When the lifts close and the slopes are cleared, the runs that hosted so many of us earlier that day undergo a pretty big transformation - thanks to the groomers who work their magic right through the night. While we’re tucked up in bed dreaming of the next day’s riding the groomers are taking anything from moguls to chopped powder and turning it into perfectly smooth runs covered with fresh corduroy.
I headed out with a groomer in a snow cat last week to see what this imperative job entails. As darkness set in I met with Sarah a groomer here at Sun Peaks and we climbed into the huge machine. I couldn’t believe how comfortable and luxurious it was inside – although when I found out they carry a hefty price tag of around $350,000 I guess it’s no real surprise!
We made our way up the Sundance ski run and then came back down Sun Downer. This would be the loop that Sarah would follow until both runs were entirely groomed. Sarah explained how she has to be quite meticulous, ensuring that the corduroy lined up and that the tracks were straight. She said that depending on which runs she was assigned to she would usually groom 4 or 5 in an 8 hour shift. Interestingly, it may take nearly half of a groomers shift to tend to a run like Static Cling or Headwalls as they require use of a cable winch system which is attached to trees at the top of the run. I can’t even imagine how scary grooming those runs must be!
It was pretty amazing to be out on the slopes at night and to be a part of something so essential to our daily ski experience. One thing’s for sure - I definitely have a new appreciation for skiing down a freshly groomed run! For more information on Cat Trax Groomer Rides click here.
The past weekend at Sun Peaks was all about throwing down tricks in a jam format - from the Rockstar Energy Terrain Park to the village streets!
On Saturday we hosted our first ever true urban rail jam which took place outside 5forty. Park enthusiasts ditched the terrain park for the afternoon and headed to the village to try their skills on urban features such as a picnic table, stair railing and a car! $5000 worth of prizes and giveaways from 5forty as well as a $1000 cash prize were up for grabs for the 70 participants who were throwing down at this unique event. The huge crowd had a blast watching and cheering the competitors on whilst listening to a live DJ who was spinning tunes to get the party atmosphere going.
Sunday saw a return to a more traditional park event for the inaugural Duff Invitational Slopestyle. Pro snowboarder Chris Dufficy was in attendance, showcasing his talent to fellow riders and to the spectators who gathered in the terrain park to catch all the action. Participants competed in a 2 hour jam session before the top scorers moved on to the finals round.
After a solid day of quality tricks, awards and prizes were handed out at Bottoms Bar + Grill for a range of different categories. The Duff Invitational was the final event in the No Bail Peace Prize series and points awarded at this event have been added to competitors scores from the Resurgence Rail Jam and The Garden to determine the overall series winner.
There's just one last rail event for the season, the Southside Rail Jam which is taking place on Sunday March 31st in the Black Terrain Park. Don't miss what will undoubtedly be another fantastic competition and an awesome conclusion to this season's terrain park events.
5FORTY URBAN RAIL JAM - SATURDAY MARCH 16TH
DUFF INVITATIONAL SLOPESTYLE - SUNDAY MARCH 17TH
Tags: rail jam, slopestyle, terrain park, no bail peace prize
Terrain Park Events
March Music Madness is well underway and venues around the resort have been showcasing some amazing musical talent over the past couple of weeks.
Last Saturday The Facts took to the outdoor stage by the base of Sundance chair and got the weekend party vibe going with their electronic rhythms. They amped riders in the lift line and those soaking up the sunshine on the decks of Bottoms and Masa’s were stoked to have their après entertainment sorted. It was the perfect end to what was a glorious day on the slopes and the atmosphere was electric with big smiles plastered across everyone’s faces.
Various venues including Powder Hounds, Cahility Creek and The Club will be host to a range of musicians over the remainder of the month and there’s undoubtedly an event to suit every musical taste. Make sure you check out our Events Calander for all the listings and enjoy your time off the slopes during March Music Madness!
Tags: sun peaks, spring, live music, march music madness
Sun Guide tours are consistently rated by guests as one of the best resort experiences at Sun Peaks and after heading out on one last week I can certainly see why!
Upon arriving at the meeting point I was immediately greeted by a number of friendly Sun Guides. They advised me of the different types of tours available from which I opted for the circle tour which does a loop around all three mountains and covers a mixture of blue and black runs. It was a stunning bluebird day and everyone was eager to hit the slopes with the people that know the resort best!
It was great to meet and chat with people from all over the world, particularly about their time at Sun Peaks. Many people in my group had already attended a mountain tour before but had enjoyed it so much they had returned a 2nd or 3rd time to cover different terrain. Gemma, a lady from Australia told me that she has skied at 31 resorts around the world and that after spending the past week at Sun Peaks she can firmly say that it’s her new favourite resort and that Vail has now lost the top spot!
My Sun Guides Chuck and Len were friendly, funny and incredibly knowledgeable about Sun Peaks. They have both been Sun Guides for 8 years and it’s evident that it’s a true labour of love. “We absolutely love this mountain” said Chuck “we love meeting people from all over the world and showing them around the resort”.
Guided mountain tours are complimentary, run twice daily and cater to all ability levels. They’re definitely a worthwhile activity for first time visitors to Sun Peaks but also for regular guests who would like to go skiing with some new company. Whether you want to get your bearings, learn more about the mountain or discover some little Sun Peaks secrets you're sure to have a fantastic time. For more information on Sun Guide Tours click here
Tags: sun peaks, sun guides
It sure was an exciting start to spring at Sun Peaks with the FIS Speed Skiing World Cup taking place over the past weekend. Speed skiers from all over the world converged on the notorious Headwalls in an attempt for glory at the only speed skiing event this side of the Atlantic.
The groomers were working hard last week to prepare the double black run and ensure that it was in top condition for this unique sport. Despite being a shorter track then those in Europe, it definitely didn’t disappoint with Austrian team captain Valentin Münzer describing the track with its couple of rollers as “challenging and technical.” With plenty of fresh snow the track was smooth and fast for the racers. Strong winds on the Saturday forced competitors to start from the three quarter mark however this didn’t interfere with the outcome of the event, which was hailed as huge success by both speed skiers and organisers alike.
For those of us that stopped to check out the action it was a case of blink and you miss them! I couldn’t believe that you could actually hear when the racers were approaching - the sound resembling jets on a runway. I looked on nervously but in awe, quietly thinking how crazy these speed demons were….. yet in reality it’s safer than driving a car!
The women’s final was won by Swedish world record holder Sanna Tidstrand, who clocked a speed of 137.81 km/h while the men’s title went to Simone Origone from Italy who recorded a time of 140.18 km/h.For the full list of results click here
With so many activities on offer for the whole family to enjoy, there is never a dull moment in life at Sun Peaks. Last week, after an awesome day on the slopes I grabbed some friends and we headed to the tube park for some late afternoon fun.
After being greeted at the tube park by a few friendly lifties and a huge bonfire we each grabbed a tire and sped off down the trail, screaming and laughing the whole way down. After a couple of attempts we decided to link each of our tires and head down in a train formation. Always seeking a thrill and now with some confidence we then decided to venture down backwards!
Tube Time is open daily from 12pm – 7pm and provides both kids and kids at heart with loads of entertainment. 2 hours of unlimited tubing costs $15 for adults, $12 for kids aged 6 -12 and is free for children under 5. Visit the Adventure Centre or Guest Services to purchase your ticket today!