Skiing at Sunshine Village
The Banff National Park is unique in that it restricts development and there are no sprawling condominiums at the base of any of the 3 Banff area ski resorts. It is almost a throw-back to an earlier time when skiing was less commercialized. The only ski-in/ski-out accommodation is at the recently renovated 84-room Sunshine Inn, located in the main village of the Sunshine Village Resort at an altiude of 7082 feet. Ski Canada has referred to the Sunshine Inn as “the best rooms with a view in Canada!”.
Plenty of snow….
For those with an appetite Sunshine Village offers a variety of culinary options: the Creekside Bar & Grill is located the gondola base. The Deli, Alpine Grill and the Lookout Bistro are all located in the Day Lodge in Sunshine Village. The Java Loft Coffee Bar and Chimney Corner Lounge are located in the Sunshine Inn while the Mad Trapper’s Saloon can be found in the Old Sunshine Lodge. Goat’s Eye Gardens is located right next to the Goat’s Eye Express and offers cafeteria style food.
Getting ready to go up to Goat’s Eye Mountain
An interesting feature of this resort is that it offers a SnowHost program, an absolute free program for visitors, that are welcomed by a team of frontline ambassadors for Sunshine village, all dressed in yellow and black outfits. Every day at noon the SnowHosts take skiers / riders out on tours using blue runs and show them how to access this monstruous ski area.
Amazing mountain scenery on the drive back (Mt. Rundle)
We spent most of the afternoon in the Lookout Mountain (top elevation: 8954 feet or 2730 m) and Mt. Standish areas, going up the Angel Express and the Wawa Quad Chair. There are many blue and green runs available in this area which was helpful on this challenging day. After a rest in the Goat’s Eye Gardens cafeteria and a sinfully filling portion of poutine, a truly Canadian culinary treat that combines French fries with curds and gravy, we felt strong enough to tackle Goat’s Eye Mountain which offers mainly single and double black diamond runs. By that time it was about 3:30 and after getting safely down the mountain we decided to make our way down to the Gondola Base. We skied down a picturesque green run called Banff Avenue all the way to our car, surrounded by peacefulness in the forest.
With scenery like this it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road…
Mt. Rundle in all its glory
Turn-off at the Banff exit