1 month with the Family - which resort?

Sbooker

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We are also leaning towards a Sun Peaks trip for Canada Jan-Feb23. A little concerned about the number of Aussies comment but given the nature of the resort it is probably ok as it will be family focused and not the bogan element permeating Niseko? Curious on this.

Priority is not excessive crowds, friendly terrain for the young family (kids 6, 10 and 11, older two pretty good on skis) but still enough to keep an advanced boarder interested for a week. Ridden BW and no interest in returning (it was ok but just keen to try other options). Is there a resort we are missing? Is Red too advanced, little mention of Banff/LL here?

From reading the above Whistler does sound appealing but we arent rich so might just do it for 2-3 days at the end as I cant afford a week of ski school for kids at $250-300 per day plus I'm guessing Whistler accom is pricey. I realise this could be partially offset by the epic pass but I wasnt intending to buy this.

Wife isnt a massive snow lover so possibly things to keep her entertained on her non ski days.
Staying in Banff and skiing the 'Big Three' is tops fun. Probably best in March/April to avoid really chilly temps.
Fernie is definitely a great hill and gets more snow than most. January is prime time for Fernie.
Can't comment on Red. Never been there.
 

AWJ

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We are also leaning towards a Sun Peaks trip for Canada Jan-Feb23. A little concerned about the number of Aussies comment but given the nature of the resort it is probably ok as it will be family focused and not the bogan element permeating Niseko? Curious on this.

Priority is not excessive crowds, friendly terrain for the young family (kids 6, 10 and 11, older two pretty good on skis) but still enough to keep an advanced boarder interested for a week. Ridden BW and no interest in returning (it was ok but just keen to try other options). Is there a resort we are missing? Is Red too advanced, little mention of Banff/LL here?

From reading the above Whistler does sound appealing but we arent rich so might just do it for 2-3 days at the end as I cant afford a week of ski school for kids at $250-300 per day plus I'm guessing Whistler accom is pricey. I realise this could be partially offset by the epic pass but I wasnt intending to buy this.

Wife isnt a massive snow lover so possibly things to keep her entertained on her non ski days.
Where are you flying into? LAX or Vancouver? If you're going to LAX, then it'll be just as easy, if not easier, to get to Banff than any of the interior BC resorts.

If doing stuff outside of skiing is a big consideration, then its no contest between Banff and interior BC resorts - Banff by a mile.

Biggest downside of Banff by far, is there isn't any ski in/ski out accom - except for a very small amount at Sunshine. Which means you either drive or get the coaches (norquay is 5-10 min, Sunshine 20-25 mins, lake Louise 40-45 mins). Coaches are plentiful and regular and leave from a variety of stops outside the various hotels all through town. Depends how easy it is to wrangle the kids into moving i guess
 
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Sbooker

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Where are you flying into? LAX or Vancouver? If you're going to LAX, then it'll be just as easy, if not easier, to get to Banff than any of the interior BC resorts.

If doing stuff outside of skiing is a big consideration, then its no contest between Banff and interior BC resorts - Banff by a mile.

Biggest downside of Banff by far, is there isn't any ski in/ski out accom - except for a very small amount at Sunshine. Which means you either drive or get the coaches (norquay is 5-10 min, Sunshine 20-25 mins, lake Louise 4-45 mins). Coaches are plentiful and regular and leave from a variety of stops outside the various hotels all through town. Depends how easy it is to wrangle the kids into moving i guess
A long drive from LAX.
Calgary is YYC.
 

AWJ

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A long drive from LAX.
Calgary is YYC.
no shit.

I meant if you're flying from oz to Canada, you have to go via either LAX or Vancouver (or San Fran). If you're flying to LAX, then there's heaps of flights to Calgary, more than you'll find to any of the BC interior airports.

If they're flying to straight to Van, then it may be quicker/cheaper to get a flight to wherever in the BC interior than to Calgary
 
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Sbooker

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no shit.

