Sun Peaks ski resort
About Sun Peaks
From humble beginnings Sun Peaks has grown to become the second largest ski area in Canada (second only to juggernaut Whistler), with around 4,000 acres (nearly 1,500 hectares) of terrain for all skiing and boarding ability levels and styles.
The resort's success is down to a number of factors. The characteristic light, dry, easy-to-ski powder spread across three varied mountain faces is a draw, but other British Columbia resorts can boast similar claims. What sets Sun Peaks apart is a very well thought-out ski-through village that provides enough attractions and high-quality service for a very fulfilling ski holiday.
Another attraction, particularly for Canadian visitors, is that the country's greatest ever skier and Olympic Champion (now a government senator), Nancy Greene, is a major presence in the resort. She is also involved with Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge, which is adorned with a dazzling gold and crystal trophy cabinet, and is currently Sun Peaks' official director of skiing. She is very friendly and unassuming too, giving free guided ski tours most weekends to any visitor who'd like to ski with her.
Sun Peaks is a 45-minute drive north of the town of Kamloops in central British Columbia, Canada.
Sun PeaksResort Elevation: 1255m
Top Elevation: 2080m
Base Elevation: 1255m
On the slopes
Sun Peaks has one of the world's most impressive snowfall records, reporting an average of 5.6m (20ft) of light powder each winter. Sun Peaks ski resort usually opens in mid-November and closes shortly before mid-April, due to a lack of demand for winter sports at that time of year, rather than a lack of snow.
The resort of Sun Peaks has one of North America's largest ski areas accessed via a network of high-speed chairlifts. The terrain is suited to all ability levels, with a particular onus on immaculate grooming of the runs – one of which is 8km (5 miles) long. There are also two Alpine bowls for those looking to plunge into the powder. Runs range from wide, fast cruisers to gladed trails through thinned woodland and steep mogul fields.
Advanced skiers will be interested to follow the resort's many connections to the global competition circuit. It opens exclusively for international teams to train in mid-November and has a reputation as the leading North American destination for world-class speed-skiing competitions each spring. On a day-to-day basis, around a third of the terrain is classified expert and almost every kind of challenge is available here.
Freestyle skiers and boarders are far from forgotten, with a high-calibre 4 hectare (99 acre) terrain park accessed from the Sunburst chairlift that is divided into three sectors: novice, intermediate and advanced. Nordic skiers are also well catered for with 52km (32 miles) of groomed tracks and backcountry trails, including a rare lift-accessed Nordic ski run.