Snowshoeing & Tubing at Lake Louise

Layla and I took up the opportunity to do another FAM tour last month, this time we were invited to spend the day at Lake Louise and try one of their snowshoeing tours and try tubing.

Readers will know that we have both tried snowshoeing before at The Paint Pots and loved it, so we were as mustard keen to do it at the very top of a mountain where you’d normally find us on skis.3.jpgWe got the ski shuttle up to the ski hill and met the lovely Laura at Guest Services who explained how our day would work before heading to the Guide hut outside Whisky Jack Lodge where we signed our waivers and met our snowshoeing guide John.  We were given snowshoes and the 3 of us walked down to the gondola to head up the hill. Chatted to John on the way up and told him about us and our jobs and life in Banff and he told us about himself, his travels and life in Lake Louise.  John is an Albertan, very rare around these parts.1Once at the top, we put our snowshoes on and headed up a steep powdery slope to the left of the gondola towards the old disused Eagle chairlift. After asking, John informed us that the Eagle double chairlift had been decommissioned when the gondola was put in and that the ski hill has plans for 2 new chairlifts over the back side in the next 10 years.

 As we trundled over the deep snow and around clumps of trees we were treated to an amazing view over the valley which included Lake Louise township, the Lake itself, the Chateau and all the mountain peaks surrounding the area. John, did well and appreciated that as locals, we knew some of the landmarks and the names of the mountains, so he educated us on some of the lesser known names and told old tales about the railroad, the First Nations and the trading throughout the valley.2After walking around under the shadow of a large cliff face and through Pine & Larch trees, we headed back towards the gondola, stopping briefly for a hot chocolate and some Maple Cookies in the ski patrol hut overlooking the ski runs. We wandered over to the ridge on the other side of the gondola station where John pointed out the peaks over towards Larch and the Back Bowls, my favourite part of the ski hill.4After descending down the mountain in the gondola we were lucky enough to get a complimentary buffet lunch in the Northface Bistro in Whiskey Jack Lodge.

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The buffet is just brilliant, there are 3 separate stations including a pasta bar, salad bar and carvery and we were lucky enough to be able to go to all the stations. We had the most delicious Ham off the bone, Alberta beef, Caesar salad, Vegetables and Pasta.

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Revelstoke 2018 – Part 2

Day 2

Suffice to say, we were all a bit tired the next morning and barely made it to breakfast which was in the lobby and consisted of cereals, toast, bagels and muffins as well as waffles and tea and coffee. It was ok, I really needed a full English though!

Once at the ski hill which is only a few kilometres out of town we parked and went to get our ski passes. Zeke, the lucky bugger was given a free one by a passer by who was heading home for some reason! The rest of us got ours for $50 each and we headed up on the Revelation Gondola. The gondola is in 2 sections so on the way up we had to all get out and then jump into a second gondola to get to the Mackenzie Outpost which is just over halfway up the mountain.  We got out and headed down a cat track to the Stoke chair which would take up to the top.  Getting out in the fresh air really made me feel better. It was a lot hotter that the mountains we normally ski and by the end of the day my bag was filled with discarded clothes including my own t-shirt and neck warmer, the first time this season I haven’t worn it. I’d say it was around 6-8 degrees up top.Tate (who had been to the hill before) wanted to head to the Ripper chair so we traversed across and headed down Vertigo, a black run down the ridge of the mountain between the front side and the North Bowl. I followed Tate down and around a steep cliff and the others headed down a tree run full of moguls. My legs were a bit sore after that and we ended up heading back to the front side and missing out on accessing the North Bowl altogether the first day.

The runs from the top were long, long, wide tree line groomers which were really nice to ski. We did Jalapeno, Pitch Black and Critical Path to name a few.

The views were just amazing and there was not a cloud in the sky so we could see all the way down the Valley, over to the town of Revelstoke as well as the Columbia River and the mountain range above it.Stopped for a drink and a bite to eat at Revelation Lodge. I was feeling really tired and ill. Skiing with a hangover is fine when you are out in the fresh air skiing, being inside in the stuffy Lodge was hard.

Did a few more runs and decided to call it a day.

Loaded up the car and headed back to our motel.

Showered and rested then headed into town to a Chinese buffet at Hong Kong Restaurant. Zeke had found the place and we were all keen as mustard, who doesn’t like a Chinese buffet?

The food was rather good, the place wasn’t too busy apart from a few old locals and there was heaps to choose from including cakes and help-yourself ice cream. Yum!

With full stomached we went back to the motel and jumped into bed.

Day 3

Headed up the mountain again after packing up the car and checking out of the Gateway Inn.

We were all feeling ready for a big day (despite not actually getting up the hill till near on midday.

The weather was bang on again and the temperature was warm. Headed right up the top again and over to The Ripper Chair. The Ripper is at the back of the mountain and has long groomers, long mogul runs and loads of tree runs.

We did a few runs down the groomers with the boys taking every opportunity to find jumps.

Met a couple of guys Kurt worked with in Banff who knew the mountain well and headed to the lodge for lunch and beers with them.After heading back up they took Tate and I down the North Bowl. We did ‘Meet The Neighbours’ which was quite steep and powdery but it was great to get away from groomers and do some more technical skiing. My legs were jelly after doing that though. Did a couple more frontside runs before leaving them and the four of us heading down the mountain and back to the car.

Stopped off at A&W for burgers and headed home. The drive through the mountains was really spectacular again and we saw a lot more of the mountains now the weather was clear.An amazing road trip with top people once again.