I meant if you're flying from oz to Canada, you have to go via either LAX or Vancouver (or San Fran). If you're flying to LAX, then there's heaps of flights to Calgary, more than you'll find to any of the BC interior airports.

If they're flying to straight to Van, then it may be quicker/cheaper to get a flight to wherever in the BC interior than to Calgary
Lol. Sorry. You lost me there.
 

sunpeaker

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We are also leaning towards a Sun Peaks trip for Canada Jan-Feb23. A little concerned about the number of Aussies comment but given the nature of the resort it is probably ok as it will be family focused and not the bogan element permeating Niseko? Curious on this.

Priority is not excessive crowds, friendly terrain for the young family (kids 6, 10 and 11, older two pretty good on skis) but still enough to keep an advanced boarder interested for a week. Ridden BW and no interest in returning (it was ok but just keen to try other options). Is there a resort we are missing? Is Red too advanced, little mention of Banff/LL here?

From reading the above Whistler does sound appealing but we arent rich so might just do it for 2-3 days at the end as I cant afford a week of ski school for kids at $250-300 per day plus I'm guessing Whistler accom is pricey. I realise this could be partially offset by the epic pass but I wasnt intending to buy this.

Wife isnt a massive snow lover so possibly things to keep her entertained on her non ski days.
Mate, With the family in mind & the wish list you desire I suggest you disregard the negative rubbish that is being directed at Sun Peaks. There are numerous comments here from those that actually live there or regularly visit & ski there confirming it is an ideal family resort. Its relatively inexpensive, easy access, consistent weather, has a great variety of runs for all skill levels, virtually no crowds, first class ski in ski out accommodation, great lift facilities, a really pleasant village, many activities, etc, etc. Yes, its popular with Aussies but not overwhelmingly so & they are mostly family groups. Definitely NO packs of bogans that may frequent other places. Frankly I found Whistler had far more Aussies than SP. Whistler is without doubt a Mega resort with all that goes with that (both good & bad). But it is very, very busy & crowded even during midweek. And the coastal weather can be pretty ordinary. Also, its bloody expensive. According to your criteria I think you would hate it. I have skied throughout the world in a lot of the well known resorts both big & small & my favourite hands down is Sun Peaks. If you are a radical extreme skier it would be advisable to find somewhere else. Yes there a many options in BC like Red, LL, etc but IMHO for your family holiday you wont find a better option than Sun Peaks . It ticks all the boxes you are looking for in a family ski holiday.
 

gareth_oau

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little concerned about the number of Aussies comment
I've been to SP 6 times now, and the vast majority of the Aussies there are lifties and other employees.

There are many Aussie holidayers there, but I'd suggest there are more at Hakuba (havent been to Niseko).

I'm faaar from a fan of Aussie bogans, but I have never seen any ugly behaviour that I would be ashamed of.
 

Kash

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Mate, With the family in mind & the wish list you desire I suggest you disregard the negative rubbish that is being directed at Sun Peaks. There are numerous comments here from those that actually live there or regularly visit & ski there confirming it is an ideal family resort. Its relatively inexpensive, easy access, consistent weather, has a great variety of runs for all skill levels, virtually no crowds, first class ski in ski out accommodation, great lift facilities, a really pleasant village, many activities, etc, etc. Yes, its popular with Aussies but not overwhelmingly so & they are mostly family groups. Definitely NO packs of bogans that may frequent other places. Frankly I found Whistler had far more Aussies than SP. Whistler is without doubt a Mega resort with all that goes with that (both good & bad). But it is very, very busy & crowded even during midweek. And the coastal weather can be pretty ordinary. Also, its bloody expensive. According to your criteria I think you would hate it. I have skied throughout the world in a lot of the well known resorts both big & small & my favourite hands down is Sun Peaks. If you are a radical extreme skier it would be advisable to find somewhere else. Yes there a many options in BC like Red, LL, etc but IMHO for your family holiday you wont find a better option than Sun Peaks . It ticks all the boxes you are looking for in a family ski holiday.

