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Visitor reviews for Lake Louise Ski Resort
November 15, 2013
Mike from Canada
Lake Louise is terrible. Enough said.
Lake Louise Ratings
Based on 11 votes. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Lake Louise.
Public Transport: 4.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Lake Louise, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Lake Louise, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.5
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Lake Louise.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.7
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Lake Louise, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Lake Louise is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Lake Louise relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Lake Louise, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Lake Louise are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Lake Louise is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.5
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Lake Louise, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.5
(1) Lake Louise usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.9
(1) The staff at Lake Louise are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Lake Louise are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.1
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.2
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Lake Louise has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Lake Louise, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Lake Louise, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Lake Louise, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Lake Louise has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.5
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.5
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.1
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Lake Louise is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.9
(1) Overall, Lake Louise is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
Based on 11 votes. Vote
November 01, 2013
Rob Filyk from Canada
This isn't going to be short so just listen up.
Put LL on your bucket list but allow yourself at least 2-3 days to fully take it in. I love this area- all of it: Mount Whitehorn, the backside, the Summit and the Eagle area on the frontside. Chair 11 on Larch, Paradise Bowl and ER3, Outer Limits and Whitehorn 1 thru whatever.
I love the vibe of the place, and the international flavour, and the best views of any mountain anywhere.
Yes, the crowds can descend on the area at peak holiday times and on some weekends, but usually if you get out there a little early and get over to the backside or ski up top on the front it's not a problem. You can get in several epic powder runs on a snow day before most people have finished breakfast.
Where else do Grizzly Bears inhabit an area year round, yet lay undisturbed maybe 200 meters from where you can find an untracked line. No-one is paying me to write this, as I am just a fanatical local skier like thousands of others that appreciate the thrill of steep terrain and Rocky Mountain powder.
Excellent ski patrol, exceptional avalanche experts and great grooming here too if you just want high-speed or relaxed cruising.
I have been skiing here for 40 years and will do so until I can no longer stand. This mountain will thrill the average day tripper, and surprise the hard-core free-skier. Just when you think you've skied every line one could open up, even for just a few hours, like ER3 did for a few hours until choke points were sketchy after major fresh last year. It will and can blow your mind- whether you ride or ski.
Amazing and unique and thrilling with lots of slack country and hidden routes if you explore and get adventurous in-bounds. Recent glading on Ptarmigan and Paradise has opened more lines to extend the powder window on a snow day as well.
Like many epic areas in AB and BC, terrain that isn't even marked here would be roped off in other places, so do proceed with caution unless you know what you are dealing with below, especially on the extreme terrain. Very, very legit with cliffs and drops and chutes in many places.
Obviously, it's Nov and I am looking forward to another great season. All I can tell you is that you should visit this area but take it in with an explorer's frame of mind and you will just revel in the beauty, and the thrill of it all.
April 02, 2012
Arthur Daly from United Kingdom
Record snowfalls for March! It be true to say that Lake Louise is being nosey in wanting to be a top spot in the Rockies for time to come.
Oyoyo, I had my eye on the road the other day... those valley highways can sometimes get a little wobbly. Shaggin.
March 26, 2012
Gapperiel Shlonke from Saint Lucia
A fantastic day at Lake Louise. Good ski all the place.
Small mistake, cooks take 15 minute and bagel still no cream cheese.
March 26, 2012
hesta from Canada
Wow! I love Lake Louise. The retail shop has a great window and they carry jackets but not coats. The skiing is great too; the magic carpet staff are very friendly and willing to help. As well the wildlife is amazing, I got a close encounter with a white weasel... very scary!!!
March 25, 2012
Joey Deacon from Canada
Wow, after today all I can say is wow, eh !? Lake Louise blew me mind. That sasquatch gets me everytime !.. but I gotta love it cause it schedules me in to Temple Lodge for a hearty basket of chili cheese fries at lunch. (thanks for suggesting it Grzegorz !)
Riding is lovely, I can't get enough of the medium sized huckspots found all over Louise's backside...and her front for that matter.
Recommended to all that love eye-candy rental staff... HEY Cam, Lew and Brady ;0
March 17, 2012
nick from Australia
Lake Louise is the best hill I have ever skied, even though I have only skied at three hills, short lines on the lifts and mack in the repair shop made my day. I love Lake Louise.
March 13, 2012
Glyn from Canada
Having ridden just about every hill within driving distance of Calgary I have a good idea of what can be expected around here.
Lake Louise is a fun hill, but it's not 'extreme' like some are making it out to be. If you want a challenge go to Kicking Horse. The front side is generally icy, due to catching the sun all day and Louise's low altitude. Going over the back into the bowls is much better.
