We returned to Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada for the first time in 8 years and it was so good to be back. We spent a full season here in 2007/08 which we absolutely loved so we thought it was about time we came back for a visit. This was a short visit of 2 days, which was tacked onto the end of our full season in Colorado, so it was only fleeting but it was an awesome trip reliving some of our fondest riding moments.
Since our season 8 years ago, a few things have been updated which has made a great ski resort even better.
1. The Updated Tee Pee Town LX Chair
One of things we dreaded back in 2008 was catching the slow 2-seater chair lift, Tee Pee Town. The ride to the top took so long that on a cold and windy day you were frozen through by the time you arrived at the top. It usually whacked you in the butt too when you rode off it, adding to the pain! It was a real shame because you could access some excellent and challenging terrain from the top of Tee Pee Town but you'd definitely think twice about jumping on it when the weather wasn't great.
Thankfully things have changed with the new hooded and heated high-speed quad that is now Tee Pee Town LX. We loved the chair so much I think we probably rode it more in the 2 days we were there than we did for the whole 2007/08 season - it's awesome! And we loved the orange hood - it adds an element of surrealism that makes the experience even more enjoyable. Who said riding a ski lift wasn't fun?
2. The New Creekside Lodge
The updated base area now has a great little retail area and has very relaxed, modern feel where you can enjoy a coffee before jumping on the Gondola or an Apres drink before heading home. We don't often buy new gear on the hill but Jen found an awesome new helmet at a great price so she had to get it!
3. The Skiable Terrain
Sunshine Village has some very long and wide open runs and it was great to get to experience some of our old favourites again. For my money, it's almost impossible to wipe the grin off your face as you rip down South Divide or Bye Bye Bowl as fast as you dare. I looked in envy towards Goat's Eye Mountain, another of my favourites, but unfortunately the unseasonably low snowfall and warm weather meant it was no longer open at this time of year.
If you get there a little earlier in the season, Delirium Dive cannot be overlooked. Grab some avalanche gear, a competent riding buddy and be prepared to ride some of the gnarliest terrain you're likely to access from a ski resort!
4. The Friendly And Helpful Staff
Whether it was guest services, the retail shops or the food and beverage outlets, we were always welcomed with knowledgeable and friendly staff. Even a great place can leave you feeling frustrated if you have a negative experience with indifferent staff but we're happy to say that at Sunshine Village you have the whole package!
5. On-Hill Food And Beverage Options
Sunshine Village has great choices when it comes time to rest from riding and eat. We might be a bit biased as Jen worked at Chimney Corner when we did our season here but I have to say the food and service at this restaurant is awesome. We were served by friendly Australian and English staff and they made us feel at home straight away. An awesome Caesar to the start off our delicious lunch set the tone.
And I'm not one to frequent Starbucks often, but I have to admit the coffee made by the Melbourne lady at Java Lift (Sunshine Mountain Lodge) was one of the best I've sampled on mountain. She was very accommodating too - although she didn't know what a Breve was (my favourite new coffee), I talked her through it and she smashed out an awesome cup!
Another great thing about Sunshine Village is that they offer a common 'picnic' area. Microwaves and hot water are available to use free-of-charge. If you want to save a few bucks it's a good place to bring your own food and enjoy a hot lunch. You'll find the picnic area in the day lodge.
We Miss You Sunshine
So there you have it. A quick blast down memory lane has confirmed our love for Sunshine Village - a great place is now even better! If you haven't yet visited, you need to get yourself to this magnificent mountain - it should be on every skiers and snowboarders 'places to ride' bucket list.
Read our detailed review of Sunshine Village here.
Have you been to Sunshine Village lately? Or do you have any questions about this awesome ski resort? If so, please leave a comment below.
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Mick is a lover of speed runs and hitting every feature on the mountain. Ex road bike and motocross racer with plans to dabble in mountain bike racing. Spends a lot of time looking at fast cars and bikes. Jen’s instagram model and selfie camera holder due to long arms. Sometimes an optometrist.