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Planning a Ski-moon in Canada - help!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I wondered if any snowheads could guide our planning for a ski focused honeymoon in Canada, late Jan 2019.

My current thoughts are - fly to Vancouver, couple of days in the city, head to Whistler for a few days, then fly Vancouver to Calgary and hire a car, heading over to Lake Louise/Sunshine. Fly home from Calgary.

We're not heavy on apres though we do like a post ski drink before dinner, preferably somewhere fun for people watching. We'd also like to stay in nice-ish hotels, but can't run to Fairmont levels in either resort... We're both at the lower end of intermediate/improving (can get down a red run after being gutless at the top for a while)

Any tips for where to stay and what not to miss in Whistler would be great. And what to avoid... Erm, and has anyone done the seaplane to Whistler?!

Does anyone know where would be best to stay in the Banff area? Banff itself looks cool, but maybe its better to base ourselves in Lake Louise?

Second question on the Banff bit - does one hire skis in one resort then carry them around the others?

Thanks in advance for any help - all gratefully received, obviously we want this hol to be special! Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Could try Sylvia (amazing location, next to park, beach if you are feeling hardy in Jan, rooms alright) or pacific western (stunning views from most rooms) hotels in Vancouver. Stay in Banff town, there is very little in lake louise outside the lovely but isolated hotel.
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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?
Stay in Banff town. Lovely to walk around in the evening, go to Banff Springs, etc. You could splash out for the Lake Louise hotel for a couple of nights maybe but not sure there's much to see for more than that in the winter. Just ensure that your hotel is close to town centre, it's a long walk down Banff Ave in -15C.

Normally in Banff one hires skis then keeps them for a week or two, take them to LL, Sunshine, whatever. There are buses (coaches and very comfy), free if you get the tri-area lift pass, which load your skis underneath.
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ElzP congratulations. So jealous of your planning.

Spent a week in Whistler before heading to Hawaii on my own honeymoon a couple of years back, so can only advise on Whistler and where we stayed.

We went to the Hilton, really close to the ski lifts at the top end of the town and was really lovely. Outdoor heated hot-tub where you can sip at a beer or two while the night sets in is a great touch. We got an upgraded room which has an open fire in it - ideal for drying any wet socks etc. lol.

The bars at the bottom of the hill, the Longhorn if I remember correctly, are always full towards the end of the day. Good luck getting a table outside if the weather is nice.

One last piece of advice which I wish I had, do not fly BA Heathrow to Vancouver.
Their planes are cramped and with the volume of people flying on them, get very hot. Makes for a very unpleasant flight, especially when you have to approach the flight attendants for a drink after they have finished their initial service.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@motdoc - thanks, really like the look of the Sylvia, my kind of place! Beach though... Shocked

Orange200 Great - will take that advice on the hotels and walking... hadn't realised there were buses, might negate the need to hire a car. Hmm. What would you suggest?

B1g_browner Oh good, we're not the only ones to head for cold on a honeymoon (we do have a hot honeymoon on the cards as well..) Will certainly check out the Hilton. Unfortunately, we're flying BA... fortunately, we've been saving avios and got a companion voucher, so we're flying out first class for not much money. Embarassed

Keep it coming, this is really helping!
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@ElzP,
I would definitely recommend at least one night's stay at Chateau Lake Louise. We stayed there for a night 4 years ago and got a good deal through Hotels.com. It was room only but there was a very reasonably priced saloon bar (where we dined) in the hotel offering great food, as well as a very posh, expensive restaurant.

The location is incredible (on a frozen lake) and the hotel the poshest of the posh. Simply stunning! Very Happy Toofy Grin

A car isn't essential in the Banff area but is handy. If you stay in that area I would recommend a drive to Johns(t)on Ice Canyon, where there is a beautiful, marked walk through a frozen canyon - with a frozen waterfall at the end. Again - stunning! The best advice we had was to get there early before the day trippers arrive, so we made sure we were there for 9am and we had the place to ourselves. We spent about an hour and a half on the walk. It's on the way to Lake Louise, so you could also do the trip from there if you have a car.
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@ElzP, nice trip, in Whistler we stayed and the Summit Lodge they have their own minibus up to the lifts, its close enough to the centre of things and some nice coffee shops and restaurants nearby, also makes it slightly cheaper.

