Snow Report Sun Peaks 2017 - 2018

Astro66

Still looking for a park in Thredbo
Ski Pass
Jul 27, 2009
18,652
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Eastern Subs Syd
Has anyone had ski lessons at Sun Peaks, either for yourself or the children? They seem reasonably priced compared to Whistler :eek:. Feedback and comments welcome!
Young Astro has only done ski lessons at Sun Peaks. A grand total of about 18 weeks of instruction at Sun Peaks, because it's so cheap.

You have seen the videos with him skiing. You have heard the comments from ex-instructors on this site. He is by far the best skier in the family and his technique is apparently very correct.

Regarding myself. I only ever skied with my skis locked together. I took 2 lessons at sun Peaks. Separation is slowly coming around. I will be taking another lesson at Sun peaks this year.
 

Lady Penelope

One of some lot ...
Ski Pass
Sep 7, 2014
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Canberra
Thank you all. I'm always up for lessons, and @Crystal I have a younger version of your 14 year-old: Mr Hyper-active 8 who responds really well to young blokes with heaps of energy, humour, and challenges,(not to mention firm boundaries). He'd benefit from lessons especially with like-minded boys.
 
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Crystal

Sand skier extraordinaire
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1970
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Far far away Aussie expat
Thank you all. I'm always up for lessons, and @Crystal I have a younger version of your 14 year-old: Mr Hyper-active 8 who responds really well to young blokes with heaps of energy, humour, and challenges,(not to mention firm boundaries). He'd benefit from lessons especially with like-minded boys.
sounds like a good match, although I think we miss you by a week :(
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
image.jpeg

Checking in. Not following the weather regularly for SPs but I do see some rain for the coming weekend. Should provide a bit of relief from the threat of fire.

My neighbour fills me in on the wildfire situation.
Wildfires due to lightning strikes are part of nature's regeneration of the forests. It becomes a huge concern when civilization gets in the way of a front. The Particulate Matter levels should be of a health concern to those at risk. I choose to live in a wetter summer environment where it rains a couple of times a week and the lawn is cut twice a week. With that comes the humidity that I grew up with. No wildfires here and the air pollution is negligible.

The coming Winter season will likely be busier than last. More Whistler Refugees, more on-going residential construction and more skier visits in general. The resort infrastructure has the capacity to absorb the newcomers without affecting skier/ snow boarding enjoyment. There has been a noticable increase in reckless behaviour on the slopes. Not sure how that translated to Ski Patrol visits. With the increased visitation, the number of out of control skiers has increased. Just don't want to become a statistic if someone uses me as a stopping device.

Bought a camper trailer this Summer so we will be staying in BC/AB for most of the Summer of 2018. Camped across Canada this Summer. Memories of when I did a solo cross-country camping trip in '77.

SPs makes a great central hub for getaways to the Rockies and other cooler fresh air places but not a place to park yourself during fire season and the poor air quality that follows.

I did meetup with some friends from Ontario in SPs in early July. Had nice smoke free weather for alpine hiking before we left again. Got lucky!

Looking forward to Season 10 on the mtn.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,407
16,414
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Penticton, BC
A strong high pressure system has been parked over the BC southern interior for a solid month now. That has created outflow winds that have carried smoke to the coast, the Rockies, the US northwest. Smoky as hell in Jasper today according to my brother who's traveling in the area. You have to travel a long, long way to escape the smoke this summer and the Rockies apparently are not far enough.

I have mixed feelings about the smoke. It's unpleasant visually and tough on those with respiratory problems, but it's given us outdoor workers a reprieve from the sun. We still have temps in the 32-35 range every day, but without the bite of direct sunshine the days have been a lot more bearable.

There's a system moving through at the moment, we had clearing skies last night and even a few stars were visible. Some shower activity is possible but hopefully not the thunderstorms also forecast. Some rain would be nice but I think there's very little in this system. Penticton is now in its tenth week without recorded precip. The lake only dropped down out of flood level a fortnight ago - not just Australia that is a land of drought and flooding plains.
 
