Sun Peaks Resort announces new express chairlift in West Bowl

In welcome news for skiers, the brand-new West Bowl lift will open just in time for the 2024-2025 ski season.
Chairlifts at a ski hill are going up and down a snowy mountain. A blue sky with streaky clouds is in the background.
The new West Bowl Express quad chairlift will open in the 2024-2025 season. Photo Zuzy Rocka.

Powder hounds in Sun Peaks can rejoice — a new chairlift is coming to the resort in a year and a half. On April 5, Sun Peaks Resort (SPR) announced the West Bowl Express quad chairlift will be operational for the 2024-2025 season.

The lift will cost the resort an estimated $12 million to build and will be completed before the 2024-2025 ski season. Groundwork started last year, while electrical and construction are planned for this summer, and the lift will be installed in 2024. The expansion will increase access to an area renowned for its views and snow quality.

SPR’s chief marketing officer Aiden Kelly says the express chairlift will open up more terrain and increase access to existing terrain in Sun Peaks. The West Bowl provides a different skiing and riding experience because of its distance from the village.

“I think the thing that we’re probably most excited about is that there’s a bit of a different look and feel of in the West Bowl … you really get that sense that you’re out in the mountains away from it all,” Kelly said.

The area will provide easier access to bowl skiing, rolling groomers and technical terrain and is the third chairlift launched by the resort in the last six years. The Orient lift opened in 2018, and in 2020 the Crystal chairlift was replaced and aligned with Top of the World.

SPR contracted U.S.-based manufacturer Doppelmayr, which Kelly said makes most lifts in the resort, to build the West Bowl Express.

Ray Gauthier is a long-time Sun Peaks skier who lived in the village for nine years before relocating to Vernon. He’s recently purchased a home in the village.

While he’s travelled North America in search of powder, Gauthier told SPIN Sun Peaks is his favourite place to ski in Canada, and the expansion is welcome news to an advanced skier like him.

Historically, he and his friends would hang out in the West Bowl a few times a week, even when using a slow T-bar to access the alpine vistas, which is a testament to the enjoyable conditions. He said the express chair lift would increase ease of access.

“What they’re doing in the West Bowl — I’m going to be living in there. I love the snow … I think it’s a genius move,” Gauthier said.

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