Live, eat and breathe alpine culture
Deep steeps, long cruisers, gladed areas, powder stashes and corduroy groomers can all be found within this 4,270 acres of terrain. Three mountains surround a European-style, ski-through village filled with quaint shops, cafes and eateries. Sun Peaks has so many activities and events on and off the slopes. You’ll be left wishing you had for more time to spend here.
Each mountain is easily accessible from the village, so it’s easy to ski all three peaks in the same day. Or, stick to the area that you love the most. Sun Peaks gets, on average, six metres of snow annually, and is blessed with light, dry powder conditions.
Sun Peaks is more than a ski resort, it’s also a vibrant mountain resort municipality with no shortage of passionate and involved local residents who commit countless hours of volunteer time in dozens of community groups, clubs, and associations.
Who would ever expect to meet a Canadian ski legend skiing at a resort? Not me, but that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I met Nancy Greene (also a Canadian senator!) on my last day at Sun Peaks, and for only a short time. In the 10 minutes or so we spent talking, I was impressed by her love, passion and commitment to the sport of skiing and ski racing. Nancy is known for a long list of achievements - she was Canada's top ski racer through the 1960s, winning gold and silver medals at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics and overall World Cup titles in 1967 and 68.
Her total of 13 World Cup victories is still a Canadian record. But what struck a chord with me is her life-time commitment to teaching children about the sport and making it accessible for all abilities. For her, it’s all about the next generation. The Nancy Greene Ski League is the grassroots program of Alpine Canada Alpin and was developed to make it possible for kids to learn the sport. Her philosophy is that children should be exposed to competition in the name of fun, and de-emphasizing the importance of always winning.
Kent ‘Koach’ Thiessen, is a Kamloops local who calls the mountains of Sun Peaks his home. Koach likes his powder deep and is always sporting a mile-wide smile. “Sun Peaks is one of the funnest hills to ride and the community welcomed us with open arms in 1995 when we came here to start Oronge Boardshop."
Since he and his business partner opened the doors, they’ve been involved in the community and have been spreading the spirit of snow-loving sports.
I asked him what he’d be sacrificing if he had to leave and he said, “No. I wouldn't want to leave. It's because of all the relationships and the bonds and family we've all created up here.”
Here’s what else you need to know about Koach. His love of powder is deep but his love of nachos is even deeper. Be sure to order the “Koachos” nachos when you visit the mountain. They come with 15 extra toppings and items on the side from chili to mozza sticks to chicken wings and so on. Over the top, just like the man himself.