The Western Canada Pugski Gathering Thread (April 15ish-21ish, 2018)

albertanskigirl

aka Sabrina
Skier
Posts
319
Location
Calgary, AB
As requested by @David Chaus - here is an offical thread for the Alberta spring gathering in mid-April.

Here is the roll call - add yourself, dates and where you are staying if you're staying in the mountains:

1) @albertanskigirl + SO (Apr 15-18, Banff)
2) @David Chaus + 1 (Apr 14-18, Canmore)
3) @Jenny + 1 (Apr 15-21, Banff)
4) @VickieH (Apr 15-21)
5) @Mike Rogers (weekends, at least)
6) @Poolskier Vinny (April 15-17)

A couple of things to think about:

1) Since we are all going to be around it looks like at the beginning of the week, I will call the Park Distillery and see if we can get a reservation for Monday, April 16th at 7pm. I'm going to call and book for 10, and then we can adjust leading up to the date. But please confirm if you are interested in group apres/dinner on Monday.

2) I think @David Chaus 's plan for Louise and Sunshine works well. I'm happy to go wherever anyone wants to go. I'm also very happy to take any intermediate/low advanced skiers around either of the mountains during the day. I'm not the person to ask for the expert spots on the mountain :)

3) @Jenny won't be skiing (I think?) so I am also planning to do a day of fun sight seeing/driving around. I will probably take one day and do some driving/sightseeing along the Icefields Parkway with others - if anyone else is interested, let me know!

4) If anyone is staying close to someone else, and they don't have a car, we might consider carpooling some days to the resort. That is an option, as well as the shuttle, of course.


If anyone is interested, we could also set meeting places/times at Louise and Sunshine in the morning too.
 

Jenny

Out on the slopes
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751
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Michigan
Jim and I are in for the 16th. And you are correct, I can't believe I'll be healed enough for skiing then - I'm more a princess than a martyr when it comes to pain! So Jim will be extra happy to have people available to take him to places I wouldn't ski anyway . . .

Icefields sounds great to me - pictures online were amazing.
 

VickieH

Out on the slopes
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811
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Denver area
I will be staying in Banff.

I'm in for apres/dinner on Monday, April 16.

I'm in for a day of sightseeing and Icefields.

From the other thread, David's plan for skiing is:

Sunday -- Lake Louise
Monday -- Lake Louise
Tuesday -- Sunshine Village
Wednesday -- Sunshine Village

I won't be skiing on Sunday, but do plan to ski 2 days at each location.

After last year's crash and burn, I demoted myself to advanced beginner/low intermediate for this season and spend my time on easier runs, focused on technique. Anyone is welcome to join me, but I won't need a guide for either mountain.
 

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
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2,355
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Stanwood, WA
So the schedule looks like:
Sunday 4/15 at Lake Louise
Monday 4/16 at Lake Louise
Tuesday 4/17 at Sunshine Village (or is it Banff Sunshine these days?)
Wednesday 4/18 at Sunshine

Meeting times: 8:30am
@albertanskigirl can you suggest a good meeting place at Lake Louise?

For Sunshine, I’m thinking a good spot is to take the gondola up to the Village and meet on the main floor of the day lodge, near the fireplace. That’s a good spot to stash gear. For the MCP, the Guest Service Center is in the Creekside Lodge at the base. There are day lockers in another building at the gondola base (just looked it up on their website and that one is called Bourgeau Lodge), as well as the Village day lodge and other spots. You can boot up at the car, or at the Creekside or Bourgeau lodges at the base, or at the Village day lodge. Or you can gear up and boot up in the gondola if it’s not too full of people, it’s about 20 minutes to the Village.

If you need to rent or want to demo skis, the demo hut is near the top terminal of the gondola and adjacent to the Angel Express chair, so no need to schlep gear around. When I was there in 2015 they only carried Salomon, but they had just about everything in the Salomon line from cheater race skis to powder boards. I recall I did a 2 day rental, and swapped skis out pretty frequently.

I’m in for group apres and dinner on Monday.

Anyone want to meet up in Canmore or Banff on Saturday afternoon or evening?
 
Last edited:

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
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Stanwood, WA
Thought I would repost this very useful information for those who hadn’t seen it on the other thread, or maybe just forgot it was there.

Sounds good, @David Chaus ! we don't need no steenkeen gathermeister!

