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Sun Peaks 2020-2021

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Taipan, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Roymond , you are going to get lots of varying opinions here, you realise! I have managed both options that you suggested, albeit with a car after looking at the difficulties with transfers and cost (= huge!). During our first trip to Canada a few years ago we flew into Calgary, hired a car there, and travelled to Banff, Sun Peaks, then Whistler. It was a fairly long day driving from SP to Whistler as road conditions did not favour the shorter route (others will remember the name of this!), so we went via the TransCanada Highway and Vancouver. I have to say that I loved Whistler (but we had great conditions): huge, great lessons, varied terrain, and wonderful scenery. We stayed at what was the Coast Blackcomb Suites at the top of Blackcomb; this was ski in and ski out and wasn’t as exorbitantly priced as some of the Whistler Village options. However, Whistler can also have Aussie-like conditions (ie rain, ice, and slush) so it’s a bit of a lottery ...

    Earlier this year I decided to try Silver Star. With two weeks at Sun Peaks, it was worth getting a season pass for that resort, and that gives you two free days of skiing at Silver Star. So we flew into Kelowna via Vancouver, hired a car there (yes, it is more expensive than hiring from YVR but also less exhausting than driving from there!), and drove to SS (not too far away) via the Canadian Superstore in Vernon (an experience in itself). I really liked Silver Star. We stayed in the village and it was pretty much ski in ski out (just walk outside the door and over the road then clip on skis and head to the Gondola). I will have to look up the name of the place, but we had a great apartment there that was quite modestly priced. Might be in the Canada accommodation thread. Loved the terrain, especially the back side of the mountain, and it was a good add on to Sun Peaks. When we left, it was about 3 hours to Sun Peaks (I think ....) with a stop in Kamloops to stock up on groceries. Easy driving too. Silver Star has a different feel to Sun Peaks, but we did love the frozen pond (too cold for me at -20!) and the tubing which was included in the price of the lift passes. I’d go back again. I can’t comment on the restaurants there though as we ate in (either at our place or with the @zac150 clan who were just up the road at the same time we were there).

    I don’t think you can go wrong with either option, really.

    PS I hired a car for both trips and had no trouble driving it. You would be fine :)
     
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  2. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    for a 4 week trip we budget $2k for a car. Do the sums and it makes sense if you are adding in domestic flights and transfers.
    If you are in SP it also gives flex to see the hockey in Kamloops or a day trip to Helmcken Falls

    and driving is easy!!
     
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  3. ski

    ski Hard Yards

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    We caught a shuttle bus from Sun Peaks to Whistler in Jan 2018 - door to door service - it was very smooth and easy and lots of nice views on the way. Sorry I can't remember the pricing.

    We spent 3 months in Whistler 16 years ago we were kid free and had an absolute ball - accommodation by the lift base in Creekside and just loved it.

    When we went back in Jan 2018 we opted to hire an apartment - by the Olympic skate park. We spent a lot of time on buses (bus system is great) as according to my daughter is was too far for her to carry skis to the gondola. We also spent a lot of time in queues - the mountain was so busy (especially in comparison to Sun Peaks) and we didn't enjoy it as much. We didn't have much luck with the snow unfortunately and a lot of the mountain was very very icy.

    The apres was still very good though :)
     
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  4. sunpeaker

    sunpeaker Hard Yards

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    If SP is your style definitely Silver Star is in my opinion a much better option. SS is similar to SP in general friendliness & laid back atmosphere but with a very unique village layout & architecture. The family activities with the huge skating 'pond', the adjacent tubing hill, night skiing, bowling alley, nordic skiing etc is better than just about anywhere else. The snow consistency & quantity is also better & the amount, variety & quality of the runs here are also hard to beat. Also like SP there are hardly ever any lift lines & no crowded slopes. Plenty of high quality ski in ski out accommodation at reasonable cost.
    There is a shuttle service from SP to SS then easy return via Kelowna.
    Whistler is a bit like you described it. Crowded, busy, quite often variable weather (rain). Expensive accommodation (and everything else) . Yes its a huge resort with some fantastic runs but you need to enjoy long lift lines, crowded slopes & crowded village. Not my style!
    If your family likes SP they will love SS.
     
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  5. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Does the time of year influence Whistler timing? We are pretty well bound to school holidays (early to mid Jan) at present- do Whistler conditions get more reliable late Jan early Feb? And the crowds? Better in Feb as well?
    Silver Star looking the best option at present!
     
  6. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go to Whistler and plan to ski Mon-Fri. It offers something very different from SS or BW. Vastly bigger scale in all respects, definitely worth experiencing.
     
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  7. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    Check this out on YouTube. Couldn't paste a link to my post. Maybe someone better at posting can provide a true link.
    You will experience the resort from the air. Nice!

