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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

  • 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.

Summer Stoke for Winter Folk: Update #2

September 22, 2014  It’s really pretty incredible what a team of dedicated individuals can achieve in just one summer, especially in the mountains where the window for winter trail development is limited to just August and September. This summer we’ve completed more development work than Sun Peaks has seen since the original opening of Mt. Morrisey in 2003, and that took two years to complete! We called our friends at Lakehead Helicopters to provide a fresh perspective.

Greeted by our pilot a mere stone’s throw from the base of the Sunburst lift, it doesn’t take us long to notice the doors have been removed. “Better for photos,” we’re told as we quietly load our camera gear while surrounded by Sun Peaks veterans who have flown these mountains a thousand times between them. They’re not wrong, and West Morrisey’s first on our hit list.

West Morrisey

A summer on the cross country bike trails on Morrisey’s east side leaves you with an overly mellow impression of the resort’s third peak. After circling the summit we dove straight into the western face where new trails were being cut as we passed over, and that impression was quickly extinguished. “Run G”, as it’s currently being referred to in a top secret spy movie-esque fashion, has been cut top-to-bottom and about half has already been buffed to a “ski-ready” state, with the entire run slated for completion this week. As you roll over the upper crest into the steep fall line, not only is the fourth fairway beneath you but legendary Burfield trails “Freddy’s Nightmare” and “Challenger” are in plain view for the very first time.

This winter you’ll be able to ski the entire vertical of “G”, bringing you to the intersection of Fairways and Mountain View Drive. At peak times the resort shuttle service will be running to take you back up to the village, or you can choose to take the higher connector run back to Static Cling and the Morrisey chair. In addition to this fresh top-to-bottom adrenaline rush, the upper parts of runs “B” and “C” are nearing completion and will also be skiable to the Static Cling connector this winter.

Gil's

Our backcountry area at the top of Mt. Tod has been a powder refuge for adventurous souls for over 50 years. For those who’ve toured into this zone, the ski experience you’re familiar with won’t be much different. What IS different is the amount of vertical at your disposal, extended by over 100 vertical metres to connect to a new lower boundary trail. This additional terrain has been gladed as part of our continuing forest health program, transforming this previously dense and disorienting forest into a much more navigable experience. The grade through this additional terrain is without a doubt less steep than the faces above, however there shouldn’t be any trouble maintaining momentum to the lower boundary.

Before you get too excited, though, this lower boundary trail won’t be quite as snowboarder friendly as the upper route (which is still available for an easier exit back to the main ski area). It’s relatively flat but will require some skating to bring you back to ‘The Other Way’, meaning you’ll really have to earn these turns.

The ski area boundary in Gil’s will be moved to what is locally known as “Offset”, creating two additional benefits to your ski experience beyond simply providing more terrain. This zone sees, by far, the highest frequency of “lost skiers” each winter, a rate which has increased in recent years with the popularity of backcountry travel. The addition of signage, boundary ropes, and a lower boundary trail will help skiers properly navigate this zone and mitigate the tendency to follow the natural fall line into no man’s land. The second benefit lays in the eternal battle for fresh tracks. This zone has been tough to control snowmobile traffic within due to multiple access points beyond the ski area and lack of patrol presence. The motorized vs. non-motorized debate is a heated one in all aspects of outdoor recreation and one we’re not wading into the redeeming qualities of either, but at least you won’t be fighting for pow with the two-stroke crowd this winter!

Terrain Park Summer Facelift

Something easily overlooked through the winter months is the sheer volume of snow involved in preparing our terrain park each season. The slope below the Sundance chair may appear to the untrained eye as near perfect for a park build, but the truth is the surface needs to be filled in with an unprecedented amount of snow to create the even surface that allows the flawless nature of our park. This summer we were able to address two areas of major snow consumption. 

The first was building up the landing pad for “Nancy”, one of our signature hits. This translates to much less snow being allocated and therefore available elsewhere, and will allow the jump to open much earlier in the season. It also allowed us to better shape where the jump itself sits. By shifting the entire jump down the slope a bit, it allows for a flat and more natural transitions from the slope into the lip of the jump. The run-in to the jump has also been worked by heavy machinery to straighten the camber, allowing a straight approach to this heavy hitter.

