Banff/Lake Louise Ski Trip - January 17-24, 2000
These pictures were taken with my Sony Mavica FD-7 digital camera on a
ski trip to Banff National Park from January 17 through 24, 2000.
All images are 24-bit JPEGs and should be viewed on a 24-bit display.
Quality is likely to be very poor when viewed on an 8-bit display.
There are nearly 200 pictures, so they're broken up into categories.
Trip participants were me, Rick Kline, and Mike and Jen Gousie. This
is another of those "tell the story of the trip with the pictures" web
pages, and yes, there are pictures of road signs. If you don't like
insignificant details, you came to the wrong place. I include them
mainly for my own benefit, but some might find them interesting.
In addition to the purely digital pictures, Mike's cameras took plenty
of traditional photos, some of which are very nice and have been
scanned. The ones which are odd sizes and which look nicer (better
color) are probably from Mike's camera.
Monday, January 17
Rick and I started in Troy, while Mike and Jen started in Plainville.
So early in the morning, I headed over to Rick's to pick him up and we
went off to the Albany International Airport. When checking in, Rick
discovered that he forgot his birth certificate, which you need to get
into Canada and back. We were early enough that he was able to call a
roommate, and he got the certificate in time to join me on the flight to
We met up with Mike and Jen at O'Hare, and the four of us were on the
same flight to Calgary. We were delayed a bit in Chicago, so our
arrival into Calgary was a little later than scheduled. We passed
through Canadian customs, picked up our bags, and got our rental car.
It was a big Chevy Tahoe, which by a little later in the trip would
become known as "Canyonero".
The trip from Calgary to our lodge in Harvie Heights took about an
hour and a half. We went through the northern part of Calgary, then
up Trans Canada 1 to the last exit before Banff National Park. [13 Pictures]. After checking in to the Banff
Boundary Lodge (we may have been the only ones in the whole place), we
drove into Banff for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. The town of Banff
is in the park, but it's a pretty good-sized city. Much of it is the
typical mountain/ski town stuff, but somehow it seemed out of place
inside a national park. After dinner, we stopped at the local Safeway
to stock up on groceries for the week and headed back to the lodge.
Tuesday, January 18
We decided on Lake Louise for our first day of skiing. It was
snowing, and there are more trees to help visibility at Lake Louise.
So Rick took control of the Canyonero and we made the snowy trip to
Lake Louise [2 Pictures]. We arrived and
it was still snowing at the base lodge [2
I didn't bring the digital camera skiing on the first day at Lake
Louise, but Mike did, so these are mostly scans. The area is set on
both sides of one ridge (the South Face and Back Bowls areas) and on
another mountain called the Larch Area. We started on the South Face
and spent some time in the Ptarmigan Area. The highlight here was our
trip down the "Fall Line Glades" [4 Pictures], which is a pretty steep, powdery
trip through the trees. It was easily the most challenging run I had
ever tried, and it took both me and Rick down a few times, but it was
worth doing. It gave Rick and I more confidence to ski more of the
terrain we'd see the rest of the week.
Lunch was at the Temple Lodge. It snowed about as hard as it did all
day during lunch, but before lunch ended there were some breaks of sun
showing through. After lunch, we made a few runs in the Larch Area [Picture] then headed back to the South Face
for the rest of the day. The snow stopped enough to get some pictures
from the parking lot on the way out [5
After the drive back, we met back up with Jen and headed into the town
of Canmore, just about a mile east of where we were staying, for
dinner. Rick picked out a place, but we couldn't find it. We ended
up at a nice place called The Sherwood House.
