Snowboarding Sun Peaks In British Columbia, Canada
Planning A Snowboarding Vacation? Put Sun Peaks On Your Radar!
Living in Southern California, I don’t get too many opportunities to go snowboarding. I know I could go more but the snow conditions can be a bit icy in the morning and then slushy by midday. Not to mention how busy it is with the mountains servicing populous cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. I had never been to Sun Peaks before this trip although I have always wanted to explore more ski resorts in my home province of British Columbia. I was stoked to be able to try out a new ski resort, especially one that is only a 5-hour drive from Vancouver. The last few seasons on the coast in BC have been unseasonably warm so I was in search of new powder.
After touring Okanagan’s wine region, my travel companions and I headed to Sun Peaks, which I learned is the second largest ski area in Canada. When we arrived, we checked into the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel which is right in the heart of the Village area. It is the only full-service hotel in the resort area with restaurants, an outdoor heated swimming pool, 3 outdoor hot tubs, a gym, coin-operated laundry, and shops. The chairlifts, access to trails, and activities are just steps away.
A suite at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel – photo courtesy of Sun Peaks Grand Hotel
Lately, I have been rising around 6 am and while I was in BC on this trip, I was up before the sun. There weren’t any epic sunrises while I was there but I went out for early morning walks to explore. It was cool to be up before most and they’re not very many others around the Village. Luckily for my caffeine addiction, I found a coffee shop open by 7 am…phew!
The quiet Village groomed for you to cruise through!
If you’re looking for coffee and green juice, Vertical Cafe has got you covered!
Exploring Sun Peaks in the early morning before snowboarding
I do miss this kind of scenery living in California!
The morning after we arrived at Sun Peaks, I was supposed to go snowboarding. I changed my plans when an opportunity to go dog sledding with Mountain Man Dog Sled Adventures came up. I still had the afternoon to go snowboarding and do a run with Canadian Olympic legend Nancy Greene, who lives at Sun Peaks.
After dog sledding, the shuttle bus was out of service so I took a scenic stroll via the valley trails rather than walking on the street back to the Village. I grabbed a quick pizza and went to my room to change into new under layers. I usually bring my own snowboard gear on my trips but since I was touring around wine country for a few days before Sun Peaks, I didn’t want to leave my gear in our van. Renting a snowboard and bindings at Sun Peaks was so much easier. Not to mention one less bag to check and pay for. Elevation Ski Bike & Board, a rental place, was right next door to my hotel.
Once I got my gear I was able to do a quick warm-up run before meeting Nancy. I definitely needed it since I hadn’t gone snowboarding in a year. The conditions were great, the scenery was beautiful, and I loved how relatively quiet the mountain was even on a Saturday.
Look how mellow that line is on a Saturday!
A view from the chair lift
With my snow crew from the Wine Institute of BC and Sun Peaks
After my warm-up run, Nancy met us at the bottom and I rode the gondola up with her. She told me a bit about the history of Sun Peaks. At 72 years young, Nancy is still amazing on skis and I’m so honoured to have done a lap with her. Besides being an Olympic legend, she also happens to be a senator for the Thompson-Okanagan-Kootenay region. Talk about legendary!
With Nancy Greene, Olympic Gold legend (in the red)!
Check out my 1-minute GoPro video edit of snowboarding at Sun Peaks
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If you are planning a winter ski or snowboarding vacation, here are some necessities that I recommend:
With a winter vacation where I am participating in activities like snowboarding, I always book travel insurance. I can try to be careful on the mountain, go slow, and wear a helmet but it’s still impossible to predict what could happen. From past experiences, while travelling and having to go or taking my friends to a hospital, I’m a stickler for travel insurance. Anything from flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage or injury is possible on a trip, so travellers going on a ski or snowboard trip should consider Roam Right Insurance when it comes to travelling.
When I am on a “winter vacation” I am often doing things like snowboarding, snowshoeing, bobsledding, or dog sledding. I don’t always trust myself to bring my good cameras since I’ve killed cameras in snowball fights or dropped them in snow banks. So I recommend bringing an action or a waterproof camera. I only recommend GoPro. For this trip I mounted my GoPro 4 Silver to my helmet for my snowboard footage and while dog sledding I held my GoPro 4 Silver on my 3-Way and also mounted my GoPro Session on the dog sled.