Next Morning: Woke up, weather was average, no skiing today so we thought we would take the walk out to the Sundance Canyon. We were advised that this was an easy 8km walk along a sealed path, well that might be in summer as the path was mostly ankle deep snow the whole way, so was a tad tougher than expected. Good for the fitness training anyway. Along the way we saw a guy looking a bit uncomfortable, he approached us and warned us that he heard the people up further with 2 dogs yell "Bear"
. When we thought that was cool he thought we were a bit nuts for carrying on. Once we got to the people with the dogs we asked if they had seen a bear which they had not and advised he probably heard them yelling "Come here". When we got to the Sundance Canyon there wasn't much to see as everything was covered in snow. There was a sign showing a path to Sundance Lookout ....another 2.4 km which we thought we may as well check out seeing we had come this far. After about 500m we decided that maybe the conditions were not the best for this as we were having to climb up snow covered rocks and the path was becoming less obvious the further we went, so we turned back. I was pretty hungry when we got back into town so we went to Tony Roma's to try his so called famous ribs and enjoy a beer. The place is similar to what Cobb & co used to be like (for those in NZ), but the food was pretty good. The next day the weather hadn't improved (it seems mornings are regularly average), so we grabbed some lunch at Coyote's and Alanna lead me on one of her tours where no one knows where you are going, including her. We headed into some bush area and for some reason she preferred making her own path rather than following the signs. We ended up at the Hoodoos lookout which had a great view. Hungry after this hike, I was determined to go to McDonald's and try a Canadian "Big Mac" (I make a point of trying Big Mac's in every country I visit). This was one of the best I have tried, so Canada feel proud!!!
Woke up to perfect blue sky so off to the mountain we headed. It seems everyone had the same idea as we had to park about 2 km's from the ski lift. The day was superb, blue sky, no clouds, approx 9 degrees and powder. We both preferred the runs here in Sunshine as the green runs are a bit more accommodating for the beginner skier i.e. us. My contol on the slopes had improved and I managed to avoid all trees however did a big face plant when I hit some deep powder at high speed. Alanna almost wet herself laughing. We were also entertained by Coors Beer holding a bit of a party at the base which included the Coor's girls in a hot tub and a bikini comp ;-)
It seems we were pretty lucky as the locals were telling us that it was the best day of the season.
On arrival in Banff we drove around looking for some where to camp out for the next 4 nights, we decided on the Banff Ptarmigan Inn on the main street. These guys were great as Alanna was able to sweet talk the desk clerk into upgrading us into a better room for the same price as a standard room. We were pretty knackered from driving all day (well I was, Alanna slept most of the way) so we went to the Upper Hot Springs as it's always pretty good to sit outside in a hot pool while it's snowing. We were happy to hear that the mountain was still open for skiing as well so the plan was to go skiing on the days when the weather was good.