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Question: Banff!

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I’m convinced. I want to check out Banff next season, mainly for SSV where hopefully I can ski more of the mountain and not just stuck to glorified cat tracks. Tentative dates are end of Feb - early Mar, 2023. So, questions to the hive mind:

1. Is SkiBig3 THE website to book lodging/lift/transfer packages? Or should I do separate bookings? I think I’d like to stay in Banff. I also skipped the IKON pass this year so would need lift tickets.
2. Any particular airlines to avoid for flying into Calgary? I’ll be flying out of either Dulles or Reagan National.
3. How cold is it really? I got hiking boots and can put toe warmers inside. Would that be enough? I don’t have snow boots (whatever they are).
4. I’ll likely take a day or two and do other stuff, maybe hot springs or dog sledding. Considering that, would I need a car, or would local or excursion transportation be available?

Thanks for any help!
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
SkiBig3 is super helpful for lodging packages!

I’m assuming you’ll have warm socks to go into the hiking boots. It should be okay with toe warmers if you get cold.

Not sure about the transport. I’m sure you can go through a tour operator to arrange for it though. Banff is very compact and centralized so getting picked up from Banff should be easy enough.

I’ll be staying in Lake Louise the week of Diva West … would love to get some runs in together, either at SSV or LL!
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
SkiBig3 is super helpful for lodging packages!

I’m assuming you’ll have warm socks to go into the hiking boots. It should be okay with toe warmers if you get cold.

Not sure about the transport. I’m sure you can go through a tour operator to arrange for it though. Banff is very compact and centralized so getting picked up from Banff should be easy enough.
That sounds reasonable. SkiBig3 probably has recommendations which tours to go with as well.

I’ll be staying in Lake Louise the week of Diva West … would love to get some runs in together, either at SSV or LL!
That would be super cool!
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
I heard that Sunshine was opening for this past weekend due to lots of snow. How fun that would have been to ski there in July!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Big 3 is the tourism arm of the Banff area and resorts. A friends wife did work for them. If you're hitting the ski shows this fall, they could be there.

They can organize everything for you. Also check out www. skican.com, They are a Canadian company that does trips to all kinds of places. They can set you up leaving from an american airport and transferring in Canada. We went to Panorama and there was a group from Detroit. They flew into Toronto and were on the same plane as us.

SkiCan might be too organized for you though...

There is good public transportation in Banff and to the resorts. Lots of stuff is walking distance too. Renting a car is an option. Just remember you need to purchase a park pass when you enter the park area. Fines are quite high for NOT having one. Buses have a different system. People who live in Banff get a freebie. Trip from Banff to Lake Louise is about 1/2 hour. It's the furthest out. Roads are good though and it's a 4 lane highway.

Calgary is an international airport, and the WestJet headquarters. Not sure of the American carriers that fly in.

Clothing - same stuff you would wear in Vermont.
Other stuff to do - could/can be arranged from your accommodations probably. Or Big 3 could help. I don't remember seeing car rentals in Banff, so that would need to be done in Calgary.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
Pretty sure we used SkiBig3 for our first trip - probably one of the ski and stay packages. I don’t remember having any problems booking it, and I know we had a great time. I did hear that the place we stayed (Banff Aspen Lodge) has been remodeled, but I haven’t checked into what they did to it. We've stayed there a couple of times - it's well located for walking downtown and also for the mountain shuttles.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
Clothing - same stuff you would wear in Vermont.
The one and only time I was in Vermont was to ski Killington back in the 80’s, college ski trip from NYC. Was never so cold in my life. Had to buy hats and ski masks lol. I remember skiing a run then go inside the lodge to warm up. Lather, rinse, and repeat. I’m much better equipped ski clothing wise now. So should be okay. I hope.
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
I can see if it wows me enough, to go back after 4/15 for a spring trip.
It’s a different kind of experience in the spring if you ask me. Long days, beautiful thawing lakes. Since Dr Pugs has his conference in February, I won’t be there this spring, but I love going in late April/early May!
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
@Ski Sine Fine - Looked back in my old trip report. Here's what I wore when it was -14.8F. It should be warmer than that at the end of February, I hope.

