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Panorama - family half term holiday?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am getting tempted by a week in Panorama for next Feb half term. Price wise coming in cheaper than a lot of prices I am getting for Europe holiday.

I have searched here and read various reports and feels a bit conflicted as to whether it is going to be good for us as some give the impression it is limited and would only be good for a few days.

We are family of 4 and girls will be 9 and 12 next year. Ellie was skiing up reds, Keira easy blues and greens in Val Thorens but us found fear of speed and been worried to let herself go too fast. Me and hubby normally ski on piste and if we go this will be our first time outside Europe so finding it very hard to compare.

We will want lessons for the girls.

Any similar families been there who can give us some insights? Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That looks an interesting find. I've really struggled to find anything for half term, flights are silly money (going to Folgarida with brentaski).

may I ask what you've been quoted?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@NickyJ, I skied for one day in Panorama whilst I was in Banff, its a surprisingly big ski area and is kept well groomed on the front side with the harder ungroomed runs on the back side.

In my opinion, there's enough skiing for a week and has a good modern key card lift system.
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@RichardB, thanks- reading up although it only us 10 lifts it is quoting 151 trails. Which sounds a lot to me... but as I said having no frame of reference for the stats quoted on Canadian resorts I am struggling to visualise what that means in reality.
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@NickyJ, Have you used this site? http://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/panorama/test-result/slope-offering/

Then compare with somewhere you know I guess. Distilling everything down to a single number appeals to my inner geek.
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Penry wrote:
@NickyJ, Have you used this site? http://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/panorama/test-result/slope-offering/

Then compare with somewhere you know I guess. Distilling everything down to a single number appeals to my inner geek.


Excellent - hadnít found that. Thanks
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It's as big as anywhere else in Canada except WB and has a more prosaic pistey reputation than most other places.

You'll probably find it quite limited for entertainment/ eating options at night
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Dave of the Marmottes, thanks. That doesnít bother us - have two girls who get tired and like to go to bed early so we donít get to go out. Happy
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@NickyJ, are you doing this independently or thorough Crystal or Inghams etc?
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Looking at ski solutions and ski safari.
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I've seen a good deal to Lake Louise for half term week through Crystal if you want to check it out. Depends how much you've been quoted of course.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@RichardB, when I looked at Crystal the headline pp price looks interesting, you then view details and it jumps you then try and further and it jumps further. On the surface their lake Louise price for a room with two doubles, is the same as a two room condo in panorama. Though ski safari is looking cheaper for same condo. I will call them in the morning to make sure the price is as it appears and same deal of free ski carriage and free childrenís lift passes.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Fair enough, just thought I'd point it out.

You will enjoy Canada but it can get very cold, if your flights are with Air Canada, ski carriage is always free with them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
NickyJ wrote:
@RichardB, when I looked at Crystal the headline pp price looks interesting, you then view details and it jumps you then try and further and it jumps further. On the surface their lake Louise price for a room with two doubles, is the same as a two room condo in panorama. Though ski safari is looking cheaper for same condo. I will call them in the morning to make sure the price is as it appears and same deal of free ski carriage and free childrenís lift passes.


Oh no my mistake that was have two double rooms with one adult and one child in, when I changed to room with two doubles price went up £6092 from the original £5k
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RichardB wrote:
Fair enough, just thought I'd point it out.

You will enjoy Canada but it can get very cold, if your flights are with Air Canada, ski carriage is always free with them.


It doesnít say who they are with via ski safari whereas I spoke to ski solutions earlier and know thereís is and they confirmed that which is rather nice change Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've only done a few days there. It's not lacking in terrain, or inter-advanced skiing. If you're wanting something completely different than Europe, then it's a good choice. A little more rustic, and you really feel like you're skiing in the wilderness. For 'off piste' or un-groomed it lacks a large above the tree-line bowl which the larger resorts mostly have, but has plenty of ungroomed runs and glades. I can't comment on the ski school but they're known for a good children's racing program. Canadian ski schools are generally expensive but good.
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It can get COLD. Be seriously prepared with various extra layers, facemask etc. As long as you are, that's fine. But I did note that half term next year is early March so hopefully not so bad. This year was apparently bitter; awesome snow but savagely cold for the locals.

I love Canadian teaching which is why I bent the rules (and the bank account) to get back out to Banff this April. Look into the price of two group lessons vs one private instructor teaching both at the same time - ah, except you imply their levels are quite different. My girls are the same ages as yours. I haven't been to Panorama but can't stop going back to Banff.

Jetlag works with you as you'll get up really early (5am, out at 7) for first snow (did I say it might be cold?) and go home by 3.30 and sleep after 7. If you are only there for 6 days then try to maintain that so you don't then suffer as you land back in UK with girls sleeping through mornings. We did get a bit hit by that.