I think the main drawback of the hill is that it's too close to Calgary and gets skied out in about an hour. Then it's just one giant mogul run for the rest of the day (snowboarders beware).
On the plus side it covers a massive area, so you'll be exploring for quite a while.
To enjoy Louise you really have to leave the groomed track way behind and explore into the bowls & trees as much as possible, the fun area's are quite well hidden.
January 31, 2012
Kevin from Canada
Excellent skiing in the back bowls and chutes - black to double black. Very poor grooming on the front or other cruising runs (Ladies, Larch, Meadow Lark, Gully, etc. Very old snow making, very old lifts, very few cats. No money being put back into what should be a world class ski area. So if you like steeps and chutes and off piste you will like it. If you like groomed and cruising - forget it.
January 08, 2012
jp from Canada
An excellent hill in a beautiful small town. The terrain is what makes this hill for advanced or intermediate skiers. The food and the music bite (what with the 70's & 80's at every Canadian resort). There is a ton of slackcountry. It can be quite busy on weekends but the lifts that service the largest pieces of real estate rarely have lines. It is the black and bumpy nature of the runs that keep people to the same three lifts. The wind pretty constantly keeps snow moving from the front to the back and boot deep powder is common when hardly any snow has fallen the night before. Reading the reviews below - they are all correct - one sees quickly that your level of ability decides your enjoyment level. Come here and take it up a notch.
February 17, 2011
Boris from Canada
This is the best year for snow at LL (Lake Louise) in about 4-5. The coverage is awesome and patrol is doing a great job opening ski terrain. I was skiing powder last week and heading for some more tomorrow.
December 22, 2010
Jared from Canada
I've skied every hill in Alberta and a handful in B.C. Lake Louise has better variety than most. It's the type of ski hill you really have to know to appreciate.
If you want to make fresh tracks at the Lake you have to work for it, I love how the average skier/snowboarder just sticks to marked groomed trails.
To all the reviewers from the UK, keep sticking to groomed trails, thank you!
February 24, 2010
dave from United Kingdom
Just returned from Banff and very disappointed with all three resorts.
Very much like the states, they talk up the resorts, but unless there has been recent snow it's all very bland. Very little grooming on piste, lack of facilities and short opening times means it is actually very over priced in comparision to Europe.
All runs are very short, and most lead straight back to the lift you just took, no adventure at all. It hasn't snowed in weeks and they are desperate for something to cover the rocky pistes! I'm sure it is a different story during a good season, but with respect to the travel time to Canada, travel from Banff to the resorts and the taxes added to every purchase, there are much better options which aren't so dull!
January 27, 2010
Cheryl from Canada
I am 49, have lived in Calgary most of my life and started skiing when I was 6. I have skied Lake Louise hundreds of times but always with people who liked the blue runs and maybe a little taste of a black diamond. I was one of those people that gave LL a bad review as most times I went up the runs on the front side, which were icy and the blue runs on Larch, were over skied or icy. Well, a couple of weeks ago I went skiing with my baby brother (who is 51!) he encouraged me to follow him on most of the ER runs (double blacks) I can honestly say it was the best ski day of my life - Lake Louise is the hill of all hills!! The moguls were beautiful, the pitch feverish at times and the snow was great despite the lack of new snow. If you can ski very steep runs and enjoy lots of moguls Lake Louise is heaven.
December 30, 2009
Stephanie from Canada
I love Lake Louise. I've been skiing there since I was two years old (I'm now fifteen) and it is the mountain I know the best. What I love about it is that every member of my family has something. I am a former ski racer (eleven years) and freerider, and I love the challenging double blacks off the summit and the little runs only the locals know about. However, my mom is a blue skier, and she is perfectly happy as well. There is some great variety. I love how the double blacks are actually double blacks, instead of some resorts where a double black and a black are pretty much the same.
It can get a little windy, especially at the top of Paradise Chair, but it actually isn't that bad once you drop in. Everybody gives Louise a bad rep, but it really is an overall good resort. If you really want a good time at Louise (Lake Louise), find an expert local. Most people ski the same 30% of the mountain, giving it the repuation it has. However, there are some absolutely amazing runs if you know the mountain.
December 17, 2009
Kevin Lee from Canada
I've skied Lake Louise all my life. Born and raised in Calgary, I'm now 50, so I've skied there literally for the past 45 years. It is the area to measure all other areas in the world. Half the area is below tree line, so you get the long green and blue runs which are excellent for that level of skier. Higher up and on the back side it's wide open fall line skiing. Very steep terrain, not for the faint of heart. There are wide open bowls and narrow steep shoots. The steep runs are seriously steep, do not attempt the double blacks unless you are actually an expert, these are actual double blacks, not like some areas that just label a lame-o run as double black to look good on the map. Louise has the best and most double black of any area around. If you're not into extreme, then check out the expert terrain off ptarmigan lift or in the paradise bowl, or the front side of summit. It's all challenging and long. There is enough terrain and a wide variety of exposure that you can always find some good skiing no matter what the conditions are elsewhere on the mountain.
