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.We 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.Once 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.After 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.After 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.
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.