Sunshine Village New Quad Chair
As we venture more and more into travel posts here at Noshing With The Nolands, Ken and Amber were invited up to ski at Sunshine Village for the day and check out the Sunshine Village New Quad Chair. This post is written by Ken, enjoy!!
Inside the gates of Banff National Park, the oldest National Park in Canada established in 1885 is one the world’s best ski resorts you will ever find, Sunshine Village. I may be a little bias on this one, I have skied a great many places in western North American and it really is my favorite place to strap on the boards and spend the day swooshing down a mountain! From the parking lot you board the high speed 8 passenger gondola and take a leisurely 15 minute ride up the hill to the ski area. In the old days you used to have to ride a school bus up the narrow mountain road, so narrow that the buses could only pass at a couple points on the road!
Once you arrive you have a choice of lifts to start your day, the views from the top of any of the lifts are stunning, the snow is fantastic every year, the hill currently has close to a metre and half base of snow, and there is terrain for every level of skier. The Strawberry chair is great for the beginner, intermediate skiers can find a great run from just about any chair on the mountain and for the advanced skier there are black diamond and double black diamond runs galore, the dreaded double black diamond Delirium Dive and Wild West runs are not for the faint of heart! The resort is so large that while you are riding The Continental Divide chair there is actually a sign that reads “Welcome to Beautiful British Columbia, and then a couple of poles later, another sign that reads, “Welcome back to Sunny Alberta”.
New this year to the resort is the Teepee Town LX chair, now the Teepee Town chair has been around for a number of years but a new lift was installed for the 2015/16 season and we were eager to get on it and give it a try. The lift is state of the art and the first of its’ kind in Canada, with heated seats, foots rests for your skis or board, and an orange plastic bubble cover that fully encloses the skier on the chair.
When we first got on the chair and got settled in, putting the safety bar down and then lowering the orange bubble it was, well, it was really friggin’ unbelievable. I said to my daughter Amber, “this is the best chairlift I have ever been on!”. It also is a quick, 305 metre per minute, quiet, warm and very relaxing ride. We took the chair up a couple more times, and each time I loved it more and more! Here is the view inside the chair!
We skied all morning stopping briefly for a hot chocolate and to catch our breath. When we stopped for lunch we were ready for a break and some great food. We went into the main day lodge which offers a good selection of dining options. We stopped into the Sunshine Burger Company. I had an Angus burger with fries, and Amber went with chicken strips and fries. Both were very hardy and topped us up, preparing us for the afternoon’s adventures.
If you are looking for accommodations, you can stay right on the hill and if you’re staying up on the mountain, there are a couple late night dining options. For fine dining the Eagles Nest is the place to stop in, if you are looking for something more casual The Chimney Corner or Mad Trappers Saloon are open until 10 PM.
The staff on the mountain were amazing, from start to finish, everyone from the ticket staff to the lift attendants to the restaurant staff were friendly, cheerful and helpful. At one point Amber took a bit of a tumble off the Great Divide chair and a resort staff member patrolling the slopes stopped by to make sure she was OK, I was very impressed.
By the end of the day both Amber and I were spent, a long day of great skiing the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Only one thing left to do, ski-out. I never take the gondola back down I always save the longest run of the day for the end, you have to remember to leave enough gas in the tank to ski the 20 minutes or so back down to the parking area, it can be a real “leg burner”.