However, Sun Peaks' ski area is far from little - it is Canada's third largest ski area by acreage with 3,678 acres of skiable terrain. Such is its stature that the Austrian National ski team has chosen it as its early season training ground in the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The mountains are diverse: Tod, the original ski area, is the most challenging and the gateway to the area's cat skiing terrain; Mount Morrisey faces north and catches the snow; and Sundance Mountain is sunnier and home to most of the resort's easiest ski runs. Each mountain is fed by a high speed chairlift from the village base and the top of every lift offers green and blue runs allowing skiers of differing levels to board the same lift then ski a piste that suits their ability and meet up at the bottom. The longest run measures 8kms (5 miles) - short by European standards but long for North America.
The resort plans to open up ski pistes on two additional mountains to further extend the ski terrain and lift system. The skiing in Sun Peaks typically opens in mid or late November in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Snow junkies will be dismayed to learn that the ski area closes on the second Monday of April every year even if there's still good snow cover to give them time to dig out the greens of the underlying golf course.
For Nordic skiing enthusiasts the resort boasts over 45km's of groomed and backcountry cross-country trails, some along the valley floor and the rest accessed from the top of Mount Morrisey.
The days are long gone when they gave you a blanket for the epic lift journey on the Burfield chair. The Sun Peaks lift system is modern and efficient. Now with 11 lifts including 5 quads, Sun Peaks infrastructure can carry 12,000 people per hour up the three mountain peaks. That's almost double the overnight bed base resulting in having the pistes virtually to yourself and most of the time skiing right onto the lift with no line at all.
The Burfield chairlift still takes 22 minutes to the Top of the World, as long as an episode of Neighbours, though skiers can now load at a mid-station to loop the black runs from the top of Tod.
Skiers on Sundance can gain access to the skiing on Tod without returning to the village thanks to the construction of the new quad chairlift "Elevation" halfway down the 5-Mile run. Built through a long standing partnership with the Austria National Ski Teamwho shared costs and train early season in Sun Peaks on the Nancy Greene's International Race Centre.
The piste map gives helpful pointers such as "Easiest Route Down" and "Slow Ski Zone". Sun Peaks Ski Lift Passes The Village Day Lodge on the edge of the resort is the main meeting point for skiers and snowboarders and the place to buy lift passes, organise ski lessons and sort out ski and snowboard hire.
One green run on each mountain is described as the "Easiest Route Down": 5 Mile from the Burfield Quad on Tod; Homesteader from the Sundance Express on Sundance; and The Sticks from the Morrisey Express on Morrisey. The south-facing, open runs on Sundance Mountain are ideal for beginners whose ability outstrips the nursery slopes. Sun Peaks' relatively mild climate makes it an ideal destination for ski novices concerned about feeling the cold.
Reminiscent of a computer ski game in places, trees pop up when you least need one. Showboat and Mid-Life Crisis are natural Super-G courses. The four blue-graded glade runs on Tod are even more fun, though for something longer and wooded head to Lonesome Fir Glades and The Three Bears Glades on Sundance Mountain. There's also a series of short and sharp blue runs at the top of Tod Mountain, great for panoramic views of the mountains beyond if you can be bothered to sit out the long Burfield chairlift. The new, short blue runs on Orient Ridge at the far end of Sundance are little more than connecting pistes for the far end of the villages and the future East Village.
Head to the "Darker Side of Sun Peaks" for the double diamond black runs of Chief, Expo and Challenger running in super steep and speedy lines under the Burfield chairlift.
Since the construction of the Burfield mid-station the double diamond blacks lower down are seldom skied other than on a bad visibility day when the trees offer some shelter. Otherwise they offer millionaire's skiing. Headwalls, also on Tod, is a 55 degree pitch and the location for the FIS World Cup Speed Skiing event, the Velocity Challenge. Or try out your technique at the Nancy Greene's International Race Centre where the Austrian National ski team train in the early season.
Mogul-lovers will enjoy the knee-bashing challenge of Static Cling or avoid being spit out by Spin Cycle on Mount Morrisey. Most skiers will be tired before they tire of the options. Acres of powder fields and untracked terrain lie beyond the ski area boundary.. The vertical drops aren't very steep or very long - little more than 130 metres - but the area offers a good taste of this increasingly popular form of off-piste skiing. The views from the backcountry are truly sensational across forested hills to the mountain ranges further east on a clear day.
Sun Peaks Rockstar Energy Terrain Park
Sun Peaks has a huge variety of jumps, rails, boxes and sweet urban hits to keep you coming back for countless laps over 3 distinct zones across 9 acres. And with dedicated snowmaking, the Rockstar Energy Terrain Park gets rockin' early and remains open longer for those sunny spring sessions.
