If you love to ski every day and mix up your resorts, alongside big adventure and a bouncing town, this course is for you. Exclusively with Nonstop, we’ve teamed up with SkiBig3 to bring you coaching across all three of Banff’s resorts: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay. Coaching takes place four days per week and we rotate between resorts based on snow conditions and objectives, with days off reserved for freeriding, away trips and extra certs. You’ll ride everything from powder and steeps to trees and park, to elevate your all-mountain game and in preparation for your CSIA Level 1, followed by Level 2.
Based in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, we love Banff for its incredible scenery and energetic town. The collective ski area is huge with three resorts close by, each one with unique appeal. You’ve wild tree runs and silky snow at Sunshine Village, open bowls and freeride descents at Lake Louise, with steep groomers at local gem Mount Norquay. To max out your winter, each week we also lay on workshops, après and local adventures we’ve scoped out, with options from powder road trips to guided cat skiing in the backcountry.
The course includes all your coaching and accommodation in a central hotel or hostel, plus a tri-area season pass, airport transfers, hosting, exam fees, some meals and our 1% For The Planet commitment. You also have access to optional extras and carbon offsetting your trip.
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Banff is unique, home to a bouncing town and three varied ski areas – Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay, collectively known as the Big 3. Between each, there’s powder, steeps, trees, open faces and parks, plus mega views everywhere you turn. Every week you’ll ride all three resorts, which we rotate between depending on the snow, weather and kind of terrain we want to ski.
Lake Louise is the largest of the Banff trio with 4,200 acres of terrain, made up of four faces. There’s a real mix of slopes and long top-to-bottom runs. We love the remote Back Bowls for hunting down pow and steeps.
Sunshine Village is the highest of Banff’s resorts with sprawling terrain. The deepest snow is usually here, with 30ft falling on average each winter. There’s big freeride potential on the mountain, with the Delirium Dive zone giving access to gnarly backcountry descents.
Mount Norquay is the local gem and closest to Banff town, with glorious groomers, tree-lined trails, bumps and steep pitches to really challenge your skiing.
The town itself is full of energy, with a big nightlife and a huge selection of shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained during the season. There’s a real buzz as you wonder down the main street, Banff Avenue, flanked by stunning scenery and frosted peaks.
With three resorts to choose from, we have access to all kinds of terrain and can chase the best snow conditions. Our goal is to elevate your all-mountain riding, while preparing you for success in your instructor exams, mixing technical training with freeriding.
Our coaching is challenging, progressive and fun. We want to push your level and get the best from you, while exploring the mountain and enjoying good times along the way. You’ll have coaching four days per week and sessions feature a mix of drills, guided mileage and practice scenarios to develop your skills. Each week brings about a focus on a different theme and you’ll ride everything from powder and trees to steeps. We also use one-on-ones, video analysis and workshops to supplement group coaching.
As for our coaches, they are full of energy and passion. All Level 4s or 3s, they are highly experienced and have the inside-track on the local mountains. Each week you’ll rotate between coaches so you benefit from their different styles and insights. Groups sizes are small at 6-8 riders, and we match you up by ability so you’re riding at the correct level.
The first phase of the course prepares you for your Level 1, before moving onto your Level 2 in the second phase. Both consist of skiing and teaching components, which you can pass separately and is the focus of our coaching. The Level 2 is internationally recognised and can open the door to a world of teaching opportunities. We usually see 90-100% pass rates on the Level 1, and 75-90% for the Level 2.
In the second part of the course, you also have the option to pivot to our All Mountain Pro route, rather than Level 2. Here, the focus is entirely on your own skiing and conquering steep and deep. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, AMP option is a great path for freeriding.
If you've set your sights on becoming a ski instructor, we give you the best possible opportunity to succeed. The program will fully prepare you for the CSIA Level 1 and 2, as well as offering park instructor or race instructor certs.
Level 1 in introductory and allows you to teach in Canada, while the Level 2 will qualify you to work in ski schools around the world, from North America to New Zealand, Japan and Europe. We also give you a whole load of extra skills and practical advice that will set you on the path to success.
You can achieve the following qualifications:
Whether its road trips to powder resorts, or bonfire campouts under the stars, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoped out the best local adventures and weaved them into a weekly schedule alongside events, workshops and socials. The result is our MORE program. Some are included and others can be to be added as optional extras. We include $250 of credit for you to use on the activities of your choice.
Our accommodation at Irwin's Inn is located centrally a few minutes from the centre of Banff. Irwin's features queen beds, en-suite bathrooms, cable TV and wifi. Our group takes over most of the hotel and in addition to soaking in the hot tub we have our own large common room for chilling out with friends, watching a movie or playing table tennis. You'll also benefit from a gym, swimming pool, laundry, and ski tuning workshop.
Typically you'll receive 20 hours coaching per week over four days. This will vary on some weeks to allow time for exams etc. Your days off are for free skiing, consolidating what you've learnt and other activities. The maximum group size is 8 people per pro but typically they are even smaller.
