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Canadian Rockies

Sculpted in Time: Short Films Feature Rockies’ Ski Spirit


Skiing at Lake Louise (photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Reuben Krabbe)

This fall, we’re stoked about the launch of Sculpted in Time, a four–part web series produced by award-winning filmmakers Sherpas Cinema, featuring Banff National Park’s three ski areas (and a deep dive into the park’s backcountry!)

The initiative, by Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine and partners is the first of its kind—a compelling portrayal of unique stories shot on location in documentary form and edited in Sherpas Cinema’s renowned storytelling style. The films capture the deep spirit of skiing straight from the heart of the Canadian Rockies.


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Banff: Top Rated Travel Destination

By Jack Newton and Lisa Stephens


(photo: courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka)

Banff National Park has been awarded “Canada’s Top Attraction” honors by the over 5000 Canadian travel industry professionals that cast ballots for the 2014 Agents Choice Awards. For the third time since 2008, Banff eclipsed other travel hot spots such as Niagara Falls, Whistler and Algonquin Park.

“For Banff to be recognized yet again as the number one destination within Canada by travel agents is a fantastic accolade and a testament to the never-ending appeal of Banff National Park for visitors”, says Ryan Elliott of Banff Lake Louise Tourism. Indeed, Banff is a favorite playground for four million travellers that come to the park from around the world each year.

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Gluten-Free Dining

Restaurants in the Canadian Rockies routinely accommodate special diets

By Sara Samson


The salmon entrée from Banff’s Elk & Oarsman proves that gluten-free dining can be a tasty treat.

You’ve probably noticed the term ‘gluten-free’ popping up on restaurant menus everywhere, including here in the Canadian Rockies. Being gluten-free is trendy right now.

For most gluten-free aficionados, cutting wheat, barley, rye and oats out of the diet is a lifestyle choice that they hope will aid in weight loss, digestion and overall health. But for those who suffer from celiac disease, eating gluten-free is a necessity. The Canadian Celiac Association estimates that for one in 133 Canadians, the ingestion of gluten causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine.

Some people claim to suffer from non-celiac gluten-sensitivity, where digestion issues like bloating and cramping occur without damage to the intestine. Since there is no test for gluten-sensitivity (as for celiac disease), there is controversy regarding the validity of this condition.

Virtually every good restaurant in the Canadian Rockies offers gluten-free menu options or gluten-free preparations on request. Some local eateries specialize in gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and other alternative cuisines.

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Anatomy of a Day Pack

By Robyn Moore


Choose a pack with features like those of The North Face Banchee 35; (flashlight/safety green shown):

• 35-litre capacity at under three pounds

• 8+ internal and external pockets

• Opti Fit harness system micro adjusts for a close and comfortable fit

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Sunshine Meadows: Top Rated Alpine Walk

Sunshine Meadows offers a remarkable combination of mountain scenery, colorful wildflowers and easy-to-access trails

By Jack Newton


(photo: Jack Newton)

After 35 years of rambling throughout the Canadian Rockies, the trails at Banff’s Sunshine Meadows continue to command my attention. The publishers of Lonely Planet Discover Canada guidebook are similarly impressed. They designate this one of the top five hiking areas in Canada.

Normally you have to walk for hours to reach treeline meadows, high alpine zones where the forest is sparse, colorful wildflowers bloom mid-summer and expansive vistas abound. But Sunshine Meadows is accessed in minutes via the summer shuttle that ferries walkers to 7082 ft (2159 m) and trails that fan out from the ski area nature centre. From here, I have taken trips ranging from a backpacking expedition to Mt Assiniboine (‘Matterhorn’ of the Rockies) to a one-hour stroll to Standish Lookout for a great view of pretty Rock Isle Lake.

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Insider Guide: Ski Areas of Canada’s Mountain Parks

The region known as Canada’s Mountain Parks includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses Banff and Jasper National Parks as well as Kananaskis Provincial Park east of Banff. This majestic wilderness with knock-your-socks-off views and more peaks than people is home to five Alberta ski areas.

Our world-class combination of tree lined and open bowl slopes, abundant snowfalls, high-speed lifts and on-hill amenities beckon skiers and boarders from around the globe. Read more…

More Than Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

You don’t need skis or a snowboard to enjoy these activities and events. By Kirsten Varsek


Mt Norquay’s Tube Park (Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka)

Speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube is a delight for the whole family; groomed lanes ensure safe and smooth sliding. Nakiska Tube Park is the latest ($19, child $15), while Mt Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri and Sat) now boasts six chutes, two dedicated lifts and a kids’ play zone with a small sliding area ($30, child $20). At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park you slide for $20 (youth $16).

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Marmot Basin’s 50th Anniversary


Historic Marmot Basin

Jasper’s enormous, scenic and almost always crowd-free ski area, Marmot Basin, turns 50 this year. George Andrew—Astoria Hotel owner, former Alberta Ski Team racer and 43 year ski instructor veteran—has skied Marmot Basin since 1962. George recalls riding a surplus Columbia Icefield snowcat to get to the rope tow that was installed in 1961.

Today Marmot’s modern lifts transport 12,060 skiers per hour, a fact that would have amazed cross-country ski guide Joe Weiss who named the area Marmot Basin in the late 1920s. The first trail was ‘cut’ in 1930, and in 1942 the British army trained here; that first rope tow was powered by an army truck engine. Read more…

Staying Warm in the Canadian Rockies

Wool, goose down & high-tech synthetics.  By Kirsten Varsek


Thermoball Jackets (Photo: The North Face)


Shopping for winter sport clothing can be daunting: so many styles have few discernible differences. We suggest attacking the maze of snow suits with the rallying motto: “I just want to stay warm!” Read more…

Canadian Rockies Climbing Walls


Climbing Hold (Photo: The Banff Centre)

Indoor climbing walls offer active respite from the cold. By Kirsten Varsek

If you want an energetic break from cold weather sports, visit our local indoor climbing walls. “Climbing is good cross-training; the balance and strength required transfer over to activities like skiing and snowboarding,” says Scott McKay at Canmore’s Elevation Place. Chris Neve at The Banff Centre Sally Borden fitness facility agrees: “Climbing builds upper and lower body strength, flexibility and endurance. Best of all, it’s fun!” Read more…

5 Icy Adventures in the Canadian Rockies


Icy Adventures include Ice Magic Festival (Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka)

Mountain fun can be served up on ice as well as snow. While skiers give on-slope ice the cold shoulder, frozen surfaces provide opportunities for good times at canyons, waterfalls and rinks. By Twyla Kowalchuk and Jack Wennot Read more…

Banff: Canada’s Top Tourist Destination

Banff Canada Top Tourist Destination

Banff: Canada’s Top Tourist Destination (Photo: Paul Zizka / Banff Lake Louise Tourism)

It’s no secret that Banff National Park is a stunning place and a worldwide tourist destination. But is Banff Canada’s top tourist destination?


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