17 Apr 2014
(All photo credits go to Sun Peaks / Adam Stein)
Q&A: Sun Peaks Bike Park!!
Who are you and what do you do at Sun Peaks Bike Park?
Sam Egan, Marketing Manager for Sun Peaks Resort Corporation.
I’m responsible for coordinating and developing Bike Park creative content such as park and trail updates throughout the season, mapping projects, photography and videography, as well as event involvement and providing feedback on trail development. I have been riding the Bike Park here since 2007, well before I took this position.
How long ago was Sun Peaks Bike Park developed? Who or what was the driving force?
The Sun Peaks Bike Park was officially opened to the public for lift-operated DH in the summer of 1999. It was spurred by exceptional natural terrain, major race events hosted on the mountain in the years leading up to lift-access (through shuttling or climbing), our proximity to the mountain biking mecca of Kamloops, and the growing network of singletrack trail being developed on all three mountains by passionate riders in the surrounding areas.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season at the bike park?
Weekends in the Bike Park range anywhere from about 150 riders to over 700 on race weekends, such as the 2013 Canada Cup DH. Throughout the Bike Park season we see roughly 5,400 riders. These numbers don’t say much though, the reality is you will rarely encounter lift lineups in our park, the vibe is pretty easygoing and very friendly, and trails never feel crowded or overwhelming.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
We’ve got a wide diversity of trails and riders here at Sun Peaks:
> Sugar for epic singletrack
> Steam Shovel for flowing machine made
> Insanity One for fully pinned DH
> Big Rock Ride for XC adventure
Will there be any new trails added this year or will you be re-developing any existing trails?
We will be adding an all new intermediate lift-accessed alpine XC trail that will link up with Big Rock Ride, bringing riders back to the village or onto the XC trail network on Mt. Morrisey. Big Rock Ride will see an additional route from the top of Sundance down to the village, and our valley trail network will be expanded upon to create a family-friendly loop in the valley floor. Our DH race course will get a facelift and reroute to prepare for the Canadian National DH Championships, and a number of other developments are in the works that you’ll just have to visit to discover.
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…
Our Bike Park features a wide variety of riding “styles”; lots of natural singletrack as well as machine made, with a variety of manmade features. We’ve got plenty of steep DH, some technical and some built for maximum velocity, as well as some great freeride trails loaded with features. Our trails are relatively dry most of the summer, with varying degree of rocks and roots depending on the aspect.
Tell me a little bit about Sun Peak’s town. Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to spend their time?
Once you arrive at Sun Peaks all you’ll need is your bike to get around. You can easily pedal to any of the trails from any resort accommodation, ride out to McGillivray Lake to cool off, and visit any of the local restaurants and bars where you can enjoy sunny patios without your bike ever leaving your sight.
Tell us about any big events that are happening this summer at the bike park?
July 11-13: Canadian National DH Championships
July 26-27: The North Face Dirty Feet Mountain Bike Marathon
Do you have an opening date yet?
Friday June 27, 2014
What does the future hold for Sun Peaks Bike Park?
Continued development of lift-accessed XC and All Mountain trails, and refining connections between our lift-accessed trails on Mt. Tod, XC routes summiting Sundance, our existing XC network on Mt. Morrisey, and our valley trail network. Much like our winter experience riders will be able to explore trails encompassing a full 360º around the village, utilizing all three peaks. We will continue to develop our race scene with high level events and attention to our race courses. Sun Peaks has always been known for its advanced DH riding, we’re now moving towards a world class mountain biking experience for all ages, ability levels, and riding types.