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Travel to Canada

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So, I booked flights to Vancouver again.

Same dates but Economy this time so "only" £450 (although I still thought Premium Economy for only £250 more, of which it effectively includes £100 more of checked luggage sounded much better value)

Just looked up flights again and outbound flight in PE has gone up £550 overnight. I guess I definitely should have booked that then!

Will see if this booking makes it past the 24 hour cancellation window Eh oh!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Skiing Lake Louise and Sunshine 1st two weeks of April??
Anyone been this late in the season and what should we expect. Just may need to postpone from 25th January
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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?
Snowsartre wrote:
@lynnecha, I was not aware of 4, test before leaving (is that a Canadian requirement?) as UK no longer requires this.


The post was in December, prior to the rule change Very Happy
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We've been the beginning and Mid March - temps quite warm, although some fresh snow too - however Lake Louise is south facing, so if warm/ sunny it'll be soft, with plenty of snow melt. This translates to icy slopes at times first thing.

Friends always went Easter, so have been in April, not dedicated skiers really, so enjoyed the relaxing days, ice to slush and long lunches - possibly walking around town in t shirts, maybe even shorts Madeye-Smiley

January can be brutal with winds and v. cold temps even down to -30 or -40 - you pays your money and takes your chances.

either way I'm sure you'll have agreat time, as Banff is a beautiful area.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Cheers Bones.
Was in Banff January 2020 before all the anguish started and it was great as it was our first time. Ski'd Whistler 2014 that's the only time in the Rockies and TBH after our time in Banff and surrounding area we stated we could ski here for the rest of ours days.

Just never Ski'd in April over there.
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lynnecha wrote:
Snowsartre wrote:
@lynnecha, I was not aware of 4, test before leaving (is that a Canadian requirement?) as UK no longer requires this.


The post was in December, prior to the rule change Very Happy


We were in Banff beginning of April 2011 and the snow was absolutely amazing. We had more powder days than I can remember and I have been there at least 10 times but never in April. Obviously, Global warming has changed things a bit since then but I think you will be fine. Both Sunshine and Lake Louise are reallly high and snow sure as much as can be really.

You may get softer snow, rather than early season cold smoke blower pow, but they tend to get a lot of snowfall in April.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Slightly tangential, but as I am the OP, I think permissible.

Given the missed season and a bit, I am pricing taking the family to Whistler at February half-term,2023. I am staggered by the ski hire prices (lift tickets too but am getting used to that!). Flights and accommodation surprisingly good value, but the ski hire and passes are pushing costs well into 5 figures which is exercising my parsimonious monkey!

Does anyone have any recommendations for more affordable equipment hire and/ or lift tickets - family of five kids will be 18, 14 and 11 then?

(The alternative is two bells and whistles trips to Europe which is also very appealing Smile )
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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!
@lynnecha, Phew! Thanks. Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
RoamingBull wrote:
Skiing Lake Louise and Sunshine 1st two weeks of April??
Anyone been this late in the season and what should we expect. Just may need to postpone from 25th January


We've been as late as the last week of April and flew back 8th May - we usually go once or twice every year (pre pandemic). Every year is different. It feels like March is a snowy month - just our experience, but warms up very quickly as you get into April. Even if it does, icy mornings, slushy afternoons - just ski from 10 to 3 and don't have lunch. It's wonderful whenever. Sunshine will keep its snow better than LL - but we would jump at the opportunity to ski early April. Just go with no expectations and adjust to the conditions. We've been there when people are skiing in bikini tops and shorts - still had a wonderful time. (we've also been there in minus 30, which was a bit challenging logistically......)
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Just got caught out with lift pass..friends did not tell us to book months ago..instead of paying for a season pass in early December I have now had to buy two passes to cover me fir 11 days skiing..$1850 as opposed to $1152 which was flexible..but heyho
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
yorkshirelad wrote:
Just got caught out with lift pass..friends did not tell us to book months ago..instead of paying for a season pass in early December I have now had to buy two passes to cover me fir 11 days skiing..$1850 as opposed to $1152 which was flexible..but heyho

purchased our season passes at £378 pp in October
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
colian wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
Just got caught out with lift pass..friends did not tell us to book months ago..instead of paying for a season pass in early December I have now had to buy two passes to cover me fir 11 days skiing..$1850 as opposed to $1152 which was flexible..but heyho

purchased our season passes at £378 pp in October


Is there any restriction on who can buy a season pass? ie non-doms fine?
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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
Snowsartre wrote:
colian wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
Just got caught out with lift pass..friends did not tell us to book months ago..instead of paying for a season pass in early December I have now had to buy two passes to cover me fir 11 days skiing..$1850 as opposed to $1152 which was flexible..but heyho

purchased our season passes at £378 pp in October


Is there any restriction on who can buy a season pass? ie non-doms fine?


