I don’t travel much for work, but each year I do attend a mountain travel conference that’s typically held at some pretty awesome ski destinations. This year, I went to Banff Lake Louise. It was my second trip to Banff, having come here in 2004 for the same event. Both times I was lucky enough to stay at the Fairmont, a tremendous old castle (with a history) that is now a world-class hotel. I can safely say that the combination of the exceptional service of the Fairmont coupled with the spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies makes for a very memorable trip, whether work is involved or not.
In my case, some work was involved, and while I won’t bore you with details here, I did learn that Canada’s DHL service does not work on weekends, and will not drive through sleet, snow or rain to deliver packages, unlike, say, FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service. .
Despite package delivery issues and work requirements, I did get out skiing at Lake Louise with some old friends who I met when I first started working in the ski industry in the last century. It was a blast! The Canadian Rockies are very different from the Sierra, and while they may not see snowfalls measured in feet (it is a metric country after all), the local ski resorts have some legitimately big mountain skiing, with steep lines and chutes that are often in-bounds. Lake Louise definitely boasted some steep lines, ones deserving of the expert/double black diamond rating. I didn’t get a chance to ski Sunshine, but based on the raves I heard from Nils, Delirium Dive is on my list for next time.
And I’m pretty sure there will be a next time – ideally one wholly dedicated to play. Besides skiing, there are a slew of other things I missed out on, including a chocolate shop whose name made my inner 9 year old boy giggle.