FATMAP difficulty grade
Located off the Sunshine Coast intermediate run on Goat’s Eye Express; The Wild West, like Delirium Dive, is an extreme freeride ski and snowboard zone.
Just like an old western, you’ll need to gain entry to the area through a centennial guarded gate.
To ride the coveted steeps, skiers and snowboarders are required to ride with a buddy, to have avalanche gear (beacon, probe, shovel, pack), and know how to use the equipment. Now before you “ski how the west is rode” here are a few things you’ll need to know.
Different from the Dive, The Wild West is something of a slow burn.
At first, you’re ushered into a powder utopia.
The perfect pitch and deep snow temps and teases you as you’re led to the chutes.
The Wild West is Sunshine's most technical ski terrain, and comfort in Delirium Dive is recommended before upping the ante to ride The West. In an ode to Banff’s “wild west” early days, each of the runs within The lines in The Wild West have been named after mavericks of Banff’s early.
Wheeler’s, Peyto’s, Luxton’s, and Engler’s.
Norman Luxton, known by the moniker “Mr.
Banff,” was an adventure seeker who sought to better the community he called home.
He’s best known for sailing around the world in an old cedar dugout canoe, and for establishing Banff’s newspaper the Crag & Canyon.
His couloir is by far the toughest line accessible at Sunshine Village.
It should seriously only be attempted by unbelievably experienced skiers who are okay with long mandatory straight-lines and tight steep pitches.
To get to Luxton's, enter The Wild West Gate accessed off the Goat's Eye Chair via the blue run Sunshine Coast.
It's here that you'll have your avy gear checked.
Traverse far right until you reach the most prominent gully.
This gully is Peyto's.
Stay skiers' left of this gully and enter a less prominent gully directly skiers' left of Peyto's.
This is the start of Luxton's couloir.
This couloir is stupidly narrow and has basically no room to make turns (unless you make a seriously near-impossible jump turn).
You really shouldn't anyway be having the mentality of jump-turning in here: straight-lining the couloir is risky but your best bet.
Just make sure to control your speed as you'll be racing into the trees below.
Note that Luxton's couloir is slanted and not perfectly straight so you might have to make some molecular adjustments to your straight line to clear the couloir.
After the narrow straight line section, you'll plunge into the trees and then eventually meet up with the runs that lead back to Sunshine's base area where you can take the Gondola and the Goat's Eye Chair to lap this area again! Though you might want to consider a different run as doing this more than once in a season is a proposition that most wouldn't want to even consider! Extreme daredevils only!