You'll be treated to a hearty breakfast at El Toro five days per week. Options include coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.
Enjoy a nutritonally balanced & filling meal at El Toro four evenings a week.
You'll be given a season lift pass to all three of Banff's resorts, so you can ski as much as you please. Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you.
If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop transfer to the resort. All your transport within the resort is taken care of, just don't forget your gear.
The package includes the cost of thefee for the CSIA Level 1 and Level 2 assessment. Please note, if you decide to opt for All Mountain Pro instead of Level 2 training then the CSIA level 2 will not be inculded; you'll get 4 additional days of coaching instead.
Opt for our All Mountain Pro route in the second phase of the course to purely focus on your on skiing. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, the AMP certification is the perfect solution to focus on your freeriding.
Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.
You'll get two 90 minute private coaching sessions during the course, one before your Level 1 and another before your Level 2.
Throughout the program our coaches will make the most of technical video analysis to help with your development.
Each week you'll receive a technical talk on subjects like biomechanics, looking after your gear, and injury prevention.
After your Level 1 you'll have the chance to shadow instructors in the local ski schools.
You'll be given an 'Instructor Starter Kit' booklet with a directory of ski school contacts, receive a seminar on 'Working as an Instructor', and be given constant advice from our coaches.
Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in.
You'll be able to get involved with many winter activities and experiences during your time with us, from cat skiing to ice hockey. We'll give you $250 worth of credits to use on the activities of your choice.
You'll have the opportunity to gain the following additional qualifications:
Come out before the course begins or stay on at the end. You'll have a season lift pass so it's just a case of booking extra accommodation.
These things are not included in the package:
We appreciate there are a few operators available in Banff; here’s why you should only consider booking with Nonstop
3 resorts: Nonstop are the only company that will train you in all three resorts; Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village & Lake Louise. Each resort offers unique strengths and will have different snow conditions throughout the season; only by being able to explore all three are you guaranteed to enjoy the best that Banff (and the season) has to offer.
Accommodation: The hotel we use is on Banff Avenue – the main street in town. It’s less than a ten-minute walk to all the bars and clubs so nightlife access is easy, yet you can still get a good night’s sleep! All our guests in the hotel stay in queen sized beds in rooms with an en-suite – unlike other companies that only pack you into bunk beds in hostels. If you're OK with that, we can offer a hostel option too!
Coaching: With 17 years of experience, and over 40 11-week courses under our belt, we’ve delivered more instructor training than anyone else. Our ski coaches are the best in the business and will completely transform your skiing. We have a maximum group size of 8 skiers: 1 instructor. We have regularly spotted our competitors with as many as 10 in one group; not cool!
Social: When 50 passionate skiers from all over the globe come together to spend a winter in Banff, the friendships and shared experiences are nothing short of epic. We guarantee that some of your life’s best memories will be made with your course mates in Banff.
Care: we recognise that for many of our Banff clients, this will be their first extended trip away from home. We have experienced staff in resort that are on hand to ensure your stay with us is as smooth as possible. They are accessible 24/7, so you’ll be in good hands.
Extras: With Nonstop, it’s not all about ski coaching: we put a huge emphasis on enjoying as many Canadian mountain experiences as possible and organise a massive program of activities, away-trips, courses and socials to make this the richest, most enjoyable, winter possibl. Find out more.
We provide inclusive airport transfers at set departure times from Calgary airport; these are available on the advertised start & end date of the course. Banff is extremely well serviced by a public transfer operator so if you want to arrive on an alternative day, no problem!
Our Banff course attracts a much lower average age compared to our course in Fernie. In a typical year, we expect 90% of clients to be aged 18 – 21. This might have something to do with the fact Banff boasts some of the best nightlife in Canada & the legal drinking age is only 18. Just a hunch!
We do not recommend this, and we don’t have any examples of past clients who have managed it. In other words, no! This experience should be treated as a once in a lifetime winter to purely focus on your skiing / riding & having as much fun as possible. You would need a working holiday visa in order to work – most people only ever get to have one of these (lasting for two years), so you should save yours for when you may be working as an instructor in the future.
During the course we host a seminar that will help prepare you for work in the industry; you’ll hear from former clients that are now living the dream as instructors. Beyond the course, we’re always on hand to offer support on applications and we’re regularly contacted by snow schools looking for new recruits each winter. It's not possible to work as an instructor in Banff immediately after your course.
Absolutely not! Most of our clients in Banff are simply looking to have the best time of their lives, both on and off the snow! Achieving the CSIA level 2 certification serves as a bonus & justification for all this fun; whilst also keeping the doors open to work as an instructor in the future!
As a ballpark figure, we suggest having a budget of $200 - $250 per week to cover your spending money. By preparing packed lunches for the mountain and cooking your own meals at the weekends, you can certainly make your budget go further. Between coaching 4-days per week, free skiing & the activities available on the MORE programme, we keep you busy. For many people, how much they spend will really come down to night time habits.
We look forward to speaking with you.