Wednesday, January 19
The second day was cold and sunny [2
Pictures], a perfect day for Sunshine Village. We arrived at the
base gondola station [2 Pictures]
around 9:30 and took the gondola right to the main village. The
Canyonero, which had a thermometer built into its rear-view mirror,
told us just how cold it was - -18 C. (Rick later figured out how to
make it tell us how cold it was in Fahrenheit.) Again, I did not take
my camera, but Mike did and got some great shots. Once we arrived at
the village, we finished getting ready and started the day on the
Standish chair, which goes to the top of Mt. Standish. We took some
runs in that area before moving up to the Continental Divide Express
Quad, which goes near the summit of Lookout Mountain, which is part of
the Continental Divide. Along the ride up, there is a sign which
welcomes us to "Beautiful British Columbia", then just a few poles
later one which welcomes us back to "Sunny Alberta". Even on this
nice day, things were pretty cold on this lift. At the top of the
Continental Divide Express is the gate to "Delirium Dive" [Picture] which requires a hike and
avalanche equipment. We passed on this one. We took several runs in
this area, which goes down from the summit into the area called
Sunshine Meadows [Picture]. My
favorite run in the area was the Boundary Bowl, which had plenty of
untouched powder, although some of it was windblown and a little hard
to get through. Mike has some nice pictures from this area [5 Pictures]. When we were ready for
lunch, we decided to head back to the main village area from the top
of Lookout. Unfortunately, we ended up in a place which forced us to
go up one more lift to avoid an uphill hike to the village. That ride
on the Tee Pee Town double chair [Picture] was probably the coldest and
windiest ride of the trip. We were more careful about trail selection
on the way back down and grabbed some lunch at the Day Lodge in the
After lunch, we decided to start back up with a trip up the Wawa T-bar
[2 Pictures], which goes up a ridge
behind the village buildings. There were some nice trails in that
area, but on one run, we ended up being forced down a trail with a
"Caution Marginal Conditions" sign. On our run down Star Trek, Rick
ended up under a tree buried in powder. He had to dig around quite a
bit for one of his skis. When I came down that same area, I got stuck
in some deep powder and lost it too. One of the toughest (for me)
runs was called Waterfall, which I'm pretty sure is just that during
the summer. It had plenty of rocks sticking out and gave my skis some
of their first major scratches on the way down. I don't think we went
back up Lookout after lunch, staying on the Standish Chair and Wawa
T-Bar. Around 4, we headed down Banff Avenue which takes us right
back down to the parking area. We met back up with Jen, who took the
Canyonero for the day to check out the town of Banff. On the ride
back, the moon was nicely framed by the mountains, and Mike got some
It was my turn to choose a dinner place, and I picked out an Italian
place in Canmore called Santa Lucia. I think we were all happy with
Thursday, January 20
The forecast called for more good weather, so we decided to take
advantage and do a second day at Sunshine on Thursday. Again, Jen
dropped us off in the morning and headed back to Banff. Again, it was
around -18 C / 0 F when we arrived. We had skipped the Goat's Eye
Mountain area of Sunshine on Wednesday, so we took the gondola only
half way, to the base of that mountain. After a stop at the Java Hut
[4 Pictures], we got on the Goat's Eye
Express Quad [Picture]. The top of
the chair offered some nice views of the rest of the area [7 Pictures]. There were some nice runs in
this area, the best was one which cuts around some rocks, down a steep
area, and into some glades [2
Pictures]. Some of the steeper runs were a bit skied off and
windblown, but other parts were very nice. We spent the rest of the
morning on Goat's Eye [7 Pictures]. To
get back to the village for lunch, we needed to take the Wheeler
double chair and the hated Tee Pee Town chair [3
Pictures]. We made our way down from the top of Tee Pee to the
main village area [4 Pictures].
After lunch at the Day Lodge, we took the Wawa T Bar [3 Pictures], then spent the rest of the day in
that area and on the Standish chair. Jen picked us up, and we went
back to the lodge [Picture].
We were back pretty early and had eaten out every night, so we picked
up some chicken, noodles, and corn from the Canmore IGA (was much
nicer than the Banff Safeway -- we also got some Canadian Play Money
from an ATM there the night before) and baked the chicken for dinner.
We occasionally got a view of a total lunar eclipse in between the
Friday, January 21
After three straight days of skiing, we decided to take this day off
to do some sightseeing and resting. In the morning, I had a chance to
take some pictures around the lodge [7
Pictures]. Our plan was a trip to Lake Louise, so we headed off
into the park [2 Pictures]. We took Trans
Canada 1 toward Banff [Picture], passing by
the "airport" and some other things [4
Pictures]. Just past Banff we took the scenic route - the Bow
Valley Parkway [13 Pictures], which runs all
the way into Lake Louise. This side road is well-worth taking, and I
need to try it again in the summer when things are all open.