January 29, 2009
Taf from Beverley from United Kingdom
I am just sitting in my hotel room at Lake Louise aching due to to amount of fantastic skiing I have encountered over the 1st week of my holiday.
This place is absolutely breathtaking and by far the best place I have ever skied.
Brits are serial complainers but trust me I cannot gripe about anything. The pistes are empty, the queues are non existent except on Saturday when you have to wait about 5 minutes, if that. It's great for all levels and the instruction at Lake Louise is second to none. The ski hosts are a great option to acquaint yourself with the mountain.
I have got another week and its just started to snow so it will be fresh powder in the morning.
Forget the cold, the journey time, and all them other little niggles that you read in reviews this place is just the best. If you want to do some serious skiing and powder hunting in a vast mountain playground then this is the place to be.
I am going to close by telling everyone - bring everyone, this place is big enough for a whole load more people to enjoy.
January 13, 2009
Vicky from Canada
We just returned from a weekend trip to Lake Louise with a couple friends and it was great. The lines were short, the rental staff were really helpful and the snow was fantastic. When I started skiing, it was at Lake Louise and I loved it. But in the last couple of years, I went less often and for good reason; I didn't appreciate how RCR jacked the prices at Christmas, or the high food prices. But the last couple of days we've been out, it's been a different experience. Granted, it's been a good year for snow at Louise, but the grooming is good and it's not icy. Also, there's no fee for the Terrain Park (which is back with a vengeance), the beer prices are lower and the lift tickets didn't go up over the holidays. I read that Charlie Locke bought back majority ownership and maybe that's the change we're seeing. But, more importantly, the snow conditions were awesome. I'm really happy to see Louise making a strong comeback.
January 08, 2009
gerry brin from Canada
I've skied Louise (Lake Louise) over 30 years. You must know the right spots to go to. The Backside in flat light is hell and should be skipped until sunlight lights it up. Larch has the best snow on the backside usually. Avoid front side lodges if you're in a hurry and go to Sawyer's Nook on the Larch/Ptarmigan Lift Area instead. Saturdays at Louise are usually packed, ski Sunday instead when traffic falls about 50%. I ski Louise from Wednesday to Friday. Late Season (March-April) is usually phenomenal skiing with almost daily dumps of powder from 8am to noon - 2pm followed by bright sunlight until closing at 4:30pm. Ask a local where to go and what you like to ski and you will get good advice on what runs to ski and the ones to avoid. I used to ski Sunshine but upgraded to Louise for the longer runs, trees, uncrowded black runs where you are alone mid-day. Every ski hill has icy spots on it wherever skier's are forced around snow fences to avoid hazardous terrain. Stay out of the middle of heavily used runs and ski the right or left sides to find the softer snow if you want to avoid icy patches completely. Cheers.
November 20, 2008
Tom from Canada
Poor viz on the backside, going over a 20 footer...don't go back there if you don't know the terrain.
Summit Platter being the 2nd worst surface ever ridden.. good it keeps some off that lift.
Busy lunch hour periods...ever been to Sunshine Day lodge or Trappers??
Weekend crowds clog the lifts...ever been to K-Horse on the weekend and sat waiting for the Gondola for 30 minutes??
If you don't like the Lake so much, stay at the Shine riding Strawberry chair.
[Editors comment: text aimed at an individual has now been removed]
November 17, 2008
Carter from Canada
Lake Louise is so underrated, everyone always talks about it being icy. I have skied there for sixteen years and can confidently say Lake Louise runs the show. There snow is always good, especially if you come in early March. Watch for winds at the top, this can be excellent snow loading, if you know where to go.
November 04, 2008
Jane from Canada
Lake Louise has changed ownership recently and will again have jumps in the park. So buy your season passes and book your holidays to enjoy the best terrain in the Canadian Rockies.
March 15, 2008
Ryan from Canada
Some people seem to submit reviews after they ride a resort for 1 or 2 days... hmmm. Anyway, most of the reviews already posted have been pretty accurate as far as the Pros/Cons go. A few things to add: no more jumps (at any RCR owned resort) as of 2007, just rails and you need a special park pass. 06/07 was a stellar season for both LL and SV, but 07/08 has been far below average (I don't care what their joke of a snow report says). Especially true was the comment that 90% of the people ride 30% (if that) of the terrain. So easy to find fresh pow lines a week after the last substantial snowfall. Without the big snow report numbers of nearby BC hills (Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Fernie, Castle Mtn AB) LL makes up for it with vast challenging terrain that you have all to yourself. A couple more lifts might help, but that's doubtful considering RCR is all about pinching the pennies and are known for their terrible customer support. I've had a few more 'epic' days at some of the above mentioned BC hills, but when you consider the accessibility of LL & SV, the lack of weekday crowds, and quality of snow...it's a no-brainer to live here.
