Michelle and Bill Keeling

For Better or For Worse on the Hills: Michelle & Bill Keeling

Michelle and Bill, wife and husband, call Lake Louise their home. Michelle has worked at Lake Louise Ski Resort for almost 20 years and Bill owns a local mountain equipment rental shop in the village. It’s no wonder that they both pick Lake Louise Ski Resort as their home hill, but it’s not just for the proximity.

“We love the hill, we love it most out of all the mountains we’ve skied. It’s easy to learn and it’s a friendly resort,” says Michelle. Both Michelle and Bill ski and snowboard, and while skiing seems to be the norm, when they’re out with the kids they can be convinced to strap on a board. Michelle’s brother taught her how to snowboard and it took her longer to learn but was quicker to master. While she found skiing easier to learn, she found it harder to master so she booked herself a lesson.

Michelle signed up for Freestyle courses which are great for those who already have the basics down pat. They give you confidence on the hill, so if you hit a bump, you’ll land it rather than falling. “The first year I did it with people I knew. They were too timid, and I don’t think we had the same goals. The next year when I went back, I benefitted more because we were doing blacks and double blacks. We’d stand in a line and the instructor would say we were going to do some trees – they’d teach us tips so it wasn’t as scary. It was a tiny little area at a time,” says Michelle.

There are plenty of options to progress as a skier at Lake Louise Ski Resort, whether you’re starting out or looking to learn new skills, the lessons are a great place to start.

Bill grew up skiing a few times here and there on school trips at a small hill in Manitoba. Taking his father’s skis out as a boy, he felt like he was a pro skier having his own equipment. In retrospect, he probably should have rented like the rest of his classmates and skied gear that fit him properly.

He remembers back to family vacations out in Lake Louise and learning to transition from a small hill to a mountain. Lake Louise was his perfect introduction mountain because “there’s always an easy way down,” says Bill. And, if you’re not sure of the terrain, you can meet up with the Ski Friends that will show you around the mountain and help you find your best runs.

Bill encourages new skiers or new to Lake Louise skiers to introduce themselves on the chairlift. It’s all about community at Lake Louise and it may not feel that way until you speak to your first lift mate. Bill believes: “at the end of the day if you’ve got rosy cheeks, stiff legs, and a beer in your hand then you’re a skier as much as anyone else. The best skier is the one with the biggest smile, and that can be you.”