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West Bowl becomes hike-in only after retirement of historic T-bar

Despite its history, the lift needed too many repairs to get it back up and running
 | November 24, 2021
Photo: File photo.

After serving Sun Peaks Resort (SPR) for decades and undergoing several modifications, the West Bowl T-bar lift has been retired.

Aidan Kelly, SPR’s chief marketing officer, said the lift served its purpose for a long time, but they decided it needed too many repairs to get it functioning again.

“That lift has had a great run and I think it’s a good and natural time for it to move into it’s well deserved retirement,” said Kelly. “It’s a little bit long in the tooth and it was just time to let it go.”

The West Bowl T-bar holds a lot of history in Sun Peaks as a key part of the lift infrastructure in the upper alpine. Kelly said it was originally installed in the 1960s near the Burfield Lodge, but was later moved near the Lower Exhibition ski run. In the mid 1990s, the lift was modified again and moved into its current location in the West Bowl.

Last winter the lift was closed due to work it needed and SPR trying to streamline their operations due to the pandemic. Kelly said they reassessed what it would take to get the lift functioning again after it not running for a year, and decided it was in the best interest of the resort to make it’s closure permanent.

“From a cost benefit analysis, it didn’t necessarily make sense to do all of the work and upgrades required to keep that lift functioning,” said Kelly. “It makes more sense to put our efforts and resources into coming up with a longer term plan for lift service access in that area of the resort.”

Kelly said SPR is in the process of planning future lift access in the West Bowl as part of their master plan for the resort. 

In the meantime, they are maintaining access to the West Bowl as a hike-in and ski-out area, similar to Gil’s Zone. Kelly said the West Bowl terrain will receive regular grooming for those who still want to use that area.

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