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Posts Tagged ‘glade skiing’

Lori Knowles

Lori Knowles

I guess a Tuesday at the start of November is as good a time as any to start planning our 2014/15 ski season–yours and mine. In truth, as someone in the ski biz, it’s been on my mind since July… or earlier. But I’ve waited ’til now to get you revved up, otherwise your engine might burn out.

I hope to tell you the few tidbits I get now and then on new stuff in the European and North American ski markets: new ski lifts, new runs, glades you can’t miss, or an apres-ski experience neither of us can pass up. Let’s see how it evolves. Hopefully the info will help you plan our next ski trips.

I’ll start with some news from a sunny ski area in British Columbia (BC) called Sun Peaks. Here it is, in a photo courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort, taken by Adam Stein:

The Village at Sun Peaks, BC. Photo by Adam Stein, courtesy of Sun Peaks.

The Village at Sun Peaks, BC. Photo by Adam Stein, courtesy of Sun Peaks.

Sun Peaks is in idyllic ski spot in near the Canadian city of Kamloops. Its village is auto-free, its runs flow along a consistent and excellent fallline, and its trees are spacious and not too steep, which gives any ski area an A in my playbook.

Tree skiing at Sun Peaks. Photo by Adam Stein, courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort.

Tree skiing at Sun Peaks. Photo by Adam Stein, courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort.

All this you can learn by visiting its website. My news is this: For 2015, Sun Peaks has expanded to a point at which it’s now Canada’s second largest ski area. That’s pretty big — Canada’s largest is Whistler. This season Sun Peaks has grown to more than 4,200 acres of in-bound ski terrain with the addition of two new areas: West Morrisey and Gil’s.

“New runs in the West Morrisey area will be expert ability level and utilize the same aspect as the popular Static Cling and Agitator ski runs,” says a recent press release. “The second section, Gil’s—a popular backcountry ski area at the top of Tod Mountain—will see the area’s vertical double with the creation of a lower ski out back the main ski runs.”

A panoramic shot of Sun Peaks taken from Mt Morrisey. Photo by Adam Stein courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort.

A panoramic shot of Sun Peaks taken from Mt Morrisey. Photo by Adam Stein courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort.

In short, this expansion just might move Sun Peaks onto your short list of top spots in Canada to visit. I hope so. As I said, the resort is idyllic.

That’s it for today. More tidbits soon — news to help you explore your ski travel options. Let me know how your planning is progressing. I’m @LoriExploring

Lori Knowles is a ski and travel writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. She is the editor of SNOW Magazine. See past work at LoriKnowles.com or follow Lori on Twitter @LoriExploring.

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This week marks the launch of the Winter 2014/15 edition of SNOW Magazine, a sure sign winter is coming. isn’t she a beauty?

SNOW Magazine Winter 2014/15

SNOW Magazine
Winter 2014/15

On stands now, this edition is focused on all that’s warm and sumptuous and luxurious in the winter ski lifestyle. Lech’s lovely Chalet N–a luscious slopeside retreat for celebs–is profiled. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Shribman lends us a peek inside Dartmouth, his alma mater and the world’s only Ivy Ski League. Fashion photographer Daniela Federici has captured the bold colours of 2015 skiwear. Barbara Sanders, SNOW’s publisher, profiles a spa laden with Swarvoski crystals. And I, Lori Knowles, trace the rich history of Idaho’s Sun Valley, where Clarke Gable and Ingrid Bergman and Ernest Hemingway launched the first American Ski Resort, an iconic spot once known as the “American Shangri-la.”

The magazine is on stands now, as well as inside the rooms of the world’s best alpine hotels, in Air Canada lounges, and available for download on Zinio. See www.TheSnowMag.com and @SNOWmagazine for more information.

Once you’ve got it, curl up in front of a warm fire, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy your read. Lech, Park City, the Okanagan, Sun Valley, Courchevel, Aspen… Reading these pages is the next best thing to skiing in one of these fabulous places.

Lori Knowles is Editor-in-Chief of SNOW Magazine @LoriExploring

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Wide-open ski runs are of little use at a ski resort from a seven-year-old skier’s perspective. The more trees the better — add a few jumps, plus some stumps and boulders to ski over and you’ve really got it going on. The only thing cleared trails are good for is getting from one set of glades to another really fast. Other than that… “Nah. Pretty useless.”

Little people, big ideas.

