BANFF, Alta. – Don't forget to pack your bikinis, sunscreen, and skis this week in Banff.
Starting Tuesday (June 28), Sunshine Village Ski Resort is welcoming skiers and snowboarders back to the slopes after being buried in snow this season at a volume the Banff ski resort hasn’t had since before snowboarding was a thing.
The resort's goal is to keep visitors riding and skiing until July 3.
“This is definitely the craziest amount of snow I’ve seen in my recollection of a memory,” said Kendra Scurfield, director of brand and communications. “I’ve never seen a season where we’ve had so much snow this late.”
Sunshine reported 900 centimetres of powder dropping down this past season and the white stuff kept coming throughout a cold and wet spring and summer.
“It is the most snow we’ve had on record since the 1956-57 season,” said Scurfield. “The last time we had this much snow, snowboarding wasn’t even around.”
The last time Sunshine's slopes were open this late was July 1991, the same month Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released in theatres.
For this upcoming stint of ski days, hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and the Strawberry Express will be the only run open. Additionally, a small terrain park will be set up.
“We are asking skiers and snowboarders to please help us by staying on the groomed trails," said Scurfield. "The resort and the snow wasn’t maintained since Slush Cup as well as the environmental integrity of the resort.
“What did take a lot of work on an operational level was getting the resort back up and operational in a safe manner to safely welcome skiers and snowboarders on Strawberry. We had to send the CATs out, we had to put up fences, we had to make sure we mitigated any potential risks within the skiable terrain on Strawberry."
The next week or so of summer skiing was approved by Parks Canada. The federal agency, which is the decision-maker to allow Sunshine to open, declined an interview with the Outlook. Kira Tryon, public relations and communications officer for Banff National Park, referred any questions to Sunshine Village.
Previously, Sunshine’s last day of the ski season this year was on May 23 during its annual Slush Cup celebrations. However, the resort's summer operations opened on June 24.
For skiers and 'boarders who purchased Sunshine ski pass or Ski Big 3 pass for the 2022-23 ski seasons, access is free.
There is a 50 per cent discount for anyone with a 2021-22 season pass. A ticket for a day pass is $59 and it works for skiing and sightseeing.