Up the chairlift and away we go!

You know it’s the peak of the winter season when the resort calendar website is filling up with all kinds of exciting events that are happening right here in the village.
Last night as I was waiting to attend my first Toastmasters meeting at the Delta lobby, I heard ringing bells and loud applause coming from a group of merrymakers below. So I headed to the top of the stairs to find out what it was about and saw a group of people gathered to listen to a guy who was making an important announcement.

The lady at the front desk informed me that it was a ceremony for the Fourth Annual Sun Peaks Travelplan Family Cup. The High Roller Mountain Marathon is a new addition to the event, where each participant visits a tent and rolls a dice at the top of every chairlift to accumulate the most points. As I waited, I heard more laughter and more applause from downstairs. It’s always great to see families having fun at the resort!

Speaking of families, I met a lovely Australian family today for my lesson. Hailing from Newcastle, Chris and Jen came with their two grown-up kids Amanda and Daniel for a weeklong ski trip here in Sun Peaks. Every couple of years, the family goes on a vacation together. A friend’s terrific review of the resort led Chris and his family to visit Sun Peaks and they’re very glad they did.

Our ski instructor Veronica is also from Australia. You can immediately tell that she loves what she does. “It’s great to meet new people who are eager to go out skiing,” she said. Indeed, being with people who are so positive and upbeat is awesome, especially after hearing what she said next: we were going to ride up the chairlift to try out some green runs. In my head, I was thinking “I barely survived that steep incline on the Sunbeam and you want me to go where?” But since it’s a year of getting out of my comfort zone, I thought I’d go for it.

And then I saw it.

I’ve been on the chairlift multiple times before, just without skis on. This time, approaching the chairlift reminded me of being in a grocery store in South Korea for the first time, looking blankly at the Hangeul characters written on two bottles of hair product, trying to decipher which one’s a shampoo and which one’s a conditioner. I thought I knew how to use the chairlift, but there were a few things I needed to learn. Thankfully, Veronica came to the rescue.

So after a little chairlift lesson, it’s on to the runs. First was Five Mile. The gentle slopes are great for beginners; it allowed me to focus on the technical aspect of skiing, i.e. to practise my turns and to lean forward without worrying too much about speed. “You’ve all lost your pizzas!” exclaimed Veronica as we reached the halfway mark, pleased at our group’s progress.

Next up was Homesteader. This was trickier for me, as some parts of the run were narrower than usual and we had to ski steeper inclines. When my skills started to regress, Veronica decided to take my poles away, and lo and behold, I discovered that I ski better without poles! With a little push and a lot of motivation, we all made it down. At the bottom of the hill, we were still smiling.

All in all, it was another great ski lesson. The more I nail down the techniques, the more I feel excited about expanding my skiing horizons.

And for those of you who want to get in on more of the action, it’s not too late to catch the Family Cup tomorrow. There are kids and adult races starting at 11 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. at the Globe Café and Tapas Bar.

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