There is a transfer service from Vancouver Apt to Whistler as well as one to Vancouver City which drops of at various hotels.

Banff we are just back and stayed at the Elk + Avenue recently refurbished probably the closest hotel to downtown and as said above Banff Ave is very long, the bus to Sunshine (25 - 30 Minutes), Norquay (20 Minutes) and Lake Louise(45 Minutes) stops 15 yards from the hotel, you could look at the Moose hotel which is bit more upmarket and again 15 yards from the bus stop.

From the Elk you cross the road and your at the start of the main town.

Its worth walking to the Banff Springs to view and have a drink in the Stubbe, there is a great walking guide elsewhere on Snowheads that you can follow

Lake Louise is all about the Fairmont if you can grab a couple of nights there, then do

Personally I wouldn't hire a car, the bus service between ski areas is pretty good and there are the transfer services that take you from the airport to the hotels.

An acquaintance of ours did your trip in revers they stayed in Banff then flew on to Vancouver and of course Whistler, we both used Ski Independence to help plan our trips, book early and get a discount on the lift pass and accommodation, its strange for us skiers to comprehend but winter is not the peak season in Banff & Lake Louise

With Vancouver we stayed in the Fairmont Waterfront and got a very good deal again we used Ski Independence on that trip (other holiday companies are available)

In Banff and Lake Louise with did the ski friends where you ski with a local ski hat who will show you the mountain good if your nervous about and trails.

Hope it helps
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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!
Vancouver... public transport is good, including the Sky Train and waterbus. I've not used the float plane terminal there, but it's right in the centre and you can get to lots of interesting places, although probably not in a snow storm.

I don't really know much about Whistler hotels except they're expensive. You can see what they offer and where they are on the web. They are all basically good. There's the Nita Lake Lodge which may work for the newly married thing, although you'd have to use their shuttle to get into the village.

Banff... the Banff Springs is magnificent in an ocean liner sort of way. The Chateau LL is similar in concept. Personally I'd rather stay at the Post Hotel, but it depends what you want. At Lake Louise you're going to be more self-contained than staying in Banff.

You could consider driving across the open jaw, which would give you more options in terms of places to ski. You're not generally always going to find fancy accommodation in the middle of nowhere, mind.

You don't need a car in Whistler (your hotel will charge you to park it), ditto Vancouver and Banff. That said, sometimes it's cheaper to hire and drive than fly and dick around with public transport.
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Whistler hotels are more expensive on weekends. So if your schedule is flexible enough, spend your weekend in Vancouver (which happens to be LESS expensive on weekends).

Banff is also the same way.

You may want to keep an eye out on lift pass deals in spring of 2019 also.
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It depends what kind of budget and how long you have.

I think when people go to Canada they assume it has to be "special" and you have to see/do as much as possible. The reality is Calgary and Vancouver are about as close as London to Vienna - so they don't really make a great combination. Trying to combine them will significantly add to costs in terms of lift passes (which are very high unless you get an early season pass but there's no pass covering Banff resorts and whistler) and travel. Also less resorts mean more time in each one - its pretty easy to spend your first few days at whistler kind of lost as it is a huge place. As intermediates you may also like a bit more familiarity for confidence. Be aware there are no red runs - greens may be a "proper" piste or just a cat track, blues are usually but not always groomed, blacks are usually not groomed, double blacks range from not much more than a black to extreme terrain.

As said above you don't need a car for Banff although it does give you some extra flexibility. Staying in lake Louise might be nice for a night or two but its very small. Staying in Banff is the best option but does require a bit of a travel out to the ski hills each day. You can hire skis in Banff.

Whistler has lots of activities. Fire an ice show at weekends is fun, you can go down the Olympic bobsleigh track in a 4 man Bob or skeleton, zipwires, couple of museums.
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If you decide to do both places and wanted something very special you could take the rocky mountaineer train between Vancouver and Banff. Not cheap!
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I've been four times to Banff and never hired a car. Not interested in faffing, driving while I can hardly stay awake due to time difference, driving in blizzard, parking in icy car park etc etc. Maybe I am missing something but for skiing the busses are good for me. True they have a timetable which one should stick to (and I think LL coming back it is once an hour) but actually that forces me to get off the hill before I am too tired which is probably a good idea.