Feet - normal Smartwool lightweight socks, with toe warmers.
Legs - lightweight Hot Chilly's leggings/tights, polar fleece leggings over that, then my insulated ski pants
Body - Under Armor compression top, polar fleece top, North Face Apex/bionic jacket (can't remember for sure which order that name goes in but I'll get kicked off the internet if I try to look it up), lightweight down coat, insulated ski coat (lightly, but not just a shell). After lunch I managed to cram in an extremely lightweight down vest, too. And a stick on body warmer - heavenly.
Neck - windproof gaiter, and my stagecoach robber face mask.
Head - lightweight helmet liner type hat and helmet
Hands - liner mittens with hand warmers in the pocket and outer Swany Toaster mittens. After lunch I added a fleece mitten in between them.

As @ilovepugs says - late April in Banff was simply lovely.
 
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Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
April would be spring, and spring gear. No need for the heavy weight stuff then. But anytime before March, anything can happen. I'd rather be over dressed than under.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
@Ski Sine Fine - Looked back in my old trip report. Here's what I wore when it was -14.8F. It should be warmer than that at the end of February, I hope.

Feet - normal Smartwool lightweight socks, with toe warmers.
Legs - lightweight Hot Chilly's leggings/tights, polar fleece leggings over that, then my insulated ski pants
Body - Under Armor compression top, polar fleece top, North Face Apex/bionic jacket (can't remember for sure which order that name goes in but I'll get kicked off the internet if I try to look it up), lightweight down coat, insulated ski coat (lightly, but not just a shell). After lunch I managed to cram in an extremely lightweight down vest, too. And a stick on body warmer - heavenly.
Neck - windproof gaiter, and my stagecoach robber face mask.
Head - lightweight helmet liner type hat and helmet
Hands - liner mittens with hand warmers in the pocket and outer Swany Toaster mittens. After lunch I added a fleece mitten in between them.

As @ilovepugs says - late April in Banff was simply lovely.
I should have said - this trip was the first week of January.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
@Ski Sine Fine - Looked back in my old trip report. Here's what I wore when it was -14.8F. It should be warmer than that at the end of February, I hope.

Feet - normal Smartwool lightweight socks, with toe warmers.
Legs - lightweight Hot Chilly's leggings/tights, polar fleece leggings over that, then my insulated ski pants
Body - Under Armor compression top, polar fleece top, North Face Apex/bionic jacket (can't remember for sure which order that name goes in but I'll get kicked off the internet if I try to look it up), lightweight down coat, insulated ski coat (lightly, but not just a shell). After lunch I managed to cram in an extremely lightweight down vest, too. And a stick on body warmer - heavenly.
Neck - windproof gaiter, and my stagecoach robber face mask.
Head - lightweight helmet liner type hat and helmet
Hands - liner mittens with hand warmers in the pocket and outer Swany Toaster mittens. After lunch I added a fleece mitten in between them.

As @ilovepugs says - late April in Banff was simply lovely.
That’s very helpful! I might need to get more layers. What’s a stick on body warmer?
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
That’s very helpful! I might need to get more layers. What’s a stick on body warmer?
It's like the disposable handwarmers/toewarmers, but bigger. https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/hot...VQcLCBB07ZAVuEAYYASABEgIomPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

For context, I bolded the things that were extra layers, due to the temps. The down coat/lightly insulated ski coat was my regular layering at that time.

Feet - normal Smartwool lightweight socks, with toe warmers.
Legs - lightweight Hot Chilly's leggings/tights, polar fleece leggings over that, then my insulated ski pants
Body - Under Armor compression top, polar fleece top, North Face Apex/bionic jacket (can't remember for sure which order that name goes in but I'll get kicked off the internet if I try to look it up), lightweight down coat, insulated ski coat (lightly, but not just a shell). After lunch I managed to cram in an extremely lightweight down vest, too. And a stick on body warmer - heavenly.
Neck - windproof gaiter, and my stagecoach robber face mask.
Head - lightweight helmet liner type hat and helmet
Hands - liner mittens with hand warmers in the pocket and outer Swany Toaster mittens. After lunch I added a fleece mitten in between them.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
January is a lot colder than the end of February/first of March. As I said before, similar to Vermont, New York (ie Whiteface) or Maine. Cold, but not -20C for any extended time.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
January is a lot colder than the end of February/first of March. As I said before, similar to Vermont, New York (ie Whiteface) or Maine. Cold, but not -20C for any extended time.
Yeah - I'm not sure what we were thinking, lol! The other two times we've gone to Banff it was mid/late April, which I think was just about perfect.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Think I went in late January and it was one of the coldest places I have ever been.....
 

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