Ready to hit the slopes? Flight Centre Associate Kristina Macpherson shares her journey of firsts when she travelled to British Columbia for a skiing and snowboarding adventure:
This was my very first time seeing mountains, and as the flight landed in Calgary to transfer to Kamloops the mountains started looming ahead of me. They were stunning, snow covered peaks, clouds floating around the mid mountain range, even a peek at some bright blue glaciers.
After landing in Kamloops, our transfer took us straight to the mountain, which means you can literally be on the mountain skiing or snowboarding less than two hours after landing! The Sun Peaks Village was very quaint and European; a true ski in-and-ski-out village. The road down the middle of the village is snow covered so you can take full advantage of this feature.
Each hotel has a restaurant, a pub and even a nightclub. Sun Peaks Resort is the perfect family getaway. Most of the hotels had rooms with kitchenettes, or adjoining rooms; great for groups travelling together. I was staying at the Nancy Green Lodge at the top of the village and very close to everything. The Delta in the middle of the village had a hot tub that looks out at the base of the mountain, but the other hotel options also offer great accommodation options.
This trip was also my first time snowboarding so when I went to get my equipment rentals I was both nervous and excited at the same time. I was given Snowboard boots and a snowboard, shown how to carry it, and sent off to my first lesson. The instructor was amazing! For someone who is terrified to fall and not the most coordinated person in the world, the instructor was very patient with me. There were three of us in the group and he spent time with each of us. We learned how to step onto the board, how to walk with the board strapped to one foot, and how to do little turns. We went up the bunny hill, and practiced what we had learned. With each of us taking turns our instructor would hold onto the back of our jacket so we wouldn’t go too fast or fall and hurt ourselves.
After a very satisfying few hours on the slopes we took a break and had some delicious pizza from Mountain High Pizza in the village. We also got to experience a few of the restaurants that Sun Peaks has to offer, and spent quite a few hours in the pub Bottoms. A Must-Do when you visit!
The next stop was Whistler, the drive from Sun Peaks to Whistler was about 5 hours and so beautiful. The roads were up and down through the mountains, when we were higher up there was tons of snow, and as we got lower down the snow disappeared.
We were staying at the Pan Pacific Mountainside, right at the foot of Blackcomb Mounhtain with the hot tub literally a few steps away from the chairlifts. It was a beautiful hotel, our room had a separate bedroom and a kitchenette, plus our balcony looked right over the hot tub with a great view of the mountain base. The other hotel we visited was the Westin, which was stunning and had a great après ski drinks area. The Fireside Lodge in the Westin has a great drink menu, and was the perfect stop to meet after a day on the hill.
I took a snowboard lesson in Whistler that started half way up the mountain on the ‘bunny hill’. Being Saturday, the mountain was pretty busy and as a beginner I did not feel as comfortable as I did at Sun Peaks. The lesson was too rushed for me and next time I will take a private lesson until I have a better handle on things.
After my lesson I took the gondola up to the top of Whistler Mountain and did the Peak 2 Peak gondola over to Blackcomb Mountain. The views were stunning and on the way back we actually got in the glass bottom gondola. This was one of the coolest things I did in Whistler; it is also the worlds longest continuous lift system taking 11 minutes to travel between peaks alone.
The village was very festive and the nightlife was entertaining, with so many options and something for everyone. We went out to the Brewhouse for our first dinner, which is a local staple with big portion sizes and the Lifty Lager (lifties operate the chair lifts). After dinner there was a stop at Tapley’s, also a local hotspot; it’s very casual, with lots of people still in their gear from the day. I had so much fun in Whistler, and at the end of my very long day and night a stop at Zog’s Poutine stand was a must!
I had such a great time in BC I am already planning my next trip there!
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