Sun Peaks Story Starters help you uncover what makes Sun Peaks… Sun Peaks. Whether you are intrigued by our mountain lifestyle, captivated by our charming alpine village, curious about the personalities who call Sun Peaks home, or yearning to discover the foundations from which Sun Peaks has grown, we want to be sure you have the inside scoop to share Sun Peaks with your audience.
Sun Peaks is a resort community located in the interior of British Columbia. Located just 45 minutes from Kamloops, it is the second largest ski area in Canada and a year-round destination for guests in search of a welcoming, accessible, stress-free mountain experience. Consistently recognized as one of the top ski resorts in North America, thanks to its massive terrain and confidence inspiring design, Sun Peaks offers a European-style ski-in, ski-out, pedestrian village with locally-owned and operated shops, restaurants and lodging. Spring, summer and fall offers guests a wide range of leisure activities, featuring an 18-hole, par 72 Graham Cooke-designed golf course, a lift-accessed downhill mountain bike park, cross-country mountain biking, alpine hiking trails, and a year-round line up of concerts, events and festivals. Sun Peaks has been recognized for its environmental policies and practices, as the first resort in North America and the only resort in Canada to earn the ISO 14001 designation for environmental management. Sun Peaks can be accessed from airport gateways in Kamloops (45 minutes) and Kelowna (2.5 hours), and by car, with only a four-hour drive separating Sun Peaks from Vancouver, B.C.
The Latest Story Starters
Rediscovering connection through yoga
If we reflect on the entirety of our lives, two years doesn’t feel like such a long time. When we consider two years of political turbulence, economic turmoil, and medical crisis, it’s a lifetime. We as a collective have experienced major disruption to all facets of our lives, including the connection to that life and ourselves. Yoga affords us an opportunity to rediscover and strengthen that connection and practicing it amidst nature helps facilitate a stronger bond to the world around us and in turn, ourselves. There’s opportunity in Sun Peaks to practice yoga on stand-up paddleboards in the peaceful environment of Heffley Lake, among rainbows of wildflowers at a remote alpine location, and at the Sun Peaks Yoga Studio. Kayla, the owner of the yoga studio operates from the notion that yoga is for EVERY body and with each practice, you cultivate more self-love and deeper connections.
cheers to 60 years
60 years ago, five Kamloops skiers ascended Mount Tod reaching what is now the Top of the World. Their zest for skiing came alive that day as they stared in awe at the snow-covered Crystal Bowl. They transformed their dream of having a chairlift into a reality - giving birth to Tod Mountain Ski Resort. This season, Sun Peaks celebrated the 60th anniversary of that special Opening Day.
To help celebrate, Sun Peaks Resort teamed up with Red Collar Brewing Co. to create the Altitude Adjustment – a citrusy White IPA; the can features a special 60th anniversary artwork created by local artist, Zuzy Rocka. ArtZone Sun Peaks will also be launching a 60th anniversary art exhibit, all with pieces inspired by Tod Mountain.
off the beaten path with bodie
Prepare to venture off the beaten path with Sun Peaks Backcountry Tours and Avalanche Training. Owner Bodie Shandro, has upwards of three decades of backcountry experience and is a professionally certified CSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor, CSGA Ski Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and Avalanche Canada Licensed AST provider. Guests can choose from an array of courses and tours, including a two-day Avalanche Canada AST1 course that’s offered every weekend.
organic, origInal, ohANA
Have you ever bought groceries from a store that is owned by one woman who oversees daily operations, hand selects her produce, and fosters personal relationships with the farmers that grow her food? Bobbe Lyall is a long time Sun Peaks local and launched Ohana to offer hyper local organic produce, rangeland meats, and international cheeses to the Sun Peaks community. With a wide selection of groceries, daily specials and specialty gift baskets, there’s something here for the whole Ohana.
B.c. brews at sun peaks
There’s nothing like kicking back after a long day on the snow with a local craft beer. At Sun Peaks, you can hit up a restaurant, bar, or café and choose from over 75 taps or head back to your room after visiting Sundance Fine Wine, Beer & Liquor store that represents 30+ BC breweries. With brews from places like The Noble Pig Brewhouse, Yellow Dog Brewing, Four Winds Brewing and more, guests won’t run out of local breweries to quench their thirsts this season.
first tracks private lessons
One of the most unique winter experiences in Sun Peaks is the First Tracks Private lessons. During the lesson, students have exclusive access to the Crystal chairlift for an entire hour of uninterrupted skiing or riding. Expert instructors guide guests around some of the finest untracked snow before the mountain opens to the public. All skiers/riders must be 19+ and ride at an intermediate/expert level.
Timeless Story Starters
Sharing excellence in skiing
Possessing a superior Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) training program and outstanding reputation, it is not surprising that Sun Peaks’ Sports School has the opportunity to hand-select instructors from the hundreds of applications they receive every winter.
Eager new instructors don’t just flock from Canada. Sun Peaks Sports School also welcomes aspiring international instructors through partner organizations such as Wintersports (UK) and Snowminds (Denmark). During the 2017-2018 season alone, approximately 140 students completed their Level 1 CSIA training in Sun Peaks. Select students then moved on to join the Sports School to teach their new trade alongside seasoned CSIA instructors hailing from 15 different countries and offering lessons in 11 languages. From foundational skills on the beginner slopes, right up to off-piste and backcountry skills, the Sports School truly caters to the full spectrum of skiers and boarders.
