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A pair of skis is required to reach historic Skoki Lodge, tucked behind [R368R, Lake Louise Ski Area] in Banff National Park. The lodge, the oldest commercial lodge to cater to skiing tourists in Canada, is a place to forget the modern rat race and relax into the warmth of a rustic log cabin as snowflakes descend outside.

Even without electricity, the staff cooks up gourmet meals. Ski on an 11-kilometer trail from Lake Louise Ski Area across a frozen lake and over two passes. Arrive at the lodge to tea and cookies. Dine on a buffet dinner with bread baked fresh that morning.
Sleep snuggled under down comforters in a small main lodge room or in one of the surrounding cabins. Rise to a rousing breakfast buffet, and pack your lunch to tour routes in one of the five adjoining valleys filled with ridges, lakes and slopes for ski touring or telemarking.

Skoki Lodge: Built in 1931 by Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies

Main lodge: Living room decorated with historic photos and ski memorabilia, dining room, kitchen, and several small sleeping rooms upstairs

Cabins: Three for families or couples surround the main lodge

Architecture: Built using local logs with saddle-notched corners

Renovated: 2003-04

Level of rusticity: No electricity, running water or flush toilets

Amenities: Wood stove heat, kerosene lanterns for lights, outhouses, down comforters, flannel sheets, towels, wash basins with warm water available

What you have to live without:  Cell phone, internet, television

Entertainment: Scrabble, cards, reading

Capacity: 22 guests

Rooms:  Combos of single, bunk, double, queen and king beds

Meals:  Home-style gourmet dinners and breakfasts, self-packed lunches made from homemade breads, deli meats and cheeses, fruit, veggies, fresh baked cookies, and GORP.

Libations:  Lemonade, tea, coffee; beer and wine for an additional charge

Winter access: 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) ski from Temple Lodge at Lake Louise Ski Area to Skoki Lodge

Trail difficulty: Route crosses two passes—Boulder and Deception—with 500 meters (1,600 feet) of elevation gain and 300 meters (980 feet) of descent

Route markings: Stakes and sometimes a snowmobile track

Terrain: Flat lakes, gentle uphill grades, steeper uphill ascents over passes

Equipment needed: Cross country, AT/randonee or telemark skis

Elevation of lodge: 2,164 meters (7,100 feet)

Winter operational dates: Dec. 23- April 14, 2012

Cost:  $139-244 per person, per night

Minimum stay: Two nights, unless only one is available

Operator: Lake Louise Ski Area

Reservations: 888-99-SKOKI (888-997-5654), 403-522-1347

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