Get to Banff this season with Basecamp!

Tom's tip for the weekend… Start planning a season in Banff!

The Banff National Park has got to be one of the most beautiful awe inspiring ski areas in the world, in fact it's this beauty that has claimed it as a United Nations World Heritage Site. Downtown Banff is only a 90 minute drive from Calgary International Airport and it's this that makes this incredible winter playground so accessible. The area boasts over 270 trails and runs, over 8000 acres of rideable terrain with some of the best powder bowls, terrain parks, groomed pistes and steep chutes in the world. The Banff National park has the longest season in North America delivering champagne powder from early November through to the end of May and last season Sunshine Village received more snow than anywhere else in Canada, over 40ft!

Banff is located within an hour from the three best ski areas in Canada, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay. Last season saw some exciting new developments in each resort and there’s even more being planned for this season… You got to get out there!

What's New for 2011/12?

Lake Louise

By purchasing several new grooming machines, the Lake Louise Ski Area will increase their grooming capacity in 2011/12 by 12%. With guests treated to more of Lake Louise's perfectly groomed runs daily, there will also be a “green” effect. The new machines are the most fuel-efficient models available today and are equipped with industry leading low-emission standards.

Enhanced Snowmaking – With already one of the largest snow-making systems in North America, new changes will result in improved snow quality.

Snowshoeing – With a specially created route near Ptarmigan Ridge and the top of the Grizzly Express Gondola, guests learn about the area's rich history while guided on an easy adventure through various species of evergreen trees, including the peculiar Lyall's Alpine Larch. And experience the unmatched mountain views in a World Heritage Site.

Looking to get your skis or snowboard tuned? – Thanks to the purchase of a new state-of- the-art $270,000 Tuning Robot, skis will be tuned with remarkable accuracy and consistency. With superior ski tunes, guests will be able to ski easier and more efficiently, making the most of their day on Lake Louise's world-famous slopes.

Sunshine Village

Rogers Terrain Park – The Roger’s Terrain Park is to get a major facelift this year, with more than 12 acres (4.8 hectares) of diverse terrain, including the latest street and slope-style rails and boxes.

$2 million in upgrades – The Poma gondola is getting a major upgrade this year, with an entire new cable to ensure safety and reliability. As well, all underground tanks at Sunshine are being removed to protect the environment. We’re also replacing an avi gun, and updating our snowmobile fleet with the latest in low-emissions technology, as well as purchasing two new snow cat groomers.

The new, high-speed Strawberry Express Quad – The new Strawberry Express high-speed quad has replaced the old Strawberry triple chair. The addition is Sunshine Village's ninth super lift.

Creekside Restaurant & Bar – The main building at the gondola base, which houses the Creekside Bar & Grill, is brand new, inside and out. The restaurant has 35 more seats, retail space is larger, washrooms have been modernized – all to ensure guests enjoy the best possible experience at the base of the mountain, before and after hitting Canada's Best Snow.

Mt. Norquay

The historic Mt. Norquay teahouse will be reopened for the 2012 season. You don’t have to be a skier or snowboarder to experience the teahouse, the North American Chairlift will be open for sightseeing tours to bring guests to the top.

The fun and exciting snow tubing park will be expanded for the next winter season. More heart pounding and exciting runs will be added and a smaller kids zone will be added as well. The Tube Park is sure to make anyone feel like a 5 year old again.

Tri-Area Pass is now good for all activities at Norquay. The Tri-Area pass will not just include skiing and snowboarding it will now also include snow tubing, snow shoeing and sight seeing.

Lake Louise acts as the Basecamp training ground, it's the largest resort in Canada with access to the best terrain and this is why we operate here! Basecampers have access to over 4200 acres of terrain throughout 139 trails perfectly suited to every level of skier or snowboarder. The terrain parks are unreal and can help deliver seriously rewarding results to any freestyle enthusiast. The Basecamp training ground is right in the centre of 4 mountain faces offering the best-groomed pistes and wide-open powder bowls allowing Basecampers to experience all areas of the mountain. You have access to 3 mountain day lodges for relaxation, refreshment and après, or just a quick drink before hitting beginner runs to double blacks amongst awe inspiring scenery and it's these factors that continuously help rank Lake Louise in Canada's top resorts. Also, don’t forget, you get a tri ski pass allowing you to ski/board at not only Lake Louise, but Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay!

Off the mountain Basecampers will stay at the Rundle Manor. The hotel is located on a quiet side street just off Banff Avenue, one short block from downtown Banff. You will have complimentary use of the Banff Ptarmigan Inn facilities including 2 indoor hot pools, sauna and steam room. There are 24 apartments with full kitchens, which sleep from 2 to 8 people and we will make sure you are staying in the best available apartments. You will also have access to free wireless internet. For grub Basecampers can eat in the top quality Meatball Restaurant for breakfast and dinner, but you can also order from the bar or restaurant menu up to your flat, 24hrs a day if you’re feeling lazy.