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Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
image.jpeg
A photo from April 14 2017 looking down West Bowl from skier's right. A few days prior to closing. An overnight wind and cool temps freshened up that entire southwest facing aspect. Neighbour Paul and I had runs that were powder cat skiing quality and depth. Paul is a recent Whistler refugee. Even though he spends summer there for work, he may never ski it again. Yes, the 7 Mile down was sketchy and treacherous with the freeze thaw cycle. Not sure how many runs we did but no one followed us until our last run. Well worth it.
Edit: it involved trial and error over the prior week to be able to reach that elevation and western side as the T-bar was dismantled by that time. Damn if I could find that again.
 
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gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
52,791
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Canning Vale, Perth
SP definitely seems more popular now and real estate pricing is increasing considerably.

I also note that property rental prices are increasing as well.

I'm wondering how long before the locals get too greedy and pricing is no longer attractive to visitors?

I think its already at a point where coffee shops and restaurants are too busy a lot of the peak times and wonder when infrastructure will start to expand?
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
Gareth,
For the tourist one needs to compare rental costs with similar resorts in BC. My Whistler Refugee neighbour tells me that comparing ski-in, ski-out rentals in SPs to WB, there is a noticable difference. Ticket prices as well. On top of that one needs to look at lift lines.

I did notice that last season the restaurants were busier than the previous one. Eventually, the void will be filled as new establishments open. There is supposedly a new family style eating place opening by the old hostel. You would need a car or be prepared to walk. Operating a restaurant Is a feast or famine proposition and at SPs we still have seasonal fluctuations in attendance.

As to real estate values, coastal BC buyers think prices in SPs are low compared to YVR and WB.
Most WB refugees I met last season are not in the position to buy. They will be competing for rentals with overseas tourists. The buyers appear to be younger retirees buying a lifestyle but keeping a condo in the city. Demographically speaking there is still a huge group of boomers ready to retire. Most of my cohorts are downsizing their city home from a house to a condo. They then seek a recreational property with low maintenance as well. They want a carefree retirement. So the pressure will be on condos. Likely 3-4 bedroom end units will continue to sell quickly. Nothing cast in stone.

Of course, if BC gets desperate for cash, they could resort to raising the property tax on non-resident owned real estate. Wasn't this proposed for Australia? Not a big deal if one buys a small condo.
 

northsail

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Ski Pass
Jan 7, 2011
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Gods country, Martinsville
'For the tourist one needs to compare rental costs with similar resorts in BC. My Whistler Refugee neighbour tells me that comparing ski-in, ski-out rentals in SPs to WB, there is a noticable difference. Ticket prices as well. On top of that one needs to look at lift lines.'

Whistler accommodation from my experience is comparable if not cheaper in January. However, I am prepared to pay extra for accommodation to enjoy short/no lift lines. Also skiing with friendly locals.:cheers:
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
52,791
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Canning Vale, Perth
Gareth,
For the tourist one needs to compare rental costs with similar resorts in BC. My Whistler Refugee neighbour tells me that comparing ski-in, ski-out rentals in SPs to WB, there is a noticable difference. Ticket prices as well. On top of that one needs to look at lift lines.

I did notice that last season the restaurants were busier than the previous one. Eventually, the void will be filled as new establishments open. There is supposedly a new family style eating place opening by the old hostel. You would need a car or be prepared to walk. Operating a restaurant Is a feast or famine proposition and at SPs we still have seasonal fluctuations in attendance.

As to real estate values, coastal BC buyers think prices in SPs are low compared to YVR and WB.
Most WB refugees I met last season are not in the position to buy. They will be competing for rentals with overseas tourists. The buyers appear to be younger retirees buying a lifestyle but keeping a condo in the city. Demographically speaking there is still a huge group of boomers ready to retire. Most of my cohorts are downsizing their city home from a house to a condo. They then seek a recreational property with low maintenance as well. They want a carefree retirement. So the pressure will be on condos. Likely 3-4 bedroom end units will continue to sell quickly. Nothing cast in stone.

Of course, if BC gets desperate for cash, they could resort to raising the property tax on non-resident owned real estate. Wasn't this proposed for Australia? Not a big deal if one buys a small condo.

Of course its all relative, but the jumps have been quite large and quick, which may affect those looking to return.