Anyone can buy a season pass, but only while they're on sale. The stop selling some point in December - VR want to get their money off you early doors
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Saintsman, That's incredible value (in comparison) I have been quoted the below for a 7 Days lift pass:-

Adult £832.57

Youth (13-eighteen) £708.57

Child (7-12) £419.24
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yeah, it is "epic" value. My full EPIC pass (I'm there for 6 weeks, so easily the best option) came in a touch under £600 p/p. That also gives a whole bunch of other discounts - 20% off on mountain food, 20% discount on lessons, rentals etc.

The whole Vail model is about getting you to buy the full season early, then hope they can get you to other resorts they run in the season so they can maximise their other sales.

WB used to offer some much better value 7-14 day passes, but Vail put a stop to that pretty quickly - the only real hangover from the pre-Vail days is local residents tickets but someone like Stuarth probably knows more about that
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
RoamingBull wrote:
Skiing Lake Louise and Sunshine 1st two weeks of April??
Anyone been this late in the season and what should we expect. Just may need to postpone from 25th January


Not sure what kind of lift passes you already have and if they are refundable. But by that time of year the spring passes are out that work out around $500 for unlimited skiing at 1 resort (so $1000 for both). Might be worth considering.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
10 and five day local passes still available to bc residents only , but if skiing more than 10 days epic passes are a no brainier ,whistler only epic pass is best option for people not likely to ski other resorts as loads of discounts and also if whistler closes chance to get full / partial refund which is not the case if on full epic pass
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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?
RoamingBull wrote:
Skiing Lake Louise and Sunshine 1st two weeks of April??
Anyone been this late in the season and what should we expect. Just may need to postpone from 25th January


I haven’t been that late as only been once, I went 24th Feb to 9th Mar 2020 and that was still pretty cold. -17 C on the Great Divide lift a few of the days. I’m going a bit later this time (well, if I do go). Apparently the most snow falls in the month of March.
I think although April will be warmer I don’t think it gets as warm as the Alps can be in April which personally I avoid as I’m not keen on skiing in warm weather.
I guess like anywhere though things can change from year to year. Not sure what to expect early to mid March myself as I’d only been the once? Don’t know if it was colder/snowier than usual or what last time but it was bloody great!
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VolklAttivaS5, First time in Banff for us was beginning of March Smile Walking about town without coats - spring skiing conditions, and they do get plenty of fresh stuff. It wont be quite as dry and powdery though.

Last time for you was typical for that time of year really, as we were there Madeye-Smiley
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5, First time in Banff for us was beginning of March Smile Walking about town without coats - spring skiing conditions, and they do get plenty of fresh stuff. It wont be quite as dry and powdery though.

Last time for you was typical for that time of year really, as we were there Madeye-Smiley


Hmmm. Might go 24th ish of Feb again then as it was ace. Daily powder days. With that said those -17 C days were enough for me I don’t think I’d want it any colder than that.
How come Canadian chair lifts don’t have covers on them? Only Teepee Express does at Sunshine I think.
I’d skied in Austria a lot so almost all of them have covers on them you have a job to find one without so it was a bit weird not having them in Canada when it’s way colder.
The powder skiing was still worth it mind!
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Dabber wrote:
10 and five day local passes still available to bc residents only , but if skiing more than 10 days epic passes are a no brainier ,whistler only epic pass is best option for people not likely to ski other resorts as loads of discounts and also if whistler closes chance to get full / partial refund which is not the case if on full epic pass


They stopped selling epic passes for this season a while ago.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Bones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5, First time in Banff for us was beginning of March Smile Walking about town without coats - spring skiing conditions, and they do get plenty of fresh stuff. It wont be quite as dry and powdery though.