I did one flight BA Vancouver-London after the Calgary return was expensive, and it was fine for me.
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Hire a car and drive between the two? It's twelve hours odd, but saves repeating the Sea to Sky and the Calgary leg. Turn away from Vancouver out of Whistler and soon you're in another (very remote) world - the real Canada? The reservations are an eye opener. Gives you the opportunity to call in at Revelstoke and Kicking Horse.
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So much info - thanks so much all!

@radar Had a look at the Elk, like that. I'll also have a look at ski independence - I'd assumed that DIY would be the best way, but if nice people can get us deals...

Think all of this tells me - don't bother with a car (good, I'm a bad passenger), and stay in Banff to visit other resorts (again good, it looks like a fun town!) And @Orange200, good point well made about getting off the hill before it all goes wrong... we're not strong enough skiers to go all day, but it's always so tempting...

We have a bit over over two weeks - fly on a thursday, then I thought stay in Vancouver til Sunday, spend 5 days in Whistler, fly to Calgary over the next weekend, 5 days in Banff, Calgary (or back to Vancouver) for flights home (depending on which we can get reward flights for).

@boarder Valuable advice - the thinking on a 'two centre' trip was that if the weather in Whistler is shoddy (have heard it can suffer from its ocean climate) and we end up doing more things other than skiing, we'd have another crack in land. We're also the kind of folk who do like to keep moving on a trip (I'm not that good at the whole relaxing thing!). 5 or 6 days is what we'd usually have in a European resort - is it very different in terms of finding our feet on the mountain?

I've been trying to get my head round the piste grading so your precis is really useful; realistically, we'll probably be on the greens and blues most of the time if the black diamonds are ungroomed and more difficult than a standard red in a European resort (we're not great skiers, we just love being out doing it). So I guess we'll be somewhat limited in how much we can get around anyway - in this case, is 5 days in Whistler about right?

Very unfortunately the Rocky Mountaineer doesn't run in winter, it was on our list, we love a train! Have happy memories of training across Europe to see the ski jumping/learn to ski in Zakopane 4 years ago. Very Happy
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OK here is my trip report from 3 years ago where I tried to be as helpful as possible

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2874473

And here is one from TommyJ

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2887045

Two weeks, eh? That's not so much time for lower intermediate skiers to spread across two huge resorts. In which case, for a honeymoon, I would propose something different, based on the above advice. Fly into Vancouver, spend a few days there (no skiing) as it's a nice city, then hire a one-way car and drive through the "real" Canada to Banff - slowly, maybe over 3 days, enjoying the scenery and wilderness, not rushing to get to destination. Then spend the rest of the time skiing in Sunshine/Louise. Make the most of the lessons there, the instructors are excellent - either group lessons, or get up early and get the cheap private lessons at 8.30am at LL.

Then you'll have three well-balanced parts to the honeymoon - the city break, the wilderness drive, the skiing. And I will dare to say don't bother looking at Calgary in that time Very Happy Modern oil city, you won't miss much.

Final point - wrap up WARM for Canada in January. -20C is well known!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I would have a car in banff if possible. Bus time schedule not as often as needed imho, plus I have seem busses fill up and u have to wait for another. Not sure if the next one is right behind or the next scheduled. It's cold in the am just standing around waiting for next bus. Otherwise banff is lovely and scenery spectacular for your entire planned trip.
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I would have a car in banff if possible. Bus time schedule not as often as needed imho, plus I have seem busses fill up and u have to wait for another. Not sure if the next one is right behind or the next scheduled. It's cold in the am just standing around waiting for next bus. Otherwise banff is lovely and scenery spectacular for your entire planned trip.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I had a perfectly great experience with ski bus in Banff. We stayed in the Caribou Lodge hotel that was the first stop on the bus route so maybe that's why, and there was coffee in the lobby to heat you up on the journey. Not sure it is a honeymoon type of place but it was perfectly good for my husband and I (pool and hottub and car rental in the hotel and a decent bar that served food), we also walked to downtown but the -25 windchill temps in March were bitter!

I'd have loved to stay in Fairmont LL for at least one or two nights during the trip (looked it up on hotels.com when we were in visiting and it wasn't actually too bad). We also preferred the ski area there so it would have suited well.

Orange200's links are great and provided good detail for me.

