Banff 12/12/09 or so...

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Banff 12/12/09 or so...

by MarthaP » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:59 am

What's the news on conditions up there? Looks like LL opens this week - but how good is the snow, really. :wink: Ptarmigan? Larch?

Any ice formed yet?

And what's the cheapest way to shuttle from Calgary to Banff? I found a R/T shuttle for just over $100. Anyone heading to Banff late Saturday the 12th of December?

Just trying to decide if I can pull this trip off in a worthwhile sort of way...

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Dow Williams

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by Dow Williams » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:13 pm

Martha, not inclusive by any means, huge area to cover...but Will's site is well attended by a few who keep the conditions updated on the more popular/easier climbs. Here is the specific conditions page. That is what a RT shuttle cost I am afraid. Covering a longer distance from St. George to Vegas cost $40 RT...everything will cost more in Canada, just not as much competition.

That will not be an ideal time for ice, but plenty will be in. Issue will be getting to it without your own transport. Backcountry skiing will be a bit hairy as it normally is early season. I have skiied LL hill many times, but will let someone else help you with resort skiing....not my expertise. Good Luck and enjoy.

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by MarthaP » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:55 pm

Thanks, Dow. I'd forgotten about Will's site!

I'll have access to transportation (I believe) once I get to Banff but it's really kind of a kamikaze trip. I'll have a total of 4 days including travel only because within that window of time the airfares for that date spread are less than $300, then they jump to over $600! So that doesn't leave much time and want to be certain it's productive. Not that any time in the Canadian Rockies isn't worth it!

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by dan2see » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:43 pm

I live in Calgary, and I visit the Rockies a lot. Until recently I had no car, so I had to rely on carpools. There are some shuttle-bus services to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, but I have never managed to use them -- the schedule is wrong, or it takes me and my gear "almost" there.

So I do rent-a-car. You can get a compact for as little as $50.00 a day, plus gas. This gives you a lot of freedom once you're here. With rental you can toss your gear in the trunk and not worry about it, you can leave extra stuff at the trailhead. or simply detour to get lunch.

Many times, I've rented a car just to join a hike somewhere in mountains. Often I can pick up a friend or two along the way.

You can reserve a rental from your home, before you arrive in Calgary, and pick up your car at the airport.

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Bill Kerr

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by Bill Kerr » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:48 pm

As mentioned by Dow and Dan it is easiest to get around with your own transport so a car rental is the best option if you are short on time and should not cost much more than public transport.

Lake Louise is opening selected runs on the front of the hill this week on mostly man made snow. Nakiska, Norquay and Sunshine are also opening in the next 2 week on mainly man made snow. See webcams on all these hills at their websites or some shortcuts here

The upper mountains at Louise and Sunshine have good snow coverage for this time of year and the upper runs of the hill should be open by Dec if we continue to get normal storms although it is usual to expect the harder runs to be a bit rocky in early Dec.

The easy ice climbing is off to a good start and should be more choices by then as will be reported on the ice conditions page.

Have fun and take care.

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by MarthaP » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:54 am

Hi, all,

Thanks so much for the info. My Ontarian friends gave me incorrect dates and anything that will fit into their schedule and mine will pretty much cause me to mortgage my house. And I rent!

But I will keep your information at hand since a trip to the Canadian Rockies is in order this season, including a bypass to Red Mountain/Rossland where my best friend is a ski instructor. Besides, my new job encourages this sort of outdoor hedonism.

Cheers. Hope to climb with you soon,

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