Rad’s Guide to Slush Cup at Sunshine Village in Banff, Canada

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What You Need To Know About Slush Cup At Sunshine Village

Each year on the last day of the season, Sunshine Village ski resort in Banff, Alberta, Canada breaks out the skim pool and celebrates the end of a loooong Winter (7 months to be exact) with their huge Slush Cup event.

Slush Cup is a competition where participants ski or snowboard down a run towards an ice cold pool of water, with the aim to skim all the way across. Those who succeed, become legends. Those who fail, become slightly colder, wetter legends. Everybody wins!

This year, the resort’s 90th Annual Slush Cup will fall on Monday May 21st, and, like clockwork, thousands skiers, snowboarders, and spectators will flock to the resort to send it one last time for the season.

If you’re thinking of heading out to Sunshine for the event, check out our handy guide below…

Rise & Shine

Whether you’re thinking of entering the Slush Cup competition, or you just want to stake out your gang’s prime position in the Trappers Beer Garden, our number one tip is to get in early!

Registration for the event is free and runs from 8AM to 9AM in the Village – BUT, since there are very limited spots and a LOT of people who want to try their hand at winning some of the cold hard cash prizes, your best bet to get in the comp will be to start lining up as early as 7:15AM at the Gondola base. Same rules apply for if you’re driving and you don’t want to end up parking at the bottom of the access road!

Give Your Season The Perfect Send Off

The early bird not only gets the best spot in Trappers AND their chance at Slush Cup glory, they also get in a solid few hours of shredding before the festivities begin around midday. Arriving early means you can catch your last ‘first chair’ of the season, carve down the fresh groomers one last time, and hit the terrain parks before the crowds roll in to send off your season in style.

Getting the 11:30am bus up from Banff may be tempting (especially after Sunday Funday), but trust us; the early morning wake-up call to beat the dreaded gondola line up and be one of the first on the mountain will be well worth it!

Photo credit: Sunshine Village

Get The Best Seat In The House

There’s no question Trappers Beer Garden is THE place to be on Slush Cup, and this year it promises to be even bigger and better than ever before!

Sunshine Village has some exciting plans in place to make the space double in size with multiple screens set up so you can catch all the action from the skim pool no matter where you look, and, of course, the main stage featuring some awesome live music. Not only this, but there will also be additional bars and stalls set up in the Beer Garden, including a special Stoli Slushy Bar, so your time waiting in pesky bar lines will be a lot shorter. WIN!

Remember, this space will reach capacity in the blink of an eye, so take heed of our number one tip and GET IN EARLY! But, hey – if you miss out on getting into Trappers, don’t worry – claiming a spot at the end of the Slush Cup pool is still gonna be a good time.

Dress To Impress

Every year, Slush Cup seems to bring out the most weird and wonderful outfits of the season. We’re talking animal onesies. We’re talking the cliché Borat-style mankini. We’re talking the most embarrassing retro Jerry ski outfit you can find in the deepest, darkest corners of your local thrift store. Slush Cup is all about embracing the silly side of skiing and snowboarding – have fun with it!

Hydration Is Your Friend

Sweet, sweet H2O. Drink water. Lots of it. It’s easy to get caught up in the merrymaking of Slush Cup, but don’t forget, you’ve got two natural enemies working against you up at Sunshine – altitude and extremely dry air – both will make your life miserable if you choose to hydrate purely with alcohol all day. At the very least, your slightly less hungover self will thank you the next day – hell, they may even buy you breakfast!

And Sunscreen Is Your Friend

The weather in Spring is beautiful – we’ve been cooped up, covered head to toe, hiding from the cold for too long (especially at Sunshine Village, because minus-30 degrees is a real temperature that actually exists up here for multiple weeks in Winter).

So, yes, the arrival of balmy double-digit degree days SHOULD be celebrated! It’s warm! It’s sunny! Who wears short-shorts? YOU wear short-shorts!

But, beware the sun’s seemingly innocent rays – and its silent killer accomplice, snow glare. Just because you don’t feel the sun burning off all three layers of your skin, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It IS happening, and you WILL regret your life choices once nighttime falls and your skin is radiating its very own blaring red heat and light source.

Photo credit: Sunshine Village

Slush & Stay

Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only hotel up in the Village area, is open for one last night of the winter season just for Slush Cup. So, why not skip the mad dash for the last gondola off the mountain at 5:30PM, give your designated driver the night off, and book a room at the lodge?

Trappers does shut up shop after the Slush Cup festivities are finished, but, if you stay up on the mountain for the night, the Chimney Corner restaurant within the hotel will be open for food and drinks until late. The next morning after you check-out, you’ll also get the chance to be one of the very last people on the mountain for the season which is a pretty sweet claim for all you die-hard skiers and boarders out there.

Related Articles:

The Best Bars, Cafes and Restaurants in Banff, Canada

7 Epic Things To Do In Banff This Winter

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Brittany Herron

Brittany is an Australian painter of word pictures, currently wandering somewhere across Canada and the Americas. In winter, her feet are almost permanently attached to her skis, and in summer, her feet can be found dangling over the edge of cliffs, hiking through forests, lazing in sand, and diving into any body of water she can find. Follow her (somewhat sporadic postings of) adventures on Instagram.


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