Agree on Calgary - nothing to see in winter.
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The ski buses worked really well in Banff Avenue to get to Sunshine and Lake Louise liftbases, no parking/driving hassles. But we did hire a car in Banff for a few days to get to places you couldn't by bus. We did:

1. Skating on frozen Lake Louise (there is a walk along the Lake with option of horse-drawn sleigh rides too)
2. Hiked up to see the frozen waterfalls in Johnston Canyon (take spiked soles or rent in Banff)
3. Drove to Kicking Horse
4. Snowshoed (rent in Banff) out into the middle of a frozen Bow Lake (strange experience with no-one about!)
5. Drove up the Icefields Parkway to the Peyto Lake overlook.
6. Had a go at cross-country skiing at Emerald Lake in Yoho NP (rent equipment at shop there), etc.

You have the place practically to yourself as soon as you leave the beaten track of Banff, Sunshine & LL and the Trans-Canadian Highway.

There are quite a few trips with organised transport out of Banff that might be worth considering, like daytrips to Panorama & Kicking Horse ski resorts, snowmobiling and husky sledding, that might make a break from the skiing. There's night-skiing on Mt Norquay.

I'd be tempted to do the entire 2 weeks in the Rockies based in Banff. Use all that cash you would have spent on flights & car hire and get a nice hotel on Banff Ave, near to the action (shops, restaurants, nightlife) and intersperse your skiing with various days out doing the unique experiences listed above. Rent a car for a few days from Banff to do the things that don't have organised transport and feel the emptiness of the Canadian wilderness, it will blow your mind! The scenery in the Banff, Yoho & Kootenay NPs is spectacularly awesome.

A good itinerary would be:

Fly to Calgary, get a transfer to Banff. Stay in a nice BB hotel on Banff Ave near all the restaurants.
Days 1-6 Get the Tri-area pass alternating between skiing Sunshine & L Louise using the ski-buses. Ski your legs off.
Days 7-10 Take a break from skiing, rent the car in Banff and do some day-trips out & about. One evening do Mt Norquay night-ski perhaps.
Days 11-12 Do the organised daytrips to ski KH & Panorama Resorts, take your skis back if you rented.
Days 13-14 Do a husky sledding day & a snowmobiling day (these are often full-days with BBQ lunch) with transport from Banff.
Transfer back to Calgary. Fly Home

If you're feeling really adventurous and loaded, do the road-trip idea. Open-jaw flights, one-way car hire. Vancouver-Whistler-(Sun Peaks?)-Revelstoke-Kicking Horse-Lake Louise-Banff, but it'll cost you bigtime and will be a lot of hassle all that packing up and moving on, also the worry of road closures due to snow, etc, not really that conducive to enjoyable honeymooning IMHO.

I know you have a deal on flights, but I did a package using BA flights LHR-Calgary. On the flight home I got chatting to another passenger and he had paid similar for just his flights as I had for the package. I had return transfers from Calgary and a room with Breakfast for 11 nights included. So do check out the packages, you might be able to save your flight credits for another trip, maybe do Vancouver & Whistler the following year??

Oh and to avoid the bone-chilling cold, can you put it off til late Feb/Early Mar??
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@ElzP, the busses where fine, if one was full which did happen there was another just up the road waiting to take the extra, which we did a couple of times as the Elk and Mouse are the final pick up point. If your nervous go with the ski friends they will pick the right runs for your ability and give you advice on which others you could do.

Banff / Sunshine ski hosts https://www.skibanff.com/explore/sunshine-snowhosts
Lake Louise https://www.skilouise.com/activities-and-events/free-tours.php

For our trip I used Avios points for flights and Ski Independence did the hotel, transfers and lift passes

This is from Richard Sideways have a look at the (now rather old but still good IMV) Secrets of Banff thread...

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=73089

Oh and if you're looking for a break away from skiing for a day, check out the Discover Banff Tours site.
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Indeed, the busses are always coordinated with assistants standing near the bus stop with radios checking how many seats are left and calling for the next bus as and when necessary.

I lived in Mongolia in the mid-90s for a year, and saw many "Japanese Aid agency funded" busses driving around. Always thought it was a strange thing for an aid agency to buy, until eventually I got talking to someone from the embassy. They'd said the old soviet busses kept breaking down and therefore people were standing around in -20C for ages, and some were dying. It was therefore not a transport project but a public health project. I was impressed.
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Val Desire wrote:
Gives you the opportunity to call in at Revelstoke and Kicking Horse.

