Review of Banff

28th March 2008 by Richard Venes 

Skied here for a couple of days 26th and 27th February 2008, whilst staying at the Deer Lodge in Lake Louise. Previously skied here in 1996. Not much had changed infrastructure-wise. A Lodge at the main base area up the hill and an unattractive collection of portacabins at the base of Goat’s Eye mountain.

One of my worst memories in 25 years of skiing was being stuck, on the 1996 holiday, an immobile Angel chair lift for 20 minutes in minus 15 degrees weather (plus windchill). Not much had changed on this year’s visit. Strong winds had ripped a lot of snow off both Goat’s Eye and Lookout mountains causing our holiday companions, who live in Scotland, to compare conditions on these tops to Cairngorm on a bad day! The double diamond blacks off Lookout were closed as a result, and the trip on the chairs (still without covers) were unpleasant as a result.

However, there was a good escape from the weather on the many shorter runs off the Wawa and Wolverine chair, sheltered by the trees, with some excellent natural snow,on runs both groomed and allowed to mogul up.

For lunch, we found the bar on the ground floor of Sunshine Lodge (Chimney Corner Lounge) to be busy with erratic service, but the addition of a table service mezzanine as an extra floor of the day lodge provided good food, service and great views in a relaxed atmosphere.

Apres ski at the bottom of the gondola was limited to a rather chaotic bar with little atmosphere, but hey, it’s Canada! Resort staff friendly and helpful - one volunteered to carry a set of skis from car park to gondola base.

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