Ok - here's my quick and dirty, and then you can all go away and think about it. I welcome further questions.

Q. Where do I fly in to?
A. Well, Calgary, of course! Gateway to the world!

Q. Do I need to rent a car?
A. Well, it's up to you. Technically, you don't need to rent a car. Brewster runs a shuttle from the airport straight to your Banff hotel. Banff is totally walkable. And there are shuttles to all of the three mountains - Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay (if you want to go there) - straight from most hotels in Banff. If you have a Mountain Collective Pass, the shuttle is free. If you have a tri area lift ticket, the shuttle is free. Otherwise, it's $10 one way, or $15 return. If you want to do something else besides skiing while you're here (pfff...who wants to do that?) or if you want to spend a day at Kicking Horse (hmmm...yes, options...) you may want a car. Depending on how many of you want to do that, there might be enough seats in locals' cars.

Q. Where do I stay?
Clearly, you need to stay somewhere along the shuttle route:
https://www.skibig3.com/ski-shuttle/
You also want to stay somewhere you can walk quickly to food and drink: so basically somewhere on or near Banff Ave, between Buffalo St and Rabbit St is ideal. Basically, most hotels in Banff in that area are 2 or 3 star motel-hotel type deals, between $60 and $150/night. You can't really go wrong - except I stayed a night at the Homestead Inn for a night last week and can testify that the beds are truly atrocious.
If you want to be fancy, you can stay at the Banff Springs - that's the only plush hotel along the shuttle route. But it's a schlep from the main drag after apres and dinner.
There are also 2 hostels on the shuttle route - Samesum and Banff International. They're both fine.
Most important thing about the hotel: make sure to get a room with a refrigerator. Good for lunches and drinks! (Food on all of the mountains is pretty much notoriously bad and notoriously expensive...but hey, you're not coming here to eat at Sunshine's Alpine Grill, are you? Though I do like the new ramen at Lake Louise)

Q. Lift passes?
Do you have a Mountain Collective Pass? You're all set! And...little known fact: if you really want to ski Norquay, you can also use your MCP. Just show it at the resort and they will give you a 50% off ticket. Don't have an MCP? Your best option is probably to get multi-day tickets from: https://www.skibig3.com/lift-tickets/
If you get the tri-area lift tickets, you can ski at any of the three resorts, and you can also use the shuttle for free. Definitely worth it if you want to use the shuttle. Renting a car and have a Costco membership? You can stop at the North Calgary Costco (https://www.costco.ca/warehouse-locations/nw-calgary-calgary-ab-543.html) and get some cheap lift tickets not just for Sunshine, Louise or Norquay, but also Kicking Horse, Fernie and Castle. The Costco is on the way to the mountains, and American Costco members are welcome!

That's it for now! Let me know if you've got any questions or if you're ready to pin down some dates.
 
Thread Starter
TS
albertanskigirl

albertanskigirl

aka Sabrina
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Hi @David Chaus - yes, the fireplace in the main lodge at the top of the gondola is definitely the best place to meet up :) I usually put my boots on at the bottom of the gondola, on the 2nd floor of creekside lodge. There is now a nice set of shelves in a space on the side where you can leave your shoes/hikers. That would also be a possible place to meet up - top floor of Creekside by the comfy couches. I usually leave my hikers down at the bottom (so getting the car at the end of the day is easier) and drop my backpack off at the fireplace.

At Lake Louise, my suggestion would be in Whiskey Jack Lodge, on the top floor (the one level with the parking lot) - there are shelves where you can leave backpacks/lunches boots. We can occupy a table there (near guest services) to put boots on early on in the morning. Midweek, it's also a good place to eat lunch if you bring one. Otherwise food in in lodge of the 10 peaks, or temple.

The rental place at Sunshine is at the top of the gondola - and it's fairly unbusy, but quite expensive. If anyone needs a multi-day rental that's cheap. Snowtips/Backtrax in Banff is pretty cheap and they let you swap out skis. The rental place in Louise is almost always a mess witn long lines, and I suggest to avoid it at all cost.

We might be able to meet up for dinner in Canmore on Saturday - but not 100% sure yet. We'll let you know as we get closer to the date!
 

Posaune

sliding
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645
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Bellingham
David,
It appears that life has intruded on the days that the gathering is happening and I will not be able to attend. Make sure to have a good time so that it will happen again!
P
 

Mike Rogers

Getting off the lift
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431
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Calgary
Awesome!