Thanks for the tips all im sold on SP - im not averse to packs of Aussies (I mean we will be in one haha) but i am afraid of the F wit element. Im still scarred from one Aus Day walking through a snowy Hirafu when i heard some of the finest of Aus culture yelling out Aussie Aussie Aussie as they skulled their Asahi's. I wanted to jump head first into a snow bank in shame.

I've ridden Whistler 10 yrs ago on my own and loved it but it was outside of peak and before it got epic-ified so will keep it to 1.5-2 days at the end to try it after the kids skills are topped up post SP. Just need to make sure i can keep a less enthused +1 entertained in the ski resorts for 8-10 days. I'm sure im not the only ever on these forums to face this issue haha! I dont doubt the resort will keep the kids entertained.

Powderhounds tells me the terrain looks ok for powder hungry boarders but interested in others thoughts? Any decent inbounds trees? Gils looks good on the map.
 
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Roymond

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Thanks for the tips all im sold on SP - im not averse to packs of Aussies (I mean we will be in one haha) but i am afraid of the F wit element. Im still scarred from one Aus Day walking through a snowy Hirafu when i heard some of the finest of Aus culture yelling out Aussie Aussie Aussie as they skulled their Asahi's. I wanted to jump head first into a snow bank in shame.

I've ridden Whistler 10 yrs ago on my own and loved it but it was outside of peak and before it got epic-ified so will keep it to 1.5-2 days at the end to try it after the kids skills are topped up post SP. Just need to make sure i can keep a less enthused +1 entertained in the ski resorts for 8-10 days. I'm sure im not the only ever on these forums to face this issue haha! I dont doubt the resort will keep the kids entertained.

Powderhounds tells me the terrain looks ok for powder hungry boarders but interested in others thoughts? Any decent inbounds trees? Gils looks good on the map.
Never any bogan aussie elements at SP that I've come across.
Just a great family resort.
Inbounds trees wise, Gils is great, the black runs that branch off Five Mile - rice bowl, pink flamingo and white rabbit are tree-ish runs but Morissey is great- a good gradation of runs for your whole family so while one can do the greens, others are on the blues and blacks and all end up at the same place. A bit rough for a boarder at the base of the "washing machine" runs over there- static cling, spin cycle, agitator etc- pretty flat traverse to get out but the runs are fun.
 
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JayJee

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Powderhounds tells me the terrain looks ok for powder hungry boarders but interested in others thoughts? Any decent inbounds trees? Gils looks good on the map.
Probably going to cop the hate on this one, but you have the right to know. If you are looking for terrain SP isn't it. It's primarily a green-blue resort. A lot of those blues in other places would be greens and the greens would be double green.

:out:
 
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Sbooker

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Probably going to cop the hate on this one, but you have the right to know. If you are looking for terrain SP isn't it. It's primarily a green-blue resort. A lot of those blues in other places would be greens and the greens would be double green.

:out:
Serves a purpose. That's why @dawooduck description of "amplified Perisher" is a good one.
 
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Kash

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Serves a purpose. That's why @dawooduck description of "amplified Perisher" is a good one.

Nothing wrong with the terrain of a glorified Perisher for a week! I note the one disadvantage of Perisher (besides the crowds on busy areas and $800+ p/n double room costs for on snow at peak) is the low vert, and that seems less of an issue at SP with a 500-700m vert difference chairs? Thredbo is my go to NSW resort purely because i love lapping kosi and GB chairs for longer runs. Love exploring on cruisers and if its less crowded than that is better! Its definitely a family first trip, rather than a powder/epic terrain journey.

Really appreciate all the tips team. Lets hope that Vail dont buy it...
 

