A moonlit trek in the mountains

Cozy around a fire midway through the trip. Photo SPIN

It’s six o’clock. The lifts have stopped turning. The village has become quieter and the only sound heard is the faint hum of the snow groomers at work. While most people are having dinner or making plans for the morning, I found myself heading out on my own adventure, a moonlight snowshoe tour.

Leaving from the trailhead just beyond the covered bridge, myself and nine others followed Shan our tour guide out on the trail for our one kilometre trek. At first, I was a bit unsure if I would enjoy the tour as I went alone and in my mind it seemed like an activity to do with friends and family. As we continued along the trail, I realized it was the perfect activity for a solo trekker or a large group of friends.

Deciding to turn my headlamp off and let the moonlight guide my path, I felt myself relax listening to the sound of snow crunching underneath. Passing the former horse stable, Shan told us the history of the barn and why the horses were moved after a heavy snowfall in ’91 started to deteriorate the roof.

Rounding the corner we came across fresh powder where we had the opportunity to race through it. Opting out, I continued on chatting with some of the others. Our conversation was interrupted by a sudden burst of giggling and I looked over to see that the source was the youngest member of our group, a seven-year-old  boy lying in the snow with his boot and snowshoe a few feet away from him.

While the other kids continued on racing, Shan just shook her head and went to help, laughing while she said that she’d never had that happen before. Once everyone was settled back on the packed trail, we began our ascent into the trees. We stopped at a snow cave where Shan explained how they’re used as snow shelters during winter storms. Letting the light from the others headlamps light the trail we went deeper and deeper into the trees and the village disappeared behind us.

Making it to a clearing which housed a camp, Shan lit a fire for us to make s’mores. As the fire began crackling, we sipped hot apple cider and roasted maybe one too many marshmallows before continuing on our trek.

Shan stopped us at one of my personal favourite viewpoints in Sun Peaks, a spot in which you can see the entire village both east and west with a great view of the groomers working along Mt. Tod. Our guide explained the future development plans and the work on the Orient Ridge expansion. The group was excited about where Sun Peaks is headed and the conversation turned to which runs everyone was planning to ski the next morning.

Just before the end of the tour our group went off the beaten track and “ran” down a hill,  meaning most of us slipped and rolled down with laughter echoing through the air. The kids began making snow angels and I realized it’s the perfect activity for anyone, whether they’re just visiting or a resident of the community, it’s a chance to create a vacation from your everyday.

Not convinced to take a tour but still wanting to hit the trails? Shan recommended beginner snowshoers take the pink trail and loop back on the yellow trail which can be found on the snowshoe map provided at the activity centre. If you’re looking for something more technical check out the green trail that loops around the west village.


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