Solid start to hiking and biking

Opening Weekend Hikers - Photo by SPINSun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) opened the Sunburst chairlift on Friday, June 26, kicking off the summer season with lift-accessed alpine hiking, sightseeing and biking.

Aidan Kelly, director of sales and marketing for SPR, said the turnout for opening weekend was “steady” with a surprising number of hikers on the mountain for opening day.

“Hikers actually outnumbered the bikers, which is rare,” Kelly said.

While high temperatures in Kamloops may have kept some of the traditional opening weekend traffic indoors, savvy hikers took advantage of slightly cooler temperatures in the alpine.

Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP), said the warm weather had also resulted in an early bloom for the alpine wildflowers.

“I think the early spring and summer temperatures brought out the flowers, and hikers in the know have already figured that out and headed up,” Nicolson said.

Kelly said the Lift and Lager promotion — a free beer at the Sunburst Lodge for all day-pass or season pass holders — also proved popular in drawing hikers up.

“The promotion went really well. The Sunburst Lodge patio was packed for a majority of the day and people enjoyed the atmosphere, views, and cold beverages,” Kelly said.

“It was a great way to celebrate the start of our season for visitors and season pass holders alike. It showed off some of the untapped potential for the Sunburst Lodge and we’ll explore other events of this nature moving forward.”

The Sun Peaks Bike Park didn’t miss out on the action though, with plenty of riders keen to check out new trail improvements and shred their favourite lines.

“Conditions were very hot and dusty on the bike trails for the weekend, but all riders seemed pumped on the variety of options available,” Kelly said.

In a rare event, 100 per cent of the lift accessed downhill trails, and many cross-country trails, were ready for opening weekend.

“The warm spring, enhanced trail crew and hard work by everyone involved meant that we started off with a bang,” Kelly said.

“I ran into a number of Vancouver riders over the weekend, which shows that the reach of our bike park is increasing.”

Nicolson said the Sun Peaks & Region Farmers’ Market also proved popular.

“We had around 20 vendors, which is a good start to the season. It creates animation in the village and draws people into the village on a Sunday which is important to our retail sector.”

For more information visit the Sun Peaks Resort website.