Easy sell: Alberta ski circle
DAY 1: Arrive in Calgary
DAY 2: Drive to Banff via Sunshine
DAY 3: Drive to Norquay for a day on the slopes
DAY 4: Drive to Lake Louise, via Johnston Canyon
DAY 5: Lake Louise
DAY 6: Canmore-Kananaskis
DAY 7: Calgary via Cochrane
On this seven-night Calgary round-trip tour your clients can take some of North America's best ski resorts and the stunning mountain scenery in-between.
Start your clients’ ski adventure by offering them an insight into the tough days of the pioneers, with a wander through the Mavericks exhibit at the Glenbow Museum. Here they can learn about the risky adventures of Alberta’s incorrigible founders through hands-on activities and over 700 artifacts.
After, book them into the Calgary Tower, the world’s highest 360-degree observation deck, for panoramic views of the city skyline and their ultimate destination beyond, the Canadian Rockies.
If there’s time, suggest a visit to Calgary Zoo to see the cougars, wolves, caribou, bison and bighorn sheep they will be sharing the ski hills with up close.
Located 7,200 feet high on the Continental Divide, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Sunshine boasts three mountains of vast terrain with 360 degrees of uninterrupted mountain views suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels.
A nifty USP is that you can ski two provinces (Alberta and British Columbia) in one run! Plus, Sunshine’s seven month ski season stretches from early November until late May - the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada. On an average snow year, Banff Sunshine will receive up to nine metres of snow in a season.
Non skiers can learn about the area’s First Nations and European pioneers on a Historical Snowshoe and Fondue Tour and everyone can end the day soaking in the restorative mineral pools at Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Just a few minutes from the town of Banff is local’s favourite Mt. Norquay ski resort. Hit the slopes or head to Tube Town for a thrilling snow tubing adventure. The family-friendly mountain is excellent for beginners and the only option for night skiing in Banff National Park.
Mt. Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort make up the park’s Ski Big 3 and between them offer almost 8,000 acres (12.5 sq mi) of skiable terrain. Take advantage of a tri-area lift pass and ski them all.
If your clients tire of the slopes, a winter wildlife tour introduces the park’s resident creatures and how the discovery of natural mineral springs, commemorated at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, transformed the area and led to the creation of Canada’s national park system in 1885.
En route to Lake Louise, tell your clients to stop for a winter ice walk in Johnston Canyon, where they’ll see the luminous ice sheets from the frozen falls cling to the walls and spill out over the canyon’s edges.
Your clients can spend the next two days carving through powder at Lake Louise Ski Resort, which is consistently ranked one of the best places to ski in Canada and voted number one Canadian ski resort at the prestigious 2017 World Ski Awards.
Lake Louise is known for its spectacular scenery and versatile terrain. With over 4,200 acres spread across four mountain faces. One of the largest ski resorts in North America, the ski area’s layout allows families and groups of all abilities to ski together with beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair. Terrain ranges from gentle slopes and long cruising runs, to glades, chutes and some of the Canadian Rockies most exciting and wide open bowls.
Away from the snow, the slopeside Whitehorn Bistro offers a gourmet lunch with spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies and for a proper break, rent a pair of ice skates and glide along the frozen surface of Lake Louise or nestle under warm blankets on a horse drawn sleigh ride or dog sledding tour around it.
Schedule your clients a stop in Canmore for a morning ice walk in Grotto Canyon. Professional guides will lead them along a winding frozen creek bed to the glittering icefalls. They’ll learn about the area’s geology, history and may see adventurous climbers scaling the frozen falls.
They can spend the afternoon cross-country skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre, originally developed for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. There are more than 40 miles of groomed and natural trails and spectacular views of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.
Driving east on the Trans-Canada towards Calgary a good pit stop to make is at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, near Cochrane. On an experiential tour you’ll observe wolf behaviour firsthand and gain a better understanding of how these elusive animals live in the wild.
Or, closer to Calgary and if your clients can’t stay away from the slopes, book in a stop at WinSport Olympic Park. They’ll find a terrain park, well-groomed runs for novice to expert skiers and snowboarders as well as a half pipe here and bobsleigh run.