Life as a (part-time) Local: Returning to Sun Peaks

Louise Hudson on her first day back in Sun Peaks. Photo provided.

Louise Hudson first visited Sun Peaks about a decade ago. Working for various newspapers, Hudson visited resorts all around Alberta and British Columbia to ski, meet people and write about her experiences. 

Being originally from England and having spent 20 years skiing at resorts in Europe, Hudson was immediately drawn to the architecture and atmosphere in Sun Peaks. After getting to know the community a little bit, Hudson said that her and her husband, Simon, felt at home.

“We sort of got slightly into the social life as well,” said Hudson. “Enough to see that there was a very vibrant social life, and not just for the 20-somethings, for the 50-somethings.” 

When planning their semi-retirement, the Hudsons decided to spend eight months of the year in Portugal, and the other four in Sun Peaks. 

“We like to feel part of a community and we felt it would be easier to do that here than it would somewhere else,” said Hudson.

In 2019, their plan sprung into action and they were able to spend the winter in Sun Peaks. But last year, it came screeching to a halt. Hudson said they had booked everything for the season, but their travel plans fell through a week before they were supposed to leave.

“It became obvious that travel was not a responsible thing to be doing at that time,” said Hudson. “We are Canadian citizens, so we could have come. But we made the decision, which was the most painful decision of our entire lives, not to come.”

Louise and Simon Hudson. Photo provided.

Hudson said they had been plotting and scheming their return to Sun Peaks since then. This year, they decided to leave before Christmas to avoid travelling during any potential COVID-19 outbreaks due to people gathering for the holidays.

After three days of travelling, a taxi, two trains, two planes, a shuttle and several COVID-19 tests, they finally made it back to Sun Peaks. 

“The first feeling was relief, mixed with incredulity, mixed with gratitude,” said Hudson. “So we feel it’s our duty to ski every day and enjoy every condition…Just be out there and enjoy every second. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Hudson’s desire to return to Sun Peaks was to enjoy the mountain once again, but also to be able to see their two sons in Vancouver, who they have not seen for 20 months. 

Their original plan was to drive to Vancouver as soon as they arrived in Canada, but with  road closures due to unprecedented flooding in November, that was not possible right away. Hudson said they are working out a plan for them to all be together for Christmas.

While in Sun Peaks, Hudson is working as a freelance journalist for ski publications. She is also the North American editor for online magazine Style Altitude, and writes for her personal blog One Two Ski.

Hudson said this is the perfect place for them and their lifestyle right now, and that they have received such a warm welcome since returning. 

“The day that we arrived, friends had come for dinner,” said Hudson. “Because we hadn’t been able to go shopping from Kamloops because we just came up on the shuttle, they gave us enough food to last the whole weekend before our delivery could arrive with Sun Peaks Cargo.”

Hudson said they also had friends give them a Christmas tree and decorations. She said community members are always willing to offer help and it’s easy to make new friends all the time. 

“It is a very friendly, welcoming community, which I think is pretty unique,” said Hudson. “Amongst all the ski resorts I’ve been to, it really stands out. It is what makes you feel at home right away.”

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