Above photo taken on February 8 during the course build.
Posted February 20, 2017
Have you found yourself wondering what the change in landscape on Sundance Mountain is all about? If you haven’t yet ventured up for a closer look, there’s been quite a significant project taking shape. Special guest, Jeff Ihaksi, arrived on February 4th to join forces with mountain operations in the transformation of Suncatcher run to a brand new feature for your on-mountain experience – a fun, recreational ski and snowboard cross course!
If you’re not familiar with this type of course, the niche sport was added to the Olympic roster in 2010 and has been a staple event of the X-Games and the World Cup circuit for years. A long, winding course that can hold up to four racers across, ski cross courses utilize a combination of rollers, berms, bumps, and jumps. Our particular course in Sun Peaks offers a unique design that makes the course approachable and intended for the everyday skier or rider.
What you see today is the culmination of collaboration, shared vision, and a few passionate folks driving the idea forward. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without veteran designer and renowned builder, Jeff Ihaksi of White Industries. With an exceptional resumé of building world class ski cross venues - notably for Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - his ability to conceptualize the course and execute the vision is seamless.
I'm impressed by what the resort has to offer. This course will only further diversify the on-mountain guest experience in Sun Peaks.
“Tod Mountain is where I first learned to ski, but I haven’t been back since I was four years old,” says Ihaksi. “I’m impressed by what the resort has to offer. This course will only further diversify the on-mountain guest experience in Sun Peaks. If continued into the future, it could provide opportunities for high caliber training and competitions, which I witnessed firsthand as key in putting Whistler on the map.”
Ski and snowboard cross courses can be built strictly from snow, as ours is, which requires ideal conditions, the right amount of snow, and a significant number of man hours to move around the snow and shape the course. The other option is moving dirt during the non-snow months and shaping the actual ground itself. Consider this a pilot project as we gauge interest from guests and the all-around feasibility as to whether it's the right time for ski cross to become a more permanent fixture here in Sun Peaks. So don't be shy; give the course a whirl as it's now open for daily public access!
The first official event on the course is the upcoming TELUS Nancy Greene Alpine Classic, February 24 – 25. To say Nancy is buzzing with excitement would be an understatement. With the new course format for this year’s event the planning committee is hoping it will attract both past participants and new attendees.
What better way to introduce a new event format for this annual fundraising event than for Olympian Ashleigh McIvor to join forces with Nancy Greene as a guest coach. McIvor took gold for Canada in the ski cross event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
We'll see you on the course!