Last time for you was typical for that time of year really, as we were there Madeye-Smiley


Hmmm. Might go 24th ish of Feb again then as it was ace. Daily powder days. With that said those -17 C days were enough for me I don’t think I’d want it any colder than that.
How come Canadian chair lifts don’t have covers on them? Only Teepee Express does at Sunshine I think.
I’d skied in Austria a lot so almost all of them have covers on them you have a job to find one without so it was a bit weird not having them in Canada when it’s way colder.
The powder skiing was still worth it mind!


Canucks are 'ard Toofy Grin Never spoken to a Canadian who's complained about the cold - they just accept it and dress accordingly I suppose.

Mostly used to adverse weather, costs, often dont bother with the bar - possibly many reasons - tbh I dont really feel the cold much, so havent given it much thought, and certainly wouldnt use them.
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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!
My sister went in Whistler and bought an Epic Pass (when she hasn't to get an Edge one)

She's not planning on going back this season, but I'm now hoping to go. What are the chances of us getting it transferred from her name to mine? Slim to none In assuming?!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Absolutely zero
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
jebroni3_16, Not a chance as Saintsman, says.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Bones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5, First time in Banff for us was beginning of March Smile Walking about town without coats - spring skiing conditions, and they do get plenty of fresh stuff. It wont be quite as dry and powdery though.

Last time for you was typical for that time of year really, as we were there Madeye-Smiley


Hmmm. Might go 24th ish of Feb again then as it was ace. Daily powder days. With that said those -17 C days were enough for me I don’t think I’d want it any colder than that.
How come Canadian chair lifts don’t have covers on them? Only Teepee Express does at Sunshine I think.
I’d skied in Austria a lot so almost all of them have covers on them you have a job to find one without so it was a bit weird not having them in Canada when it’s way colder.
The powder skiing was still worth it mind!


Canucks are 'ard Toofy Grin Never spoken to a Canadian who's complained about the cold - they just accept it and dress accordingly I suppose.

Mostly used to adverse weather, costs, often dont bother with the bar - possibly many reasons - tbh I dont really feel the cold much, so havent given it much thought, and certainly wouldnt use them.


It’s what they get used to I guess. We are used to rain in Britain that’s for sure! I certainly had plenty of layers on, more than I’d usually wear in the Alps but it’s true it’s a drier cold there. I think it might have been more the wind chill for a couple of the days it makes all the difference, the wind.
I never wear a balaclava in the Alps but I had that on in Banff Laughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Bones, @VolklAttivaS5,
I know plenty who moan about the cold, but they are not the ones skiing when its minus 25.
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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
gryphea wrote:
@Bones, @VolklAttivaS5,
I know plenty who moan about the cold, but they are not the ones skiing when its minus 25.


I've skied in -25 and it wasn't much fun. Wear enough layers and you won't be cold. The problem is any exposed skin gets frost nip pretty quick and I personally find if I cover my face with some kind of balaclava my mask gets steamed up. Friend I was with got cold toes. So it was pretty much 1 lap - some of that with hand covering face, then lodge for 15mins to warm up and repeat. Plus as said earlier in this thread at those temperatures they close the chairs so depending what resort your at their may not be much choice of where to ski.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
boarder2020 wrote:
gryphea wrote:
@Bones, @VolklAttivaS5,
I know plenty who moan about the cold, but they are not the ones skiing when its minus 25.


I've skied in -25 and it wasn't much fun. Wear enough layers and you won't be cold. The problem is any exposed skin gets frost nip pretty quick and I personally find if I cover my face with some kind of balaclava my mask gets steamed up. Friend I was with got cold toes. So it was pretty much 1 lap - some of that with hand covering face, then lodge for 15mins to warm up and repeat. Plus as said earlier in this thread at those temperatures they close the chairs so depending what resort your at their may not be much choice of where to ski.


+1 to not much fun!
I was skiing in -25 conditions last week (-39 with windchill - brrr!!!). Mostly I was standing around watching a freeride comp for 3 days to make it feel even colder. Apart from that my day went along the lines of go up, ski down to a coffee shop, stay there until going to the comp.
I had my giant thick down jacket on, I find keeping my body really warm, helps keep my feet warm too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@stuarth, I’m glad it’s not just me then! Last time I was thinking the snow was just fantastic but I wouldn’t want to be there in the darker colder months of Dec or Jan, late Feb was enough for me. I didn’t have to go inside anywhere for a warm up I could keep going so I guess I’d got to my ideal limit, like you say when it gets to -20, -25 and lower it’s getting into uncomfortable territory. I remember being in Tignes once and it was unusually cold for there, -21 at the base and it doesn’t take long before it feels like you should really be indoors.

