Overall Rating

Sunshine

Sunshine4/516
Sunshine4 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    88%

Sunshine - Reviews

Sunshine - Reviews

Gorgeous Scenery

25/07/2017

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Gorgeous Scenery

25/07/2017
Gorgeous views at Sunshine
Powder blown into Delirium Dive
The Sunshine gondola
The famous Rockies provide fantastic vistas
Taking the easy way into Delirium Dive
It’s been a long time since we have visited Sunshine and not that much has changed with respect to the terrain. A major change has been the various lift upgrades such that many of the lifts are now high speed. And the orange bubble chair which provides protection from the elements, is a significant improvement from the slow old, brutally cold double chair (and it was very welcome on one particularly frigid day we visited).

Sunshine used to be our favourite Banff ski resort, but on this visit it was potentially pipped at the post by Lake Louise because it provides better fall line groomers, more diverse expert terrain, and better tree skiing than Sunshine.

Our thoughts on the pros and cons are outlined on the Sunshine overview page, and you can also see the Canada ski resort ratings to see how we compare Sunshine to other ski areas.

Spent safety concerns

Al Finkelstein
03/01/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    4

Spent safety concerns

Al Finkelstein
03/01/2017
There are many wonderful things I would say about Sunshine. Great snow conditions, very expansive terrain, great lift network, absolutely beautiful views and landscape. I would especially want to recognize the ski school and Tom Horne who taught our first-time skier triplets to ski well in just 3 days and Tom Spence who helped my wife and I get back to skiing after a long time off.

My concerns about the resort have to with safety. First of all, we were there during the busy holiday week between Christmas and New Years so that contributes to the problem. The parking is quite limited and if you don't arrive early you could end up being very far and be forced to look for your car in remote parking very far from the lodge in the dark. The shuttle service is slow and crowded.

Secondly, the main lodge where people congregate for lunch is extremely crowded. There is a big need for additional lodge space so people aren't crawling over each other at lunch time. I have doubts that if that building needed to be evacuated in an emergency, an evacuation would go well.

Lastly, my time at Sunshine was punctuated on the last day with an accident or perhaps what seems to me in retrospect like an assault. Standing in a group of 7 people, awaiting direction from our ski instructor, a young man coming out of nowhere, barreled in to me at top speed. I had no warning and had no chance to move. He crashed in to me, helmet first, in to my side breaking at least 1 rib and keeping me from skiing anymore that day.

My natural instinct is to think it was just an accident and he lost control. As I reexamine the incident however I think it's possible it was intentional. Earlier while on the gondola I heard young kids joking about injuring people. There was no warning and the collision happened in what I would think is an unlikely place. Also, the kid fled the scene and offered no help even though he easily got up with help from friends.

The skiing at Sunshine is absolutley beautiful but. I do think the resort could put more of an emphasis on safety and cater to a more adult crowd rather than just teens and millennials.

Sunshine

Joe
29/12/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    4

Sunshine

Joe
29/12/2016
The more I go to sunshine the more I enjoy it. The best thing about sunshine is even if it hasn't snowed in a week, there is still plenty as it is the highest ski resort in the rockies. Covering three mountains the resort is definetly more suited for beginners and intermediates, but there is enough to keep advanced skiers happy.

Mount Standish is very fun with lots of natural features but has short runs. Lookout Mountain has long groomed runs but unless you know where you are going, you can get stuck in the flat spot. Goatseye Mountain has long, steep fall line runs from top to bottom with glades and some awesome tree skiing.

Pros:
- Probably some of the best snow in Canada
- Terrain to suit everyone
- Great Lift system
- Easy accessed back country (but not that challenging)
- Close to Banff (20 min) which has plenty to offer

Cons:
- Not too much for experts
- lacking good glades and tree skiing
- Doesn't get big dumps of snow
- Closest ski resort to Calgary so very busy on weekends and pow days
- As it is so high White outs can be common up top

Wonderful

Kody
08/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    3

Wonderful

Kody
08/03/2015
Absolutely wonderful. I have been skiing here this entire week. It has not snowed here in about a month (very, very rough season this year) and there is barely any ice. The snow quality is fantastic and very light.

Terrain is well marked, amazing views, and a great lift system. The downside is that the runs are not very long and quite short and the glade skiing is very tight at times.

I was there during midweek and on Saturday and the lines were not long, no more than 3 minutes wait at lifts, if that. I would highly recommend, you will not be disappointed.

3 powder days in a row

Thom W.
14/11/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    1

3 powder days in a row

Thom W.
14/11/2014
3 consecutive powder days (30 cm + of powder each day) at Sunshine. No snow at Lake Louise.

Great location, great skiing!

Nick
05/09/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    3

Great location, great skiing!

