Gondola cable cars:
Norquay’s ski area is small with just a handful of lifts, and generally has marginally less snow than Sunshine, but it's handy for the town. There are runs here for all levels, but only really enough to keep skiers busy for a day. Advanced skiers can test their mettle on several steep and challenging mogul runs, Upper Lone Pine and Gun Run being two of the best. Night skiing is popular on Fridays from January to March.
Sunshine's excellent snow record makes it a good bet for early- or late-season skiing. A modern gondola transports skiers from the car park up to the day lodge, where mainly high-speed lifts fan out to three mountains - Goat's Eye (intermediates and up only), Lookout and Standish.
Beginners will enjoy cruising along Banff Avenue, a wide, easy green run, with several fun offshoots. Intermediates, meanwhile, might choose to ride the Continental Divide chair on Lookout Mountain, where they have the added thrill of crossing into British Columbia on the way up and skiing back into Alberta on the way back down. Expert skiers can drop into the super-steep Delirium Dive or the recently opened Silver City (but only if equipped with transceiver, probe and shovel).
For freestylers, both resorts have popular terrain parks; Sunshine's the larger with over 20 rails, boxes and tabletops.
The ski and snowboard schools in the two main resorts run lessons for all levels. Equipment hire is available at many outlets in town or at the bases. The Tri-area lift ticket also allows skiing at Lake Louise, which is about 45 minutes from Banff.
Norquay's ski season runs from mid-November (usually at weekends only), then full-time from December until mid-April. Sunshine's runs open from mid-November until late May.