Snowfall at Sun Peaks
It’s not quite time to dust off the skis and snowboards, but it sure seemed like it was at Sun Peaks Resort this week.
The resort’s mountains — from mid-mountain up — were blasted with an unexpected snowstorm on Monday, Sept. 26.
“This time of the year, you’re not expecting snow,” said Christopher Nicolson, the resort’s president.
“For the guys that were working outside, and we had some guys working up on the lift towers, it was definitely a cold day.”
The snow came in the afternoon and continued falling through the night, forcing crews to adjust their operational plans.
Unfortunately for those eager to return to the slopes, the ground is not yet frozen and the white stuff that fell will do nothing for the mountain’s snow base.
“In the alpine regions, we start to see [the ground freezing] in October,” Nicolson said.
“Once the ground is frozen, as the snow falls, it will then stay. If the ground isn’t frozen, it will melt from underneath.”
Sun Peaks, which boasts above-average early-season skiing and snowboarding, is set to open on Nov. 19.
The last day to buy a season’s pass at fall pricing is Friday, Sept. 30.
Passes can be bought online at sunpeaksresort.com or at Sa-Hali Mall in the Kamloops Season Pass Sale Store across from the post office.
Nicolson said there are three reasons why the resort boasts above-average early-season skiing and snowboarding conditions.
- Natural summer grooming: “The trails at Sun Peaks, cows graze on them and grass grows on the lower slopes.”
- Planned summer grooming: “We’ve worked for the past two decades on summer grooming, removing stumps and rocks and seeding grass, which helps with soil retention.”
- Artificial snow: “It augments the natural snow and it helps allow Sun Peaks to open early.”
Sun Peaks can open for business with between 60 and 80 centimetres of snow on the ground.
“At other resorts, you can’t even consider opening because the rocks and the stumps aren’t covered up,” Nicolson said.