MOUNTAIN LIFE - Ontario | Winter 2016 - page 85

shops in the resort are independently owned.
You won’t find a Starbucks at Sun Peaks.
Bolacco owner Konrad Glowczynski hands me
anAmericano, Melanie style. “Extra shot of
espresso, right?” I’ve only been here three days.
Soon it’s time to prep for the night ski. In a
group I take the chairlift to the Sunburst Mid
Mountain Restaurant & Lodge for gooey cheese
fondue; a lone guitarist plays Blue Rodeo to
a room full of skiers sitting at picnic tables.
“Wine?” asks Christopher Nicolson, President of
Sun Peaks. Hmm, OK, I’m only going downhilling
in the dark soon. Why the hell not? Gulp.
After the second glass, I’m feeling brave enough
to request “Copacabana” and grab the woman
next tome. Quickly two becomes three, then
four, and so on, until eventually, a dozen skiers
are awkwardly dancing a conga line in clunky
ski boots. Smiling and giddy, I feel like I’m at a
family wedding.
Foggy-brained the next day, I exchange the
fat downhill skis for skinny cross-country skis.
The resort has seen a 13 percent increase
in nordic skiers in the past few years. “The
baby boomers, the ones that got injured from
downhilling, are making the switch,” says Phil
Youwe, Sun Peaks Nordic Director.
We hop on the Morrissey Express chairlift to
Holy Cow—perhaps the only nordic trail in
Canada accessible via chairlift. Taking our time
meandering to the bottom from 1,675metres,
we’re careful not to go outside the perfectly
groomed track. “It reminds me of an inverted
cake pan,” says Youwe.
Whenwe reach the base of the hill, Phil hands
me a new pair of skis, even thinner thanmy
classic nordic skis. He wantsme to try skate-
skiing. Putting all my weight on a ski barely the
width of my boot, I last about 30 seconds before
toppling ontomy hip. OK, again. Slide, push, dig
poles. I make it 20metres and can’t breathe.
For a reward, Phil takes me to Bolacco for a
Polish-sausage-and-sauerkraut sandwich—
Konrad’s speciality. The place is packed. In the
corner I see Al, chatting with locals. And he’s
still wearing his ski boots.
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