Banff, Canada: Sunshine Coast

Back in The Canadian Rockies.

It’s great.  Snow piled high along the sides and centre of Banff Avenue, the main street, scraped there early morning by snowploughs, a lot more moved out-of-town on huge trailers.  Still leaves a layer of compacted, very ‘slick’, snow on all roads in the town centre.  Not a problem as everyone drives carefully with consideration for other road users, especially pedestrians.  Quite alien to Grey, very occasionally White, Britain.  People climb over the snow piles to cross the road.

When I arrived temperature had risen to a toasty minus eight.  It was minus thirty for two weeks before I got here so locals think it’s like Spring has come early rather than the end-of-the-world, ‘Extreme Weather Event’ forecasts from the UK Met Office when minus 1 and 5mm of snow are in prospect.

Photos are of Sunshine Coast, a great ‘Blue’ run on Goat’s Eye Mountain, part of the Sunshine Village Ski Resort which boasts the best snow in Canada.  The access road to the base of the gondola is snow covered from the Trans-Canada Highway (the longest metalled road in the world). At 2800 metres (9,200 feet) and close to the Continental Divide the view from the top of Goat’s Eye is straight across to the summits of the many other nearby peaks.

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Self-portrait on the level section at the top of the ‘steep’ drop on Banff Avenue, the easy ‘Green’ run introduction to a new season’s skiing, newly groomed fresh snow creating a corduroy surface.  Fabulous!

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At the beginning of the long, easy run down from the top of Goat’s Eye, myriad other high peaks in view, not many below 9,000 feet.

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Pausing to look at what is just off the side of the run.

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Maintain momentum to get to the top of the fun bit on Sunshine Coast but ‘snow good, can’t help stopping to take in the beauty.

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Looking back up towards the top of Goat’s Eye

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…. and across to Eagle Mountain outside the ski boundary limit.  The only slightly less intimidating ridge to the right is a ‘Freeride Zone’ subject to special restrictions where only ‘experts’ ( a step up on Advanced’) drop of the cliffed edge into Delirium Dive.

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For us intermediates on Sunshine Coast there is the steady glide down the ‘cat-track’ to the lift base and back up for another run.  Build up enough speed on the steep section and no need to ‘pole’.  Used to take me 20 minutes per lift/ski cycle, now 15 minutes and knackered legs … and shoulders when you stop to take photos.

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This entry was posted in Canada, Grey Britain, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Banff, Canada: Sunshine Coast

  1. Jen Barclay says:

    Love your description of the snow in the town!

  2. Stuart Newland says:

    Looks amazing Barry! I enjoyed an imaginary ski down tree lined blue slopes as I read your email – it was a quite relaxing start to the day! Hope you have a great time. Stu

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