    "317. Flying to Sun Peaks to Check the Ski Season Opening Day, Nov 21, 2020"
     
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  8. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  9. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree. You could kill 5 days in Symphony and Harmony bowls alone. Whistler will be different to Sun Peaks but will certainly be enjoyable.
    Oh. And you earned a degree in medicine. You have plenty of grey matter upstairs. You will be fine driving.
     
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  10. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    5 days at Whistler is clearly too few, but it is better than nothing.
     
  11. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great video!
     
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  12. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    SS, SP and BW all variations on same theme: mostly intermediate terrain, on mountain village with lots of ski in/out condos, wide array of on and off snow activities for families. If you liked that at BW, you'll enjoy SP or SS.

    WB is a world class mega resort with all the good and bad that comes with that. I think everyone should go there at least once and experience the circus. It's just too vital and energy laden to not see it once.

    But there's always quirky, gnarly, dysfunctional Apex. And you don't have to cross the coast.mountains to Whistler...
     
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  13. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok so I’ll buy in as well.

    I have more or less done the same trips as @Lady Penelope, in fact i think I meet Lady P planning our first trip to Canada.

    our first trip was Vancouver to Victoria island, then over to Whistler, Big White, Lake Louise, Banff and time Calgary. Our last trip was more ski orientated with Whistler, Sun peaks and silver star. Like many we hired a car and have had no issues, just read the driving in Canada thread, especially slys comments.

    On our first trip @gareth_oau and @sly_karma convinced me to turn right leaving Whistler and take the high road through the coastal range to Lilloet and on to Big White. I think someone on the forum described it at the most spectacular 60km of driving you will ever do and they weren’t wrong!

    for this alone I would honestly recommend whistler, but there are other reasons.

    I agree with the earlier comment that the pond at Silverstar is by far the best play area for kids, whilst big white is easier to access from the village, silver star felt more natural and was a lot of fun. Skiing at silver star was a little hoe him, to be fair we had super cold conditions so exploring the mtn was hard.
    backside of the mtn was fun but I think the front side seemed to be lacking a bit. On the village Front it is more or less the same as big white.

    for me Whistler would offer something different and a different experience think inner city living verse the burbs.

    on our last trip, one of the things that made it fun was that we stayed in an apartment in Whistler, ski in ski out at Sunpeaks and a little chalet In the woods just near the village (100m) In silver star.

    at Whistler we stayed at Blackcomb lodge which worked brilliantly, it’s a 300 ish meter walk through the streets to the Gondola which is a lot of fun with the whistler vibe.

    If you did Whistler I’d make it the end of the trip as this will limit the Canada crowd so you would likely get a better experience.
     
  14. Ret-ro

    Ret-ro One of Us

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    Great video @Izzy
     
  15. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Depending on length of stay and No. of travellers car is quite often cheaper, more convenient and you get to see more of the country.
     
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  16. Ret-ro

    Ret-ro One of Us

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    We skied Canada from 10 Dec to 18 Jan 2020. We had to cut the skiing back a bit due to my daughters ACL repair done in August after July Perisher jump incident?!!! Why jump where you cant see the landing!!
    We skied Sun Peaks for a week, Big White for 4 days (cut Silverstar) left Big White for Osyroos and across to Vancouver and Whistler for 13 days . 10 free thanks to perisher pass.. Saved around 4500 there.
    I found Whistler great. The app provided wait times at lifts, We could use that in Oz.. We stayed on the bottom of Blackcomb, which having the new Gondola was great. Access was easy, Pic attached. Sun Peak though did it for us, Colder more Powder and softer and dryer , easier ski.
    Now we got snow.. 18 ft all up in the 6 weeks, Sun Peaks apologised at 90cm when we arrived!! 2ft later and we were away. Skied pretty much most of it in our 6 days .. No Sun ??
    Big White for Chrissy, another 2ft
    Whistler for the couple of weeks, Blackcomb Lodge and Woodrun. All ice at the bottom when we arrived , then came 8ft of snow. -18, even Vancouver was -15 and had a couple of feet.
    Sadly the upper parts of Whistler were not open, So I have to go back!!

    If we can in Jan 2022, The accom at Sun Peaks is settled for 2 weeks, then use the Mountain Collective for Revelstoke , Panorama , and Sunshine.. But I would like to get Silverstar in as well. (let see)

    Never driven on snow , never driven at 100-120kmh on snow.. Dodge Durango with Winter tyres. No issues there.
    .
    Left Brisbane - Cairns to Tokyo Overnight, great place , another trip there!!
    Tokyo to Vancouver skied back to Seattle to Hawaii and home.
    5 of us , airfares Frequents + $3200. (needs to be repeated)
    Gear.. I had skis (sold them there) bought the rest over there.
     