Kicking Horse and Revelstoke for blue/red piste skiers? Have you ever been there???
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I've not been to Whistler but I have been to Banff/Lake Louise so I can give a few suggestions there.

Firstly I wouldn't try to drive between Whistler and Banff. For a start its 800km. That's like driving from London to almost the Alps. January can be fairly brutal in terms of weather, so blizzards and hazardous driving or road closures (esp at night) could be expected. If you don't want a head down non-stop drive without enjoying the scenery and journey it would take a few days to do it properly.

Secondly you don't need a car in Banff at all. The buses to the resorts are great. They come on schedule and if they are full another bus is phoned ahead for. They're not like European squeeze on ski-buses, they're coaches, with proper seats and ski racks underneath. The views are so stunning on the journeys. Within Banff most places are walkable and the local bus service is very good for the more distant attractions like the Upper Hot Springs. If you do want a day or two exploring there are car hire places in Banff itself.
I can see the appeal of both centres but there's definitely enough skiing for a couple of weeks for you at Banff. There's also a huge amount of non skiing activities to make a holiday of it like dog sledging, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice skating etc. Your choice is staying in Banff, where there is all the activity, restaurants, bars etc or a quieter stay in Lake Louise village (still a short bus ride from the slopes). In Banff we've stayed at the Banff Park Lodge that was very nice and central, with good quality facilities and the Rundlestone Lodge, which was great but about 20min walk from town. I've heard good things about the new Moose Hotel and Suites in town. In Lake Louise the Deer Lodge is a very romantic quiet lodge, just near the Lake and the Fairmont. Looks lovely, no TVs etc!

Hope this helps a bit, let me know if you want any more Banff advice. As you may tell I'm a bit of an enthusiast!
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I did a two week trip a few years ago around Easter time. Not sure how long you're thinking but it sounds like you're fitting in a lot. We flew BA on dreamliner, no issues. Flew Heathrow to Vancouver, spent 5 days there getting over the jet lag and sight seeing, then flew to Calgary. Got an air porter bus, super easy and no worries about driving. Stayed in Banff at the Aspen lodge, small rooms, great breakfast and open air jacuzzi pools by a fire in central courtyard. Got tri area ski pass and used the ski coaches, comfortable and scenic journeys. Really no need for a car. We did a trip to Johnston canyon for the ice walk and had a great guide, just booked in Banff while in town. Then flew home from Calgary. Booked through American ski classics, who were helpful and good value. I'd personally chose fewer locations but then have more time and money to make the most of them. Oh and congratulations!!
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I found this of some newly-weds having fun at Emerald Lake...another idea perhaps! wink

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Quote:
5 or 6 days is what we'd usually have in a European resort - is it very different in terms of finding our feet on the mountain?


Its not unfair to think of whistler as two mountains (whistler and blackcomb). Generally you only ski one per day - although worth taking the peak2peak lift at some point for the views. So 5 days at each is not unreasonable. Especially if a couple of those are half days as you want to enjoy some other activities too. Also worth noting that everything in bounds is avalanche controlled meaning you can try some off-piste safely - even as an intermediate this opens up a lot of options I.e. cutting into some nicely spaced trees at the side of a piste.

If you wanted to do 10 days at whistler you can get an epic local pass for about £400 which is incredibly good value for north american skiing (a day pass at whistler is about £85 per day if you just walk up in the morning. A 10 day pass for Banff is currently around £600. Depending on how many days you want to do a mountain collective pass may work out better value, but doubt you would beat the epic local pass.

Its true that weather in whistler can sometimes be bad. However, its unlikely to be bad for 10 days straight. Banff can be very cold. I wouldn't be too concerned about weather, there's nothing you can do about it and both have good snow history for January.

Unless you really like driving I wouldn't recommend doing Vancouver to Calgary. Roads can be particularly bad and closures are not uncommon. Also the resorts on the way (revelstoke and kicking horse) are definitely not intermediate friendly. If you want wilderness there is plenty around Banff.

Both options offer great skiing. Trying to combine them both in 2 weeks would be a stretch and significantly up the costs.

