Sun Peaks has become a paradise for the cross-country crowd, with 31 kilometres of track and skate track groomed almost daily.
KAMLOOPS, BC - Just imagine 31 kilometres of track set trails in pristine high-country wilderness and a quick and easy lift to get to it all. Oh yeah, sign me up.
Sun Peak Resort has answered the call of the skinny-ski crowd. It has improved and increased the amount of groomed cross-country trails and is offering some new digs to wax up or relax. According to Brandi Schier, Sun Peaks media and marketing coordinator, it’s paying off for everyone.
“The response to our new emphasis of Nordic skiing has been great to see. Lots of locals and visitors are trying it through the lessons we offer and they are coming back for more. It’s awsome to see that younger people are getting into it too through the Jackrabbit program,” said Schier.
The trails all start at Parking Lot 5 where a new Nordic Centre opens from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Inside, there is trail information, an area to warm up, a boot change area, a waxing bench, rentals and a retail area where you can pick up that forgotten glide wax for the fast downhill track.Over the summer, both the resort and volunteers cleared the brush and smoothed out some rough patches to make the trails more pleasing for everyone. Now, more than 31 kilometres of track and skate track is groomed – usually on a daily basis.
Want to skip the uphill grind? Want to slip into the high country just a little faster? Thought so. Included in your Nordic day pass are two rides to the top of Mount Morrisey on the Morrisey Express chair. That means you do not have to grind up 1,260 vertical to the backcountry terrain on the Holy Cow Trail.
Schier laughs while she explains: “Holy Cow is the perfect name because people tend to say that as they gaze out on the awesome view from the top. Then, 'HOLY COW!' is heard as they rip down the steep and windy trail.”
Holy Cow offers something for everyone with at least intermediate abilities. The views, the challenging steeps and a chance to test their animal tracking knowledge before joining the other trails back to the trailhead.
Sun Peaks Resort is all about family and they know that Rover and Fifi are part of the gang. The McGillivray Lake trail is designated dog friendly, so bring them along and let them experience the thrill of running through the back-country. Don’t forget the leash and to pack out what they might deposit on the trail.
With a lift that carries skinny-skiers up the 1,260 vertical to the backcountry terrain, there's more energy to burn once the skis get on the track.
After a thick blanket of fresh powder the un-groomed, untouched and unplugged backcountry calls out your name. An easy ride up the Morrisey Express and a fast blast down Holy Cow will have you within a stride of virgin snow. Close to 15 kilometres of un-groomed trails all link back to the main trails.
Back on the groomed trails, the McGillivray Lake Outpost is the hub of many of the trails and a great place to stop to either warm up or enjoy a break. From there, choose your return route via beginner to advanced track-set trails.
Check the schedule for the monthly Full Moon Nordic Ski and Chocolate Fondue. Along with your guide – ski to the McGillivray Lake log cabin for a bowl of rib-sticking chili and a delicious chocolate fondue. A quick hike down to the lake opens up the sky for some star-gazing before heading back to the Nordic Centre and parking lot.
An hour of cross-country skiing burns roughly 600 calories, so skip the “dreadmill” and take a quick lesson to start that burn. Sun Peaks beginner Nordic lessons are offered daily for both classic and skate ski. If you want to make it a two-day event, check online for the Nordic Ski and Stay Special starting at $69/persos, which includes the lift ticket into the backcountry.
For more stories and detail on Sun Peaks check out our SnowSeekers' destination page.
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