Captain Caveman

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Don't be worried about terrain, there is plenty of it. Yep it isn't as steep as Revy or Kicking Horse, nor has the vert but I can assure you, after a week you still wouldn't have touched it all.
Meet up with some of us that have a few hundred plus days on the hill and you will be astonished how many little hidden gems there are.
What you will get if you push is more than 20 runs in a day due to the fact the lines are small if at all. Even at its busiest it looks more of a line than it truly is. Max 5 to 7 mins at absolute worst. Anyone who disputes this just time it and see for yourself.
I don't know many who go for the first time and don't go back or want to
What the place has in spades is the layout. Cleverly placed lifts have you where you want to be with a lot less traverse in and out than a lot of other resorts. You can take any level of skier or rider, within reason, on any of the lifts and you can go your way and they can go theirs and you will meet again on a connecting run. Even if you don't you will meet at the bottom due to everything funnelling into a central valley. This is excluding the Burf and Morrisey.
Yes the place has been labelled " Sum Peaks " and other names. See for yourself and make your own judgement after your time there. I don't think you will be disappointed by a long stretch
 

JayJee

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Don't be worried about terrain, there is plenty of it. Yep it isn't as steep as Revy or Kicking Horse, nor has the vert but I can assure you, after a week you still wouldn't have touched it all.
Meet up with some of us that have a few hundred plus days on the hill and you will be astonished how many little hidden gems there are.
What you will get if you push is more than 20 runs in a day due to the fact the lines are small if at all. Even at its busiest it looks more of a line than it truly is. Max 5 to 7 mins at absolute worst. Anyone who disputes this just time it and see for yourself.
I don't know many who go for the first time and don't go back or want to
What the place has in spades is the layout. Cleverly placed lifts have you where you want to be with a lot less traverse in and out than a lot of other resorts. You can take any level of skier or rider, within reason, on any of the lifts and you can go your way and they can go theirs and you will meet again on a connecting run. Even if you don't you will meet at the bottom due to everything funnelling into a central valley. This is excluding the Burf and Morrisey.
Yes the place has been labelled " Sum Peaks " and other names. See for yourself and make your own judgement after your time there. I don't think you will be disappointed by a long stretch
All true. Not wanting to seem a SP hater. Just bringing some balance. A close mate actually built Kookaburra Lodge. It's a great resort and much better than Perisher and Thredbo. There's literally no comparison.

Everyone has their bag. Truth be told I like an old style western town down the bottom of my ski resorts, Telluride, Crested Butte, Jackson, Whitefish, Rossland, etc.

But I make exceptions for Vail and Whistler, because, well they are Vail and Whistler...
 

absentskier

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All true. Not wanting to seem a SP hater. Just bringing some balance. A close mate actually built Kookaburra Lodge. It's a great resort and much better than Perisher and Thredbo. There's literally no comparison.

Everyone has their bag. Truth be told I like an old style western town down the bottom of my ski resorts, Telluride, Crested Butte, Jackson, Whitefish, Rossland, etc.

But I make exceptions for Vail and Whistler, because, well they are Vail and Whistler...
I like the town resort combo too. I haven’t been to SP but I found the ‘villages’ at Big White and SS rather dull. Extremely convenient, for sure, but a bit dull. Still terrific places for an easy ski holiday though, don’t get me wrong.
 
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Telezacski

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I like the town resort combo too. I haven’t been to SP but I found the ‘villages’ at Big White and SS rather dull. Extremely convenient, for sure, but a bit dull. Still terrific places for an easy ski holiday though, don’t get me wrong.

Interesting I wouldn’t even say BW and SS had villages, they have some shops but not villages.

That said BW had my favourite ski resort pub being “the woods”
 
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Lady Penelope

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Probably going to cop the hate on this one, but you have the right to know. If you are looking for terrain SP isn't it. It's primarily a green-blue resort. A lot of those blues in other places would be greens and the greens would be double green.

:out:
I guess you must be a super-advanced skier or boarder compared to me! I found enough challenging terrain at Sun Peaks, including plenty of double black diamond runs that were way outside of my league (not hard!). Big resort, steeps, powder, jumps, moguls (if that’s your thing), and lovely gladed runs over at Morrissey. As others have said, a nice village atmosphere too. But I also loved Whistler for different reasons (albeit we stayed there during an epic period of snowfall with over 2 metres of snow in 10 days).
 