Whistler pros:
Cheaper lift pass
No bus journeys to and from resort each day
Lots going on in village

Banff pros:
Quieter resorts
Better nature/scenery (although you might need a rental car to get there).
More "Canadian".
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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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carettam wrote:
I did a two week trip a few years ago around Easter time. Not sure how long you're thinking but it sounds like you're fitting in a lot. We flew BA on dreamliner, no issues. Flew Heathrow to Vancouver, spent 5 days there getting over the jet lag and sight seeing, then flew to Calgary. Got an air porter bus, super easy and no worries about driving. Stayed in Banff at the Aspen lodge, small rooms, great breakfast and open air jacuzzi pools by a fire in central courtyard. Got tri area ski pass and used the ski coaches, comfortable and scenic journeys. Really no need for a car. We did a trip to Johnston canyon for the ice walk and had a great guide, just booked in Banff while in town. Then flew home from Calgary. Booked through American ski classics, who were helpful and good value. I'd personally chose fewer locations but then have more time and money to make the most of them. Oh and congratulations!!


just out of interest (genuinely curious) are there 5 days worth of sights to see in Vancouver in the winter?
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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
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
Easter is not “winter” in Vancouver.

But February, when the OP is going, would be more “winter” like.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 9-02-18 2:17; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:
just out of interest (genuinely curious) are there 5 days worth of sights to see in Vancouver in the winter?


I guess it depends on your interests, but I would say not really. Stanley park is pretty wet and miserable, same for seawall and bays/beaches which I imagine would all be fantastic in summer. I never really got Granville island but the market is indoor and runs all year. Aquarium is good and if you do all the talks/shows can take the best part of a day. Anthropology museum was not particularly memorable, supposedly science museum is better. As far as I know there are no whale watching tours during winter. Ice hockey game is kind of a must do as its the national sport. There are quite a few breweries that do tasting. Fly over Canada simulation ride thing is fun. Its a good place to pick up some ski/snowboard equipment though as there are some good shops and outlets selling off last seasons stuff cheap.
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abc wrote:
Easter is not “winter” in Vancouver.



Technically no, but... Madeye-Smiley
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
luigi wrote:
I found this of some newly-weds having fun at Emerald Lake...another idea perhaps! wink



Shocked That bird must be chuffing freezing! I'd have to take a less glamorous approach...

OK, wow, now my head is properly spinning. You are all amazing with your tips!

A very good point above is - jet lag. I hadn't factored that in at all, and should probably consider a more restful time. And with the descriptions of the mountains/things to do, y'all probably right - a one stop trip may be better.

Problem is now - we fly into Vancouver for sure, so Whistler seems like the easiest one to go for. But having read about all the amazing things in Banff (ice canyons, hot springs, funky pioneer town) it seems a more fun place to be for a couple of weeks. Someone tell me that Whistler is also fun and there are other entertainments - I notice there are snow shoe trails near Vancouver, and Grouse Mountain has a skating rink, a bit of skiing etc... I'm wondering if maybe we could spend a day or two learning cross country or telemark? It seems a bit daft to be in Vancouver and not go to the top billed resort in Canada, plus my other half has wanted to go to Whistler since we started skiing so I doubt I'll get out of that. Hmm, maybe a stop at a place up the sea to sky highway - there's a place called Furry Creek on the map, sounds very honeymooney... Laughing

No danger of us heading to Kicking Horse, feel it would be a bit wasted on us!! Embarassed

Dammit, I want Banff (we'll have to go back clearly!)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just spotted eagle watching at Squamish - anyone ever done that? Sounds like twitching fun?
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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?
I like Banff. But I also like Whistler. There's only one way to sort this out!!!

Fight fight fight

However you do it I suspect you'll be going back to Canada at some point
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TommyJ wrote:
There's only one way to sort this out!!!

Fight fight fight


Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
stuarth wrote:
abc wrote:
Easter is not “winter” in Vancouver.



Technically no, but... Madeye-Smiley

Technically or practically. (granted, some may say Vancouver doesn't really have a true winter anyway, whatever part of the year Toofy Grin )

But the difference is significant. There're a lot of pleasant things one can do in Vancouver in Easter that wouldn't be too pleasant in Jan/Feb

I often wonder if people read before they post. The OP clearly stated he's going in "the winter"! (and are blue/red skiers, many recommendation completely missed the mark entirely). All we need is some recommendation for some nuke beaches for a day! Shocked
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Quote:

Problem is now - we fly into Vancouver for sure

But why? I would have thought that's because you want to ski at Whistler. If that's NOT the intent, why Vancouver?