This was my TR of Banff this April if there is anything there useful to you.
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=137335
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Panorama is "not bad", would I recomend going all the way to Canada to ski it - probably not. I think for your family it is probably a little limited, the backside is more advanced terrain and don't expect all the front side to be groomed (single blacks in Canada are often left ungroomed). Its also a fairly long transfer 3.5 hours from calgary or more if the weather is bad. It tends to get less snow than the other resorts in that area - hence the "iceorama" nickname. Positive are that it's quiet and"family friendly", and may just about have enough terrain for a week. Of course if you are looking to get off piste and ski trees and bumps etc. it opens up a lot of terrain and will easily cover a week's worth of skiing (to be honest the big benefit of North American skiing is that off piste is avi controlled so you can ski it all safely).
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I've ridden a few days in Panorama now and then. I'd agree with what's here. I think it'd be a good choice.

"Off piste" is controlled and patrolled, so you don't have to ride on the pistes.
I've never used a Canadian ski school but I worked with a few and they look absolutely excellent to me, especially for kids.
Small Canadian resorts are real estate developments rather than real villages, which you may or may not like.
Restaurants and other activities tend to be resort-owned, so there are always several of each, but don't expect innovation. Do expect good service, although you're supposed to tip for it.
Accommodation-wise mostly it's larger than Europe and generally well equipped.

As stated, jet lag works quite well for a week out there, you just feel superior as you're up early. You can buy melatonin over the counter there which some people think helps too.
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boarder2020 wrote:
Panorama is "not bad", would I recomend going all the way to Canada to ski it - probably not. I think for your family it is probably a little limited, the backside is more advanced terrain and don't expect all the front side to be groomed (single blacks in Canada are often left ungroomed). Its also a fairly long transfer 3.5 hours from calgary or more if the weather is bad. It tends to get less snow than the other resorts in that area - hence the "iceorama" nickname. Positive are that it's quiet and"family friendly", and may just about have enough terrain for a week. Of course if you are looking to get off piste and ski trees and bumps etc. it opens up a lot of terrain and will easily cover a week's worth of skiing (to be honest the big benefit of North American skiing is that off piste is avi controlled so you can ski it all safely).


Ah - forgot to check transfer time when we switched to considering Panorama. I had started looking at Banff but was had concerns over it needing to get the bus to the skiing where Panorama was ski in ski out.
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@Orange200, our half term is 16th Feb.

Thanks for the link - think I read your report when I was reading up but will read again.
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Been a while since I skied Panorama so take with a pinch of salt. But don't think much has changed.

Was there for a week for my CSIA Level 3 course and exam.

So if you run out if terrain then you're better than you think.

Nowhere near as cold as the Alberta resorts.

Doesn't get as much snow as the other BC resorts nearby, but doesn't get the crowds either.

Ski in, ski out is great. So too the pool.

Food is good.

Ski school is excellent.

Would choose over a Banff base, even though Banff is prettier and has more shops and restaurants.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ive skied panorama six times . including last year .
its a great ski area with quite varied terrain .
I keep going back because I love the place .
transfer times , can seem rather long but its only another hour and half past Banff .
I would recommend it on terrain , ski in ski out , and the friendliness of the place .
the resort has a quite small base area , but they have some big plans in the making .
the quality of accommodation is fantastic .
I always stay at the springs , fantastic place the hot pools are so nice .
cant comment on the ski school , last time I used them was 20 years ago.
also try to do a snowmobile trip with toby creek adventures , quite an experience .
crystal use 2 flights out of heathrow , air canada and ba both get into Calgary at roughly same time .
transfer are normally by either resort shuttle a minivan or small coach , they stop on they way.
I would go for either 10 days or 2 weeks , weeks skiing always seems rather short for north america .
im sure if you take a chance you,ll be hooked on the place , like I am .
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@f1l, thanks. We only have the 5 days off school, so canít do longer.... well we could go on the Friday as one child has an inset day and the other we could get away with - but I donít think there are direct flights.

I think the transfer time is the killer Sad. Oh well had to be a catch. 9hr flight - long transfer, messing time at the airport.

I will look further at Easter but as schools donít break up until 5th April - it looks like the resorts are going to be closed or closing so that we wouldnít be able to do 10days or 2 weeks then.

Oh well. Thanks for the insights and any other thoughts. I am still keen to get out there one day but may have to wait until the kids school.
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Truly I wouldn't worry about the transfer time. You will have done a long flight and all the stuff before the flight. At that stage you may well be likely to sleep on the bus and not notice 3 hours! I'd say go for it then decide afterwards if you want to go back.
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@Orange200, my eldest gets car sick, hence we try and limit to 2hrs if we can. Though have done longer.

If we could go for longer it would be less off putting.

Banff also looked attractive and that was a 2hr transfer.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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I really like Pano and think it will suit. Usually for Canada it has some better on mountain slightly European style cafes/huts too. Your kids will love the hot pools in the evening. Note that the last 20 mins up the road are a bit car sick making
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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NickyJ wrote:
@Orange200, my eldest gets car sick, hence we try and limit to 2hrs if we can. Though have done longer.

Bus too?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@NickyJ, tricky one.

Yeah, I had a look for 1/2 term at SOU or LGW - GVA flights this morning, yikes, I am glad not to have to be buying those.

My own points, Prices notwithstanding!

