January 27, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Sun Peaks Resort, Skiing & Snowboarding
Find more information about Sun Peaks Resort - Skiing & Snowboarding
I spent last weekend at Sun Peaks
with some friends. I skied at Sun Peaks for the first time last winter, but didn't get a great impression as the weather was cold and the slopes were icy. This time was completely different though as we were lucky to get fresh powder and sunshine one day. I'd always heard about the dry Interior powder (often marketed as champagne powder in the Rockies), but you have to experience it to really appreciate the difference! We found some incredible untracked powder off the West Bowl t-bar, which led to an epic run through the trees. I don't always enjoy big powder days at Whistler as the snow can be heavy, but it's way more fun when the snow is light and fluffy. I was also impressed with the village, which is located at the base of two of the mountains (the resort actually spreads across 3 mountains). The village is fairly small and carries off the faux European look well. There are several ski in/ski out hotels & condos and rates are affordable. It definitely lacks the scale of Whistler, but that's part of its charm. There's something nice about being able to ski into the village for a coffee or a piece of pizza rather than paying too much for mediocre food at a resort cafeteria. Besides the skiing, the big attraction was the Ice Wine festival
, which is held at Sun Peaks each January. Fifteen BC wineries participated this year and the tasting areas were spread around the village. There's something satisfying about walking around a ski resort with wine glass in hand (not normally tolerated under our archaic liquor laws). It's difficult to drink alot of ice wine because it's intense and sweet, so the wineries were also pouring whites and reds. In summary, I'd recommend Sun Peaks if you're looking for a smaller scale resort, with a range of accommodation and amenities, a good mix
January 06, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Squamish - Biking
January 1 is more than a day off to recover from New Year's festivities for local mountain bikers - it's also Test of Metal registration day http://www.testofmetal.com
. For those of you not familiar with the Test, it's an epic cross country mountain bike race held in Squamish each June. You may wonder what defines "epic" - think of a 67km course, with 1200 metres of climbing, sections named Bonk Hill and the 9 Mile Climb and you get the idea of what it's like! It's also a mass start, so professional athletes like Alison Sydor (Olympic silver medalist) and Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks line up to start with 800 slightly less fit weekend warriors. The race has become very popular over the last few years, with all 800 places being snapped up in 6 days in 2005. I've done the race previously (2002-2004) and after nearly sweating to death in 32 degree heat in 2004, swore to take a few years off. Well, I wisely missed last year (it was a horrible wet day), but got "convinced" to sign up this year. My mountain biking friends were speculating that the race would sell out quickly this year - little did I know how quickly! A friend called me 3 hours after registration opened to tell me there were less than 200 places left. I registered right then (secretly hoping that the magical 800th slot was gone!), but I am happy to report I am racer #701. Let the training begin!! If you happen to be in Squamish
on June 17-18, I'd highly recommend checking out the festivities, which last all weekend. The Test itself starts at 11am on Saturday, June 17. The race starts and ends in town and people are out in droves cheering on the riders. The fastest riders will be done in just under 3 hours. Personally, I'll be looking to better my 2004 time of 5 hours 29 minutes!
December 16, 2005 | Tips from Us >
North Vancouver, Snowshoeing
Find more information about North Vancouver - Snowshoeing
Vancouver is blessed to have three mountains within a 40 minute drive of the city. The snow conditions can vary from incredible to incredibly wet (the highest peak is just over 4,000 ft). Last night was the full moon and the skies were crystal clear - a perfect night for a full moon snowshoe tour of Mount Seymour
. A small group of work colleagues joined a group of hardy souls for a 2 hour stomp through the woods on snowshoes. I'm not usually one for guided tours, but having got lost on snowshoes in the daylight, going with a guide on a night time excursion is probably a good idea. Although the two guides had headlamps, I was amazed that the moon gave off enough light to snowshoe by. The group climbed to Dinky Peak (which wasn't all that dinky) and we were rewarded with an incredible view of the city of Vancouver. Our guide entertained us with lots of moon and astronomy facts & trivia along the way. It was a bit too much for me at times, although I did learn a few things like each full moon has a name(December's full moon is called the long moon since the nights are longest this month). Mount Seymour offers full moon and big moon tours twice a month. The cost is reasonable - $29 which includes snowshoe rentals, trail ticket, guiding, and a cup of syrupy hot chocolate.