Nick
05/09/2014
Super high elevation, lots of snow, and great accommodation. The lift ride closes at 11:00, which sucks when you want to party in ridiculous Banff. There are some onsite food and drinks, but lacks a party atmosphere if that is what your looking for. Perfect for families and get you away from it all in the evening when the hoards leave.

It is Canada's top national park so it can be insanely packed, so powder must be sought out early, unless you got some secret stashes.

Solid

26/07/2013

Bec

Bec

  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    1

Solid

26/07/2013
Sunshine is a solid ski resort but reasonable snow and good terrain but there are much better Canadian ski resorts to visit that aren't inundated with crowds.

Good terrain, but c'c'c'cold!!!!!

Greg
19/03/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Admin Rating
    4

Good terrain, but c'c'c'cold!!!!!

Greg
19/03/2013
I have only skied here 1 time. I actually went for a few days but the first day it was - 55 degrees Celsius and so they closed the mountain. This was at the end of January.

This place is very close to Lake Louise though and I've been there several times and between the two I can say that they both get a lot of SUNSHINE! It was bright 'n blue every day.

That being said I found icy conditions at Sunshine and felt there could have been more trails and more lifts, but the terrain was excellent.

I like terrain that has a lot of off-piste skiing and a lot of cliffs and Sunshine was good for that. I'm sure when they get good snow it is absolutely fantastic!

Pros: Not crowded at all, good terrain, good if you like bright blue skies.

Cons: Seemed to be lacking snow/quality snow. (Remember though, I've only been 1 time.) The nightlife is not very good. The accommodations could be better too. However, Banff is nearby and takes care of both of these last two things very nicely.

Best suited to: Families, and expert skiers when the snow is good.

Not Quite Heaven But Close

Olivier
13/03/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Not Quite Heaven But Close

Olivier
13/03/2013
My favourite resort in Banff's "big three".

20 minutes outside of Banff, right on the AB/BC border is Sunshine Village. Tucked away in a valley, the official base of the mountain is a 15 minute gondola ride from the parking lot. Known for its vast terrain, abundance of state-of-the-art lifts, and relatively easily accessible slackcountry skiing.

If you are an expert skier, be sure to grab a beacon, a probe and a shovel for access to Sunshine's in-bounds "freeride" terrain. Delirium is a long ascent down the backside of Lookout Mtn. A massively open bowl with a nice incline for most of the nauseating descent. Wild West is an isolated descent on the side of Goat's Eye mountain with amazing couloir-canyons that are very unique to Wild West. Once a year (or less) Silver City opens, I've yet to have the pleasure to test this one out, but with a fall being an almost guaranteed visit to the morgue, maybe it is for the best! Silver City is quite possibly the most extreme mapped run in North America, and definitely not for the 99% of skiers/riders.

Along the Wawa ridge comes multiple opportunities for back-country and slack-country descents. My favourite descent is after disembarking from Wawa Quad, go skiers right about 250m take the gate @ skiers left and follow the ravine to the base of JackRabbit quad. A lot more out there but I will leave it up to you to find them. Be sure to check out "the shoulder" under TeePee Town double, and if youre down for a hike, "Farside" and "Saddledome" (from the high traverse on goats eye - 45-60 minute hike)

Pros:
-TERRAIN TERRAIN TERRAIN
-GOOD TERRAIN PARK
-AMAZING FREERIDE ZONES
-MODERN LIFTS
-GOOD SLACKCOUNTRY/BACKCOUNTRY OPTIONS
-INCREDIBLE SCENERY

Cons:
-$90 lift tickets
-Wait for gondola from parking lot in the morning can be time consuming
-Sometimes long ski-outs from certain runs
-Weather is unpredictable
-Limited options for beginner skiers
-Limited options for dining, prices are exorbitant

BEST SUITED FOR advanced/expert skiers who are looking to access great terrain with the help of a lift. Great destination for skier-families and friends.

Love Sunshine

13/02/2013

Jason

Jason

  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    1

Love Sunshine

13/02/2013
I first came to know Sunshine in 1993, and have been back many times since. The drive to Sunshine is the first indication that you are going somewhere special. The mountains have some of the most memorable shapes that you will ever see. Sunshine mountain is really a majestic place, with great snow, uncrowded slopes and a strong variety of terrain to meet the needs of all skiers. I have had some of my best powder days there, and have always found Sunshine to have consistent snow. The location of the mountain is about 30 minutes from the Town of Banff, and there is some limited accomodation right at Sunshine itself. Banff is probably the best place to stay, although it is 30 minutes away, so it is a trade-off. Overall, we really enjoy Sunshine, and like to go back every few years.

Pros: 1) Amazing terrain, 2) Great views, 3) Consistent snow

Cons: 1) Accomodation at base is extremely limited, 2) Nearest place for good accomodation and amenities is Banff
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