January 12, 2007
Derek from Canada
I live in Calgary and have skiied Louise for 25 years. Sometimes I love the place. A midweek day after a dump on a clear blue sky day just cannot be beat ant Sunshine, Fernie, Panorama, Kicking Horse or anywhere else. It's all the other days that bother me.
The Lake is huge, but 90% of folks only ski about 30% of the area (Samantha is right; only the locals know the really good stuff). High traffic areas like the front face runs get tracked out and icy by 11 AM, and become out and out evil by 4 PM when all the nuts are hurtling down the runs to their cars. The snowmaking (happily restricted to the frontside and high traffic areas) is poor and obtrusive and layers ice under everything, and gooming isn't very good or very extensive. The backside is incredible, but on a poor viz day is downright dangerous, as it is a vast treeless bowl. I once went over a cliff I couldn't see, falling 20' to a flat I didn't know was there. Weekend crowds clog the lifts and especially clog the Temple and Whitehorn lodges so getting lunch is an ordeal. The Summit Platter is second only to Face Lift at Fernie as the worst surface lift I have ridden. In the spring, everything below the Whitehorn lodge turns to rocks, dirt and soup.
But when it's good (sadly, not that often), man is it sweet. The views are stellar. Five turns in the right direction and goodbye crowd. Whole powder bowls to yourself. Massive vertical and the ability to peice together super long runs. A World Cup Downhill course your can frighten yourself on.
2007 has started off as an epic snow year. This appears to be the year to ski the Lake.
January 03, 2007
SAMANTHA from Canada
The Lake Louise ski area is the centre of my universe! It is so beautiful on clear days with stunning views of the lake, Chateau Lake Louise, and dozens of majestic peaks, snow and glaciers as far as the eye can see!! Even on flat light or snowy days there is plenty of great skiing to be had as most of the resort lies below the tree line, where you can see! There is a green run from every chair lift making it easy for buddies of different abilities to basically stay together most of the day. I would have to mention that in my 9th season as a die-hard Lake girl I have never seen conditions this good- EVER- not even in late March which is historically glorious. Almost all the snow is natural and the double black terrain that the locals love has the best coverage I have ever seen.
My advice: find a friendly local like me, prove your skills, and buy us a beer to entice one of us to take you on the ski or snowboard (resort) adventure of your life! We have lots of secrets we only like to share with the worthy! :) This is a year when any bad rep that LL has gets thrown out the window!
May 14, 2006
graeham douglas from Canada
Lake Louise has the best ski hills in the Calgary area in my opinion. The lifts are generally layed out well. The expert terrain is excellent, with many runs in the back bowls that are easily accessed with one or two lifts and little, if any, walking required. The back bowls also have the advantage of being wind-loaded during storms, meaning a 10cm snowfall elsewhere on the mountain could make for great powder turns on these runs.
Lake Louise does not recieve the snow that surounding areas do, but the quality of snow that does fall is great; cold and fluffy. However, the lack of snow means that Louise has a reputation for being icy and rocky, especially early in the year. The front side is often a place to avoid if it hasn't snowed for a while, as there is extensive snowmaking and the manmade snow can be quite hard. Unfortuantely, this is where most of the beginner-intermediate terrain is.
There is also some good, easier terrain to be found on Larch Chair. Ptarmgan, the 4th face of the resort, is great bumps skiing if the snow is good. It has been a while since I've been there with soft snow, however.
January 29, 2006
David Allen from United Kingdom
Lake Louise is a very nice resort with enough runs to keep both boarders and skiers happy all week. There are some really extreme double blacks, which will challenge even the most talented of riders! The back bowls are always full of powder after a good dump and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face all day. The resort is very quiet however, and for those who want to party during the night you will be better off staying in Banff just 40 minutes down the road where there are lots of clubs and pubs. The people in Lake Louise are generally very welcoming and friendly; the only problem I encountered was that members of staff at the tuning shop at the lift station like to vandalize your equipment! (I had graffiti carved into the base of my board, and had to have it ground out and P-tex`d) so be prepared to service your own gear if you don’t want to take the chance! Other than that, the food and drink is quite expensive so bring lots of dosh. So, if your after a quiet place to stay with great runs and snow this is the place for you.