Secret Spring Skiing In The Canadian Rockies

 

After seeing the photos of the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Louise, I knew I needed to visit the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada but I did not realize my first visit would be to see snow in May! I traveled by Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff National Park and stayed at the historic and stunning Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. I skied, hiked and relaxed in this UNESCO World Heritage Area. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park established in 1885 and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site in 1984.

VIDEO: Want to Ski, Hike and Stay in Lake Louise?

This area has had many names. First called Ho-run-num-nay by The Stoney meaning “lake of the little fishes,” in 1882 a Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) workman, Tom Wilson, named it Emerald Lake, but in 1884 the name became Lake Louise in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. The area was a station for the railway called Laggan when they were building the train through Kicking Horse Pass.

Lisa Niver skiing at Lake Louise with Serge Metikosh
Lisa Niver skiing at Lake Louise with Serge Metikosh

I loved traveling to this area by train and it was my first time in Alberta, my first time on Rocky Mountaineer and my first time skiing outside of the United States.

I spent a day at Lake Louise Resort and Gondola skiing with top instructor and guide, Serge Metikosh. He has been an instructor for over 43 years and has spent two decades skiing here. I fell in love with the long runs, stunning views and being able to ski in Banff National Park. If you want to disconnect from your busy life and connect with nature, this is one of the last wild places and has snow from November to May. Skiing Summit and Paradise Bowl was tremendously great skiing.

My ski gear including my clothes was rented from SkiBig3. You can travel here knowing that they have top quality equipment including the Blizzard Black Pearl’s that I loved using all over this mountain. I literally skied in every season as it briefly snowed on us, we had sunshine as well as spring skiing conditions.

Ski lake LouiseAfter one of my favorite ski days ever, I stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise which was developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway along with Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Château Frontenac. My well appointed room had a stunning view of the frozen lake and inspired me to get outside and explore.

I borrowed snow cleats from the concierge and walked to the frozen waterfall around the lake. In the afternoon, I joined a guided hike led by Mike Vincent, who was a park ranger for 10 years and walked with a group up to Fairview Lookout. I used snow cleats and my ski pools and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Lake and the Fairmont hotel.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise by Lisa NiverFairmont Chateau Lake Louise is family and pet friendly and ready to assist you in enjoying this beautiful national park. There are mindfulness walks, yoga and seven different dining options including Fairview, Lakeview Lounge, The Wallister Stube, The Chateau Deli, Poppy Brasserie, the Alpine Social (formerly the Glacier Saloon), and the seasonal Italian cuisine kitchen Lago. Do you want to have a ski experience, a family vacation a girls’ powder retreat?

Lisa Niver staying at Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseRemember, Will and Kate honeymooned in the backcountry of The Lake Louise Resort and Gondola at Skoki. Don’t feel FOMA (the Fear of Missing Out), decide to come and visit! The Royals did it and the Men’s downhill world cup happens in Lake Louise too.

Enjoy my other 2018 Canada Adventures:

Lisa Ellen Niver

After exploring 99 countries and sailing for seven years on the high seas, Lisa Niver is ready for more active adventures! Find her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.25 million views on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and YouTube. Her stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra and WWII for Saturday Evening Post and Smithsonian. She is verified on both Twitter and Facebook and is the Adventure Correspondent for The Jet Set TV. Her latest projects are 50 new things before she is 50 and Facebook Live for USA Today 10best. She has run 13 Travel Writing Awards publishing nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries and this summer is the first We Said Go Travel Photo Competition. She was a winner in the 59th annual 2016 Southern California Journalism Awards for her print column in The Jewish Journal. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans with American Express and Starwood Hotels. She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize and a finalist in two categories for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

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