Ross, July 2023

Ross travelled to Canada with Karen A, Nick and Aodhan in April 2023, here's a short post all about the team's return visit to Canada...

As we waved goodbye to a fantastic Winter 22/23, the Ski Independence team were finally - after a long 3 years - able to do what we all love most; get back on the slopes! This took shape in an epic road trip across the Canadian Rockies, taking us through the beautiful Banff national park and all the way to the Pacific in vibrant Vancouver – stopping to ski in Banff, Lake Louise, and Whistler, of course. It’s fantastic to see that the most popular resorts in this part of the world are still thriving post-pandemic, and we’re excited to tell you all about why these are still the places to go. 


 The Fairmont Banff Springs from the outside. Ski Independence team return to Canada

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel 

I was incredibly excited to see Banff as I’d never been before and was still taken aback when I realized that my high expectations had been met. The whole place is so unapologetically Canadian in the best possible way, and you truly feel nestled in one of the most picturesque places in the world. The icing on the cake was the stay at the stunning Fairmont Banff Springs; we’ll never forget the sense of arrival as it emerged through the trees, and the view of Bow Valley from the back of the hotel reminds you of how special this part of the world is.

While here, we spent a day on the slopes exploring the expansive terrain that Sunshine Mountain has to offer. Even this late in the season, the snow up top was excellent; so much so that they decided to move the closing date all the way to the end of May. With plenty of gentle greens and blues for those taking their first turns and some steeper blacks and ungroomed terrain for the more adventurous, it really feels like a place for everyone. Would recommend lunch at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge as well; really hit the spot!

> Banff Ski Holidays - Find Out More

Lake Louise

As if we hadn’t had enough of unbelievable scenery, Lake Louise was next on the list. The ski area here is simply sublime, being the size of Whistler Mountain while still being on the same lift pass as Sunshine, with views of Mt. Temple and the lake itself that we couldn’t take our eyes off. After a morning on the groomers and great lunch at Banded Peak Base Camp, an afternoon delving into the epic back bowls and gullies proved a fitting end to an incredible day.

The Ski Independence team in Lake Louise on their return to Canada

Aodhan, Karen, Nick and Ross on the slopes of Lake Louise

After this, the warm welcome of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was just what we needed. I’ve never been one too fussed about having a view in any skiing accommodation, but the namesake view of this hotel is unforgettable and definitely one to tick off a bucket list.

> Lake Louise Ski Holidays - Find Out More



The extensive slopes of Whistler

Tourism Whistler/Guy Fattal

We arrived in Whistler after a long 13-hour drive across two provinces – and even one time zone. Nothing prepares you for the grandness and scale of Whistler; I lived here for 2 winters, and even I was still amazed at how lively the resort was in late April! Even with only Blackcomb Mountain open this late in the season, Whistler in April still offers spring skiing at its finest; suncream and silly outfits being the order of the day!

All the accommodation in Whistler was looking in fine form too, especially our home for the duration, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Our fond memories of the breakfast at Portobello proved to still be reality, and the renovations to the Gold level left us hugely impressed. For a long stay in this mountain mecca, there’s no better place to call home.

> Whistler Ski Holidays - Find Out More



Destination Vancouver/Albert Normandin (team return to Canada)

Destination Vancouver/Albert Normandin

On the day of our return, it would’ve been rude not to make a day in Vancouver out of it! Being there at this time of year is great to avoid the rain that the city can be so famous for, and the waterfront makes for a beautiful place to stay and a great base from which to explore the city. Special mention to the Fairmont at Vancouver Airport; far beyond just an ‘airport hotel’ and a fantastic way to top off a holiday if you have an early morning flight home.

This trip reminded me of everything I love about Canada; the scenery, surroundings and skiing are all simply epic, and we’ve come back with a new sense of excitement to help people in discovering it for themselves.

Let us help you plan your next Canadian ski holiay today. Submit an enquiry online or call us on 0131 243 8097


Main image: Lake Louise (Travel Alberta / John Price)