I am looking forward to Sunday!

I still can't commit to the rest of the week. Things are mostly done on the project, but board approval isn't until the 26th. People can get a bit excited at the end....hopefully I can add a day extra at least!
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
I was planning to attend but my hip/back that I injured at Snowbasin at the Utah Gathering continues to give me grief, especially when putting on/off ski boots so right now I am off skis and back in Victoria and very unlikely to make it to Banff.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Tahoe
I was planning to attend but my hip/back that I injured at Snowbasin at the Utah Gathering continues to give me grief, especially when putting on/off ski boots so right now I am off skis and back in Victoria and very unlikely to make it to Banff.
What hip/back injury? I thought you were skiing like a champ at Alta.


*I'll make this thread a sticky. Looking forward to pics.
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
What hip/back injury? I thought you were skiing like a champ at Alta.


*I'll make this thread a sticky. Looking forward to pics.
Thanks for the "champ" comment, but I was mostly skiing groomers and not pushing it.

The hip injury was minor but it migrated into lower back pain and then after buckling up my boots on the last day of the Gathering, my lower back went into spasm. That was it for me and I headed home, skipping a stop at Sun Valley as well.

Oh well, tomorrow the '93 MR2 goes back on the road and with a forecast for Victoria of 10*C/50*F and a mix of sun and cloud, it could be a sports car T-roof day with a scenic drive to a dog friendly beach.:wag::)
 

noncrazycanuck

Getting off the lift
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Posts
517
Sorry would like to but it's not looking likely.
some of the people I ski with in the Rockies had already made plans to stay and ski with me at Whistler until the 15th.
 
Thread Starter
TS
albertanskigirl

albertanskigirl

aka Sabrina
Skier
Posts
319
Location
Calgary, AB
Hi, everyone -

I have made a booking at the Park Distillery for 10 people on Monday, April 16th at 7pm.

As we get closer to the date, I will actually ask everyone to confirm attendance for the dinner, as I have to give a precise number of attendees for the dinner. Otherwise, they will charge my card $20 per person for any modifications on the same day. I will send out a roster for the dinner in the days leading up to it.

yay!!!
 

Christy

Putting on skis
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Posts
72
Location
Seattle, WA
Yes, from Seattle, staying at the same hotel as Jenny and Vickie. Vickie mentioned this to me, and Alaska only wanted 5K miles each way to Calgary, so how could I not? :) I'm hesitant to commit to ski times and mountains until right before, when we know what conditions might be like. If there's a sleep-in-and-let-the-runs-soften type situation, I'm all over that. (Or maybe a "breakfast with Jenny" and wait for the runs to soften situation?). Depending on ski conditions and what day the others are going to tour Icefields Parkway, I might be interested in that (but don't plan around me--this would probably only be if the mountain was very icy). And I've been to Banff/Yoho/Jasper for hiking/camping, so I've done the drive.

I also might want to visit the Banff Upper Hot Springs, unless someone tells me it's not worth it. I see they are open late...

1) @albertanskigirl + SO (Apr 15-18, Banff)
2) @David Chaus + 1 (Apr 14-18, Canmore)
3) @Jenny + 1 (Apr 15-21, Banff)
4) @VickieH (Apr 15-21)
5) @Mike Rogers (weekends, at least)
6) @Poolskier Vinny (April 15-17)
7) @Christy (April 14-17, Banff)

[QUOTE="David Chaus, post: 230110, member: 119"][USER=2502]@Christy
can you fill in details for us? Thx[/QUOTE][/USER]
 

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
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Posts
2,355
Location
Stanwood, WA
I also might want to visit the Banff Upper Hot Springs, unless someone tells me it's not worth it. I see they are open late...
That could be a good apres-apres idea, after dinner at the Distillery.
 

Jenny

Out on the slopes
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Posts
751
Location
Michigan
I've been scheming for non-ski activities for me, but if it's a beautiful sunny day and there's going to be on-mountain apres ski I don't want to miss it. So, I can call Sunshine, but I was wondering if anyone knew if they'd have a problem with me crutching onto and off of the gondola. After I figure out how to navigate the snowfield, I can hang out in the lodge, or the spa at the hotel, or somewhere and have drinks in that cute cabin bar. I already have the MCP so if you need a lift ticket to ride up, I’m covered.

@Christy - Breakfast anytime!
 

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