November 16, 2018

Banff Sunshine Village: Tackling My Fears

My goal is to feel more confident on the mountain. I believe that I am a solid blue (intermediate) skier but that it not true. I am actually an advanced (black) skier in my body but my mind is not always with me. I had challenges learning to ski as a child and when I hear skis scrape on the ice or the light goes flat, I can forget that I have been skiing for years at many mountains and I can do it.

VIDEO:  Why to Ski and Stay at Banff Sunshine Village

Sophia Faller has been teaching skiing at Banff Sunshine Village for 2 years and was at Lake Louise Resort and Gondola for three years before that. She is spending two days with me to show me around the three mountains and give me a few pointers! Her teaching style is to add tools to attack different ski conditions and use great metaphors like stepping down the stair case so you can understand what your body is meant to do.

Ski Banff May 2018During our first day we skied at Wawa, up the Great (Continental) Divide where we were in two provinces in one run and to the harder part of the three mountains, Goat’s Eye Mountain. The most challenging section of the mountain is not open right now due to spring conditions in May. Safety is paramount at every ski mountain and it is no different here on my first trip to ski in Canada.

I can see Delirium Dive which is inside the boundaries of the resort and has restricted entry. You must wear a transceiver to enter and you should be with your ski buddy and carry avalanche gear. Maybe someday I am going to ski there.

Lisa Niver and Sophia Faller at Banff SunshineMy goal is to go helicopter skiing and cat skiing next season. That was my goal this season but the snow in Utah did not cooperate on the trip where I had planned to cat ski and then I got a bit afraid that I was not ready yet.

With Sophia, I learned that my next step is to take an avalanche course so I know how to use a beacon. I would go with an instructor into Delirium Dive but I want to know how to use the tools and be prepared. Sophia has given me another goal to come back and ski the chutes. I like to know the steps to reach my goal because it feels less overwhelming. I know I can do it if I just keep going.

It is a mental choice. I am strong enough and I have been practicing. I still need more days on snow but I also need to believe in my abilities. Sophia gives a ten week class which meets once a week and often the goal is to take strong blue skiers to the next level of skill and confidence and at the end they ski the shoots.

What if you believed you could do anything you tried?

What would your goal be?

Banff Sunshine Village Photo by Lisa Niver

Sunshine Mountain Lodge is a family owned mountain side hotel which is only reachable by gondola. Banff Sunshine’s 2018 season ended this year on May 21, 2018. They will reopen in November 2019. Will you be here? The Ski Team is ready to welcome you and help you take your skiing to the next level.

GEAR: Blizzard Black Pearl from SkiBig3

I took the train from Vancouver to Banff and then skied at Banff Sunshine Village. I rented my ski clothes and gear from SkiBig3. I was thrilled with the top skis. I have used Black Pearls at several resorts and they are phenomenal skis. The clothes were perfect and the service was superb.

STAY: Sunshine Mountain Lodge

Gondola is open until 5:30pm.

I loved my room which is the only property with ski-in/ski-out in all of Banff. Sunrise from my room was gorgeous over the ski mountain. It was so much fun to stay overnight at the top of the world. The food is fantastic and the room was really comfortable. It was great to stroll through the building to dinner and breakfast and be able to be first on the mountain.

EAT: Eagles Nest, Chimney Corner, Mad Trappers. There are many choices at Banff Sunshine Village.

TRANSFER: How to get here? Fly into Calgary and it is a 90 minute car or bus transfer to the mountain, a 20min gondola ride to the top, and your luggage will be transferred up and down seamlessly! I arrived in Banff on the Rocky Mountaineer Train

Lisa Niver skiing at Banff Sunshine Village

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