Bento's Day Lodge
Sun Peaks' affordable breakfast alternative and home to the world famous hand made gooey cinnamon buns. Bento's provides tasty quick meals for those with a hearty appetite. Bento's is a family day lodge that welcomes lunches brought from home, and has storage and lockers for our local guests. An affordable place to warm up, meet for lunch, or have a snack.
Simply scrumptious and stunningly scenic! Located at the mid mountain, the Sunburst Lodge offers scenic views of the Headwalls and down the surrounding valleys. The Sunburst Lodge features a fresh and tasty breakfast menu, and a quick serve pasta lunch. The Sunburst also features an assortment of fresh baked goods and to-go sandwich options. For a Sun Peaks treat try one of our fresh cinnamon buns!
Located at the base of Mt. Morrisey the Umbrella Café is a great place to stop for a light lunch or warm beverage. This café features our famous jumbo double smoked smokies, warm chili, and soups along with fresh baked items and breakfast snacks. The views at our Umbrella Café are spectacular thanks to 360 degrees of windows. The roof is also retractable on sunny days.
As you explore the main street of their pedestrian village, you'll quickly sense how effortlessly, yet with thought and purpose, the amenities and accommodations come together. It's the heart of the resort where you'll discover the unexpected, make new friends, and experience convenience like never before.
Of course you can't play all day.. one must shop! Browse boutique shops where you'll find clothing, apparel, and locally crafted jewelry, as well as souvenirs, mementos, and artwork by local artisans. Pamper yourself at the spa or stock up on groceries for your accommodation.
Travel light and leave the winter equipment at home. With rental outlets throughout the village, you'll find ski and snowboard gear from basic to high performance. Also readily available are cross country ski rentals, snowshoe rentals, new fashions, and those forgotten items like helmets and gloves.
RESTAURANTS & LOUNGES
Bella Italia Ristorante | A taste of fine dining specializing in pasta and seafood dishes.
Bento's Day Lodge | A large space for guests to bring their own meals or enjoy a cafeteria style menu. Located west of the Village Day Lodge, winter only.
Bottoms Bar & Grill | A lively après bar to kick back with friends for a meal after a day on the mountain.
Cahilty Creek Bar & Grill | A full menu and known for appetizers specials, burgers, salads, and steaks.
The Club| Experience European influences in lighting, sound, and design at Sun Peaks only night club.
Mantle's Restaurant & Lounge| An inspired seasonal menu using unique, local ingredients.
Masa's Bar + Grill | The perfect place to meet after skiing or golfing to share stories and enjoy a fabulous meal while watching the game on the big screen.
Morrisey's Public House | Fresh food and dazzling drinks influenced by the Irish.
Oya Restaurant | Japanese cuisine featuring sushi, rolls and noodle bowls.
Powder Hounds | Canadian and German inspired cuisine, best known for authentic Schnitzel.
Sunburst Lodge | An ideal stop for a fresh breakfast or a quick lunch. Located at mid-mountain.
Sun Peaks Steakhouse | Offering house cuts of 100% Canadian beef, and a diverse wine list in a casual atmosphere through the winter season.
The Voyageur Bistro | Authentic Canadian cuisine made from natural ingredients including bison, fresh berries, bannock and local fish.
5Forty Café & Deli | Serving Kicking Horse coffee, fresh made subs, wraps, and bagel sandwiches.
Bolacco Café | Speciality coffees, sandwiches and treats.
Café Soleil | Starbucks coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.
Mountain High Pizza | Fresh pizza by the slice or by the pie. Delivery available.
Sun Peaks Bakery | An assortment of fresh breads, baked goods, desserts, and gelato.
Tod Mountain Coffee House & Crêperie | Organic fair trade coffee, crêpes, omelettes and panini's.
Umbrella Café | Licensed café with light lunches and beverages. Located at the base of Morrissey chairlift.
Vertical Café | Organic Cherry Hill coffee and specialty drinks, smoothies, panini's, wraps, waffles, and chilli dogs.
Cat Trax Groomer Rides | Join a groomer in a Pisten Bully snow groomer and see firsthand how they work their magic on the ski runs!
Dogsled Tours | A traditional Canadian experience! Guided and self-driven dogsled tours start with an interactive kennel tour and instruction on how to handle, harness and drive the sled. You will then take control as your professionally trained team happily takes you through the wilderness of Sun Peaks. Guests can ride along or learn to mush by themselves.
First Tracks Breakfast | Kick off your morning on the mountain with exclusive access to exceptional alpine terrain accessed by the Crystal Chairlift, followed by a hearty breakfast at the Sunburst Mid-Mountain Restaurant.
