Report on SKIBACS’ SUN PEAKS 2023 Trip
by Robbi Alberts (Trip Leader)
Thirty skiers took part in SKIBACS’ annual trek to this fantastic destination resort. Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, we made our way on this COLD sunny day to Sun Peaks Resort north of Kamloops, BC. (Five drove, while the rest opted for the leisurely bus-ride from Everett, WA … everyone showed up early so we got a 30-minute head-start). After our traditional stop at the duty-free store, we crossed the border in record time. With a quick grocery-stop in Kamloops, we arrived at the resort at 3:21 PM. [Mike Burke guessed the exact arrival time, and Melissa Storey within a minute! Both got first pick of door prizes at our Social.]
Check-in was a breeze. (Sun Peaks Grand Hotel has mandatory luggage handling, so all our bags were delivered straight to our rooms, and skis to the ski-locker.) Everyone was free to head out to the various restaurants for dinner. Sun Peaks has some fabulous DINING options, all with excellent food! Voyageur Bistro, The Steakhouse, Capone’s Italian, Cahilty Creek Taproom, Fondue Stube, Masa’s Bar & Grill, Morrisey’s Public House, Mountain High Pizza, Mountain Tiger (with Mexican & Chinese), Oya (Japanese), Powder Hounds (Wiener schnitzel), and Mantel’s in our hotel (which serves a huge breakfast buffet daily). There are also numerous cafes (for breakfast & lunch) plus on-mountain dining options.
Monday morning was COLD, but skiers ventured out to explore the mountain. Throughout the week, some new snow fell nearly every night, making for some wonderful skiing with many “fresh tracks”. The best thing about this resort is NO CROWDS (i.e., no lift-lines). Most times you ski right up to the chair. The only line I saw was first thing a couple mornings, maybe a 5-minute wait at most. The three mountains offer lots of variety for every type of skier. Head up Crystal chair for the powder stashes in the bowls; or “5-Mile Run” from top to bottom, non-stop … to Sunburst Chair for alternating groomed (or ungroomed) black diamond runs, or Blazer, Cruiser, & OSV racetrack … to Sundance Chair for the “Three Bears Run” through the trees & more … or to Morrisey for a variety of runs including gladed groomed runs like “The Sticks”, long runs like “Showboat” & “Mid-Life Crisis” or ⧫⧫. No better feeling than floating on top of several inches of powder in fresh tracks!
Monday evening, our club SOCIAL offered a great way to meet new friends or renew acquaintances. Everyone attended, and we played our traditional “People Bingo” game to get to know each other. This group had some amazing “little known facts” e.g.: “Sang a solo song at Notre Dame Cathedral” (Angela) … “Has seen ~1900 species of birds, including 9 species of penguins” (Paula) … “Made multiple trips through the sound barrier” (Mike B) … “Attended the largest circus school in N America” (Annette) … “Memorized 3 classical music pieces at age 9 & played for UW Prof of Music” (Phyllis) … “Rode an ultralight over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe” (Kathryn) … etc. Everyone won a door prize: Wine (Ron Nishi, Grace Ostrom, Paula Crockett, Julia Anderson, Richard Ketchum, Bruce Benard, Larry Ostrom, Greg Hearron) … Chocolate bars (Marty Gibbons, Richard Carter, Sue Pilliterri, Peter Thompson, Kathy Shuman, Annette Dong, Carol Mozell, Jane Stark) … Fireball (Melissa Storey, Angela Nishi, Bill Jandl, Sparky Beier, Bob Anderson, Patti VanAchte, Dick Belton, Robbi Alberts & Mike Burke) … Headband (Barb Belton) … Clothing (Mike Burke, Phyllis Kirk, Melissa Storey).
Wednesday evening was our traditional “Tubing Park” outing. Accessed via a carpet lift, we paired up linking arms & feet and squealing down the curving lanes. What fun!! Afterward some of us picked up pizza and met in the lobby to reminisce.
Thursday a few of us were stranded on the Peak lift for over a half hour (thank goodness it had warmed up). A skier apparently had an incident at the top of the chair and couldn’t be moved until medics arrived. We’re thankful it wasn’t one of our skiers. In fact, I’m unaware of any injuries in our group, besides tired legs, for the entire week! Hurray!
Friday, I opted to hike with several others on the Resort’s wonderful maintained hiking & snowshoe trail system. Greg & I ended up on the Family Man Trail where we had to bushwack part of our way through the snow. A good workout! Friday evening, many met in the “Reading Room” off the hotel’s lobby to eat Mexican, Chinese or Pizza take-out, or finish up leftovers. Ended up being another fun social event! We headed to our rooms to finish packing up so hotel staff could pick up our luggage Saturday morning. Our bus staged at 9 AM and by 9:30 AM we were all loaded and on our way home. With a quick fast-food stop in Hope, BC and relatively quick border-crossing, we arrived in Everett by 4:15 PM Saturday, Feb. 4 th .
Some MEMORIES: Watching a local red fox cross the slope (like he owned the place) … Mistakenly ordering a “16 oz” glass of wine … Sun shining on Snow Ghosts at top of Crystal Chair … Taking a lesson with Joel (same instructor as last year!) … Seeing “perfect” snowflakes (unusual, need just the right weather conditions!) … Having the runs all to ourselves! … Swooping through the trees on “The Sticks” run … Skiing “Agitation” (watching Sparky & Bruce from the bottom) … Plowing through powder in “Crystal Bowl” … Skiing “Headwalls” … Skiing “Showboat” top-to-bottom … Going for walks in the snow … Reconnecting with SKIBACS friends and making new friends … Skiing with large groups of similar skiers; catching first-tracks … Sitting in the hot tub with snow falling, steam rising … Oh, the memories! All in all, this was one of our best trips ever!!
Great snow, great people, great memories!