In Sunshine I had some of those USB hand warmers, ‘Hot Rox’ and I set one of them going inside my down puffa jacket chest pocket inside my shell Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I think I’m probably going to book a new flight using the Thurs out Sun back or Mon out Wed back method and go because I can’t not, it looks too good not to go this year Toofy Grin

I’d booked the Caribou Lodge originally but that’s showing as expensive for different dates to my original ones, the Rundlestone Lodge is next door though so that will be alright won’t it?
They are all very similar aren’t they because the same company owns pretty much all the main hotels in Banff?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
VolklAttivaS5, Very nice they shouldnt be too much between them - friends always used the Caribou too.Dont blame you for going - we would too however now unable to go this season Sad

There may be a Wed to Sat flight too - we did this last time, with KLM via Schipol - which is easy for us. Local airport 15 mins away and short hop to Schipol. Arrival in Calgary is around 13.30 so quick drive to Canmore saw us there around 3pm. KLM has always been much better flights than AC for us.
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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?
@Bones, yes depending on the dates chosen I’ve got the options of Rundlestone for 16 nights or Irwin’s for 17 nights. Both have onsite laundry, Irwin’s is closer to town.
I will check out the KLM possibility thanks.
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VolklAttivaS5, Oooooh posh, on site laundry Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5, Oooooh posh, on site laundry Toofy Grin Toofy Grin


Definitely worth it, last time I took it from the Ptarmingan (doesn’t have coin op laundry but I thought it did when I booked it) to the launderette within the shopping centre. The launderette was very good but it’s a lot easier if you can do it in the basement of your hotel. No walking into town with washing for starters!
The Caribou has coin op laundry as well.
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@VolklAttivaS5, take a look at the options via skiBig3 as they discount the lift pass when bought with accommodation and you can also book any equipment and calgary bus transfers. I booked for Canalta lodge which is almost at the end of Banff Avenue its about a 15 min walk into town and i think you need to walk about 200 to the Caribou to get the shuttle buses. Ive stayed at Inns of Banff before with my kids when they were young and it wasn't a problem being at the end of town its kind of good to walk off the stiffness after a day on the hill, plus my son has way longer legs than me now he's 23!.

Breakfast is included and they have coin laundry and workbench in ski locker for waxing. I booked a 2 queen room and afterwards i contacted them direct and upgraded to have balcony (to help my head during initial isolation period). They included the caribou and most hotels in that group. The Red Carpet and Irwins were rocking in about $110 per night.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Getting a bit frustrated here, my NHS PCR result has still not arrived, I've been assured the result will dated on the date and time I took the test but I'm more nervous of an invalid result, I'm sure it will be positive as I have been on all lateral flow tests I've taken since testing positive last week.

The only thing I can think of is that the service has been inundated with PCR test samples since New Year.

The good news is, I've got next to no symptoms now.
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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!
I love the Caribou, but its the only place I've ever stayed in in Banff.
The last time I ended up there by accident, the plan was to drive on through to Kicking Horse but the snow came down and there was 30cm on top of the car while we got some groceries in Canmore.
We struggled and limped into Banff. We knew we would not be able to go on in the conditions.
We were both familiar with The Caribou, so we pulled up in the street at the side and went in hoping against hope that they could put us up.
"No problem"
They gave us a very good deal on a small room and did not take advantage of our situation of having to make an on the spot booking.
They even dug the car out of the drift that had now surrounded it so we could get into the warm underground garage.
Brilliant buffet breakfast too Very Happy
Plus the beer was very good as well Toofy Grin
No I dont work for Caribou, but a lot of the staff seem to be pretty familiar with Hemel Fridge Puzzled
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Weather in April; I use jet lag to be on the mountain at LL at 8.30am then leave on the 3.30(?) bus as the snow is soggy. Sunshine is a bit better.

Hotels; I was content with Irwin’s for some years but last time was at Red Carpet I think and it was definitely a cleaner interior, Irwin’s was looking tired. Both are well placed for a walk into town IMHO, especially when cold or with children.
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I've been to the Caribou's Keg Steakhouse a few times but never stayed at the hotel itself.
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