Sunshine suffers by having a single lift, an 8 person gondola, to take people away from the base - which can mean lines early in the day. The base is protected, down in a valley with plenty of trees, but 25 minutes later, unloading at the top, things can be considerably different. Most of the lift system takes you from the top of the gondola up into a big un-treed bowl. This must be great in the spring, but on a cloudy day, there's no visual clue to the terrain. Add in some snow and you may not be able to tell which end is up.
Two lifts below the gondola unloading station serve tree bounded, weather protected runs ideal for beginners and low intermediates. Also below gondola unloading, Goats Eye and Teepee Town lifts serve high intermediate to expert terrain. Trails here start above tree line but become protected half way down. With wind scour above tree line, the snow can turn into bullet-proof hard pack quickly.
There's also a downside at the end of the day. The one trail down involves some trudging, poling and walking, especially if there's been any new snow. It's a beginner trail, which leads to uncomfortable situations a good skiers, flying at top speed to minimize poling, conflict with beginners, cruising from side to side hoping to make it down without falling. There are some side loops marked intermediate, but these generally involve one steeper pitch followed by a long flat run out. Best thing to do is just ride the gondola down!
This must be a glorious place to spring ski up in the bowl on a sunny day. Someday, maybe we'll be lucky enough to hit Sunshine on a sunny day.
Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
Fort Worth, Texas
January 15, 2006
From journal Winter Wonderland
February 7, 2005
From journal Too much riding, and not enough markers
Stockport, United Kingdom
December 30, 2004
One advantage of flying from UK is that you are wide awake early in the morning. To be on the first lift up the mountain while it is dark is a great feeling. It is good to be on top of the mountain while watching the sunrise.
The slopes are wide-open above the tree lines, with a good view of where you need to go. The snow is all natural, so there is no noise from snow machines ruining the natural beauty of the place.
The food is good, with a wide range of food. Compared to UK prices, it is also very cheap.
No ID is required for the bars, and children can sit with you too if you are eating. I am going again this February.
From journal Trips to Banff/Sunshine Village
Rothesay, New Brunswick
December 14, 2004
From journal A white paradise in Banff
aberdeen, United Kingdom
December 9, 2004
From journal Holiday to Alberta, Winter 2004
Wales, United Kingdom
February 2, 2003
From journal Rocky Mountains - Skiing in Banff, Alberta, Canada
New York, New York
January 26, 2003
From journal Great Skiing in Banff
January 10, 2003
From journal Wonderful Banff
by Foxboro Marmot
April 2, 2002
From journal Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper
March 14, 2002
This one of the best natural snow skiing in the Rockies, at a high elevation.
The ski area is spread across three mountains, with more than 33 feet of snow received annually.
First, at the bottom of the hill you should take the new gondola.
On the way up, the first station is for Goat's Eye Mountain.
Many black and blue runs will satisfy your curiosity and improve your skiing skills.
At the end of gondola run is a lodge with a restaurant and alpine skiing.
Here you can show your true colors as a skier who likes to experience challenge and adventure.
Many fast ski lifts will take you to varieties of ski runs and the incredible vistas of the surrounding mountains.
Two hills to challenge your legs.
It's a downhill skiers and snowboarders paradise!
One draw back of the Sunshine Village skiing area is that this high elevation ski resort is above the tree line and sometimes has strong cold winds which "freeze your brain" while riding on the chair lift!
Very often fast changes in the weather create difficult lighting and expect the snow perspective to be hard to define.
This ski resort stays open from the early days of November until the Victoria Long weekend, at the end of May.
Remember to take plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses.
Shuttle bus service takes you from your hotel in Banff to the parking lot at the base of the gondola ride.
To view photo album from Sunshine Village:
From journal Banff, Skiers Paradise