Did you know? Selected as one of Canada’s top 10 ski instructors, Luc Neron, a ski instructor at Sun Peaks Resort, travelled to Pamporovo, Bulgaria in March 2019 as a member of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski Team. The Interski Congress, held every four years, brings together the top instructors from skiing nations around the world for workshops, demonstrations and discussions focused on the betterment of snow sport instruction. Read more
elate your taste buds: a recipe for history buffs
For locals and guests alike, Sun Peaks cinnamon buns have been a staple in the ski day for many years. Their sweet aroma wafts through the fresh mountain air to alert those skiing past that it is time for a morning coffee break, while those in the know are already waiting in line as the buns come out of the oven. The recipe was first introduced by Sandra Hudson, who joined the two-person bakery team at Tod Mountain’s Burfield Lodge in the late 1980’s. Over the years, new bakers have attempted to add their own special touch to the sticky bun recipe. With each attempt, there has been criticism from the masses, demanding the return of the original recipe.
Modest in her words, Hudson admits she kind of “winged it” in an effort to impress her mother-in-law, a baker and cinnamon bun aficionado. Now, 30 years later, Hudson finds it hard to believe the recipe remains coveted in the kitchens of Sun Peaks’ slopeside food and beverage outlets for guests to enjoy through the winter season.
Guided Ice Fishing
Enjoy the winter sunrise, some mid-day blue skies or a stunning sunset out on the hard water on a fully guided ice fishing adventure with Elevated Fishing Adventures. Join your local guide Campbell for a uniquely Canadian experience on one of the many mountain lakes surrounding Sun Peaks and try your hand at catching a few of the hard-fighting and great tasting wild Rainbow Trout. Everything from pick-up to drop-off is provided including door-to-door transportation to and from the lake, a heated ice fishing tent, a hot beverage and all the fishing gear you need. But the most valuable part is the knowledge of an experienced guide, making it easy for anyone to learn as they go with absolutely no experience required. With a little luck and a little skill, you could take home some fish for the frying pan.
Why walk when you can ski
When the Sun Peaks Education Society first formed in 2010, they set out with visions of building a school for the children of Sun Peaks. But it was not just about building a school, it was a steadfast goal to create the ‘most stimulating educational experience in B.C. to children in a spectacular mountainside community.’
The inaugural year saw 18 students from kindergarten to grade 5, supported by an Open Learning teacher and many volunteers, pass through the doors of Sun Peaks’ first local school. In the 8 years since, this extraordinary education opportunity has seen significant growth with approximately 135 students enrolled across two schools from kindergarten to grade 12 for 2018-2019.
Now in partnership with the local school district, Sun Peaks Elementary offers a not-so-traditional learning opportunity to students up to grade 7, including a ski-in/ski-out school where students arrive via the Village Platter lift. For older students, Sun Peaks Secondary Academy provides a unique schooling model, focused on BC curriculum in the classroom while continuing to encourage a healthy outdoor lifestyle for students to take away with them after grade 12.
With perks including a four-day school week, Friday’s free for ski club training, and PE classes on the slopes, it is no wonder this mountainside school continues to draw attention and attract more young families looking to lay roots in a true mountain town.
Test your swing on British Columbia's highest elevation golf course
The Golf Course at Sun Peaks Resort welcomes guests to test their swing on the 18-hole, 72-par Graham Cooke designed course. At 1,200 metres above sea level, it is British Columbia’s highest elevation course, offering golfers of every level the serenity of panoramic views, fresh mountain air and even the chance of meeting Sun Peaks wildlife on the links. This season, the kids golf free special has expanded, inviting golfers 18 years and under to play for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Story Starter Archive
Snow-mageddon! Pow-pocalypse! Storm of the decade!
Sometimes the hyperbole around winter storms can seem a bit much, but here in Sun Peaks we’re struggling to find the right words to describe the record-breaking snowfall that has kicked off the year 2020. Read more about our amazing pow we've received.
for the love of perfect corduroy: grooming requires year-round planning
While the appreciation of groomed runs from skiers is common knowledge, many are unaware of the year-round planning, maintenance and precision that goes into mastering the art of a perfectly groomed run. In Sun Peaks, unique grooming practices have been developed and because of this, Sun Peaks sees great early season skiing conditions.
As new runs are planned and old runs are scheduled for maintenance, the skier experience is the number one priority for the Sun Peaks Mountain Operations team as they prepare the ground for winter grooming. During the off-season, vegetation is removed, the ground is carefully graded and water bars are put in place to collect rain during the summer months to prevent erosion. Once the groundwork is complete, Sun Peaks’ trail crew works through the summer to ensure a flawless foundation for the experienced winter grooming team to create the masterpiece.
heli ski prep program
Sun Peaks Resort is conveniently located amid some of the finest heli and cat-skiing destinations in the world! Warm-up and fine tune your powder skiing technique in Sun Peaks legendary Gil's terrain while developing the necessary backcountry skills before your heli or cat skiing destination. Beyond the Groomers and Introduction to Backcountry camps teach invaluable skills such as avalanche awareness, companion rescue, tree wells and backcountry hazard recognition while exploring Sun Peaks vast off-piste terrain with a certified Canadian Ski Guide
Nancy's Dream Fund: Helping young athletes reach their dreams
On February 15, 2018, Sun Peaks Resort announced a new fundraising initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nancy Greene’s Olympic gold medal win. Nancy’s Dream Fund will ensure that promising young athletes have equal opportunity to reach their dreams and not be limited by the costs associated with competitions and training camps. Nancy, who has called Sun Peaks home for over two decades, has always expressed the importance of community support for young athletes. Her gratitude for the community of Rossland, BC, where Nancy began her skiing career, is well-known. The donations raised through community efforts allowed Nancy to reach the next level in her skiing career and ultimately, win Olympic gold.