Full Moon Nordic Ski & Chocolate Fondue| Ski to the McGillivray Lake Outpost cabin under a full moon and starry sky where you'll enjoy the warmth of the McGillivray cabin and a classic Chocolate Fondue, good company and star gazing, followed by a gentle glide back to the village.
Snowmobile Tours | For those seeking thrill and adventure, Sun Peaks has exciting snowmobile tours that travel to the backcountry where you'll ride on trails, over frozen lakes and through clear meadows. Add on an evening 'Wiener Roast' to your tour which includes a campfire cookout at the McGillivray Lake cabin. Guests can ride solo or double up.
Snowshoe Tour | Explore Sun Peaks with on a professionally guided tour ranging from the spectacular sub-alpine on Tod Mountain to the magic of a winter's night complete with a campfire cookout and moonlight s'mores.
Snow-Limo | This unique activity provides an opportunity for the non-skier to experience the entire mountain in style. Glide down some of our downhill ski runs safely, comfortably with a trained and experienced chauffeur-guide.
Welcome Reception with Nancy Greene l Each Sunday enjoy some complimentary hot apple cider while learning about Sun Peaks Resort from Olympian, Canadian Senator and our Director of Skiing, Nancy Greene Raine.
Fondue Dinner & Evening Descent | Board the Sunburst Chairlift at 5:00pm for a twilight ride up to the Sunburst Mid-Mountain Restaurant where you'll be treated to a delightful fondue dinner accompanied by live music. Afterwards your guides will lead you safely back down to the village on a perfectly groomed run by starlight and headlamp.
Sun Guide Tours l Consistently ranked one of the best resort experiences by our guests! Take advantage of our complimentary, friendly Sun Guide mountain tours available for all ability levels and terrain preferences, twice a day.
Ice Skating Rink | A full size outdoor rink is only a short walk from the village where you can skate with friends or rent the ice for a game of hockey. Skate and stick rentals are available at the rink.
Family Fun Night l At the skating rink, this night's all about the kids. Watch out for mascot Harry Bear and enjoy the roaring campfire and hot chocolate.
Kamloops Blazers Ice Hockey | Enjoy one of Canada's favorite games with an evening at a Kamloops Blazers hockey game complete with transportation to and from the Resort.
Kamloops Winter Shopping Shuttle | Take a break from the mountain and let us take you to Kamloops for the day to shop. Drop-off locations include downtown and Sahali Centre Mall.
Mascon Teen Hangout | After a day of shredding the mountain, leave your parents behind and head to the Mascon Hangout. Play video games on the X-Box or Wii, watch the latest ski and snowboard movies, or just hang out with friends.
Snowshoe Rentals | Explore the extensive 15.5km of track set snowshoe trail system on your own with a complimentary trail map and interpretive guide booklet with each snowshoe rental.
Tube Time | With its unique curving lanes, Tube Time is a ride unlike any other lift accessed "magic carpet" tube park and perfect activity to compliment your winter wonderland adventure.
Family Swim l At the Sports Centre, boasting an outdoor heated pool, hot tub and kids pool, bring the whole family for an exciting evening.
Friday Race Series | The Friday Race Series is a recreational racing event for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Racers are split up into local and visitor categories, and then into age divisions. Prizes will be awarded to both categories, and locals will compete throughout the series for a grand prize.
SUN PEAKS FAMILY CUP - ALL NATION CELEBRATIONS
Bring in the new year with two weeks of fun. The Family Cup is a multinational winter celebration where families are garaunteed to develop lasting friendships. The fun, recreational races and activities include downhill and Nordic race, tubing and skating parties and more.
16TH ANNUAL SUN PEAKS WINTER FESTIVAL OF WINE
Awarded the #1 Winter Day Trip in BC this festival has become a milestone event in the province. Whether you favour a formal Winemasters' Dinner or the popular Progressive Tasting, there's nothing more fantastic than pairing BC wines with epic powder skiing.
NANCY GREENE'S INTERNATIONAL RACE CENTRE
As the official North American training site of the Austria National Ski Team, the Nancy Greene's International Race Centre can support up to four lanes of GS training. Snowmaking lines run from the top of the course to the bottom and timing lines are available if required. Coach meetings are held daily at Masa's Bar + Grill to address special requirements or considerations.
Backed by Rockstar Energy, the Sun Peaks Terrain Park located on Sundance Mountain spans over 9 acres and features 3 distinct ability zones including rails, jumps, boxes and more. Clinics are available for those looking to improve their skills or learn how to ride the features.
For more information contact the Adventure Centre at 250.578.5542 or by email [email protected]