This from my son, who’s skiing Sun Peaks, BC for the first time, and is showing remarkable talent for sniffing out good glades. It doesn’t matter how steep they are, how tight they are, or even if they’re tracked. He beetles from one set to another like a remote-controlled stock car commandeered by Bart Simpson.

“C’mon Mom! You can make it! It’s not that steep. Whattya mean the branches are too low? I made it!”

And this kid’s got more than an opinion or two on how a ski area should be layed out. “5-Mile (a green-circle Sun Peaks run) is good ‘cause it’s long,” he says. “But it definitely needs more trees. The ditches are good on the sides, though. You can get some good jumps in those.”

According to Emmett, the best treed runs at Sun Peaks so far are the Cahilty Glades off the Sunburst Express — well spaced, but not too easy; the trees between Granny Greene’s and Homesteader on Sundance; and Mt. Morrisey’s “easy-peasy” The Sticks.

Emmett skied Cahilty Glades Sunday with a pack of Nancy Greeners (ski racers in the Nancy Greene Ski League), led by Nancy Greene herself, and followed by a CTV camera crew. (The footage will run preceding the Olympics.)

Nancy Greene with the Nancy Greeners!

Nancy was cool about heading into Cahilty trees on the first run of the day — she had to be, otherwise the kids on the ski team would mutiny — but the camera crew was a little challenged!

They duck-taped a wide-angle camera to her skis and got action shots of her skiing with all the kids around her. “Kind of hard to ski with one ski slow and the other fast,” she said, waving the ski/camera around. She blew it off eventually–made one of her quick slalom turns through the trees and the camera went rolling.

Nancy gave the kids a few tips on skiing trees safely. “Ski with at least three people in trees,” she says. “That way, if you’re hurt, one can stay with you, while the other gets help.” She wisely adds: “And you don’t ski through trees… you ski around them!”

At the bottom of Cahilty she stopped — a rare occurrence for energetic Nancy — and pointed back up at the glades.

“You guys know Bode Miller?” she asked? “The American ski racer? He was here once for a Nor-Am race and missed his start ‘cause he thought he could squeeze one more run through Cahilty trees.”

Emmett nodded his head. He totally got it. When you’ve got glades, who needs gates?

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“I just had my best ski ever!”

This from my soon-to-be-seven son, who skied his first day of the season at Sun Peaks on the tails of Nancy Greene.

Nancy Greene (in red) joins Emmett and Sun Peaks' Anne Haight at the top of Sundance.

We met her at the base. She was dressed in red and black and looking more fit than any 60-year-old skier I’ve ever met–ok, any skier I’ve ever met.

“Where do you want to ski?” she asked Emmett straight off and straight on… No talking down to him.

He responded immediately. “Trees!”

“Trees is it,” said Nancy, and from that moment on she had his attention. We first rode the Sundance chairlift. We skied along a road, dropped over the side into some easy, well-spaced glades, and spend the rest of the afternoon hopping off logs, circling rocks, getting powder faceshots off snow-laden ski branches. We skied fast–Nancy always first, then Emmett, then me and Anne-from-Sun-Peaks behind.

Emmett biffed twice: two face plants that poured snow into his mitts. But he does not care. He gets up both times, wipes himself off and demands that we “Go!” No waiting around for this kid. He wanted to ski.

The Olympian kept Emmett’s attention through the entire afternoon. It didn’t register with him she’s a gold medallist. All Emmett cared is she’s a very fast skier, she likes trees, she doesn’t stop much, and she listens to what he says.

Our route took us all over Sundance–that is to say, the glades all over Sundance. The trees surrounding runs like  Homesteader, Grannie Greene’s, Sunrise  and Rambler. Heaven-on-earth for a kid. 

Then we followed the Mt. Morissey Connector  to the Morissey Express, Sun Peaks’ latest terrain expansion. It’s surprisingly expansive, with a long and extensive pitch.  Turns out it’s also the home of our favourite run of the day: The Sticks–a real rambler with multiple islands of trees that, for a kid, add up to two-thumbs-up fun.

When the afternoon was up Emmett asked me to ask Nancy if she’d like to come swimming with us at the Delta Sun Peaks.

“Thanks Emmett,” she said. “But I have to go get interviewed on television.”

Pretty fair excuse, I figured. It was for CTV and the Olympics are coming.

“Maybe tomorrow,” he whispered to me as she left.

When he woke up the next morning he said: “So, when are we meeting Nancy?”

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