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Banff 11/24-11/29

elemmac

Angel Diva
I brought a powder board and the unicorn skis which are 90mm twin tips and pretty damp but don’t need to be driven too hard. The unicorns are honestly perfect for me in these conditions, they don’t throw me too hard on choppy snow but they have a low swing weight and I felt pretty comfortable picking my way down bumpy blue lines.
How was packing skis and a board...plus two sets of boots? When I fly, I normally choose one or the other, but I'm intrigued to try one of each for a trip this winter. One ski/board bag? Or tag team with the hubs, based on what he's bringing?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Still lazy and tired (this vacation was to slide on snow and rest) but I'll add a note on logistics since I usually find logistics-type stuff the most helpful for ski trip reports. @Ski Sine Fine you might be interested.
Thanks for the detailed logistics!

Have been to Banff and Jasper during the summer. Getting there for a late season ski trip is on the bucket list.
 

echo_VT

Angel Diva
How was packing skis and a board...plus two sets of boots? When I fly, I normally choose one or the other, but I'm intrigued to try one of each for a trip this winter. One ski/board bag? Or tag team with the hubs, based on what he's bringing?
I usually bring both AT skis/kid’s race skis (or maybe AT and snowboard or whatever) — in the same bag. For boots we take them on the plane with us as a carry on. They actually don’t count it as a carry on, it’s like food, they don’t count a bag of food as a carry on. Well at least the times I’ve been. Mainly the reasoning is for the bonus of it not counting as a carry on or personal item— and also, if we get to a destination and don’t have our skis it’s fine, but boots are essential. So we don’t let it out of our sight.
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
How was packing skis and a board...plus two sets of boots? When I fly, I normally choose one or the other, but I'm intrigued to try one of each for a trip this winter. One ski/board bag? Or tag team with the hubs, based on what he's bringing?
My strategy is contrary to @Jilly's advice above especially on Air Canada -- which is to say it's not without it's risks:

I use a soft-sided bag to save weight. The weight limit is 50 lbs or 23 kgs. My bag is the Dakine Fall Line Roller bag, which is meant for snowboards. The bag comes with a separate sack in which to put snowboard bindings or boots or whatever.

The snowboard with goes on the bottom, of course with bindings off. Then skis lie side by side on top of the snowboard with the brakes tied flat. The snowboard bindings, screwdriver and hardware go in the side sack, and the snowboard boots go on top of the skis/board. Poles go in the side as well. Then I stuff with my helmet and pad some of my soft goods -- extra balaclavas, insulated ski jacket, insulated pants, etc. As per Jilly's post above, this is technically against the rules. I haven't had an issue with it though. Maybe Jilly's DH was unlucky. I wear my uninsulated ski shell on to the plane.

As for my ski boots, I mostly get away with being able to fit them without a separate boot bag because I have little feetsies (size 23/23.5 shell). They fit perfectly in one half of my roll aboard with some padding in that compartment. That said, I know a number of airlines treat the ski and boot bag as a single checked bag if you want to take that route.

FWIW I saw a number of soft-sided ski bags at the oversized bag pickup spot. But it's definitely contrary to the express policy of Air Canada.

Here's a pic of my half-packed snowboard bag showing the arrangement of board, skis, boots and snowboard bindings:

3F0BED0F-F436-488A-8010-11E3AE6711D8.jpeg
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
I use a soft-sided bag to save weight. The weight limit is 50 lbs or 23 kgs. My bag is the Dakine Fall Line Roller bag, which is meant for snowboards. The bag comes with a separate sack in which to put snowboard bindings or boots or whatever.

The snowboard with goes on the bottom, of course with bindings off. Then skis lie side by side on top of the snowboard with the brakes tied flat. The snowboard bindings, screwdriver and hardware go in the side sack, and the snowboard boots go on top of the skis/board. Poles go in the side as well. Then I stuff with my helmet and pad some of my soft goods -- extra balaclavas, insulated ski jacket, insulated pants, etc. As per Jilly's post above, this is technically against the rules. I haven't had an issue with it though. Maybe Jilly's DH was unlucky. I wear my uninsulated ski shell on to the plane.

As for my ski boots, I mostly get away with being able to fit them without a separate boot bag because I have little feetsies (size 23/23.5 shell). They fit perfectly in one half of my roll aboard with some padding in that compartment. That said, I know a number of airlines treat the ski and boot bag as a single checked bag if you want to take that route.
Thanks for this detail! Very similar to how I was thinking...only problem is that my snowboard is smaller than my skis, and I was thinking the turned-up tip/tail would get in the way of placing my skis on top. I suppose bringing a board with a flatter tail could help this out...but would limit my options...haha. How'd you get them to lie together nicely?

I only own soft-sided bags for skis. I normally try to limit myself to my ski/snowboard bag checked, a carry-on for luggage, and a personal item for most trips that require flying. In order to make that work I pack a few other things in the ski bag with the equipment, despite what most airline policies are....haven't been called out (yet).
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
... In order to make that work I pack a few other things in the ski bag with the equipment, despite what most airline policies are....haven't been called out (yet).

