Lake Louise ski resort
About Lake Louise
One of the world's great ski areas, Lake Louise ticks many boxes on the wish list of most snow sports connoisseurs.
The skiing itself is superb, on a vast mountain range - one of North America's largest - and with one of the continent's longest seasons, running six months from Early November to early May. World Cup competitions are held at the resort in late November, with the dramatic Canadian Rockies backdrop adding to the spectacle.
Lake Louise itself is an ideal choice for those looking for a quieter location but still seeking top-notch facilities and services. First-time visitors to Canada, expecting mountains, forests, lakes and wildlife, will find exactly that while skiing within the vast Banff National Park.
All is not lost for the party hungry however, with the bouncing resort of Banff just a 60km (36 mile) pilgrimage away along the freeway.
The slopes at Lake Louise look out across the valley to Lake Louise itself – which is frozen in winter – and are served by efficient, mostly high-speed lifts. These provide access to wide-open runs, powder bowls and steep chutes.
Lake Louise is situated in the western Canadian province of Alberta, 184km (115 miles) west of Calgary and 60km (36 miles) west of Banff. The resort lies in the heart of Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains.
Lake LouiseResort Elevation: 1540m
Top Elevation: 2637m
Base Elevation: 1646m
On the slopes
The ski season in Lake Louise is one of the longest in North America, and indeed the whole world, with runs open from late November until early May. During this time the ski and snowboard school provides private and group lessons for all levels, while equipment hire is available at the base.
One of the largest ski areas in North America with one of the continent's biggest lift-served verticals, Lake Louise's slopes are spread over four mountain faces, with a large proportion of the skiing below the treeline. On the main south face, there are some wonderful wide, fast runs, as well as the beginners-only Wiwaxy run. More advanced skiers and boarders can tackle the Men's Downhill or Ladies' Downhill courses.
The Top of the World six-seater chairlift, the Grizzly Express gondola or the Summit Platter all access the famed back bowls, which offer a multitude of thigh-burning vertiginous black and double-black runs. Less confident skiers need not fear however, as there are a handful of easy routes down too. Alternatively, skiers can continue over to the Larch area for some fine cruisers and gladed runs.
Freestylers and boarders, meanwhile, have a huge terrain park under the Glacier Express chairlift to explore. Among the 30 features are massive jumps and a ski and boardercross circuit.
The Banff resorts of Sunshine Village and the smaller Mt. Norquay are also nearby (45 minutes and 50 minutes respectively), and are available along with Lake Louise on the Tri-area lift ticket.