Moving up the mountain, it was high time to deal with the remnants of what was once a half pipe. With a near industry-wide collection of “Pipe Dragons” gathering dust for a future monument of industrial art, significant snowmaking resources have been dedicated each winter to flatten this area for features. It may look insignificant but this is another area that will now require less snow to get up and running, meaning an earlier opening and snow to spare for fun new endeavors. 

That’s all for today! Don’t forget to lock down your winter passes before September 30 when our FALL BUY pass sale expires. Opening day is just two months away on November 22, until then enjoy the fall colours and the pre-season shopping, brooding, and binge-watching of old shred flicks, and stay tuned for our next update coming October 22.

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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. 

Summer Stoke for Winter Folk: Update #1

August 22, 2014  With so much going on at Sun Peaks Resort throughout the summer months, the substantial work put in to prepare for the impending winter is often overlooked. Aside from employing a core group of chainsaw wielding locals and giving our ski runs a golf course-esque appearance thanks to what comes down to essentially mowing the lawn, this summer grooming is an integral aspect of what makes Sun Peaks so consistently spectacular in the winter. It’s because glades are regularly thinned out, cleaned up, and loaded with secret features; and because vegetation on marked runs is mowed and kept low that we’re able to open so much terrain so early every year, and maintain consistent conditions throughout the winter season. 

This summer, however, is different. Not that these routine procedures have been compromised, but because we’ve got loads of work in progress to prepare new and improved terrain for the coming winter season! With just three months standing between today and opening day for winter operations, we thought it high time to give you an update.

Alpine Terrain Development
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past six months, you’ve probably caught wind of our two new zones coming this season. After an extensive snowpack study in our popular Gil’s backcountry area, this legendary alpine terrain will be moved within the ski area boundary and equipped with increased access, and selective glading for some of the deepest turns around. West Morrisey will offer a new face of steep and deep tree skiing, and a few cut runs for a more direct descent. VIEW NEW TERRAIN ON ALPINE TRAIL MAP >>

So, how’s the progress coming? 

West Morrisey  This steep, forested face has the honour of being first on the hit list. Before shot from Challenger:


Crews of aforementioned chainsaw wielding summer staff have been hard at it out there, starting from both the top and bottom to meet in the centre. Initial centre lines are being cut first to mark routes, which will later be widened and cleaned up to the standard you’ve come to expect from this little slice of heaven of ours. We got back up to Challenger this morning to snap a few shots of the progress and, despite hazy skies and the resulting poor resolution in these photos, the new lines are fairly evident:


Nordic Ski Trail Development  New for this coming winter, McGillivray Lake Trail will be complimented by the addition of the brand new ‘Whiskey Jack” to create a beginner loop out to the popular McGillivray Lake Outpost, providing spectacular views of Mt. Tod. This loop will be dog friendly and directional, giving dog owners and families more variety on the trails while eliminating conflict with descending skiers. This trail has been completed over the past few weeks and will be added to the roster this November!


Terrain Park Development  Thanks to the continued support from our friends at Rockstar Energy, work has commenced building up the jump line in our top-to-bottom terrain park. Building up the bases for our larger jumps not only means the park can progress with larger lines, but it means less snow will be required to get these heavy hitters up and running. The result will be fewer snowmaking resources required to open the larger features, meaning they’ll be open earlier this winter, and the mountains of manmade stuff usually packed into these behemoths can be used elsewhere.

Stay tuned for our next update coming September 22 and in the meantime take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy what's left of summer... you never know when the snow will start flying in the mountains and opening day is just three months away!

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At Sun Peaks, some things in life are indeed free

Those who claim nothing in life is free probably haven’t been to Sun Peaks Resort during one of its free concert weekends.

For those who did take in the inaugural event this weekend, they can attest to the fact world-class music can indeed be enjoyed for absolutely no charge.

Sun Peaks’ latest summer of free concerts began with legendary Blue Rodeo serenading thousands who brought their chairs, blankets, food and drink and staked a spot on the bottom of a hill best known for bringing skiers into the resort during the winter.

The ambiance of the weekend was nothing short of magical — musical acts sprinkled throughout the resort on all three days, a farmers’ market offering up morning tastes, activities for the kids and a slew of golfers and mountain-bikers taking advantage of the summer season at Sun Peaks... read more.

