It was a last minute decision to travel to Banff, Alberta and to be honest, I wasn't completely sure I wanted to go. My boyfriend, Allan, was feeling restless in Toronto back in January, so after seeing a few videos of people skiiing and snowboarding on TikTok (and yes, he's addicted), he suggested that we go as well. He didn't mean skiing at Blue Mountain (a mountain a few hours north of Toronto) or travelling somewhere next winter, he meant he wanted to go to the Rockies and soon like in two weeks soon. And that's how I found myself running around the city buying a ski jacket, ski pants, base layers, and mittens before we boarded our flight to Calgary International Airport.
Conveniently, there was a shuttle bus from the airport to Banff. We decided not to rent a car since we had three days of skiing planned and then on the weekend my friend from Edmonton, who has a car, was joining us. The drive into the small but bustling town was beautiful. Nothing really compares to watching the snow-topped mountains getting bigger and bigger until you're so close, it hurts your neck to look straight up.
The first three days were full-on skiing! I only stepped on skis twice in my life and they were both disastrous: falling non-stop, crashing into fences, and even tripping over people. I was a mess, so this time I decided to invest in lessons at Lake Louise Ski Resort! It turned out to be amazing because my instructor, Georgia, was incredibly patient and helpful. We learned everything from how to hold your skis, when to get off the chairlift, and of course, how to turn and stop. I spent a lot of time on this bunny hill and magic carpet before I graduated to the green runs. Look at that view!
We also went to the Sunshine Village Ski Resort, which was my favorite. The green runs there are much easier than the ones at Lake Louise because they're less steep. The snow there was also powdery and soft, so when I fell, it didn't hurt as much! The views weren't as good since it wasn't very clear, but they were still so breathtaking that I stopped mid-run to take a panorama.
Back in town, I visited all the souvenir shops along Banff Avenue collecting lots of stickers. It wasn't hard to find them because it seemed like almost every single souvenir shop had them. They were nice high-quality vinyl stickers and the designs were very aesthetic with their retro colors and mountain range backgrounds. I tried to journal every night, but it was hard since I was often tired by the time we got back to the hotel. Below is my entry from our last day in Banff!
The last couple days were spent with one of my friends, Rayna. She drove all the way from Edmonton to spend time with us, which I really appreciated. We did a few hikes including Silverton Falls and Castle Mountain Lookout. The latter being a moderate hike, which left me gasping for air at times of steep inclination! Overall, the trip was so much more fun than I expected. I conquered my fear of skiing and I got to mark one more thing off of my 30-before-30 list! Perhaps a yearly trip to go skiing is in the cards for me!