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.
Bruno Engler was Banff’s first mountain guide.
Born in Switzerland, Engler immigrated to Canada to pioneer alpine skiing in the Canadian Rockies.
He’s credited for popularizing downhill skiing in Banff National Park.
Engler's is easily the second toughest chute in The Wild West Area and is a serious step up from Peyto's and only slightly easier than Luxton's.
To get to Engler'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 skiers' left towards the grove of trees until you find the boundary line.
The last chute before the boundary line will be Engler's.
There are a few ways into Engler's, all extremely difficult and treacherous.
The run narrows significantly towards the bottom and in most years you'll have a mandatory air section.
After the mandatory air 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! This one's truly not recommended for anyone below expert proficiency.
Comfort with Peyto's is highly recommended before trying this one!