Starting anew: Sun Peaks and Marmot Basin open for 2023-24
With Doc Pow at Sun Peaks and Jeremy Derksen at Marmot Basin for their respective opening weekends, our SnowSeekers team kept busy this past weekend checking the vibe and bringing you the updates as we ring in the 2023-24 ski season.
See what things were like, and plan to get in on the action now!
Doc Pow: sun, fun and Flash Gordon at Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks Resort/Secwépemc Nation - "Happy New Year!!!" Over lunch Flash Gordon and I heard this twice within seconds of sitting down for lunch at the base of Canada's second largest ski resort... the stoked crew next to us celebrating the historic occasion with yet another round of Fireball, as Sun Peaks Resort claimed official bragging rights as the first ski hill to open for the 2023-24 season in BC.
Happy new year is right, and with the start of the season for Sun Peaks this past weekend, now this crew's chance—like ours—to undo any wrongs from the last season.
Didn't get out on the snow enough last year? No worries, make a New Years resolution today to right it.
The start of the season is the opportunity to get into the groove, Sun Peaks gave us two chairlifts full of turns that gave me just the right amount of snow to get my new year's resolutions in order.
Funny enough, it wasn't 10 seconds back on the snowboard with my first set of turns that almost resulted in a face plant... what feels like a whole year had gone by since my last set of turns, so the mind and soul appreciated the re-introduction.
Bring a little stoke into your day, right now—simply hit play to go for some Sun Peaks turns with one of the world's most legendary new year's practitioners; Nancy Greene Raine.
Watch this video to learn about her life and times building out this snow globe and find out how she lives with new years vibes all year long.
Perhaps another new years resolution could be to travel more in season 2023/24; connect Sun Peaks with Marmot Basin in Jasper to make for a multi-province road trip.
From the Thompson Region of BC, to the Rockies of Alberta, SnowSeekers' Jeremy Derksen was there to bring you their new year kick-off!
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Jeremy Derksen: hot laps, max fun at Marmot
Jasper National Park / Treaty 6, 8 — Is there a better way to break in the ski legs than hot laps on fresh cord under a bluebird sky??
Avid skiers and snowboarders cruised the slopes at Marmot Basin, where opening weekend was near spring-like with party vibes and temps hovering near zero. Smiles were everywhere, from Rabbit Hill ski racers from Edmonton, Jasper locals and staff, and even a snowboarding family from McBride, BC.
Marmot staff have done an epic job getting the hill ready to go. Check out your preview here.
Watch: Jeremy Derksen aka @thewilderxness, giving the Marmot ski season 2023-24 opening weekend tour
I’ve personally never done so many hot laps of Tranquilizer in a season as I did this opening weekend, but it was a blast! (And hot tip for the daytrippers: with limited terrain, lift passes were reduced to 60% off, and discounts will likely remain until more terrain opens up.)
As a 20-year member of the Canadian Ski Patrol at Marmot Basin, it wasn’t all fun and games for me but that just meant I got up into the upper mountain to see the Knob Quad construction in person, and to ski compact snow on Paradise run (still closed to the public for now).
All of which reminded how much work goes into getting a resort to the point of opening. A lot of people put in a lot of staff hours to get slopes and infrastructure ready, from snow farmers and boot packers, to snowmakers, groomers, mechanics, ski techs, patrol and many more.
As a volunteer, I come in on weekends to help out but really, I get to cherry pick some glory turns, maybe run a toboggan and then go home, leaving the bulk of the hard work to the full-time staff. It is, above all, a team effort.
So if you see hill staff, be sure to thank them! High-five your lifties and start the season right.
As Doc Pow writes, start now with a plan to make this year even better than last.
When you go
To kick the season off right, we want to recognize whose lands we ski: Sun Peaks, home to the Secwépemc Nation, and in Jasper National Park, traditional territory and traveling grounds for the Anishinabe, Aseniwuche Winewak, Dene-zaa, Nêhiyawak, Secwépemc, Stoney Nakoda, Mountain Métis and Métis.
We're grateful to shred the natural beauty of these lands, which so many have stewarded and enjoyed for centuries.
Early season details
Marmot Basin is now open for the 2023-24 ski season with three lifts operating (Eagle Express, School House and magic carpet) and two main runs on the lower mountain, Tranquilizer and School House. Early season pricing is in effect temporarily, pending new terrain openings.
Sun Peaks is now open for the 2023-24 ski season with four lifts operating (Sunburst Express, Elevation, Village Platter and Learning Zoe carpet) and four runs accessible—5 Mile Lower, Cahilty, Gentle Giant and Sunbeam—with early season pricing temporarily in effect, pending new terrain openings.