Skoki Lodge

It was a nice Easter weekend at Lake Louise, and on Sunday I made a quick trip out to Skoki Lodge for the day to get some photographs before the lodge closed for the spring. I arrived in time for breakfast, and wandered around the lodge as the last guests of the season packed and prepared for their trip back to Lake Louise. Skoki is now closed until late June, when the first guests of the summer will make the 11km hike in, hopeful not to encounter too much snow.
 
The pioneers of skiing in the Lake Louise area first envisioned a European-style system of backcountry lodges that skiers could string together in multi-day trips, and Skoki was the first. World War I and troubled financial times put a stop to these grand plans before any other lodges could be built, though construction materials for another can still be found in the woods above Douglas Lake, to the east of Skoki.
 
The trip to Skoki is about 11km and starts at a cut-off on Marmot just uphill of Temple Lodge. The trail is well-maintained, and travels along the gentle rise of the Ptarmigan Valley, over Boulder Pass, across Ptarmigan Lake, then over Deception Pass and down into the Skoki Valley to the lodge. This trip can be done in two or three hours, depending on equipment and ability. Most supplies for the lodge, including food and laundry, are taken in by snowmobile on a trail that is mostly separate from the ski trail, and larger items, like the huge propane tanks that fuel the kitchen and generator, are flown in by helicopter at the start of the season. In summer, a helicopter is used until the trail is clear of snow, and then horses are used to pack all supplies in.
On Ptarmigan Lake, looking back at the ski area.

On Ptarmigan Lake, looking back at the ski area.

 

Ptarmigan Peak, with Richardson's Ridge barely visible in the background at far left.

Ptarmigan Peak, with Richardson's Ridge barely visible in the background at far left.

 

From the top of Deception Pass, looking towards Ptarmigan Lake and Eagle Ridge.

From the top of Deception Pass, looking towards Ptarmigan Lake and Eagle Ridge.

 

Starting the ski down from the top of Deception Pass, with the north face of Mt. Redoubt upper left.

Starting the ski down from the top of Deception Pass, with the northeast face of Mt. Redoubt at upper left.

 

Eagle Ridge and Paradise Chair in the back left, and Hidden Bowl on the right (tempting, but suspect).

Eagle Ridge and Paradise Chair in the back left, and Hidden Bowl on the right (tempting, but suspect).

Once the ski season is over, I’ll be posting a more detailed history of Skoki Lodge and how it relates to the beginning of the Lake Louise Ski Area.

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2 Comments on “Skoki Lodge”

  1. Rebeckah Hornung says:

    Looking forward to summer at Skoki!!!

  2. Roger McKellar says:

    Great photos – especially from the top of Deception looking back down to Louise.

    I actually managed Skoki Lodge for one summer (I think 1973 or 74 – the brain gets a bit addled after a while!). Enjoyed every minute.

    I intend to visit this summer for the first time since about 1975.


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