To those of you who still have a little cartilage left in their knees and would like nothing better than to spend the rest of this long spring skiing, take heart: It's still dumping snow in Canada, and the slopes are open even this late in the season.
At Banff, in the Canadian Rockies, for example, they had an unbelievable dump of more than a foot and a half of snow last weekend. And that was in the village; they had even more on the mountain, where ski conditions at the Sunshine Village ski area are excellent. I had the pleasure of skiing there a few months ago, taking the L-shaped gondola up the mountain and then finding an enormous bowl of great skiing when you get to the top.
If you want to have an absolute blast while trying something new, rent a sno-bike from the shop at the top of the gondola, take a 15-minute lesson, and you'll be shooting down the hills on bikes with skis where the tires should be. I spent a very happy afternoon taking the Mt. Standish express quad lift and biking down the Creek Run and Borderline trails, skidding the sno-bike into turns and enjoying the scenery immensely.
For beginners, the Lake Louise ski area, still open as of this writing, has a long, gentle hill to practice your snowplow turns, with a t-bar that pulls you up to the top. A separate kids' area with a Magic Carpet lift is a great place for lessons. My son Joe enjoyed snowboarding with an instructor named Alex who got him sliding down the hill in no time.
And of course, for expert skiers, there is no end to the black diamond runs and backcountry terrain that make the Rockies the best ski venues on the continent. If you head up to Alberta in the next couple of weeks, tell us how you made out with spring skiing.
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