Panorama Mountain Village
The elevation at this resort is second only to a couple of resorts, so since it is always so uncrowded, the long cruising runs that you ski there are the best! Lots of good tree skiing and the best views in the world! The name really suits the resort, the people there are really friendly, if you can find them.. the runs are like deserted on weekdays!
Located within the largest heli-skiing area in the world, and with the second biggest vertical in North America, Panorama offers skiing for all abilities. Owners Intrawest have recently expanded the skiable terrain to over 2000 acres and taken the trail total over the 80 mark. They reckon the resort is 'North America's best kept secret.'
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Panorama resort is located two hours drive south of Banff. The drive through Banff and Kootenay National Parks is one of the the most scenic in the world. Nearest International Airport: Calgary - 290 kilometers Nearest Domestic Airport: Calgary - 290 kilometers
This resort is great and specially geared towards the family or beginner to intermediate skier. If you have a couple of real diehard skiers in your group maybe this mountain would be a stopover rather than a week destination for you. This hill is very laid back relaxed and a comfortable way to ski. Prices are great although boarder on the higher end, I suggest see this mountain before it is developed to far. One last word of wisdom......try the hot springs (magical stuff).
- Lot of heigth, but not much width. A lot of vertical means little when there are only 8 ways down.
- Typically gets less snow than other resorts in the region. Probably not the best resort to go to in spring as runs get very icy in times of poor snow.
- Takes 3 chairs to go from base to summit - takes some of the fun out of the 1200m vertical
Phone: (604) 342-6941
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Postal: Panorama, British Columbia V0A 1T0 Canada
Best way to get there would be to fly to Calgary then jump on a bus or hire a car and drive the 2.5 hours to the resort. This resort is about 15 mins from Invermere so you can either stay in town or do your shopping there. There is a relatively well-stocked food and grog shop on the mountain although the price will kill you. If you choose to stay in town there are buses that run several times a day and if you stay on mountain you can catch the staff bus down to do the shopping for free.
There are regular day trips from Banff via Banff Adventure tours.
Panorama has a fantastic village and is very centrally located, heaps of places to eat drink and be merry. More accommodations are now being built as Intra-west resorts have just brought this resort. Central reservations are great here, ring them up and off you go everything is done for you. Most accommodations here are listed with central res. There are two main areas to stay: village top or bottom, both are ski-in ski-out depending where you are staying and they are linked by a tiny gondola that runs constantly. If you don't like the gondola it's only a 5 minutes stroll or better still strap on the gear and ride across the overpass.
The best thing to do if you're going there for a long time is to spend a week in one of their good hotels. Whilst there you can then look for cheaper accomodation. Lots of cheap stuff there like $400 a month apartments!
You can get Ski/Board rentals from Lusti's for as low as $30 per day on some packages.
There is a fancy gondola-style lift connecting the village with the ski hill. In saying that, most of the village is compact and within walking distance.
Lots of Parking at the lower village near the gondola.
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There are many places to eat and all at reasonable prices for what you get. Panorama has a fantastic new daylodge that offers a hearty cheap and tasty breakfast. The pub (Kicking Horse) offers yummy pizzas and finger food. Dinner time, there is basically two family restaurants that could keep you occupied for a few nights then you can move onto the more up-market Toby Creek fine dinning, even here the prices are great. I would suggest a kitchenette if you were staying more than 5 or so nights. There is a small grocery shop that is pretty well stocked although can get expensive if you are feeding a family, jump on the bus and go to town instead is my advice.
Bars & Entertainment
The nightlife at Panorama is rather lacking since it is more of a hardcore skiing town.
Theres a fairly decent ski/board/clothing store located next to the day lodge at the base of the 1-mile quad.
The chairs on this mountain are a little slow and sometimes can be a real pain, but if you tough it out you'll be pleasantly surprised by an extreme dream zone. Now this area is great. Try "fat chance, last chance and Gunbarrell" I would have to say my favourite run was "Downhill (in the bumps)" , crusiest run "Fritz's", and best show off runs "Sunbird or Showoff"
If your really keen, Panorama has a great Heli-ski operation that is run right out of the resort...hop out of bed and 30minutes later you'll be skiing down and untouched mountain in pure powder...mmm heaven.
All the flatter terrain is contained at the bottom part of the mountain. Theres a carpet and a J-bar for the stone cold beginner, then some better green runs off the Mile 1 and toby chairs. Horseshoe off the Mile-1 Quad is a fantastic, wide rolling greeny. Groomed to perfection and ideal for someone starting out, learning to do longer runs.
Panorama actually advertises that they groom at least 220kms per night. This seems about right as its never hard to find the corduroy when your up there. They do indeed groom some black stuff too, with Fritz's being flattened along with Stumbocks on the summit. Grooming quality is very good and you can feel confident to fly down them no matter what the condition.
There are three main areas to find some great off-piste skiing. The first being Founders Ridge to the skiers right of the champagne quad, Sun Bowl is a beautiful area off Champagne too. The third area is basically the entire top section of the hill. covering the summit quad area with glades, the extreme dream zone and then the double black realm of tayton bowl. The issue with the summit runs is that the final 3kms are a cat-track to the base and then 3 chairs back to the top!
Out of Bounds
Heli ski operations right from the resort, what more needs to be said?
Parks & Pipes
If you like sailing through the air with merry glee, try the Showoff park. In March there were about 6 sets of kickers in the one run! You had a choice of a medium or a large feature at each set. There was a smaller, tamer terrain park off the Toby Chair too.
Plenty of bumbs around Sun Bowl and Founders Ridge. Downhill run had its fair share too.
Pretty much the whole mountain. Trees are everywhere from the Summit to the base.
Perhaps more playing in the snow than Snowplay, Fort Hide 'n' Seek is nestled in the Secret Forest between Fritz's and Hay Fever. A strange place for a two story Fort and slippery dips as they are two black runs and there is an optional double black way out, Cliff Glades.
There is an internal stairway and two options down, a spiral slide or a straight slide. You slide very fast in ski pants and ski boots!!!
Well Panorama does not get the kind of powder that resorts like Big White and Fernie on a regular basis but the cover is pretty good. You can expect lots of sunny days to enjoy the scenery with.