The Canadian Resort That Just keeps Getting Bigger

STORY BY Emmanuelle Châtel 11th May 2017

I’d heard many times that Sun Peaks was the resort of choice in Canada for winter sports enthusiasts from around the world. I needed to make sure about it for myelf so was delighted to get the chance to visit last March.

Located in the heart of British Columbia, Sun Peaks is accessed by two airports gateways. Arrived in Vancouver I flew to Kamloops on a short 30min long flight followed by a 45 minute drive up the mountain. Arriving in Sun Peaks I was immediately enchanted by the cosy village feel, full of charm.

After a short night trying to beat the jetlag the next morning all e new arrivals were eager to get our skis on and explore the giant ski area. Once fully equipped, we strapped board and skis right outside the rental shop to ski through the colourful ski-friendly village. If you’re staying in the centre of the village you can even put your skis on at the doorstep of your hotel and ski to the lifts.

Skiing without the crowd

Guided around the mountain we explored all that Sun Peaks has best to offer: long cruisers, deep steeps and powder stashes in between trees. Spread across three peaks the resort is the second largest ski area in Canada after Whistler. The resort’s 12 lifts offer access to 135 pistes of varying difficulty, a great mixture of blue, red and black runs. There’s something for everyone and the piste skiing is an intermediates heaven. Its longest run is 8km long, a gentle green piste five miles down to the village – it’s no surprised that it’s called the 5 Mile run!

To help their visitors discover the ski area’s hidden spots, Sun Peaks offers mountain tours twice a day, by local guides keen to share their knowledge and provide advice on the best places to enjoy in the vast terrain depending on the conditions on the day. Groups are divided by ability level and terrain preferences, defeating the age-old adage “No friends on a powder day!”

What is the forecast like at the end of the season in Sun Peaks during my visit? Snow! It might be late in the season but it doesn’t quite feel like spring! No slush, but snow in abundance and we even get to ski powder. The weather can be frosty, but it is a dry cold, and warm gear will defeat it. In fact there’s no doubt that winter is still here with temperature around -10ºC at the top of the mountain where you can see “snow ghosts” when snow sticks on trees. In fact this phenomena has the most beautiful effect creating an amazing foreground.

Winter 2016-17 saw exceptional snowfall all season in North America and this resort was no exception. But then even in an average winter Sun Peaks receives 6 metres of snow annually. So it was perfect for my spring getaway.

Canada’s Second Largest Ski Area

One of Canada’s must-ski resorts, Sun Peaks Resort has grown significantly in the past years, now reaching the huge size of 4,270 acres (16 square kilometres) spread across three skiable peaks. Each mountain is easily accessible from the village, with the possibility to ski all three peaks in the same day. Thanks to the complete absence of queues you can maximize your time on the slopes for excellent value for money.

Once off the mountain, I recommend you take a stroll to the wide selection of cafés, restaurants and shops, all beautiful designed. Family friendly, Sun Peaks ticks lots of boxes, with a relaxed, friendly village atmosphere. In the resort cars are unnecessary because you can walk everywhere in a matter of minutes. Whatever you need to do can be done quickly and easily.

Snowbombing

For the first time, the famous Snowbombing festival crossed the Atlantic and took Sun Peaks by storm. Last winter the organizers launched the first Canadian version of one of the longest established on the annual music-festivals-in-ski-resorts-calendar. Started 20 years ago, the festival has gained popularity in Europe over the years with its regular venue of Mayrhofen in Austria, but this was the first time ‘across the Pond’.

Facts

  • 3 mountains  with 4,270 acres of skiable terrain
  • 12 lifts and 135 trails with 16 gladed areas
  • Over 37km groomed & track set Nordic trail
  • Sun Peaks village is at 1,255m and its highest point is at 2,080m
  • ‘Headwalls”, that is the annual slope for the FIS Speed Skiing competition
  • longest run is 8 km long

 

More information

  • Sun Peaks

https://www.sunpeaksresort.com

  • Where to stay

http://www.crystalski.co.uk/ski-resorts/canada-ski-holidays/sun-peaks/

  • Where to eat

Bottoms Bar & Grill

Sunburst Lodge

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