We arrived in Lake Louise and headed straight
for the Chateau. We
looked around the lobby first [7
Pictures], and had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants in the
chateau. After lunch, we went outside to walk around and on Lake
Louise [16 Pictures]. We went back
inside briefly, then headed back toward the parking lot and out [6 Pictures]. We got a little better view
of the ski area on the way down the hill from the chateau [Picture]. It had been snowing some, but the
road was still in decent shape. We took the main highway back [Picture].
Dinner was in Banff at a pub called Tommy's, after which we got some
ice cream at the cow store. Later, back at the lodge, it was snowing
and I took some useless pictures of snow from the window [6 Pictures].
Saturday, January 22
We got back to skiing on Saturday with a second day at Lake Louise.
Being a Saturday, it was a little more crowded. We got away from the
base crowds by taking the Olympic Chair, a slow double [Picture]. From there, it was over to the Top
of the World Chair [8 Pictures] for a
run down in the direction of the Summit Platter. We took this
uncomfortable lift up near the top of Mount Whitehorn and the highest
elevation at Lake Louise (8650 ft.) [5
Pictures]. We skied down the back side into the Back Bowls area.
Mike took a diamond down, while Rick and I went for the blue trail.
There was quite a bit of powder once you left the small groomed path,
and it took us both down a few times. We met back up with Mike at the
Paradise Chair, and took that back up to the ridge [4 Pictures].
Rick and I took a run in the Larch area [5
Pictures], while Mike headed back to try another run on the
platter. We took a run through the trees, possibly called the
Lipalian Chute, and then a diamond with some pretty deep powder called
Ford Hill Pitch. It was then a long, a bit too flat, ride out to the
base area on "The Ski Out".
We got lunch in the Whiskeyjack Lodge [4
Pictures], then spent most of the rest of the day on the back face
with a few runs down the Paradise Bowl and assorted other trails. The
Paradise Bowl is probably my favorite trail at Lake Louise.
We arrived back at the lodge at the same time as the pizza Jen ordered
Sunday, January 23
On Sunday, we decided to give Banff Mount
Norquay a try [3 Pictures]. It is
much smaller than the other places, and unfortunately, most of their
expert terrain was closed. The snow was not nearly as good and the
terrain got boring before too long. After some jumping attempts [3 "Big Air" Pictures], we ended our
skiing for the trip a little after noon. We picked up lunch in Banff
[Picture] to bring back to the Lodge.
After watching a little of the football playoffs, we decided to take a
ride into the park. I finally got a chance to take some pictures at
and near the park entrance [5
Pictures]. We got a view of Norquay, where we skied in the
morning [Picture]. We approached the Banff
exit [Picture], passed that huge Banff
Airport yet again [Picture], then headed
out toward Lake Minnewanka and the Minnewanka Loop [19 Pictures and more].
After getting back to see the end of the NFC Championship game, we
went back into Banff for a nice dinner at The Caboose. It's right
next to the railroad, and the whole place shakes when the trains go
by. Good Alberta beef.
Monday, January 24
Time to leave, but first, some pictures of the lodge, inside and out
[5 Pictures]. We checked out, took a
couple of group pictures with the Canyonero [2
Pictures], and by around noon we were on our way to Calgary [4 Pictures]. We didn't have much time, but
we did drive around the city a bit and got to park and walk around for
about a half hour [11 Pictures]. We got to
the airport in plenty of time, went through customs so our flight
could arrive at the domestic terminal in Chicago. From Calgary to
Chicago, we were all on the same plane. We didn't see all that much,
but did see part of the Minneapolis metro area after it got dark. We
arrived early into O'Hare and had a little time before we had to catch
the flight to Albany. None of us were surprised that we experienced
delays in both directions leaving O'Hare, but the ones we experienced
had nothing to do with the airport, just the planes themselves. The
Albany flight was a little more interesting, as we flew just south of
Detroit, across southern Ontario, and got a nice view of the Cleveland
metro area from a distance. We got into Albany close to midnight and
after getting the car and some food for the morning, it was really
late getting in.
A few more pictures were taken at the end - the skis got pretty beat
up on some rocks here and there, so here's a look at the bottoms of
the skis before they went in for sharpening [4
Don't believe anything you see in these pictures. The mountains are
bigger and the sky is bluer and the snow is nicer than they show.
E-mail domain: teresco.org, username: terescoj+pics -
Sun Apr 16 22:53:13 EDT 2000
Copyright notice: All images are copyright © James D. Teresco unless otherwise specified. Unauthorized use is prohibited.