Learning to Ski at Lake Louise #NewskiAB

Winter 2022, Meron Tesfatsion who recently immigrated to Calgary from Africa learned more than a few things during her first-ever ski lesson at Lake Louise Ski Resort:

  1. There is less “ouch” with an instructor.
  2. I learned how to stop and go down.
  3. I learned when you fall it’s not painful.

Learning to ski can be both a terrifying and thrilling experience. Take a few seconds and put yourself in Meron Tesfatsion’s boots as a single mother of three moving to Calgary after calling Eastern Africa home.

“Can you believe it?! We’ve moved into Calgary 10 years back from Eritrea which is a very warm county and after my first day of skiing at Lake Louise I’ve now finally made the connection to the snow!”

At first Tesfatsion was scared, looking down at her feet in what she calls “these big shoes. I thought it was crazy.” 

But then, once she was on the snow and moving about under the close watch of her instructor, Tesfatsion and her three kids in a private lesson together, all first-time skiers, realized how much fun it was – and they didn’t want to stop.

Just one day on the slopes of Lake Louise has totally altered how she sees winter.

“Before winter was gloomy, I would think ‘oh no here comes winter,’ and we’d mostly stay in the house. But now I know you can make a new discovery – this opens our eyes to connect as a family away from the electronics.”

Tesfatsion’s instructor, Roland Searle lives his life on snow every day in winter, after 18 consecutive years of teaching skiing. “The snow is incredible and our season at Lake Louise is long. We close in May with views to die for. Our learning area is the envy of many other resorts with how gentle and wide the slope is,” he says.

Things just got a whole lot easier for those learning at Lake Louise given the new Juniper chairlift, which opened in February, 2022.

Take a lesson

“I recommend having the instructor. It’s more fun and with the advice coming from the instructor, you start picking it up. As you pick up more tips, it gets easier,” says Tesfatsion.

Like most parents, Tesfatsion was looking for ways to keep her kids outdoors. “We do lots of hiking in the summer as it’s the only thing I knew, but that’s all changed, and now we can ski!”

Searle couldn’t agree more. “Learning to ski really does change someone’s life, helping them recreate outdoors in the winter with a sense of freedom that is like nothing else in the world.”

‘Mind-blowing’ experience

“For me, I can’t even describe the feeling I got when I went skiing and started putting together how to do it, it was mind-blowing actually. I never thought winter would be so fun and we are already planning our next visit,” says Tesfatsion.

A revisit is definitely in the cards if Tesfatsion’s 11-year-old son and his brother and sister get their way. “I just want to go really fast down the hills,” says Nayell.

When you Go

Lake Louise Ski Resort makes it easy for any soon-to-be skier or snowboarder to access the awesome.

Getting to the resort is straightforward for those who might not want to brave the two-hour winter drive from Calgary, just hop the Lake Louise Ski Bus


If this winter is going to be your time to unlock the fun of skiing at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, this story is your invitation to join Seekers, Searle and his Lake Louise Snow School team.