Sun Peaks is shining

Take a look at this resort in British Columbia, Canada which offers good skiing for people of all ages and abilities

The Beautiful Scenery at Sun Peaks Resort (c)Sun Peaks Resort

 

Sitting on the sun deck of the Sunburst Lodge in the resort of Sun Peaks may suggest you can expect one thing from the location and indeed, on this occasion the Sun didn’t disappoint, shining on us from a pure blue sky, as we enjoyed our lunch washed down with a cool beer. The Canadian resort of Sun Peaks is aptly named, with 2,000 hours of sunshine annually apparently, yet this doesn’t mean it lacks the main essential of a wintersports holiday, snow, as 6m of the white stuff falls each year.

The resort lies forty five minutes North East of the city of Kamloops, in central British Columbia, just an hour’s flight from Vancouver. It is purpose built for skiing and snowboarding, with its delightful village set in the valley between three mountain peaks. Recent additions to the ski area have made it the second largest in Canada. Snow lovers can take to the slopes on skis or boards or opt to travel out into the surrounding forests on snowshoe, sled or snowmobile.

We were at the Sunburst Lodge taking a break from our endeavours on the resort’s slopes, our morning skiing having been spent flying down the wide open runs on Mount Tod, the biggest of the three mountains. From our vantage point on the Lodge’s deck we could see the open expanse of snow on Crystal Bowl above us and could pick out the steep, straight slope of Headwalls where we had been moments earlier. In the opposite direction we could see across the valley towards the focus of our plan for the afternoon, the slopes of Mount Morrisey.

Whilst Mount Tod has a mixture of slopes including some advanced terrain, Morrisey is ideal for lovers of blue, intermediate runs and we were planning to explore these lovely, flattering trails that wend they way through the trees. That isn’t to say Morrisey doesn’t have its challenges too, not least the new runs in the amusingly named ‘Laundromat’ area, that rate as Double Blacks, the toughest of the slopes on offer.

During our visit we also visited the trails on the resort’s other peak, Sundance. As well as being home to the majority of the resort’s nursery slopes Sundance hosts the terrain park with its jumps and rails along with a number of long trails that wind down the slopes through some lovely town homes.

In addition to town homes, visitors can stay in a selection of comfortable hotels or apartments too, all of which lie around the compact village core, which has several shops, a good selection of restaurants and a couple of friendly bars and cafes.

Although it is two flights to get there, its skiing and friendly feel have made Sun Peaks an attractive destination for UK visitors, not least for longer stays and perhaps also those visitors looking to take it a bit easier on and off the slopes.

Julie Thompson from Frontier Ski, who specialise in trips to Canada explains ‘Sun Peaks is a very popular long-stay destination with Frontier guests, many of whom are repeat clients’. The resort has also proved popular with mature visitors, who as well as the variety of terrain, enjoy the ski-in/ski-out accommodation and the relaxed nightlife, as Thompson attests ‘Many guests, who, while not in their first flush of youth, enjoy the amount of skiing available to them as well the ambience of the village that is a perfect mix of restaurants and shops but on the quieter side than some other resorts.’

Having explored Morrisey we could agree that the resort does indeed have a wide variety of slopes and after freshening up in the Cahilty Lodge, home of Canadian ski legend, Nancy Greene, we discovered the friendly nature of the village and its villagers too, sharing a drink and a chat with the lady herself and her husband and Mayor of Sun Peaks, Al Raine. Nancy and Al have been championing Sun Peaks for many years and enjoy meeting guests and like to ski with them if they can. If Nancy and Al aren’t around visitors can also enjoy a friendly welcome in the form of the resort’s Sun Hosts, who offer free guided tours of the slopes every day. Chances are that they will point you in the direction of the sun deck of the Sunburst at some point too and hopefully you will also discover it is true to its name.

www.sunpeaksresort.com

A 14-night stay in February 2016 in a deluxe room at the Sun Peaks Grand, including return Air Canada flights from Heathrow to Kelowna, return transfers would cost £1,450 per person with Frontier Ski (www.frontier-ski.co.uk).

Stay 10 nights at the 3* Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge in January 2016 from £1,052pp, inclusive of return flights from London, resort transfers and hotel room with American Ski Classics. (www.americanskiclassics.com).

Both of the above prices are correct as of 10th December 2015 and subject to change. They are on room only basis based on 2 people sharing.

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