Simply put, the SSC Spring Break trip in Banff, Alberta was unreal.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and the drive from Calgary to Banff was bluebird and beautiful. As we left flat Calgary, the mountains started to rise on the horizon and kept growing taller and taller. Before we knew it we were amongst 11,000-foot peaks 360 degrees around.
The next day we were looking those massive peaks in the eye, as we skied Sunshine with its wide-open bowls and incredible views. After a full day and expectant of snow overnight, we headed back to town.
We spent the night out at High Rollers, an awesome bowling alley and taproom with some funky-fresh beers. My personal favorite was the “Trash Panda,” because who doesn’t love a brewski with a name like that?
This was the only time I can recall anyone being in poor spirits on the trip: El Presidente, Gabe Bresnahan, wasn’t able to bowl more than a 100 because the lanes weren’t oiled enough.
We spent three days at Sunshine, mostly because they had the most snow and we never ceased to find some killer pillow lines, cliffs, and glades. While we didn’t know all the secret spots, we didn’t need to: we got freshies all day just by bopping around exploring such an awesome mountain.
The first day we had at Lake Louise on Tuesday was unbeatable. We got almost our whole crew skiing together, and we got first tracks on the backside of the mountain in some pretty tight trees. The clouds were socked in so we didn’t get the best view the first day, but our final day in Banff was spent at Lake Louise with some of the best spring skiing I’ve had. Not much can beat a bluebird day surrounded by incredible peaks, skiing until the last chair, and finishing out the day at the Kokanee Kabin for aprés.
On Wednesday, about half the crew hiked up past the Goat’s Eye lift at Sunshine to ski waist-deep snow on one of the side bowls that the resort had just opened up to skiers and riders that day. There was some puking at the end of the hike, but it was worth it for the untouched pow:
Picture this on Wednesday night: Patrick Jacoby riding a mechanical bull with a cowboy hat on while Zach Klein and Sawyer Platt karaoke sing “Piano Man” to an enthusiastic crowd. Queue the purple mood lighting, and enter the middle-aged folk laughing hysterically at the massive crew of 18 college kids taking over the whole bar. Such was the scene at the infamous Wild Bill’s in downtown Banff.
Between Wild Bill’s and the random bar we came across with an awesome cover band singing The Killers, the nightlife in Banff was super fun. Anywhere we went we were sure to meet someone from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or some other far away place. The town of Banff is sort of this melting pot of different countries, but everyone is there for a reason: they love the mountains and they love snowsports. When you’re in Banff, everyone you meet--regardless of where they’re from-- likely shares your affinity for snow.
While it was hard to leave beautiful ‘Berta, it definitely has not seen the last of us. We really couldn’t have asked for a better crew to send it out west with, and we can’t wait for next year to have more folks come out! Moose Knuckles forever.