Since a high pressure system moved in, Lake Louise hadn't seen new snow in a week. But the base accumulated in its record-breaking snow year had everything skiable a few days ago. Conditions ran from packed powder to a bit of hard pack, espcially on high west-facing runs. Groomers were carvy-fast, while off-groomed required concentration--especially to hop a few bare rocks.
Two things make Lake Louise worth skiing in almost any type of snow--the unbeatable views of jagged peaks dripping with glaciers and the terrain. Runs trip downslope using natural rollers, drops, and fall lines. And with the vertical, you just keep skiing, and skiing, and skiing...
Under high clouds, we headed for the back side to test the bowls, but flat light made it a little difficult to discern bumps. We did, however, find a bit of softer snow in front side glades and relished the wild Rockies views across to Mt. Temple and Mt. Victoria. For lunch, we hit the Great Bear in Lodge of Ten Peaks. The three bars--soup/salad, pasta, and meat/potatoes--converted us to pigs; we tried it all. And then the creme brulee dessert, too.
In our post-lunch sluggishness, a few sucker holes gave way to full sun, luring enough skiers back out that there was actually a one-minute wait in the lift line. Atop the gondola, a wedding dress bedecked bride and groom posed for dramatically-backdropped photos. But before they finished, a blizzard descended blowing winds across the summit whipping the veil sideways like a flag.
We may not have caught Louise's earlier legendary powder, but the terrain still was fun to ski. And with 4,200 acres, we didn't even dent what was there.