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Autumn Stoke for Winter Folk: Volume 3

Did you miss our first two updates? Catch up before reading on:
SUMMER STOKE FOR WINTER FOLK UPDATE #1 >>
SUMMER STOKE FOR WINTER FOLK UPDATE #2 >>

November 11, 2014: The transitioning months between summer and winter are always a little frantic at Sun Peaks, as they certainly must be in all winter destinations; scrambling to tie up the loose ends of countless summer projects and ensuring a myriad of ambitious ideas are realized by the time the snow flies.

While our deciduous residents flaunted beautiful displays of red, orange, and yellow, a promise of a winter not far off, we were finishing up trail development of the largest scale seen since we opened our third mountain.


October 12, 2014: Shuswap Lake from the McGillivray Lake FSR connecting Sun Peaks to Chase, BC.

Our first considerable snowfall and official catalyst for pre-season stoke came right about on schedule, as lucky resort residents woke on October 24 to a respectable accumulation sitting above the snowline for the day, at roughly 1,550 metres. This gave us the perfect opportunity to hitch a ride up to our snowmaking reservoir, where sensors were being updated by the hardworking individuals behind the scenes that actually make this place function, for some shots of one of our two new alpine zones open this winter – Gil’s.


October 24, 2014: Looking through the trees towards Gil's from the snowmaking reservoir.


October 24, 2014: If you get here, you've gone too far. Main Face glades on the left, Boundary Road runs along the reservoir.

Gil's: What You Can Expect This Winter

A little recap, first? Local powderhounds have been poaching turns in this backcountry area at the top of Mt. Tod for over 50 years, and for good reason. Gil’s regularly sees some of the deepest snow in Sun Peaks thanks to its unique aspect in relation to incoming storms, providing ample snow while protecting it from the harsh winds that notoriously displace alpine zones. Add the fact that you’re required to earn these turns, and the result is fresh tracks for many, many days after a storm. 

Three access points to this newly added area will be found in their traditional locations, where backcountry enthusiasts have passed for over 50 years. Gil’s Hike is a mellow groomed cat track with its access point en route to the West Bowl T-Bar. Gil’s Traverse is the classic “Old Toddy” route, bringing you a little higher along a ski traverse with a little more effort. The third is located on the elbow of 5 Mile, a much lower access point right off the easiest route down where you can score a few turns through the trees before taking Gil’s Cat Track out.

The traditional Gil’s Cat Track ski-out will likely remain the go-to ski-out, where a relatively consistent grade allows an easy skate out. Below this original ski-out, however, glading has opened up this dense forest and a new Boundary Road will be groomed and patrolled to better manage this potentially disorienting aspect. This adds over 100 metres of vertical descent in Gil’s, but you’ll have to work for it with a longer, flatter ski-out.

The northern border of the Ski Area Boundary now lies on the newly extended Offset, it’s traditional backcountry name awarded for its double fall line camber. Offset will take you all the way down to the Boundary Road, but you always have the option of taking the higher and easier Cat Track.

The advanced Upper Other Way completes this fun intermediate trail running parallel to 5 Mile, dropping in just below the popular lower Gil’s access point locally known as “The Elbow”.

There are literally hundreds of lines to choose from, all with contradicting local names depending on who you speak with, and generally speaking they get steeper as you move north from the Snow Safety Boundary. For mapping purposes we’ve broken the area up into two gladed zones, Inner Gil’s and Main Face, but generally speaking it’s all fair game. Have fun and explore, there’s always another stash to find!

West Morrisey: What You Can Expect This Winter

Hang a right off the top of the Morrisey chairlift and you’ll first find Lint Trap and a little ways down Back in Time, Tumble Dry. Sticking with the “Laundry Room” theme from Spin Cycle through Static Cling these steep new additions are just the beginning in this zone, slated for continued development next summer.

We’ve also added a connector back to Home Run via Static Cling that most will want to take - Tumble Dry is skiable all the way down to the base of the mountain at Mountain View Drive, though you’ll want to check the shuttle schedule ahead of time so you don’t get stranded with a stoke-crushing walk back to the village. 

What's New in the World of Skinny Skis?

Whiskey Jack offers spectacular views of Mt. Tod to the west and an alternative to the McGillivray Lake Trail. It’s a relatively modest blue that’s not quite green, thanks to a winding turn on the west end. We hope to soon complete this trail all the way out to McGillivray Lake to create a full loop to the Outpost.

Skiing with your dog options have nearly doubled this winter! A new program has been developed to both increase mileage for our four-legged friends, while better managing skier-dog challenges on the faster sections of the McGillivray Lake Trail. We’ve kept 85% of the trail off-leash, with the only exceptions being the Village Trail and the first stretch of the McGillivray Lake Trail to the road crossing where the new Whiskey Jack starts.

Beyond that, dogs can accompany you off-leash on the entire length of Whiskey Jack to its junction with McGillivray Lake Trail, and out to the lake. We’ve also added Raven Return along the McGillivray Lake FSR to create a loop with Raven Ramble, to ensure your furry companion is sufficiently tuckered out.

Prepare Yourself for Exploration This Winter

All Mountain Skills 2-Day Camps: Lead weekly by a professionally certified Canadian Ski Guide; study hazard analysis, terrain assessment, overnight survival, and companion rescue; with transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Beyond the Groomers 3-Day Camps: One of our top professional instructors guides this weekly ski improvement camp, focused on developing your skills and confidence on steeps, glades, moguls, and powder. 

DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE >>

First North American Mountain Cross Cart Course Coming to Sun Peaks in 2015

October 6, 2014: Sun Peaks’ visitors will find an exciting new means of descending the mountain next summer. A brand new Mountain Cross Cart (MCC) course is currently being constructed on ‘Sunbeam’ ski run paralleling the Platter Lift, the first of its kind in North America. This is a continuation of the diversification of the resort’s gravity-fueled summer activity options and investments in new summer infrastructure.