We still want to buy there (and make it available for rent when not in use). Unfortunately I was made redundant a year ago and not quite earning the same as I was and so our plans have had a couple of years delay on them.

I'm just hoping that I can eventually afford to do it or if I have missed that boat
 

Beerman

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Jan 15, 2015
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Brisvegas
Of course its all relative, but the jumps have been quite large and quick, which may affect those looking to return.

We still want to buy there (and make it available for rent when not in use). Unfortunately I was made redundant a year ago and not quite earning the same as I was and so our plans have had a couple of years delay on them.

I'm just hoping that I can eventually afford to do it or if I have missed that boat
If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,407
16,414
1,063
Penticton, BC
Of course, if BC gets desperate for cash, they could resort to raising the property tax on non-resident owned real estate. Wasn't this proposed for Australia? Not a big deal if one buys a small condo.

It happened earlier this year. The old govt brought in a 15% transaction tax on property sales to non residents. I believe it only applies to lower mainland, but don't quote me.
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
It happened earlier this year. The old govt brought in a 15% transaction tax on property sales to non residents. I believe it only applies to lower mainland, but don't quote me.

Yes but I'm referring to a non-resident possibly paying double the property tax each year. That would bite into expenses.
 

Hudson

One of Us
Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
Of course its all relative, but the jumps have been quite large and quick, which may affect those looking to return.

We still want to buy there (and make it available for rent when not in use). Unfortunately I was made redundant a year ago and not quite earning the same as I was and so our plans have had a couple of years delay on them.

I'm just hoping that I can eventually afford to do it or if I have missed that boat

All of us have lived through real estate cycles. A recreational property is a lifestyle choice. May or may not make economic sense. Gareth there will be a period of time during a normal cycle where rental income will not cover expenses. We all know this but the emotions get the better of us. Not only that but the property will become dead money.

If one believes that interest rates will normalize over the next few years, there has to be an adjustment in affordability through real estate value. It's the math. Supply and demand may drive prices higher in SPs during this cycle up but there will be the inevitable top and correction. It takes years to play out. I'm not telling you anything new.

Unless you have cash burning a hole in your pocket or buy at the absolute low of the cycle you need to factor in all pros and cons. Depending upon when you purchase in the cycle there is a time period of personal usage that makes the transaction a no brainer. That could be 3-4 months of the year. Never count on rental income. There is comfort in knowing that you can arrive at the resort and all your stuff is already there but expect that your place will need upgrading as renters enjoy your place more than you.

SPs a great place for families. Well planned. Going to grow as the next phase of development happens but there are other places to go and enjoy. It is not exclusive. I live here for different reasons as it meets my winter needs and is a base for adventure in the West. I have to live somewhere. If I was a city type I would likely fall prey to my wife's need for culture and better food selection in YVR. Then would probably buy a small condo here if I would make use of it for 3-4 months and never rent it out. That's just me.

To sum up, unless the SHTF in the next while, we have a few more years of up before the plateau and correction. I could be wrong but cycles play out. Human psychology.
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
52,791
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Canning Vale, Perth
All of us have lived through real estate cycles. A recreational property is a lifestyle choice. May or may not make economic sense. Gareth there will be a period of time during a normal cycle where rental income will not cover expenses. We all know this but the emotions get the better of us. Not only that but the property will become dead money.

If one believes that interest rates will normalize over the next few years, there has to be an adjustment in affordability through real estate value. It's the math. Supply and demand may drive prices higher in SPs during this cycle up but there will be the inevitable top and correction. It takes years to play out. I'm not telling you anything new.

Unless you have cash burning a hole in your pocket or buy at the absolute low of the cycle you need to factor in all pros and cons. Depending upon when you purchase in the cycle there is a time period of personal usage that makes the transaction a no brainer. That could be 3-4 months of the year. Never count on rental income. There is comfort in knowing that you can arrive at the resort and all your stuff is already there but expect that your place will need upgrading as renters enjoy your place more than you.

SPs a great place for families. Well planned. Going to grow as the next phase of development happens but there are other places to go and enjoy. It is not exclusive. I live here for different reasons as it meets my winter needs and is a base for adventure in the West. I have to live somewhere. If I was a city type I would likely fall prey to my wife's need for culture and better food selection in YVR. Then would probably buy a small condo here if I would make use of it for 3-4 months and never rent it out. That's just me.

