Gear and Rentals
Skiing and snowboarding are specialized sports, and require special equipment. If you don’t live in a wintry climate, or own your own ski or snowboard gear, the equipment required is likely not lying around your house. Not to worry, there are plenty of opportunities to rent or purchase gear in Banff National Park!
Skis (with bindings)
Snowboard (with bindings)
Apart from the ski areas, equipment can also be rented in the Town of Banff:
View Equipment Rental Stores
Equipment Stores (for purchase)
Ski and snowboard equipment and apparel is available at each of the ski areas. A variety of equipment stores in Banff and Lake Louise are also ready to outfit you – head to toe! Check out the member listings below:
View Equipment Stores
Preparing for the Winter Climate
The weather in the Canadian Rockies is unpredictable, though winter sees less volatility so you should be able to plan accordingly. In January, the average daytime high is -7C (19F) and by April it is +9C (49F), but be prepared for some cold temperatures at any time. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience an inversion on the ski hill, where the temperatures at the top of the mountain are warmer than the bottom!
The key to staying warm in winter is to layer your clothing properly. A moisture-wicking base layer should be worn next to the skin, followed by an insulating layer and then an outer, windproof and waterproof shell (jacket). Breathable outer layers are best so that you can stay warm without sweating inside all your layers while you are skiing (you may work up some heat on the way down and then get cold sitting on the chairlift on your way back up!).
All the extremities must be properly covered to avoid frostbite, so pack warm socks (breathable and moisture-wicking is best), mittens or gloves, a hat, and a neckwarmer or balaclava.
If you struggle to keep your fingers and toes warm, consider bringing along or purchasing some heat packs, which you can slide into your mittens or boots.