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  17. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can thank @Hudson for that. I just provided technical support!
     
  18. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think our plan for 21-22 will be January skiing in Sunpeaks.

    we are keen to do less travel and more skiing, albeit we are likely to stop over somewhere on the way, at this stage most likely NZ north island for a week, arriving early Jan in Canada.

    a couple of days in Vancouver or Kamloops - we have been lucky with storms so figure it’s best to allow a few days (options) to get over the pass.

    then three weeks at Sunpeaks.
     
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  19. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    In previous years there have been shuttles between Whistler and SP, and Big White and SP.
     
  20. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    I will buy in to this as well just for fun.
    I have been fortunate to ski circa 100 days each over the past 2 decades at both Whistler and SS and close to 600 at Sun Peaks.
    I like your questions and can see you you are doing your due diligence and open to opinion
    I would always lean towards SS over WB but yes you are correct. It is similar to SP, a little steeper in some parts and some long runs. There is a million pros and cons for both but best you experience them for yourself. You would not be disappointed at all.
    WB has to be seen at least once I agree and if you just get your head around the cost and go with it you will be fine. You are on holidays and already forked out the coin to be there so embrace it I say.
    No the ski in ski out won't have you skiing into your living room like in Sun Peaks but it beats the heck out of sleeping in a caravan in Jindy and driving 40 mins to Perisher.
    It definitely isn't as friendly but not a train smash.
    Yes there are crowds of course but if you are clever and keen you can avoid them. Get up early. I mean get in the Gondola lines 30 mins before they open. It's not a big sacrifice at all. Stay up high and work the boards, ie, the on mountain screens giving you a suggested wait time at each lift. Really helps. A bit of local. Be smart with break times. Try and avoid the 10am hot chocolate and the 12.30 to 1pm lunch as these are the times where the mountain thins out. Keep high, work the boards and avoid the crowds. Simple as that. If you can jag some good weather after some good snow it really is quite the mountain.
     
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  21. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    At the moment, the thinking from the minister for war, finances and recreation is SP then SS, and come back a different time for 2 weeks at WB.
    Our kids are 14,13 and 12 and at this stage where they are not as good as they think they are but definitely faster than their parents. The chance of them getting lost and ending up somewhere completely different to us is much greater at WB looking at the maps.
    SP funnels into the same place every time pretty well and SS seems to as well.
    Getting lost is not as bad there...
    So we may wait until the kids are safe everywhere on the mountain and they can get their own cheeky asses out of whatever pickle they get themselves into...
     
  22. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  23. Me+3

    Me+3 Addicted

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    althgouth we cancelled our trip for Jan20', we had out transfers all through Tasteful Creations. They were very helpful. Cost was on par with shuttle, but that was return from YVR<>SP - and grocery stops etc.
     
  24. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Yeah good plan. You can get a reasonable set of radios from Costco ( 4 Pack ) for around $80 I think. They are worth every penny if you don't already have
     
  25. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    When exiting the New Crystal chair, the flow pattern has changed dramatically.

    1) Access to the West Bowl has improved as you would ski down and pickup speed to reach the cat track over looking the bowl to the East of the West Bowl. Can go further.

    2) To reach Spillway, Chute, Headwalls, etc you need to pick up speed to go across the “saddle”. Now we don’t have the off ramp from the old Crystal Chair. I think as the snow builds there may be a better run that is groomed to reach the other runs.

    3) The New Crystal chair appears to be the same speed and spacing. So capacity is likely 25% more being a quad.

    4) Fewer near misses in the “saddle”

    5) The line under the chair always gets skied less. So that has moved somewhat. Hotshot may now get skied more.

    For those who knew the arrangement before, I hope this makes sense.
     
  26. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    I’m thinking there were a couple of reasons to close the T-Bar.

    Now that the mid-station Burf is limited to two passengers, unless related parties, having the West Bowl open would feed too many bodies to the mid-station load. That will still be a choke point this season.

    I guess the concept of the T-bar with the closeness of bodies was not Covid friendly. also for the lifty.
     
  27. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    Not hearing any overseas accents this year. There has to be a few but I haven’t encountered them yet.

    The RFID gates work well. Took awhile to discover the best placement of the card.
     
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  28. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great work @Hudson :thumbs: keep it up.
    Photos are good too ;)
     
  29. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was going to ask how old are your kids. I think that's a relevant consideration in choosing WB. I've been to WB with friends and their kids, and the experience at WB improved when the kids were older (when they hit 19 and drinking age was perfect...) and getting lost or going off by themselves wasn't such a big deal. As grown up kids they were able to enjoy everything that WB has to offer - they could go off and ski by themselves if that's what they wanted to do, and when they were old enough for apres, that really upped the fun levels as we could all enjoy grown up evenings together.

