest turns ever seen. Beauty.
Question 2: February. Not crazy busy but busy enough to feel the vibe. The mountains are all covered with that beautiful champagne power that we sold our eternal souls to Ullr for.
Question 3: Yes. I’m still waiting for my boys to drop back down.
Question 4: Love both AK and the lower 48. Nothing beats AK on sheer scale and lower 48 has tons of variety and good apres ski. We’ve got some of the best backcountry and slackcountry access anywhere in North America (Dive, Wild West, unrestricted ski area boundaries, lots of big ass peaks) plus Banff is known world over for it’s amazing downtown restaurants and clubbing. Time machines and trashcans fuel many a Banffites ski lifestyles. Plus Banff is the original home of cafeteria tray racing and for a time in the 1920s it was popular to bring wild animals to the bars for $%^&s and giggles. That’s hardcore apres!
BTL: Larch Run, long steady groomed fall line, a few moguls on the side for some spice and a north aspect for dry snow late in the year.
TL: The lines in the Upshoots are cool because there are a variety of pitches that link to make long runs. There is always good visibility on a flat light day with all the trees and the return time on TOW lift is quick. Try it in there, you’ll like it. Plus, it is not crazy steep.
Alp: Whitehorn 2 down the C-D rib, top to bottom. I spend a bit of time early season ski packing the thin spots on this line. It becomes really worthwhile as the season gets longer and you can let ‘em ride top to bottom in any conditions. Nothing like local knowledge, eh?
Question 2: I’m assuming we are referring to the ski season so I’ll say April. Long days, dry snow on north aspects, corn snow on south aspects, outdoor beers at day’s end either after skiing or after a bike ride, make springtime in Banff one of my favorite times of year. Plus, it’s still hockey season. I like to catch the second game(s) of the NHL playoffs on a big screen TV at any of the thirst-quenching watering holes alongside the many other hockey freaks in Banff town. Go Leafs Go!!!
Question 3: Polar plunged? Does that have to be winter? Ask Tom Frye in Lake Louise, he’ll say “there is ten months of winter in Lake Louise and two months of bad skiing”. He’s a bit of a ski freak! So based on his statement, yes, I have and I’ve also jumped into many lakes in the mountain parks. The summer I spent on the Yoho National Park trail crew, we never passed up a lake for a dip. If folks were around, we wore shorts, if not…I can’t remember what we wore. Jumping in is the easy part getting out fast ain’t.
Question 4: I have never skied in AK but would like to on a blue bird day, like in the movies. I have skied at many areas in the Lower 48 and liked most of them. I guess the reasons I prefer skiing in Canada is because every ski town has a pile of people I know and the ski industry is like one big very happy family. Also, many of the towns have great aquatic centers and our family has taken to having a swim at the local pool after skiing everywhere we go. Canadian local economies are important to me and I like to support them.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.