To sum up, unless the SHTF in the next while, we have a few more years of up before the plateau and correction. I could be wrong but cycles play out. Human psychology.

mine is definitely a lifestyle investment choice, with a bit of income thrown in to cover some of the costs (and negative gearing here in Australia makes it even more attractive) I was in a position where I could afford the flat spots quite easiliy, but not currently in that place, so will have to wait a few years perhaps.

Maybe my financial high will match when the next cycle is bottoming? fingers crossed eh
 

tr+h

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Jun 19, 2008
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Perth,wa
for sure.

Tried selling a local rental property over the last few months without success, so its back on the rental market for the next 12 months and will try again then
Sometimes selling rental property with a tenant who guarantees a rental return is easier. Give it a go!
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,407
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Penticton, BC
My take on the current situation in resort property is it's mostly being driven by baby boomers moving out of the cities at retirement or buying a couple of years before retiring and renovating/renting/using it leading up to retirement. The activity is focused on resorts that have year-round operations and vibrant villages - ie, Whistler, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, Fernie, Pano (somewhat). The summer action is the key, as these people want to live at the resort and enjoy a variety of activities and a good social scene. Most of the current development projects in BC resorts is focused on enhancing summer activities as resorts recognise that the people with the money to buy property want lifestyle, they want much more than just a mere place to lay their head in the hours between skiing and partying.

Lots of boomers in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary are sitting on property now worth many times what they paid for it back in the 70s/80s. It's common for people to clear a million plus from the sale of their home and then move to the the BC southern interior because of the much lower property prices and favourable climate. The Thompson and Okanagan regions have been weekend and holiday playgrounds for many of these folks for decades, so it's not surprising they gravitate there for retirement. Boomers are not like the pensioners of old, they're well funded, very active and fully expect to enjoy a couple of decades of retired life. We have a massive housing boom in the Okanagan right now that will continue for at least the rest of the decade, and the resorts will inevitably catch some of the business. Even Big White has decided at last to get into summer operations in an effort to capture some of the cash flow.

This current upswing in resort property prices is more driven by demographics than economics. Even a slowing in the real estate market in the cities won't make much difference, the boomers are going to retire anyway. Their place might only be worth eight times what they paid for it rather than ten times, but they still net a lot of money. They're also inheriting the assets of their parents, who were until now the wealthiest generation in history. The boomers will easily surpass them.
 
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Me+3

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Jun 26, 2014
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Is early-mid December risky in terms of snow depth/quality etc for a 8-10 night visit with 2 families ?
Thoughts from the brains trust please.
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
Is early-mid December risky in terms of snow depth/quality etc for a 8-10 night visit with 2 families ?
Thoughts from the brains trust please.

Not sure how many grey cells I have left but will give it a try :)

Every year snow conditions and depth are unpredictable. That said, it really does takes until mid-December to give a decent base to the groomed runs. Never count on going off piste until after New Years. Hidden treasures are still a factor until then. I don't take the chance of a season ender when I have the rest of the season to ski. The snow really gets better as the season progresses.
There should be enough groomed runs at that time to satisfy your group though.
 
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absentskier

Smug bozo
Ski Pass
Jun 10, 2010
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Melbourne
Is early-mid December risky in terms of snow depth/quality etc for a 8-10 night visit with 2 families ?
Thoughts from the brains trust please.
In short, yes it's a risk that you will experience far less than optimal conditions. You'd have to have a VERY good reason to plan a short visit to Sun Peaks in early December.
 