    I love WB for all the reasons people have mentioned (incredible diversity of terrain and length and variety of runs), but I've also encountered the things that count against WB (crowds and weather). Being here and being able to ski midweek when the conditions are good and to avoid the crowds has added to the love, and taught us we won't go to WB on weekends or during holiday periods anymore.

    And assuming the BC ski season goes ahead, I'm sure I'll discover a love for SP and the rest of the interior hills we're planning on visiting this season!
     
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  30. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Thanks for updates Hudson. Keep them coming as we sure do like to be informed from 14000kms away
     
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  31. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Hudson its great to see everyone at SP posting updates so enthusiastically. LOL
     
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  32. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    Was walking around the village with the beast and heard a group of young teens talking about how bad the ski industry is for the environment and why it should be shut down. Sure it is. So is the travel industry, food waste and anything one can think of. They were well dressed in the latest ski outfits. Let’s hope Sun Peaks doesn’t get Cancelled before y’all return.
     
  33. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is so wrong!!

    Climate Change will melt snow - the ski industry makes snow.

    Ski Industry is good for the environment!!
     
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  34. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Was a good time to unleash the Wrath of Mr Hudson on them.
     
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  35. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    He’s coming for you
     
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  36. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Trained killer right there, just viscous
     
  37. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Viscous?
     
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  38. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah thick and gooey when he attacks LOL
     
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  39. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Hudson how did opening weekend compare to what you would classify ad “typical”?

    how were the crowd numbers? Attitudes? Atmosphere? Snow consitions?
     
  40. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    It was a sunny day. 3600+ skiers/boarders. Slower loading due to getting used to the RFID.
    Conditions great.
     
  41. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    How many would you anticipate in any other year?
     
  42. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Yep, spell check doing its thing. Thanks for the clarification Gareth
     
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  43. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    I don’t have that info from past years. May have been the best opening day all round but who knows before my time.
    Some years only Cahilty into 5 Mile are open. The usual pent up demand at the beginning of the season. Crazy crowded when that happens.

    I haven’t asked about the numbers after the opening day. The new Crystal chair has been the busiest since the opening. At least when I’m skiing.

    We are still early season and the lower runs need more coverage. Above Mid-mountain the skiing is good. The sun has exposed some of the “ledge” that goes across the Crystal Bowl, Headwalls, east to White Rabbit and beyond through Gills. You have to hike the mountain in the Summer to see what I’m referring to. It got covered by a few cms of powder which makes it treacherous to ski on. They don’t groom the sparsely covered areas so staying away from ungroomed runs is best until we receive more snow.

    The Nordic conditions were excellent today.
     
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  44. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    There will be changes for the future when it comes to travelling to ski resorts.
    The WEF (an unelected group) wants all of us to fly less. Likely a hefty carbon tax on each flight. Possibly the same on each ski pass/ ticket as we are an energy intensive industry.
    Skiing will only be for the well off.
    Everything will be local.
    Get used to: “Vere are your papers? Your papers please.”

    Got your Covid Pass yet? Guess I won’t be travelling outside of SPs
     
  45. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    Mid-morning busyness.
    Sunny, no wind, -4C.
    A real concern that one could fall and sustain an injury and not be found for quite awhile.
     
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  46. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Early Days

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    Chance for full tuck runs down Blazer, just slow down at the bottom where the road crosses. That little lift at 110 kms plus just launches you. :)
    What colour is you jacket this year? Still sporting the off green. Haven't seen any of the usual suspects on the web cams yet.
     
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  47. Hudson

    Hudson One of Us

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    Location:
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    A complete refit from last year except the green shell. I want to blend into the trees. Not a great idea if I stop on the hill though
    Not seeing a lot of familiar faces.

    The front Blues need more coverage below that Cat track (the Burfield Outrun). Even with the Summer grooming, we need more snow to cover the veg.

    I’m liking the New Crystal Chair. Gives one lots of choices when getting off at the Top of the World.
     
  48. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  49. Gumbie

    Gumbie Hard Yards

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    Location:
    Illawarra
    Essential travel it is, into BC we go.
    At least one Aussie family has made it to Sun Peaks. A glorious drive from Calgary in bright sunshine made chief navigator happy and relaxed, stopping in Sicamous for the night.
    We stayed in the carpark at Sun Peaks in our RV in July and saw the bikes ripping it up and were a keen to return.
    Heaps of snow fell early to get the season started but more would always be nice. Certainly enough on cruisy blues for daughter and old son picking his way through shrubs on Spin Cycle very nicely.
    Loving it here. A few more days then Revelstoke on way home.
    Covid rules all working well but it does make everything a little nervy, like there'll always be an asterisk on any memory we make.
     

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  50. Gumbie

    Gumbie Hard Yards

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    zac150, Roymond and gareth_oau like this.