Nine MCC Parks are currently operated around the world including Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Finland. Finland’s MCC Action staff were at Sun Peaks in late September to provide expert advice and assistance in laying out the course, which is now distinctly visible from Sun Peaks’ village. Once completed this fall, regular ski activities will not be affected on the popular ski slope.


The future course starting at the top of Sunbeam ski run.

The new track is 512 metres long with a vertical descent of 52 metres and is expected to provide an average speed of 35 km/h. The existing platter lift will get a break from its seasonal hibernation and run daily during summer mountain operations months to bring both carts and racers to the top of the course.

“This thrilling addition to the Sun Peaks summer program will be a great new activity for guests to enjoy,” says Jamie Tattersfield, head of mountain operations for Sun Peaks Resort Corporation. “The MCC Action Park will be a perfect complement to our already world class amenities such as the Sun Peaks Bike Park and Golf Course at Sun Peaks Resort.” 

Despite high speeds and a winding, gravity-fed course, the carts themselves offer precise control and a high level of safety thanks to powerful disc brakes, four-point seat belts, roll bars and padded seats. Although this new addition may loosely resemble favourite childhood go-carts, the mountain environment adds an exciting twist so a valid driver’s license will be required to enjoy the activity.

To add an element of competition, runs will be timed allowing participants to race the clock or rival friends for the fastest descent. Sun Peaks’ MCC Action Park is expected to open to the public in late June 2015, just in time for another adventure filled summer season at Interior B.C.’s largest four season resort. 

New Snow Sports School Programs for Winter 2014-15

We're excited to introduce these new programs to our Snow Sports School roster this winter season! 

For details and registration call 250.578.5505 or email snowsports@sunpeaksresort.com.

Get your season started with CSIA Level 4 instructors and enjoy the best early season snow conditions in Canada! 

3-Day Clinic $299 - December 5-7, 2014

  • Three days of ski improvement with 50% off lift tickets
  • Lift line priority and daily video analysis
  • Stretching and fitness sessions
  • Welcome cocktail reception and banquet dinner
  • Hosted by Vincent Lafontaine, Sun Peaks Resort Sports Director
  • Special guest Olympian Nancy Greene Raine

So much more than world-class groomers, Sun Peaks was developed way back in the 1960's for its steeps, glades, moguls, and exceptional powder skiing. New this season, explore over 500 acres of expanded terrain in this guided ski improvement camp with one ofour top professional instructors. Let us show you all the best stashes while developing your all mountain skills and confidence!

3-Day camps run Monday to Wednesday, from 9:00am to 3:00pm each day, and are tailored for intermediate to expert skiers. Maximum 4 students per group.

Adults (13+) $399 | Kids (6-12) $329

 Includes lift line priority, video analysis, and après ski at Masa's Bar + Grill. 

Explore vast off-piste terrain with a professionally certified Canadian Ski Guide. With a focus on promoting safety and awareness of mountain hazards, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of terrain assessment, hazard analysis, overnight survival, as well as companion rescue; with transceiver, probe, and shovel techniques.

These 2-Day camps are an invaluable experience for adventurous souls of all ages! Offered Thursday to Friday, 9:00am to 3:00pm each day, designed for intermediate to expert skiers. Maximum 5 students per group.

Adults (17+) $299 | Youth (10-16) $259

For details and registration call 250.578.5505 or email snowsports@sunpeaksresort.com.

Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks, Canada's Two Largest Ski Resorts Sign Reciprocal Seasons Pass Agreement

September 2, 2014  2014-15 Season Pass holders SAVE 50% off window ticket rate at each partner resort.

Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks Resort are excited to announce a new reciprocal seasons pass agreement. This agreement allows 2014.15 Season Passholders to receive a discount of 50 per cent off the window ticket rate at each of the resorts, Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks Resort. 

This new agreement coincides with Sun Peaks Resort’s recent announcement of adding over 500 acres of alpine terrain to become the second largest ski resort in Canada. Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America. 

“We continually look for new and exciting ways to add value for our season passholders,” says Stuart Rempel, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Whistler Blackcomb. “This is an exciting season for us with our new Whistler Village Gondola cabins and RFID access, both which will be ready to go for opening day. We look forward to welcoming Sun Peaks’ passholders to come and experience what skiing and riding in Whistler is all about.” 

The offer applies to 2014.15 Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Season Passholders, including Whistler Blackcomb Spirit Passholders, and 2014.15 Sun Peaks Alpine Season Passholders. For Whistler Blackcomb Passholders, this offer excludes Midweek, 15-Day, Student, Graduate, and Spring Passholders. 

“We couldn’t be more excited about the agreement,” says Aidan Kelly, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sun Peaks Resort. “With our new terrain development, we saw lots of opportunity to build our relationship with Whistler Blackcomb. We wanted to add value to our existing season passholders while opening us up to additional markets. Having an alliance with Whistler Blackcomb means combining two significant resorts. We hope Whistler Blackcomb passholders take advantage of this great opportunity to explore the interior.”

Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is November 27, 2014, and Sun Peaks’ official opening day is November 22, 2014. 

A 50 per cent discount will be applied to the current Window Ticket rate at the time of purchase and the Season Passholder must show valid photo identification along with their 2014.15 Season Pass for their respective resort partner. 

311 from Sun Peaks Resort
If you are interested in keeping up to date with what is happening at the resort then the 311 is for you. The 311 is a customizable e-newsletter where subscribers get to choose what information they want to receive—daily snow reports, vacation specials, bike park low downs, vacation packages, resort updates, and more—delivered via email. Subscribe to the 311 E-Newsletter >