In my (admittedly getting dated) experience flying with skis, they only call you on this if you really egregiously overpack the ski bag. I personally think they have this rule so if you are being utterly ridiculous (I'm sure we've all seen that person in the airport who looks like they have 3 bodies in their double ski bag) they can call you on it.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
When I rented a car in Calgary they asked if I wanted to upgrade to snow tires for a nominal fee. It's the only place I've ever been asked that, and I was so glad. (They tried to upsell a car with a heated steering wheel too.)

Unlike the Denver airport, where the rental car counters are a long bus shuttle away, the car rental counters at Calgary are an easy crosswalk away.

But the cars are a bazillion miles away from baggage claim. I walked for ages with my luggage and skis then saw the volunteers in cowboy hats and took them up on their offer of a ride in a golf cart, which is what they are there for. Look for those guys, or get a luggage cart. Normally I just drag everything but I've never experienced a walk that long!
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
But the cars are a bazillion miles away from baggage claim. I walked for ages with my luggage and skis then saw the volunteers in cowboy hats and took them up on their offer of a ride in a golf cart, which is what they are there for. Look for those guys, or get a luggage cart. Normally I just drag everything but I've never experienced a walk that long!
They’re super convenient for domestic arrivals. Not so much international.

Oh.. @Christy do you remember which car rental company you used? Adding it to my file for next trip.
 
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Christy

Angel Diva
I was coming from Seattle, so presumably I was international...sorry, I don't know what company I used.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
If I remember, DH packed his boots and suit in the bag. AC was not happy. Then they ripped his bag on the way out.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I use a soft-sided bag to save weight.

Then I stuff with my helmet and pad some of my soft goods
I also use a soft-sided double bag for my usual trips. I pack one pair of skis and poles, then put clothing in stuff sacks next to the skis, and gloves and jackets loose on top. I usually fly United, and I can argue ski clothes are “associated equipment” per the verbiage on their website. I don’t pack my helmet in checked luggage, however, for fear of it getting damaged being tossed around or crushed. Maybe that’s a bit paranoid.

So I have to decide whether to pack as usual and take a chance with Air Canada, or take the sportube and pay for a second checked bag for clothes. Again, not a big deal, other than having another roller to manage.
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
9DF1997C-2309-4957-BAA2-44545CA892B6.jpeg
Checking in.. it’s my last day here and it was -20F in the morning, so the ski day was a bust and I opted to be lazy, catch up with a friend on the phone, grab ramen and otherwise stay in until late check out at 3pm. My ride back to Calgary isn’t until 7:30pm so I booked a massage for 4:30pm and am now lounging at Meadows Spa in the Moose Hotel. The spa has its own private hot tub - separate than for hotel guests - and I’m the only spa guest at the moment, so guess who’s peacefully chillaxing in the hot tub with some cucumber water?

I texted the picture above to DH and jokingly said “it’s just like home with the mountains in the distance”. Except it’s not a joke and we do have a hot tub overlooking the mountains too, because we’re lucky ducks :smile:

other angle of the hot tub:
68835F09-4E59-4BC7-A798-42ACAC9F13C4.jpeg
Towards Banff Ave
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Appreciate this travel information (and great photos). It’s actually very inexpensive and easy to fly from cities in Florida to Calgary. It’s a well traveled route which makes getting to SkiBig3 much easier. Still, I enjoy getting travel tips!
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
Thanks for this detail! Very similar to how I was thinking...only problem is that my snowboard is smaller than my skis, and I was thinking the turned-up tip/tail would get in the way of placing my skis on top. I suppose bringing a board with a flatter tail could help this out...but would limit my options...haha. How'd you get them to lie together nicely?

I only own soft-sided bags for skis. I normally try to limit myself to my ski/snowboard bag checked, a carry-on for luggage, and a personal item for most trips that require flying. In order to make that work I pack a few other things in the ski bag with the equipment, despite what most airline policies are....haven't been called out (yet).

The tail of my board is a bit turned up — but not too much. The skis don’t lie perfectly flat on the board, but I’m not too fussed about it… the bag is not overly stuffed and there is ample padding from the coats and other soft goods.
 

Elizabeth.I

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We were thinking of skiing five days at Lake Louise... we're staying at the Lake Louise Inn, so super close! BUT... do you think we should try to hit up Sunshine or Norquay? My kids will have just turned 7 years old, and wasn't sure if it was just 'easier' to chill and hang at Lake Louise. They can follow reasonably well on blue runs with experienced people! I'm just an okay intermediate, and my husband's a step below me. LOL! My girls and I do loooooooooooove the sport though!
Norquay is pretty small, I'd give it a pass and go to Sunshine instead. Lots of great terrain for intermediates at Sunshine and its not icy!
 

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