Steve Smith Defends Downhill Title at Canadian Championships



July 14, 2014: The 2014 Canadian Mountain Bike Downhill Championships took place at the Sun Peaks Resort on Sunday. Canada’s Steve Smith of Nanaimo, BC (Devinci Global Racing) and Vaea Verbeek of North Vancouver, BC (Intense/GoPro) won the elite titles, while Daniel Shaw of North Vancouver, BC won the junior men title.

Smith, the overwhelming favorite in today’s race, impressed the crowd with a speedy run of 3:26.73, a narrow 1.5-second lead over Kyle Sangers of Kingston, ON in second place and a small 2.5-second lead over Remi Gauvin of Nanoose Bay, BC in third place.

“It was a lot for me this year, especially coming back from injury in the spring and going straight to racing the World Cup. This was a great race for me to come and just go fast, putting some good time on the bike. The track was great,” said Smith after the race.

Smith won his career second Canadian title and will be keeping the coveted Maple Leaf sleeve around the world. “With the pressure of winning last year, I didn’t want to throw that sleeve away. I wanted to win again this year, and it feels great to do it.”

“This track was very technical in its own way, just because how fast it is. There are no roots or very technical sections, so the line choice is what separated the group. It was just a bunch of berms and going very fast. When you go very fast, it’s hard to create separation. It’s a fine line to go a little bit quicker then everybody without blowing up in that loose dirt,” added Smith about the tight time differences seen this year in comparison with the 2013 edition.

In terms of season goals, Steve Smith’s objectives have changed after missing the opening World Cup events due to an injury in the spring. In 2013, Smith won the UCI World Cup overall title. “It changed in the overall thoughts. I can’t win the overall this year. For me, now it’s just able to race as good as I can. The first two World Cup races were good to see where I was at. I want to be able to finish this season the way I left off, to be able to win races and contend for the win.” ... read more.


Photos: Guy Napert-Frenette/Cycling Canada

Elliott BROOD and Hey Ocean! Join Arkells for a Final Free Summer Concert

June 5, 2014: Two of Canada’s favourite independent bands will join ARKELLS on Labour Day long weekend at the outdoor ski slope venue in Sun Peaks, BC. Juno winners, ARKELLS, perform on Saturday, August 30, followed by Elliott BROOD and Hey Ocean! on Sunday, August 31. Regional and local bands will add energy and atmosphere in the village at other outdoor stages throughout the weekend.

“These two bands are the perfect additions to complete the 2014 Summer Concert Series,” says Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks. “With five major weekends of free outdoor music and a new Friday night concert series, Sun Peaks is a top music destination in the region. Acts span a wide range of genres, from country to kids’ entertainers. These bands will add an energizing folk rock and pop component to the series and will also complement ARKELLS’s sound.”

Since forming in 2002, Elliot BROOD has become a Canadian music institution, with hits like “Oh, Alberta!” and more recently “When I Get Old”. Their newest album Days Into Years features roof-raising rhythm stomp and mandolin colliding with luscious harmonies, piano and, for the first time, electric guitar.

Hey Ocean! combines sheer talent, charismatic songs and an undeniably energetic live show, making them a must-see band. They are often described as one of Canada’s best up-and-coming acts, with an ability to blend various musical styles into a brand of infectious pop that is uniquely their own... read more.

Racers Chasing Runner's High at Sun Peaks

May 26, 2014: Over 4,500 people are expected to hit the trails at Sun Peaks this summer, competing against each other, their personal bests and the mountains’ diverse terrain in five separate races. The events range from a 1 km walk, to 50 km run to a 26 feature obstacle challenge. In recent years Sun Peaks’ alpine community has evolved into a top quality race venue by partnering with growing, world class race companies.

The world’s leading obstacle race event series will return this fall, drawing over 4000 participants to two Reebok Spartan Races on September 27 and 28, including a Spartan Sprint Race and Western Canada’s only Spartan Beast at 21 km with 28 obstacles. 

“We are very excited to bring two great Spartan Race events back to Sun Peaks this year,” says Dean Stanton, regional director of Spartan Race Western Canada. “We love the location and so do our competitors. Sun Peaks truly is the best ski mountain in the Interior and it makes for a fantastic setting for Spartan Races.”... read more.