Quote:

It seems a bit daft to be in Vancouver and not go to the top billed resort in Canada

I'm not convinced Whistler is all that great for the less advanced skiers. So much of its best terrain are for upper-intermediate or above only.

Banff has more diverse ski ability, and a lot more other things to do -- all winter activities. Plus, the scenery around Banff is just so much more spectacular than Whistler (mind you, Whistler pretty good scenery too)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
abc wrote:
Quote:

Problem is now - we fly into Vancouver for sure

But why? I would have thought that's because you want to ski at Whistler. If that's NOT the intent, why Vancouver?


Because we have booked the flight; we haven't booked the return leg yet.

The original point of my post was to get advice on doing both whistler and banff - replies make me think stick to one, and since we fly to Vancouver whistler seems like the easiest option. I'm still largely confused about the piste grading - looks like there's plenty of green and blue in whistler, and even black that we could work towards with more lessons - but maybe I'm wrong?

Don't get me wrong, Banff sounds spectacular, but advice on here seems to be stick to one and find other fun things to do as well as skiing? Puzzled
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
abc wrote:
stuarth wrote:
abc wrote:
Easter is not “winter” in Vancouver.



Technically no, but... Madeye-Smiley

Technically or practically. (granted, some may say Vancouver doesn't really have a true winter anyway, whatever part of the year Toofy Grin )



I often wonder if people read before they post. :


Likewise - look slightly to the left of my post to the location (ie where I live!) rolling eyes

There is not a whole lot of guaranteed difference between the weather in February and the weather in April. Today it is a bit chillier and less wet, but the last few days it has been 12C and wet - quite often colder and wetter in April, or it could be 20C and sunny,. But if I was flying 6000 miles I wouldn't rely on it. Summer is a whole other matter...
There is a good reason why it's lush and green here, a rainforest in fact, and whistler has a ton of snow from November to May.
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ElzP wrote:
Just spotted eagle watching at Squamish - anyone ever done that? Sounds like twitching fun?
Brackendale is the place to go. The Salmon die by the river there, and the eagles rock up to chew on their bits and pieces. You just park on the highway and walk over from what I remember - easy enough to do and plenty of eagles. If you're into sight seeing then the Chief is worth a luck and there's a waterfall there somewhere, although in winter I'm not sure what happens with that.

Whistler is great for less advanced people, I'd say. It's a designed place, so there's nowhere on piste you can't sensibly ride as a novice. There's lots of off-piste stuff, but that's where the more advanced people are going to be... and they do have a lot of speed controlled/ family zones.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
ElzP wrote:
abc wrote:
Quote:

Problem is now - we fly into Vancouver for sure

But why? I would have thought that's because you want to ski at Whistler. If that's NOT the intent, why Vancouver?


Because we have booked the flight; we haven't booked the return leg yet.

The original point of my post was to get advice on doing both whistler and banff - replies make me think stick to one, and since we fly to Vancouver whistler seems like the easiest option. I'm still largely confused about the piste grading - looks like there's plenty of green and blue in whistler, and even black that we could work towards with more lessons - but maybe I'm wrong?

Don't get me wrong, Banff sounds spectacular, but advice on here seems to be stick to one and find other fun things to do as well as skiing? Puzzled


Putting aside whether sight-seeing in Vancouver is a good idea, skiing in Whistler is a great idea. I like Banff, and it is very pretty, but imho the skiing in Whistler is better. Mostly you can do the same sort of touristy things around Whistler as you can at Banff. No hot springs, but do have the Scandanave Spa (not been there, but looks relaxing!)
Piste grading at Whistler is slightly on the harder end of the scale, particularly as you push up to blacks and double blacks. grading is green->blue->black->double-black->(triple black - mostly unofficial and not marked). All lifts have a green way down, which is great if you don't all want to go the same way.
Main thing is you can ski anywhere inbounds that's not closed and it is controlled and patrolled - though you still have to take care. This means you can dabble with a bit of off-piste if you want.


Biking/hiking/etc in Squamish in the summer is great, but only really drive through in the winter. Occasionally see eagles but no more so than at home, so no idea if that's a good thing to go and do Smile
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