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JayJee

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I found enough challenging terrain at Sun Peaks, including plenty of double black diamond runs that were way outside of my league (not hard!). Big resort, steeps, powder, jumps, moguls (if that’s your thing), and lovely gladed runs over at Morrissey. As others have said, a nice village atmosphere too. But I also loved Whistler for different reasons (albeit we stayed there during an epic period of snowfall with over 2 metres of snow in 10 days).

Good for you!
 

Legs Akimbo

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I guess you must be a super-advanced skier or boarder compared to me! I found enough challenging terrain at Sun Peaks, including plenty of double black diamond runs that were way outside of my league (not hard!). Big resort, steeps, powder, jumps, moguls (if that’s your thing), and lovely gladed runs over at Morrissey. As others have said, a nice village atmosphere too. But I also loved Whistler for different reasons (albeit we stayed there during an epic period of snowfall with over 2 metres of snow in 10 days).
It depends on your comparison. Compared to the extreme terrain of places like Telluride, Jackson and Snowbird Sun Peaks is gentle. As I don't have any desire to ski the extreme terrain of places like Telluride, Jackson and Snowbird this does not concern me. But when the boosters claim that Sun Peaks has extreme terrain they have no idea what they are talking about.
 

Lady Penelope

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It depends on your comparison. Compared to the extreme terrain of places like Telluride, Jackson and Snowbird Sun Peaks is gentle. As I don't have any desire to ski the extreme terrain of places like Telluride, Jackson and Snowbird this does not concern me. But when the boosters claim that Sun Peaks has extreme terrain they have no idea what they are talking about.
Yes, I wouldn’t call Sun Peaks’ terrain “extreme”. It has enough to keep many people happy, in my opinion, particularly when they have family members of mixed abilities. I am certainly not and never will be anything approaching an advanced skiier so it suits me!
 

absentskier

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Yes, I wouldn’t call Sun Peaks’ terrain “extreme”. It has enough to keep many people happy, in my opinion, particularly when they have family members of mixed abilities. I am certainly not and never will be anything approaching an advanced skiier so it suits me!
‘Advanced’ is really just a step up from intermediate IMO, which to me very loosely means that a person can comfortably and enjoyably ski single black diamond runs at mainstream resorts. I’m sure Sun Peaks excels at that level. Then there’s several levels up from there with progressively smaller and smaller cohorts. Sun Peaks, like Big White, very clearly does not position itself as a true experts’ mountain. That doesn’t mean that an expert skier wouldn’t have fun at Sun Peaks, because clearly plenty do. It just means that if you’re a true steep and deep expert, there’s other hills with more of what you’re looking for.
 

Donza

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Nah, the crowds and cost are pretty unappealing for many. Good if you have an epic pass and dont need lessons though.
I costed up whistler for our trip
One bedroom apartment in village.
200-250cad a night.
Lift tickets...epic pass.
Village interest for wife...decent.

If I'm avoiding crowds. I'm going to Japan.
 
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Telezacski

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I costed up whistler for our trip
One bedroom apartment in village.
200-250cad a night.
Lift tickets...epic pass.
Village interest for wife...decent.

If I'm avoiding crowds. I'm going to Japan.

Let’s compare apples with apples Whistler Village is big and could still mean you are a solid walk or bus from the lifts. Reality is Whistler isn’t cheap and the odd weekend can seriously jump in prices with Canadian or US Holidays. Still a great resort and deserves its place as one of the worlds best.

Personally what I don’t get is always going back to the same o/s resort, sure we enjoyed our time at Sunpeaks and will go back once more to finish exploring; but there are so many amazing resorts around the world, id prefer to ski as many as I can.

On extreme terrain, I seriously doubt anyone on this forum could ski serious terrain day in day out for a month. Not to say there aren’t some amazing skiers here, but anyone who has skied big terrain knows the impact on the body.
 
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