Relive the early days of the Sun Peaks Bike Park through the eyes of Brett Tippie and other Sun Peaks biking legends.PRESS RELEASE: Sun Peaks Bike Park
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first mountain bike trails were scraped into the side of Tod Mountain by hand, marking the birth of the Sun Peaks Bike Park. Those early trail building pioneers, who toiled through long days of digging while pulling double duty as our first Bike Patrol crew, never dreamed they were building the first stages of a world-class bike park.
Now, in 2019, what started as a passion project by a dedicated few has grown to take its place in the legendary lineup of Canadian bike parks. While the iconic steep and technical singletrack trails that kicked things off remain at the core of the Sun Peaks riding experience, we’ve also been embracing the machine built revolution in recent years to provide opportunities for newer riders to feel welcomed into the world of mountain biking.
This summer we’re taking the next big step in this evolution with our most ambitious season of trail building ever. Over the spring and early summer we’ll be sinking $350,000 into new trails and updates to existing ones, totalling close to 12km of new work. Once we’re done, riders of all levels and ages will find their new favourite trail in Sun Peaks.
Want the details of these ambitious plans? Here’s a breakdown of what's new this year as we count down to opening day this Friday: Green Trails
To help us shed our ‘experts only’ reputation and ensure we do our part to welcome young shredders and newcomers to the sport, our focus this summer is on progression. This means a solid chunk of the work is going towards further improvements to our beginner offerings. Last summer we opened a new top-to-bottom 9km green progression trail to rave reviews and we’re stoked that Level Up (its official new name) will see its first full season. This year, our attention turns to our other green trail Switcheroo (formerly Smooth Smoothie), which is getting a new section and additional upgrades to make it even more beginner friendly.
We’ll also be continuing the work we started last year on the new Progression Park, which we believe is one of the only bike parks in North America served by a carpet lift. The Progression Park is particularly exciting due to its uniqueness and the possibilities it opens up for getting new riders started in the sport. Taking a carpet to the top of the hill gives a taste of the lift-access experience while removing the intimidating (at least for kids and first timers) process of loading your bike on the chairlift racks and having to commit to a long ride down the mountain. Our trail crew have done an awesome job designing the Progression Park trails and features, providing a taste of the style of trails found in the main Bike Park but on a smaller scale, as well as providing plenty of room for our instructors to teach.A new pump track and mini jump line are part of the upgrades for the Progression Park this year. Blue Trails
The biggest of this year’s new projects is a brand new, top-to-bottom jump trail aimed at intermediate level riders. The goal for this trail is to improve the layers of progression in the Bike Park and provide a stepping stone to the bigger features on trails like Steam Shovel. Winding its way alongside local favourites Sugar and Sweet One, this new line will be a blast to ride as you huck your bike through some of the coolest sections of forest on the mountain. We’ve christened it Canada Line, in a nod to our friends on the coast, and we’re sure it will see plenty of July 1 long weekend shred sessions in the years to come. The Lifetime Outdoor crew have been working hard on Canada Line this spring.
Next on the list is Bermalade, another blue machine-built newcomer. A mix of brand new trail and an extensive reworking of the existing Home Run, Bermalade will bridge the gap between our beginner trails and existing intermediate trails, while providing plenty of practice at railing berms. A cruise down the fast, flowy corners on this guy is sure to leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling like breakfast in bed.
The team behind both of these trails is Lifetime Outdoor, who did an amazing job with Level Up last year, so we’re excited to see what they deliver. Black Trails
While the majority of this year’s work is focused on beginner and intermediate trails, we haven’t forgotten our dedicated shredders out there. We’re stoked to be adding to the work we did last year on our signature black machine trail, Steam Shovel, by building a brand new middle section and turning it into a true top-to-bottom jump line. With the talented crew from Landmark Trailworks returning to continue the work they started with lower Steam Shovel last year, expect more of the same: plenty of big features and lots of air time for those that like to keep their wheels above the dirt. Once Landmark’s work is complete we’ll have a truly iconic addition to the Bike Park on our hands.
Along with these builds, our trail crew have also been working on additional projects aimed at improving the connectivity of the trails in the park and offering riders more options on some of our existing trails. These projects include a reworking of the bottom of Biker Cross to add more features and line choices, as well as building a fun new bottom of section of Zazel Track that will also offer an awesome new option for riders exiting Level Up. Keep an eye out for more work like this as the summer continues. A new drop is part of the reworking of Biker Cross, while our trail crew have also been working on a new bottom for Zazel Track.
We're hoping to have some of the new work complete for opening weekend, with the rest following soon after, except for the middle section of Steam Shovel which will be closer to mid-summer. Check out the Sun Peaks Bike Park Instagram
to see more construction photos from the past few weeks and get updates on when everything will be ready to roll.
Stoked on the new trails? You can check out our new trail map to see exactly where they’ll be going here
. Extended Season
To ensure everyone has plenty of chances to lap these new trails this season we’ll be open 10:00am to 7:00pm daily from June 21 to September 2. That’s 9 hours of lift-accessed riding per day! We’re also making it our longest season yet, by adding not one, not two, but four (four!) Bonus Weekends, which means the lifts will be turning Friday to Sunday all the way through until the end of September. Windback Wednesdays - Ride for $20!
As a final way to celebrate the big 2-0, we've introduced Windback Wednesdays this year. Twilight tickets (4:00pm to 7:00pm) are just $20 every Wednesday, all season long, so you better get started on those excuses to cut work early on hump day.
Want to join us for this massive summer of riding?! It all kicks off this Friday, June 21, when the Sunburst chairlift fires up at 10:00am for the first laps of the summer. As always we'll have plenty of events over opening weekend to add to the celebrations, including the Shred Hard Scavenger Hunt (stay tuned to our Instagram story Friday night for hints on where to find prizes hidden on the trails), our annual Lift and a Lager party
(every lift ticket/season pass comes with a complimentary beer courtesy of Granville Island Brewing), and our new Shred Hard Progression Park Open House
(kids 12 and under get to ride the Progression Park all day for FREE). Our annual High Five Day
is also coming up on July 15, where just $5 and a non-perishable food donation scores you a full day lift ticket!
Season passes, Peaks Cards, and lift tickets are all on sale now
. New this year, a Sun Peaks Bike Park pass now gets you one FREE day of shredding with our friends at SilverStar Bike Park (and vice versa), plus you'll also get five buddy passes so you can bring your mates for 25% off. As always, the best deal on lift tickets is on our online store, where you can save up to 30% when you buy your tickets in advance.
See ya up here!
– The Sun Peaks Bike Park Team