Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
You'll be immediately awestruck by the enormity and beauty of Alberta, Canada's Lake Louise. The mountain is divided into three areas: the Front Side/South Face, the Back Bowls, and the Larch Area. The Back Bowls hold some of the best riding and hiking anyone could wish for. It's a great chance to get loose with no trees to jump out and hit you in the face, but watch out for the permanently closed avalanche areas around the cliff bands (especially at the top of Mount Whitehorn and between the summits of the Paradise Triple Chair and the Top of the World Quad).
If you're not a hiker by nature, Lake Louise will soon cure your lethargy when you realize what you're missing out on. The ungroomed terrain on the Front Side extends down to the base area through the wisely thinned out trees under the Olympic Chair. The Larch Area has more glades and carving trails with the tempting Wolverine Ridge and Purple Bowl just a staunch hike away over the ridge.
The Banff-area village of Lake Louise has evolved around the train station and the five star Chateau Lake Louise. The train station is now defunct for passenger service but the Chateau is as majestic as ever. Development is regulated by the National Parks Service. Consequently, Lake Louise is a small collection of sparse lodges and gas stations surrounding Samson Mall. It has all the basics such as cafes, a grocery store, a liquor store, a laundromat, bus depot, car rental, and a bakery.
Lake Louise Essentials
Web Site: www.skilouise.com
Mountain information: 403-522-3555
Snow Report: 403-244-6665
By plane: Calgary International Airport is a ninety minute drive east of Banff. A regular bus service is available from the airport to Banff and Lake Louise.
By car: Lake Louise is a forty minute drive from Banff on Highway 1.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication