Visitor reviews for Banff Mt Norquay Ski Resort
January 08, 2015
Jed from Canada
Icy and steep. Significant snowfall typically misses it completely.
Go to Louise!
Banff Mt Norquay Ratings
Overall: 3.4. Based on 10 votes and 13 reviews. 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 Banff Mt Norquay.
Public Transport: 4.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Banff Mt Norquay, (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 Banff Mt Norquay, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.4
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.1
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Banff Mt Norquay.
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 Banff Mt Norquay, (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) Banff Mt Norquay is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Banff Mt Norquay relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.6
(1) There are no snow groomers at Banff Mt Norquay, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Banff Mt Norquay 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) Banff Mt Norquay is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Banff Mt Norquay, 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: 2.6
(1) Banff Mt Norquay 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: 4.1
(1) The staff at Banff Mt Norquay are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Banff Mt Norquay 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: 4.0
(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: 3.9
(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: 3.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Banff Mt Norquay 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 Banff Mt Norquay, (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: 3.4
(1) Not even a kicker at Banff Mt Norquay, (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 Banff Mt Norquay, (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) Banff Mt Norquay has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.8
(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: 1.9
(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: 2.7
(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: 3.2
(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): 3.8
(1) Overall, Banff Mt Norquay 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): 3.4
(1) Overall, Banff Mt Norquay 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.
November 23, 2014
Diego from Canada
I love Mt. Norquay. It's close to Calgary, the views are stunning. On the way up you often see all kinds of animals, bears, mountain goats, deer, elk, its awesome. We got married there this summer and the staff were awesome, everything ran smooth and they were super accommodating. In the winter we always come to ski the north American chair and other parts, off-piste at times that are incredible. Small and homie like. No annoying folks, only real ski lovers. snow is often really good and the powder days have been just amazing!
December 31, 2013
Rach from Canada
Norquay is a really good place to ski! This is because the place has many people that are willing to help out and the ski instructors are really nice! I really want to go there again after my visit.
January 29, 2013
Rosco from Canada
Tired of the 'tude at LL and SS? As well as the parking issues that comes with them? Bored to tears with Nakiska and the constant grooming; i.e, no bumps of any kind, unless they are icy (all three of 'em!) ? You should/could give Norquay a try. They have bumps, groomers, glades, (if you know where to go) and everything in between. Great staff, great service (especially the techs Josh and Liam) and reasonably good food for a ski hill (the daily soup is always top notch). Ya, I know it is sorta small, but seldom is there any lift line. You can ski by the hour (2 minimum), get the Big Drop Card or get very fair priced season's passes. Parking is simple and available. The skiing is fab for it's size. Try the Lone Pine chair, if you dare! Not recommended for boarders, though. Mystic and Spirit have lots of variety, so advanced and intermediates can ski, then ride the chair together. I ski all over Western NA, this is where I have had a season's pass for 4 years now. Unless management screws up, I plan to be a patron for many more years to come! See ya on the slopes! (no I was not bribed to write this!)
January 06, 2012
John from Canada
After skiing at all three hills in this area (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Norquay) I found Mount Norquay to be a fantastic experience!
The hill is filled with welcoming staff from all over the place. They have the best terrain park of the 3 by far. And the snow was unbeatable. A lot of the reviews talk about Norquay having icy runs. Come and ski in Ontario and you will see what icy runs are. We arrived with a dusting of fresh snow and there were no lift lines. Over Christmas holidays we had no lift lines. How awesome is that. I didn't wait more than 2 minutes for a chair all day. Went to Sunshine and not only were the staff rude at times, but the lift lines seemed to stretch for miles at times, and I found myself getting stuck on runs that were extremely flat in sections.
One of the neatest things was going up the North American chair, they have a tea house at the top of the lift, that apparently just opened back up after more than 20 years, and the view from there was the best I found at any of the resorts, amazing. Just a warning though that chair is not for the faint at heart, the easiest run up there is a high level black run, but the snow is amazing.
If you are a good skier and want to ski good terrain, with little traversing, no lift lines and a bunch of nice people, I would highly recommend Mount Norquay.
April 22, 2011
Rob Filyk from Canada
The first time I skied Norquay and it's famed Lone Pine and North American runs many years ago I was awestruck. Sure it isn't massive like Lake Louise but with equally stunning view of Banff and Cascade Mtn., a relaxed atmosphere and some great terrain I love this mountain The original Norquay chair and the 6 runs will challenge the best skiers and completely scare away most boarders but this is what effortless steep ripping and shredding is all about. It will make you respect it.
With fantastic snow the last 2 seasons and a great community feel there is never a poor day at Norquay. If you catch it on a snow day-which there have been many of lately- you will likely have fresh tracks right until 2 or 3
For some good intermediate terrain there is the high-speed mystic chair and the fixed-grip spirit so there is something for everyone. An active racing club and a formidable terrain park also add character to Norquay
Some of the other reviewers are correct, real beginners can find this mountain's upper reaches petrifying. Better they come after they get a lesson or a few under their belts, or bring a parachute.
Not a big area, but one of the best fall lines around and one of the best views imaginable make Norquay unforgettable.
December 26, 2008
Mark from United Kingdom
Hi all, my mate and I decided on Canada Jan 08 for a couple of weeks. Having purchased 2 x 3 day ski school lessons, we had a day on each mountain, (Norquay\Sunshine\Lake Louise).
We started with Lake Louise, which was excellent, mountain was huge with plenty of beginner (green) runs.
Day 2 was Norquay (Banff Mt Norquay), which if I'm honest was a huge letdown, possibly due to expectations set from LL. The majority (if not all) runs were icy and worn in places. Very few beginner runs, or intermediate runs. A lot of runs have been graded 'double blue', which basically means they are a black. The reason for this, if they marked them all black no-one would go there, Intermediates see the double blues and think 'I'm a blue' and give it a go, only to find unless you are an excellent blue, you end up going down blacks and suffering. Quite a few people in my group refused to them.
Norquay is for advanced users only - end of. I tried to get my next set of ski lessons changed to 2 x Sunshine and 1 x Lake Louise, but the reps have to promote all 3 mountains, so I had to suffer another day a week later at Norquay.
However, if you skip Norquay (despite the short bus ride) and do LL and Sunshine you'll never be dissapointed.
I do wonder why they keep Norquay alive. From a business perspective I can't see it being profitable, with only a small select few taking up the challenge.
I'm there again for 2 weeks from the 3rd Jan, but won't be doing Norquay this time around ! :)
March 15, 2008
Ryan from Canada
The review posted by the Calgarian who has skied Norquay for 25 years is - VERY ACCURATE! Excellent review!!!
Also to note, Norquay has the best terrain park between Calgary and Panorama (so better than Nakiska, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Kicking Horse).
It's so close it's great to just hop up to Norquay for a few laps in the afternoon if you slept in, or just want to get a couple of sunny runs before you cruise down the fun ski-out to the Juniper lodge by the highway.
Usually very hard packed and icy, the only places that get similar snowfall levels (ie: not much) are Marmot and Nakiska. But for cruisers, fun, buttery groomers, and a sick park. Norquay is hard to beat.
January 29, 2008
Matt from United Kingdom
Norquay is a great mountain to start off your week whether your a complete beginner or with the kids. It's main advantage is that its very quick to get to and is always far less busy than any of the other Banff resorts.
December 22, 2007
Chris from Canada
Why bother....?? It's OK if you just want a few hours of skiing or if you have young kids, but otherwise go just up the road to Sunshine for the real thing.