ARKELLS to Play Sun Peaks’ Free Summer Concert Series Labour Day Long Weekend

May 13, 2014: One of Canada’s most acclaimed alternative rock bands, ARKELLS, will join the 2014 Sun Peaks Summer Concert Series playing a free outdoor show on Saturday, August 30. The Labour Day concert weekend will expand this year to feature two exciting headliner performances, with the Sunday, August 31 act to be announced in the coming weeks. 

“Our Summer Concert Series now caters to an even broader range of music enthusiast, from rock, to kids, to country and now alternative,” says Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks. “This concert weekend is a reflection of the fact that Sun Peaks is a summer destination for every demographic of traveller.” 

This concert announcement is hot on the heels of the 2012 JUNO Group of the Year’s new single, “Never Thought That This Would Happen”. A ‘slow burner’, the song is inspired by a small music festival in their hometown in Ontario. It’s an exciting departure from their previous music while still delivering the energy the band is known for. ARKELLS new album is slated for release this summer, meaning fans can expect a mix of new tunes along with old favourites, like ‘Whistleblower’ and ‘Oh, The Boss is Coming!’ during their set... read more.

Wider Holes Not Needed to Improve Golf Game at Sun Peaks' 18-Hole Golf Course

May 7, 2014: B.C.’s highest elevation golf course is emerging from under the snow thanks to one of the hardest working maintenance crews in the province. Greens clearing began in February and continued throughout the spring. Despite heavy snow in April, conditions are looking fantastic for The Golf Course at Sun Peaks Resort’s official opening on May 31, 2014.

“B.C.’s highest course has its ups, with spectacular scenery and father flying drives at our higher elevation,” says Aidan Kelly, director of sales and marketing for Sun Peaks Resort Corporation. "We're looking forward to another spectacular golf season."

In addition to being known as high, the 18 hole par 72 Graham Cooke designed course also has a reputation as being hard. But according to the Professional Golf Association of BC’s slope assessment of 129 from the back tees, it’s actually one the friendliest courses in the Kamloops region.

“We don’t need oversized holes at Sun Peaks to improve golfers' scores,” says Kelly. “Our pro tips point out that club selection is key here; many use clubs far too large for our tight fairways. We encourage players to refer to our hole-by-hole Pocket Pro tips book to ensure the best possible golf experience.”... read more.

A 'Grand' Day at Sun Peaks: Unveiling the 'Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre'
May 1, 2014: Our resort community celebrated with birthday cake this morning as its signature hotel officially took on its new identity, marking the occasion by cutting a giant ribbon to unveil the 'Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre'.

In keeping with the tone of the new name, ‘Grand’, the occasion was commemorated in a big way with a large complement of hotel staff leading resort community representatives in cutting a ribbon that stretched along much of the façade of the hotel and conference centre.

Presenters included Mike Kohari, General Manager of the Grand, Darcy Alexander, Vice President and General Manager of Sun Peaks Resort, and Christopher Nicolson, President of Tourism Sun Peaks.

Owner SP Hotel Corporation is delighted that the existing leadership team and employees of the luxury hotel have chosen to remain in place and share their continued commitment to its success. That, along with the refurbishment program that began before the end of the winter season, positions the hotel for a truly ‘grand’ future as one of the Thompson Okanagan regions premier destination hotels... Visit The Grand Online.

Images - Click to expand
Bigger & Better: New Terrain for New Adventures

Sun Peaks Resort's master development plan, which was laid out over 20 years ago, has stood the test of time and remains almost completely unchanged since its original inception. 

This summer, work will begin to fulfill two important sections of the plan in the West Morrisey and Gil’s ski areas. Over 500 acres of new, challenging ski terrain will be added to the Sun Peaks ski boundary area. Already the second largest in British Columbia, Sun Peaks will now be the second largest in Canada with 4,270 acres of in-bound ski terrain.

Gil’s, a popular backcountry area at the top of Tod Mountain, will see the amount of vertical doubled with the creation of a lower ski-out road leading back to the main ski area. To manage the new terrain, Sun Peaks Resort’s mountain operations team has developed a new snow safety program from the ground up. It also continues to use the master development plan layout to assess and remove diseased and beetle effected timber as part of their industry leading forest health program. West Morrisey will be developed to this end as well, slated for extensive glading as well as a handful of cut runs, adding significant steep and deep terrain to this unique aspect of Mt. Morrisey.

> DOWNLOAD THE FULL MAP HERE

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 >