Sun Peaks, BC
Sep 26, 2016
number of runs
travel: go now
Just a decade old and still growing, Kicking Horse has been called “mini-Alaska” for good reason.
Who wants to talk shop when there’s 8,000 acres of world-class terrain, from high-alpine glaciers to giant hemlock forests, spread across two mountains plastered by a stable maritime snowpack?
Thanks to recent efforts by the resort, including increased avalanche control and early-season boot-packing, you can now rip down Lake Louise’s 2,500-acre Powder Bowls.
Sun Peaks is a huge resort, the third largest in Canada in the heart of heli-skiing country. Locals began the ski area in 1961, with volunteers carving many of the runs that are skied today. Its strides toward the future of skiing began with Nippon Cable's purchase of the former Tod Mountain in 1992. With a first-class hotel and a whole new mountain adding almost 1,000 acres, Sun Peaks is in the big leagues. The resort's slogan is 'Three Mountains, One Village' and the third mountain has made all the difference. The resort is now ranked the largest ski area in the interior and the second largest in British Columbia behind Whistler. Al Raine and his Olympic ski-champion wife, Nancy Greene Raine, who together helped build Whistler to the international destination it is today, now call Sun Peaks home, and Nancy is both the director and ambassador of skiing here. It's a very nice chunk of mountain village and resort, with a ski area graced with huge bowls, wide runs, steep chutes and an abundance of glades.The resort has one of five North American detachable quads with a bubble, the 1.5-mile Sunburst Express, smack in the middle of the main village. Off to its right are six single-diamond steeps, all in a row, plus four steep blues off to the left. And that's not all. The Sunburst Ridge alone has 15 different trails, plus countless glades. Beginners have their own separate area near the Village Day Lodge in front of Nancy Greene's hotel, Cahilty Lodge. It's very much out of the way of busy skier traffic, affording first-timers a measure of safety.
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