Every New Years Eve, Sun Peaks Resort offers a unique torchlight procession, free and open to the public, although space is limited. I knew this was a Bucket List experience the moment I left the Sundance Express chair, descending to the rendezvous point by moonlight and lanterns. Lined up into groups and under the guidance of Olympic legend Nancy Raine Green, skiers and boarders descended in formation, creating a beautiful sight for crowds amassed at the bottom of the slopes. Once we reached the village, a countdown began, and at zero, we snuffed out the flares in the snow, initiating an impressive fireworks show. It’s magical stuff.
Cost: The torchlight parade is free, although it’s very popular and space is extremely limited. Look for notices at guest services about where and when to sign up.
Best time to go: Sun Peaks Resort is a fantastic ski destination throughout winter. The New Years Eve Torchlight Parade takes place on Christmas Eve. Just kidding.
Where to Stay: There’s a variety of accommodation available on the mountain, from hotels to condos, houses and townhouses. Village Centre hotels that I can personally recommend include the Sun Peaks Grand, the Sundance Lodge and the Sun Peaks Lodge.
Where to Eat: Good pub food and apres at Masa’s Bar and Grill, Bottoms inside the Sundance Lodge, Morissey’s Public House and Powder Hounds. The sushi is always a hit at Oya Japanese. Order in pizza from Mountain Pizza, and get coffee at Vertical Cafe. For something good and a little different, try Voyageurs Bistro.
Official Site: https://www.sunpeaksresort.com/
Getting There: Sun Peaks is a 45-minute drive from the Kamloops Airport where WestJet, Air Canada and Pacific Coastal provide direct flights from major cities such as Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria. Shuttles to Sun Peaks are available from the Kamloops Airport. Drive from Vancouver or Seattle via Highway 5, 1, 3, or 99. It’s about a 4 and a half / five hour drive from Vancouver.
Notes: Canada’s second largest ski resort is becoming increasingly popular, although it offers a very different experience from the biggest resort, Whistler. Check out this blog post in which I put the two resorts against each other, and report from the slopes and other experiences at Sun Peaks.
Photo: Riff Stills / Sun Peaks Tourism
Photo: Kelly Funk / Sun Peaks Tourism
Photo: Connie Williamson / Sun Peaks Tourism