- unless you're looking to ski off piste, I see little advantage in the transatlantic flight
- that said, N.A. skiing is rather different and I guess, should be experienced. I find the Canadian instruction in my limited experience* to be excellent. And I really like their solid style.
- specifically Panorama, about half the terrain looks to be double (black) and black (red) so I think it might be a little limiting if and only if that might be a problem. Which it might not be.

The thing that would annoy me would be that most of the DB and B runs require two lifts to loop them. Which might get old quite quickly. But, I am not you.

* We hired someone in Whistler on first ever trip to show us around as we wanted to max the experience. Top of 1st run (and we'd been first on chair, jet lag advantage) he said, "on you go, as fast as you like, it's empty", and shot off. Imagine his surprise when he arrive at the next chair last**... top morning, top tour guide.

**I have no doubt that if he'd realised we were racing him (there had been a smidgeon of "let's see what you euro punters are up to") he'd have upped his game, as it was he just looked bemused. (The group included EU instructors, saisonnaires, locals, etc.)
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Skied Panorama about ten years ago with the kids. Nice area, quieter than Europe from an Apres view, however it does work well for families. Slopes are alot quieter than /europe (especially quieter than half term). Always strikes me a a very family orientated resort.There is a good variety of terrain/trails, limited off piste opportunity, unless you are 'hardcore'. Taynton bowl is interesting, nothing really impossible to ski just take a little care. Both my kids used the ski school and loved it, got on really well. On mountain dinnoing is limited (as with most North american resorts), but access to the village is very quick.

Transfer from and to Calgary is an easy drive on some lovelly roads,with great scenery, a couple of good resurants in the village if you want to eat out, the store is also well stocked for your catering needs. We stocked up big time in Banff on the way as the supermarket is bigger there. Our accomodation/appartment was of really good standard, and as you would expect quite spacious, Evenings are very relaxed, we used to chill, play games/cards, maybe watch a movie, very relaxed.

The only real problem is that jet lag screwed me for a couple of days when I got back.

In my view well worth the trip, we all thoughly enjoyed it, and i've skied panorama on other occasions as a day excursion.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We skied in Panorama 3 yrs ago it was great for a week. We did not use ski school, we did use the local free guides the ones we skied with 2 were British. Outdoor swimming pools well worth a visit. There is a place you can learn how to make glass beads, if you fancy a morning or afternoon off.
The drive from Calgary was fine. There is a transfer bus as well.
The restaurant's were not my favourites in Canada. One was outstanding and expensive, the rest were below average. There is a small supermarket for basics.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 11-05-18 8:57; edited 1 time in total
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@NickyJ, Calgary to Banff is primarily highway, and Banff to Lake Louise is 95% highway, there should be no worries about car sickness there. Canít comment on Pano. Half of Banff to Sunshine is wiggly but itís only 20 min for the whole trip.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I skied there for a week a few years back. It was scarily face numbing cold, you needed to warm up and defrost your face every two or three runs. The skiing both on and off piste was good and I loved the waiter service to the outdoor hot tubs.

The other thing that sticks in my mind was the local radio station that reported the local fender benders and gave a damage estimate in dollars.
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@TQA, which week did you go. Was that mid Feb as well?
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I wouldn't go to Canada if you only have a week. We chose Banff/Lake Louise for our first trip but stayed 10 or 11 nights, so we got over the journey and still had time to enjoy the skiing. Hiring a car (as it was only a small extra cost on top of the package) made it a lot easier than catching the bus to the skiing every day. We could also go and explore on our way back from Lake Louise.
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@Hells Bells, I have been lots of times for only a week...I found 10 days too much
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@Hells Bells, it wasnít plan a) which was to do a 10/11 day trip out there at some point in near future.... but prices are very attractive and the reports indicate slopes should be MUCH quieter as well as cheaper than doing that particular week in Europe. Which unless I spot something fantastic just wonít happen at all next year. Though April is still a possibility but again those prices are looking crazy already (however not all airlines have released those dates yet so possibilities do still exist at sensible prices).
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Quote:
@Hells Bells, I have been lots of times for only a week...I found 10 days too much


Interesting to hear how 10 days is too much? 3 extra days is hardly a lot, particularly when you could add a day doing non skiing things or in Calgary/Vancouver.

NickkyJ What is your budget? If price is your issue you could consider Eastern Europe or the Caucasus.

If you go to Canada are you planning on getting off piste or are you just looking for groomed runs?
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@boarder2020, no interest in Calgary or Vancouver esp when I am on a skiing holiday.. We did do icewalk in banff one day. Im jyst not one for long holidays. A week does me and I have lots if them. 10 days us nearer 12 by the time you add your travel
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@Hells Bells, I have been lots of times for only a week...I found 10 days too much


More of a hassle if you have kids with you though. Connecting flight from Newcastle,wait in Heathrow, then 8 hours plus to Calgary. Meant almost 24 hours from getting out of bed in UK until we got to bed on first night in Banff. Kids fell asleep eating their food. They weren't that young then either.

@NickyJ . It was very busy during the UK half-term week in Banff. Alberta Family day coincided with USA President's day.
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