Me+3

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In short, yes it's a risk that you will experience far less than optimal conditions. You'd have to have a VERY good reason to plan a short visit to Sun Peaks in early December.
Reason (not a very good one...) = Budget.
Given the age of 4 of the kids & 1 infant and skill level of the 2 mums (I'd consider myself and the other dad confident skiers) - having only groomed runs would not phase me and would most likely suit our crew just fine. Just thought (I'd ask in terms or preparing for a trip the following year... flight costs for Dec this year are horrendous...
and we also haven't disregarded the option of utilisation of the EPIC pass at a vail resort.. most likely PC or Heavenly yet either....
 

absentskier

Smug bozo
Ski Pass
Jun 10, 2010
28,043
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Melbourne
Reason (not a very good one...) = Budget.
Given the age of 4 of the kids & 1 infant and skill level of the 2 mums (I'd consider myself and the other dad confident skiers) - having only groomed runs would not phase me and would most likely suit our crew just fine. Just thought (I'd ask in terms or preparing for a trip the following year... flight costs for Dec this year are horrendous...
and we also haven't disregarded the option of utilisation of the EPIC pass at a vail resort.. most likely PC or Heavenly yet either....
Is this part of a longer trip? What is the latest you can travel?
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
With the announcement of the newest condo development, Echo Landing, there are only three infill development sites left before the road system needs to be expanded. Of course there is always the East Village site which is currently P5. Also, 20-30 vacant SFH lots left to build.

Echo Landing will likely be well received. Not sure about pricing. It is located where Parallel (N)One was laid out before the last RE cycle peaked and crashed. More options for lodging rentals out to 2018-20.

The smoke has subsided for now. Waiting for cooler weather and clearer skies before I return.
Particulate Matter is not compatible with healthy lungs.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,407
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Penticton, BC
Fire season drags on. Most of the Cariboo fires are contained and people returned home, although there is one beast out on the Chilcotin, 4 smaller fires merged together into one complex. Very few people in the region so it's getting less media, but that one is largely responsible for the million plus hectares (and counting) burnt this season.

There was a fire just off the highway not too far from BW last week. Strong winds that day caused it to grow to 400+ hectares in a few hours. 1100 people evacuated, highway closed, power to the resort shut down. Seems to be somewhat contained now and they're allowing some homeowners to return, power is restored. But we are returning to 30+ temps again, if winds strengthen they will have plenty of trouble.
 

Hudson

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Feb 7, 2013
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Sun Peaks, BC
Fire season drags on. Most of the Cariboo fires are contained and people returned home, although there is one beast out on the Chilcotin, 4 smaller fires merged together into one complex. Very few people in the region so it's getting less media, but that one is largely responsible for the million plus hectares (and counting) burnt this season.

There was a fire just off the highway not too far from BW last week. Strong winds that day caused it to grow to 400+ hectares in a few hours. 1100 people evacuated, highway closed, power to the resort shut down. Seems to be somewhat contained now and they're allowing some homeowners to return, power is restored. But we are returning to 30+ temps again, if winds strengthen they will have plenty of trouble.

Been following the BC wildfire site. No place is safe in the dry BC Interior. Quite the disruption for those evacuated. Fires can be very unpredictable. I spent part of the Summer of 75 on the firebreak of a small Northern Ontario fire. It was small, 48 ha but it was important as we were protecting a logging operation which had millions of board ft stacked in the path of that fire. Long hot smokey days patrolling a 1 km perimeter. Always understaffed but when the wind changed in our favour we were able to prevent the fire from jumping the firebreak. Saw and felt the use of the red fire retardant on the leading edge. Never knew if there would be any lasting health affects. That was 42 years ago and still healthy :)
 

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Ralph_Plow

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Reason (not a very good one...) = Budget.
Given the age of 4 of the kids & 1 infant and skill level of the 2 mums (I'd consider myself and the other dad confident skiers) - having only groomed runs would not phase me and would most likely suit our crew just fine. Just thought (I'd ask in terms or preparing for a trip the following year... flight costs for Dec this year are horrendous...
and we also haven't disregarded the option of utilisation of the EPIC pass at a vail resort.. most likely PC or Heavenly yet either....

Flights can be better priced after about 10th Jan. If you can snaffle two weeks then you will be much more confident about having decent conditions and the cost of accom etc will be alright too. School goes back after Aus day, so it can work.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
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Penticton, BC
There was a dusting of snow at SP last week - perfect fire weather
Yeah we had 8 degrees in the valley that morning. Sadly, no moisture, and the cool front is but a memory now as we head for 35 again today, although the smoke is taking the edge off the sun. Forecasters see no precip through to mid Sept, that will be 14 weeks without a drop in the Okanagan. A fire could start anywhere, any time.
 
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