If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before and you’ve picked Lake Louise ski resort in Banff National Park as your first choice then first things first, don’t panic, it’s all going to be ok.
Although Lake Lou does have something of a reputation as an upper-intermediate and advanced playground there are still plenty of options for beginners with ski schools and nursery zones to help you get things off the ground – not literally, hopefully.
So if you’re thinking that perhaps you could have chosen a resort that’s less flair and more flat just think again as the list below goes to show, there’s plenty to get excited about so let’s hit the slopes!
Take your Time
Patience and a try, try again attitude are the keys to a successful ski trip no matter where you’re heading and the slopes of Lake Lou are absolutely no different. Choosing the right gear and the correct gradient are both essential for beginners so make sure you get some pro advice and take some lessons prior to heading out on your own. The Minute Maid area is Lake Louise’s newbie central and once you progress from nursery to piste then head for the Grizzly Gondola and follow the green markings which denote the runs best suited to those starting out.
Practise Makes Perfect
Here we go and now you’ve taken your regular morning lesson or you just feel slightly more confident then it’s time to stop! That’s right, best advice is always to practise your snowplough and your parallel turns prior to taking on anything more challenging in terms of gradient. There’s nothing worse than a novice careering down an unsuitable run when they’re completely out of control as from dangering yourself or someone else, make sure you get your ski style safe before you tackle anything else.
Rest and Recuperate
All those days spent sucking up the clean and clear mountain air can be pretty darn tiring and if your legs are starting to feel the strain after a couple of days on the slopes then why not take a break? There are loads of lodges, cafés and restaurants around the base area which offer all manner of tempting treat from where to rest your weary bones and once you’re feeling all warm and cosy then just go for a stroll without your skis and your aches and pains will soon start to wear off.
What goes up…
There’s more than one way to ascend a mountain slope and as this lovely lake area boasts a nine lift system you’ll quickly find which is the best for you. However, you don’t have to think that if you’re taking a gondola to the summit that you have to ski down, far from it. A scenic gondola ride is an excellent means of relaxing and resting in between time on the piste and if you’re looking for a bounty of breathtaking scenery both en-route and from the top then this is definitely a great option if you’re a newbie wishing to see the sights.
Of course, Lake Louise in the winter isn’t just about skiing and snowboarding and you’ll find all manner of alternative action on and off the slopes to help you while your time away. The Sunny Park, in particular, is a must for youngsters and oldies alike and if you’ve never tried spinning down a snowy slope on a inflated tube before then there’s no time like the present. Snowshoe shuffling, cross-country ski trails and free heritage tours in and around the mountain are all great fun and provide an excellent break from skiing so you can either get your breath back and try something new.
Go for it!
Ok, so you’ve had your lessons and you’ve fine tuned your new found craft. Green runs have been tackled to great success and you’ve purveyed the surrounding area via a scenic gondola ride to the summit, what’s next? You’ve guessed it – go for it! Lake Louise has almost 140 recognised runs and no fewer than 3 terrain parks for snowboarders so if you’ve got what it takes to keep your head and enjoy the ride then it’s all up to you to see how far you’re willing to go.
Chris is a ski lover and can’t wait to get onto the slopes of Banff before it’s too late.