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My Sun Peaks Ski Vacation

posted at 1:37 am
on Feb. 2, 2009

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I just got back from a ski trip at Sun Peaks, and it’s one of those vacations where you return far more tired than you left—in a good way.

Sun Peaks is a growing ski resort located near Kamloops, and Susie, Degan and I were invited along on the annual ski trip organized by Scott and James and their old friends, mostly from Winnipeg.

On the first night, there were 10 of us (James, Scott 1, Sarah, Scott 2, Shannon, Jeff, Brett, Degan, Susie and I), marveling in how great the ski-in, ski-out chalet was: really lovely with heated floors in all the right places, a hot tub that got heavy use (until later in the trip when it stopped heating above sort of a luke warm bath temperature), and 5 bedrooms if you include the pull-out couch on the lowest level.

We arrived Wednesday night, with James driving us in his wundercar after work; we stopped in Abbotsford and I had a schnitzel sandwich from a new kinda-fast-foody franchise called Schnitzelz—I seriously liked the food I got and think this could be a big chain in the not-so-distant future.

One thing I’ve noticed about vacations with other people: Dang, they get up early.  In order to be on the slopes by 9:30, we had to be up and stumbling around at 8:30ish.  But totally worth it.  Susie went off to take a ski lesson, so Degan and I took our boards and got in some decent runs, though the snow was pretty hard packed and hard to carve.

The day flew by, and I had a hard time of it, due to a combination of new boots that needed breaking in, not-great snow, and a board that needed waxing.  By the end of the day, my legs were shaking, which was not helped by the lOOOOng walk back to the chalet which was ski-in, ski-out, but only if you have the energy to do a REALLY long run around the back of a whole mountain as your last run.

The lift tickets weren’t too expensive—we bought them at Costco in advance, and saved about $30 off the two-day total ($112, normal $142). Lunches on the hill both days were a-w-ful, reminding me a little of those stereotypical prison-cafeteria scenes with some scary guy scooping watery pasta onto your tray.

Night #2 involved the hot tub again, but this time, some skinny dipping was undertaken, and I shall say no more on that topic, except to say—I miss our hot tub we had in L.A. (Incidentally, I haven’t had a chance to process many photos, so I’m including this photo of our old hot tub in L.A.)

Day #3 was even more fun, because we’d discovered where the best snow was, and because we were able to split up and meet up with each other a lot more often.  The boys were mostly skiing and mostly skiing fast. Susie took the morning off but came out to do some runs in the afternoon, her skiing and me on my board.  It was fun, but by that point I was really exhausted.  Gotta work on that core strength and my squatting endurance, that’s for sure.

One thing I can say about the folks were were hanging out with: they made us feel welcome.  Even though the group we joined were long-time friends (Jeff and James ran a business together years and years ago, and Scott 2 and Brett are rugby friends with Scott 1 in Vancouver, though he now lives in Calgary, I think) with about 1,100,000 inside jokes, we were able to join in as much as we wanted, which was excellent.  It is also possible that the beer and vodka that appeared and disappeared in the blink of any eye, helped.

And of course, good food also helps form relationships, and we had that, in spades!  James cooked a ham (well, he started it, but it was Scott and Brett’s vigilant oven-opening and ham-pokeing that really made the meal turn out well.  And on the next night, James casually tossed together a lasagna made out of this and that, blah blah grandmother’s secret recipe, sauce brought out to Sun Peaks in a big pot in the backseat of his car so it percolated for 3 days, that was one of the more delicious pasta things I’ve had the pleasure of eating.

Speaking of drinking, Scott 1’s #1 squeeze, Sarah, introduced me to a drinking game I’ve never played before.  It’s called King’s Cup, but she couldn’t remember the rules exactly. And after playing it, I now understand why she couldn’t—it was probably more efficient a drinking game than simply filling a bathtub with beer and plunging your head into it.

It’s like the Cranium of drinking games—each card you draw has a different rule associated with it, so it combines truth or dare, dancing, math skills, logic puzzles, and of course, peer pressure, into one exciting evening.  We played it two nights in a row.

On the third day, Saturday, I skipped boarding—I simply didn’t have it in me, but luckily I hadn’t bought a third day’s lift ticket, either—though that maybe would have incentivized me to get on the slopes, alas alack.  That evening I participated in a true adventure—driving all up and down the mountain, looking determinedly for a bar that was showing the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a sports competition that I had, up until that day, known nothing about.

I now know that it’s a great way to get a concussion, and that Macker’s bar on the mountain is the only place that shows it, but is also a pretty up-tight place with a poor reservation system.  I also know that 8 people can fit in an SUV even if it’s not designed for that, and I know what beer plinko is.  For a little while there we picked up a hitchhiker named Paul, which made me feel all good Samaritan-ly; I like being able to give people a lift.

Oh, and speaking of Macker’s: There are only a few bars in the Sun Peaks village: Two of them are Macker’s and Mack Daddy’s.  Uh, can you maybe make things even harder for tired, drunk people on vacation?  Also, why are two of the chairs at Sun Peaks called the Sunburst Express and the Sundance Express, positioned beside each other.  That’s not confusing, no sir. Anyway…

Dinner that night was leftovers, which meant about 7 bags of chips, a lot of ham, popcorn, lasagna, salami, etc. etc.  We had to be out by 10 a.m. on Sunday, which was super hard, considering how late we’d stayed up the night before, watching SNL Best Of… videos, and playing Asshole.

It was a really interesting trip for me. I was reminded of many old parts of my life: driving around packed into an SUV looking for fun seemed like high school; sharing the house with a bunch of other jock-y, flirt-y, sarcastic and hilarious people totally reminded my of college.

And the ski holiday itself reminded me of ski vacations I used to take with my family, and how invigorating and simultaneously tiring it can be to ride all day and be completely passed out at 8:30 p.m.

It was also a weekend that included things I’ve never seen or never tried before: skinny dipping in the hot tub, for example, and snow boarding on runs all on my own, which was actually amazingly meditative and made me wonder if surfing would be like that.

It wasn’t the perfect weekend; there was a time when I mistakenly called Jeff a damn dirty cheater for throwing down some extra cards in Asshole, when really he was probably just trying to help move the game along by winning. 😊  And it was a clearly a growing resort with a lot of neat facilities.

I do wish that Monique had been able to join us, but that just gives me yet another reason to want to do it again next year.



Previous entry:
Snowboarding at Whistler

Next entry:
25 Random Things, a Rebuttal


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