Skiing at Lake Louise is always an amazing experience but when the Ice Magic Festival is in town, the experience becomes, we’ll, magical.
Ice carvers from all around the world gather outside the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on Friday morning where they compete for 34 hours to create a stunning piece of ice art. With the olympics taking place in Sochi this year, the theme for the Ice Magic Festival was “Freeze the Olympics”.
We arrived on saturday morning to half-finished ice sculptures. It was really cool to see the carvers mid-way through their masterpieces and see the extremely hard work that is involved. With the average block of ice weighing in at 300 pounds, these artists have to balance physical exertion with artistic finesse. Add freezing cold temperature to the mix and you can imagine how dedicated these artists must be.
We knew we had to come back and see the finished products and we figured we should combine an amazing day of skiing while we were at it. When Monday morning came around, we drove back to Lake Louise from Banff and took a side trip to the Fairmont before hitting the ski hill.
I am so happy we did it this way. It was only 8:30 in the morning and the sun was just breaking through the clouds. For the first time in my life, my wife and I had Lake Louise and the ice sculpture to ourselves. No one was around. The air was crisp and fresh.
Absolutely incredible. The sculptures ranged from the 5 olympics rings, fighting elks on the podium, figure skaters and a swimmer diving into the water, which just so happened to win first place. I couldn’t believe the detail that went into these finished products.
After gawking at the beauty that was created over the weekend, we took advantage of a quick skate on Lake Louise, surrounded only by the mystical mountains and an ice castle that stands on the ice each and every winter.
We couldn’t hear anything but our blades carving the ice beneath us. It wasn’t long though before a tractor started up to clear the small amount of snow that formed on the ice over night. The horse sleigh rolled up early, waiting for customers to wake from their slumbers. A couple of people showed up to see the carvings.
It was now 9:30 AM and we decided to take off the skates and head down to the ski resort to get a full day of skiing in. 20 minutes later, we were at the resort, looking up at the runs that we were about to ski down.
I love Lake Louise. The lake, the ski resort, the scenery – all of it is intense in beauty. Lake Louise Ski Resort is known as having the most beautiful scenery of any ski resort in the world. It’s also world-class with over 145 runs for skiers and boarders to delight in.
We jumped straight on the gondola to go to the top of the mountain. It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and a warm sun. The temperature was only in the single digits. Minus in temperature of course. Warm for a ski day.
I love arriving to the top of the mountain. Looking down at all the glory surrounding me. Breathing in the fresh air. Anticipating the fast run I’m about to make to the bottom. Blue skies. Fluffy clouds.
Everything is incredible.
As I take one last look at the incredible scenery in front of me, I nudge the ski just a little and gain speed down the mountain. My favourite part of skiing is going very, very fast and then making tight turns where I can touch the snow with my hand. It’s a rush. I love the feeling of speed and the tears that form in my eyes from the small amount of wind that goes through my ski mask.
Within 10 minutes, I’m at the bottom. It was a long run but I felt like I flew down. Speed is my bliss. I get back on the gondola and make my way back to the top for another of many runs down spectacular Lake Louise.
For those looking to travel to Alberta, Lake Louise is an absolute MUST DO. In my opinion, Banff and Lake Louise are the #1 must do sights in all of Canada. Lake Louise is located just 30-40 minutes drive west from Banff, Alberta or about 2-2.5 hours west of Calgary. In the summer, you can enjoy watching grizzly bears from the Lake Louise chairlift and in the winter you can enjoy some of the worlds best skiing. You can’t lose. GO!
For more information, check out SkiLouise.com.
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