Week of December 1-7, 1995
Snowboarder's guide to Banff
Q: My 17-year-old nephew is going snowboarding in Banff this December. His primary experience is 15-20 trips to New England over the last two seasons. Is he going to be literally over his head at Banff? I've never been boarding with him. His overall athletic abilities are adequate, but not exceptional.
A: With more than 40 inches of early snowfall already this year at Lake Louise Ski Area, your nephew probably will be over his head--in fresh powder. But if he's like most 17-year-old snowboarders, my guess is that he'll love every minute of it. Just to put your mind at ease, though, 75 percent of Lake Louise's 4,000 acres is beginner and intermediate terrain--which means he'll have plenty of room to improve his boarding prowess on the not-so-steep blue and green runs. You'll also be glad to know that there's an easy way down from every lift, so he won't be left stranded atop hair-raisingly steep double-diamond trails.
If you're still feeling uneasy, sign him up for a private boarding lesson for about $33 U.S. an hour for up to two people, or a group lesson for about $17 U.S. for an hour and 45 minutes, not including lift tickets. And finally, keep in mind that boarding in powder is probably the best and least painful way to hone those shredding skills--although after 15-20 trips to New England ski areas in the past two years, your nephew can probably more than hold his own. If you're still looking for reassurance, contact the Lake Louise Ski and Snowboarding School at 403-522-3555.
Filed To: Snow Sports