Excellent freeriding on four mountain faces, slap bang in the heart of the Canadian Rockies giving a sense of true remoteness. Nightlife here is limited, however Banff (population 8000) is located a 45 minute drive away and provides a livelier after hill scene. A 'Tri-Area Lift Ticket' lift pass gives you access and free transport to the trio of 3 ski areas in the Rockies - Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay. The first two complement one another well in their own individual ways and
Lake Louise / Henry George
Freeriders will love the variety of terrain on offer, and delight in the fact that this place rarely gets tracked out early. The Larch Area is a mega place to check out, offering a mixture of extreme and easy terrain. If you dont mind a knee-deep hike, trek up to the double black at Elevator Shaft where you'll find a host of black runs, cornice drops and rocks to launch off. For those looking for easy to access powder, drop into the back bowls of the Summit Plater lift, the steep blacks here will test the best, but be warned: dont go outside the marked boundary into the West Bowl unless you know what you are doing.The Eagle Ridge and Whitehorn areas offer some of the most challenging terrain; watch out for the Tombstone, a massive rock accessed via the Paradise Chair that you can drop off at your peril! Be warned, the high altitude means dry, often cuttingly cold conditions - dress appropriately.
The huge Showtime Terrain Park makes up for the fact that there is no half pipe riding here. Featuring 51 features at time of print, there are boxes, rails, jumps, hips and a fun wall ride. Easier and advanced routes provide access for all levels, plus there is a wicked boarder cross course. The advanced route is tantalisingly long, and is host to quite a scene. Log World provides a fun playground for fun jibbing sessions, with loads of wooden features. Definitely a fun park that's popular with the locals (always a good sign).
Corduroy lovers can opt to weave down 139 different pistes, the longest being 5 miles in total. Louise is great for all levels of rider, as there are novice runs accessible from every chair. Definitely check out the Larch area offers some quieter well groomed pistes. The Men's and Ladies' Downhill are not to be missed. Check the grooming maps daily to avoid the dreaded moguls. The mountain feels truly huge, you can easily ride here for days without getting bored.
Beginners will find Louise a particularly good place to start out, with a host of easy-to-reach runs starting at the base area. The runs off Eagle chair are some of the best and allow you to have a long cruise home down trails such as 14 and 1, which are also in a speed-restricted area.
The Lake Louise Snowboard School is excellent and offers loads of beginner to advanced programmes. As with learning at all big resorts, if its your first week, you may find that you are paying top $ and not seeing a right lot of the mountain.Try to get a few lessons in before the trip to experience all the mountain has to offer.