Lake Louise Boarding
The variety of freeriding is virtually endless given the vast expanse of the Back Bowls and out-of-bounds areas. Front Side favorites among beginners and intermediates are Wiwaxy, Deer Run, and Eagle Meadows. There are top-quality runs for all levels in the Larch Area, including some great tree riding. If you are happy among the trees, the Eagle Chair on the Front Side will introduce you to some of the finest tree lines around Upper Meadowlark. Otherwise traverse skier's left to the Ptarmigan Glades or head down to STM, Eagle Poma, and Eagle Trees. While ascending the Top of the World Express, choose your line right or left to Mirkwood and Tickety Chute for a steep, fast run.
If you plan on exploring the popular out-of-bounds areas such as Pipestone, Vortex, or past West Bowl to the Maintenance Chutes, be sure to ride with a guide and check with the ski patrollers in the area. Should visibility become poor or the winds pick up, avoid lifts A, M and G. Dropping into the Back Bowls at the top of Summit Platter, Ridge Run, and Whitehorn are awesome but potentially treacherous—don't be tempted unless your confidence is 100 percent. Call ahead for avalanche forecasts at 403-522-3833 if you're headed way back.
Take the Olympic Chair up and follow Wrong Turn to the base of Summit Platter. The halfpipe there is well shaped and well maintained, and leads into the Evian Snowboard Park. Transitions are near perfect and hits are nicely spaced for a flowing run that emerges from the natural glade area onto Wiwaxy trail. Despite being a bit too short, the park is a fun place to ride, especially on windy days.
Most south-facing blue and green runs are groomed daily. Wiwaxy is a long, winding trail, which tends to be busy. If this is the case and your board craves more speed, opt for the Men's Downhill. Meadowlark and Cameron Way are two of the Front Side's best G-force runs. The wide-open Larch Run is the ultimate and will test the best of you, or take the easy route down Lookout and check out the incredible scenery. Both these runs are found in the Larch Area; head up the Friendly Giant Chair and the Eagle Chair and then across to the Ptarmigan Chair.
The Nitty Gritty
Summit: 8,765 ft.
Vertical drop: 3,315 ft.
Base: 5,450 ft.
Annual average: 140 inches
Snowmaking: 40 percent
Total Area: 4,100 acres
Advanced: 30 percent
Intermediate: 45 percent
Beginner: 25 percent
Length of season: November—May
Number of lifts: 2 high-speed quads, 6 chairlifts, 1 T-bar, 1 children's rope tow
Hazards and Rules: Leashes are not required. Avalanche information is posted in the Whiskyjack Lodge near customer services. It is legal to leave the ski area boundary but you do so at your own risk.
Snowboard School: Contact The School at 403-522-1333 for rates and programs.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication