Sunpeaks 1, Jan 5 -10, 2014

Sun Peaks 1 began on a dark, cold -30⁰C morning with black ice and a locked car running with keys in the ignition! After departure, most of the 46 passengers dozed as our driver, IlirRexhepi, headed to Edson for the much appreciated coffee stop. After lunch at the Great Escape Restaurant in Valemont, and a coffee/grocery/liquor stop at Little Fort, we arrived at the Coast Sundance Lodge (6:00 pm BC time). Fortunately, driving conditions improved for the last half of the journey. At 7:00 pm, bus passengers were joined for the Welcome Party in the Hearthstone Lodge by the 10 members who had driven or flown in. Staff from the Bella Italia Ristorante catered a delicious buffet meal with yummy desserts.

Ski conditions were excellent with temperatures hovering around -5⁰C and a 120 cm packed and groomed base. Mountain Hosts (formerly Sun Guides) acquainted skiers with the attributes of all levels of ski trails, meeting at 9:15 am and 1:00 pm. Two days, a photographer from Alpine Images (Adam) took photos of two hosted groups to post on www.alpineimages.ca.

Monday was initially sunny, but clouded over and snow fell starting in late afternoon. The rest of the week, clouds hung low and it snowed off and on. Sometimes we skied through spooky mist. By Thursday, we enjoyed light powder. One member tried out the evening fondue at Sunburst Lodge and skied down Cahilty 5Mile with lanterns and head lamp on newly groomed slopes covered with 4-6 inches of fresh powder. Wonderful! During the week, some skiers took advantage of the groomed cross-country trails that started within walking distance of Sundance Lodge.

Part of the skiing fun was meeting at Sunburst Lodge for freshly prepared cinnamon buns and coffee. Late afternoon activities included shopping in the unique Village shops or easing sore muscles in the Sundance Lodge outdoor hot pool with snowflakes falling on noses and eyelashes. Evenings were spent sharing meals in our rooms or in a variety of Village restaurants. Tuesday night, Bruce Walker played his guitar and guided a sing-a-long of favourite tunes. On Wednesday, the club dinner was again catered by Bella Italia Ristorante and Fran Cuyler was feted on the occasion of her milestone birthday with chocolate cake and song.

Of interest was the Bluebird market on the ground floor of the Delta Residences for groceries/deli/produce. Our RMSSC President has initiated discussions with the intent of obtaining a discount for members there.

Road conditions were excellent for the return bus journey with our driver, Hisashi Noguchi. We stopped in Little Fort, Valemont, and Edson again and arrived in Edmonton at 7:30 pm to a temperature of -8⁰C. So much easier to unload!

Tour co-hosts, Marjorie Anderson and Lynn Skillen, sincerely thank all members who assisted with loading and unloading the bus, and thank everyone for creating a congenial group.

Marjorie Anderson

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