A Day In The Life Of Sunburst

Instantly recognizable, the Sunburst Express lies at the very heart of Sun Peaks and is the starting point to thousands of ski days each winter. This lift is the tireless workhorse of the resort, running almost year-round to carry skiers, snowboarders, bikers, and hikers up to mid-mountain under its iconic bubbles.

A key feature of the terrain surrounding Sunburst is the multitude of wide, perfectly manicured groomers that fan out from the top of the lift and cascade down the fall line in every direction. Don’t let that fool you though, as this chairlift is no one-trick pony. Powder filled tree runs, classic bumps, plenty of side hits, and fast, steep pitches can all be found in this part of the Resort. 


The Sunburst Express opened in 1993, coinciding with the name of the resort changing from Tod Mountain to Sun Peaks Resort. Sunburst replaced the two-seater Shuswap Chair, which was installed at Tod Mountain in 1972 and ran up the Exhibition ski run.  

In the summer of 1999 bike carriers were added to the lift to kick-off the very first season of the Sun Peaks Bike Park.

Historical Photo of the Shuswap Chair
The Shuswap double chair. Photo by Al Perry.

Favourite Runs on Sunburst for:


Cahilty to 5 Mile is a classic Sun Peaks lap for families. These wide runs provide the easiest route back to the village from the top of the Sunburst Express with plenty of space to practice turns along the way. It’s also a perfect warm up run for those looking to ease into their ski day.

Powder Hounds

While many skiers and boarders will head straight to Top of the World on a powder day, there are plenty of stashes of the soft stuff to be found around Sunburst. For the adventurous, dipping into the trees on the side of runs like Cahilty or Bluff will often reveal powder turns to enjoy.

Cruising Cord

As the name suggests, a lap on Cruiser first thing in the morning is an excellent way to sample the fresh canvas laid down overnight by our talented grooming team. While you’re enjoying the cord you’ll also be treated to beautiful views of Mt. Morrisey and the village below.

Blazer and Runaway Lane offer a similar skiing experience on days when Cruiser is not in the grooming rotation.

Charging Steeps

If you feel the need for speed then a plunge down Sting is sure to put a smile on your face. Sting’s partners on either side, Bluff and Intimidator, provide other options to point your skis downhill and let it fly.

Fun fact: Sting and Bluff got their names from the popular 1973 movie The Sting.

Snowboarding at Sun Peaks Resort
Carving up fresh cord under the Sunburst Express. Photo by Reuben Krabbe.

Pre-Ski Fuel Up

The Annex is conveniently located next to the base of the Sunburst and offers quick, hearty breakfast options. It’s the place to score one of our famous cinnamon buns too, but be quick as they can sell out fast!

Après ski at Sun Peaks Resort
Slopeside après at Masa's Bar + Grill. Photo by Kelly Funk.

Après Scene

On a sunny spring day it is hard to beat the views from the mid-mountain Sunburst Lodge. Stop in mid-ski to enjoy breakfast (you can score cinnamon buns here too), lunch, or a drink from the bar on the patio.

Waiting at the bottom are the twin watering holes of Masa’s Bar + Grill and Bottom’s Bar & Grill. Both bars are mainstays in the Sun Peaks après scene, providing slopeside stop-ins where you can toast to your day’s exploits surrounded by like-minded snow sliders.

With 20 taps to choose from, there’s a choice to satisfy every beer drinker at Masa’s, and they all pair well with the action on their big screens if your afternoon après falls on game day. Just next door, Bottom’s has long been the home of late night shenanigans in Sun Peaks for guests and locals alike, often accompanied by the sound of their infamous bell. Give it a ring if you’ve got spare cash on hand and are ready to make some new friends.