Banff, along with Whistler, is the home of Canadian skiing. Banff ski area is located in Banff National Park and consists of three separate but linked ski areas. Mount Norquay is the lowest of the three, Lake Louise is the largest by area, and finally Sunshine Village, which is the highest resort. All three areas can be accessed on one lift pass and there is also a superb shuttle bus service that connects all three. The national park is nicknamed 'Ski Big 3' and is packed full of scenic glaciers and outstanding waterfalls. This really is a stunning part of the world!
Getting to Banff
The closest airport is Calgary which is 140km away and can be reached in one hour and 30 minutes.
The ski areas that attract millions of people to Banff each year all have excellent provision for beginners. Each of the three is worth investigating during your stay, though Norquay probably won't keep you busy all week, being such a small resort. Lake Louise has the biggest area and therefore the longest runs, while Sunshine Village often has the best snow. One great point about taking a school group to Banff is that at summit of virtually every ski lift you will find green and blue runs, making the whole mountain available to your students even if it is their first ever ski trip. Not many European resorts can offer that!
As with many US and Canadian resorts, the town itself is not immediately at the foot of the skiable area, indeed Banff itself isn't acutally a ski resort. A short transfer is required each day to get to the powder. Banff is made up of a mixture of accommodation including inns, chalets, lodges, budget hotels and luxury hotels. So whatever level of accommodation your group is looking for there will always be something to cater for them. You will need to find an operator that offers the Sunshine Mountain Lodge if you want ski-in ski-out accommodation, though you will pay a premium for such a great spot.
The best bits about Banff
© Paul Zizka
© Paul Zizka
© Dave Riley
Suitability for School Groups:
Beginners 5/5 Intermediates 5/5 The ski resorts of Banff provide excellent skiing for school groups.
Banff Resort Location:
1600m to 2700m Snowfall 5/5 Natural snowfall and artificial snow making provide great conditions all winter.
Approximate Travel Times:
Flights to Calgary take 9 hours, with transfers taking an extra hour.
Use the following short form to begin planning your school skiing trip. Tell us your basic requirements and we will gather the best prices from the ski operators who take school groups to Banff.
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© Panorama/Kari Medig
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© Whistler Blackcomb/Toshi Kawano
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