A pair of skis is required to reach historic Skoki Lodge, tucked behind Lake Louise Ski Area in Banff National Park. The lodge, the oldest commercial lodge to cater to skiing tourists in Canada, is a place to forget the modern rat race and relax into the warmth of a rustic log cabin as snowflakes descend outside.
Even without electricity, the staff cooks up gourmet meals. Ski on an 11-kilometer trail from Lake Louise Ski Area across a frozen lake and over two passes. Arrive at the lodge to tea and cookies. Dine on a buffet dinner with bread baked fresh that morning.
Sleep snuggled under down comforters in a small main lodge room or in one of the surrounding cabins. Rise to a rousing breakfast buffet, and pack your lunch to tour routes in one of the five adjoining valleys filled with ridges, lakes and slopes for ski touring or telemarking.
Skoki Lodge: Built in 1931 by Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies
Main lodge: Living room decorated with historic photos and ski memorabilia, dining room, kitchen, and several small sleeping rooms upstairs
Cabins: Three for families or couples surround the main lodge
Architecture: Built using local logs with saddle-notched corners
Level of rusticity: No electricity, running water or flush toilets
Amenities: Wood stove heat, kerosene lanterns for lights, outhouses, down comforters, flannel sheets, towels, wash basins with warm water available
What you have to live without: Cell phone, internet, television
Entertainment: Scrabble, cards, reading
Capacity: 22 guests
Rooms: Combos of single, bunk, double, queen and king beds
Meals: Home-style gourmet dinners and breakfasts, self-packed lunches made from homemade breads, deli meats and cheeses, fruit, veggies, fresh baked cookies, and GORP.
Libations: Lemonade, tea, coffee; beer and wine for an additional charge
Winter access: 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) ski from Temple Lodge at Lake Louise Ski Area to Skoki Lodge
Trail difficulty: Route crosses two passes—Boulder and Deception—with 500 meters (1,600 feet) of elevation gain and 300 meters (980 feet) of descent
Route markings: Stakes and sometimes a snowmobile track
Terrain: Flat lakes, gentle uphill grades, steeper uphill ascents over passes
Equipment needed: Cross country, AT/randonee or telemark skis
Elevation of lodge: 2,164 meters (7,100 feet)
Winter operational dates: Dec. 23- April 14, 2012
Cost: $139-244 per person, per night
Minimum stay: Two nights, unless only one is available
Operator: Lake Louise Ski Area
Reservations: 888-99-SKOKI (888-997-5654), 403-522-1347
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