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Lake Louise Long Term Plan
I have skied Lake Louise 50 times and Sunshine village 500 days and I have over 500 backcountry skis in the Rockies. I have also taught young kids to ski at Lake Louise so I know the challenges of getting around the hill with beginner or intermediate skiers.
West Bowl Versus Hidden Bowl
West Bowl faces south and southwest which means that it is hit with the hot late afternoon sun. It is also windward being that the prevailing winds are out of the southwest. There is also lots of cliff and rocky pockets which are initiations zones for avalanches. The area is particular prone to faceting and avalanches. I estimate the skiing will only be good 20% of the time. I think there is much better terrain to build near the existing resort. For example Hidden Bowl faces Northeast which means that it is protected from the afternoon sun and gets loaded by the prevailing winds. I estimate hidden bowl will have good skiing 80% of the time. It will only have poor skiing during a whiteout. As well, the coral chutes off Richardson Ridge will be a bigger slack country avalanche risk than west bowl currently is. West bowl is similar to the south chutes at goats eye but with less snow, more wind, and more sun. The south chutes at goats eye only opened 2 weeks this year so west bowl might not even have opened this year….
This will be a nice addition, if it is built as a gondola it could provide down loading when there is less snow at the bottom of the mountain in late spring or at the start of the season. A gondola would also be safer for beginners and kids for uploading.
This will bring a lot of skiers to the saddle. The groomers will need to be expanded to deal with the crowds.
MeadowLark Lift and runs
The meadowlark run is a steep icy off-camber groomer that provides poor skiing most of the season. This whole pod will not make for nice skiing and should not be developed. As well the lift will put too much capacity on the front side where the skiing is poor most of the season.
Richardson Ridge will be an amazing additions for intermediate and beginner skiers, as Lake Louise lacks this type of terrain. It will also attraction advanced skiers during whiteout or windy days. The only problem is that it will make avalanche prone slopes on coral chutes and snowboard bowl easier to access.
The current plan for the prune picker lift will cause the run 65 Pika to become congested so a parallel run should be constructed. It may attracted beginners to the back side who will only ski this lift. Preferably development rights from Medowlark lift and runs should be transferred here to make a small terrain pod to complement Richardson ridge.
This area is already heavily skied by the gondola. More skiers in this area will completely overwhelm the run capacity and snow quality. This lift should not be developed.
This will be a nice addition!
Ptarmigan replacement lift
Replacing Ptamigan with a Gondola with more direct access to temple lodge would reduce the need for the access road to the bottom of larch and provide beginners a way to get to the backside.
A backside high speed quad that services Boomerang would be preferable to a fixed grip quad along the ridge, keep the Poma for skiing the front side. No perfect solution here.
This will be a great addition! There is a lack of washrooms on the hill and with so many cold days a warm up hut is a great idea!
Consultation has concluded