Sun Peaks Resort had seen snowfalls amounting to near 200cm the end of last week.
Ski conditions are exceptionally good inside the marked ski area boundary. However, beyond the roped boundary, serious consequences can happen as recently reported near Revelstoke and on the North Shore mountains near Vancouver.
Sun Peaks Resort officials are pro-actively appealing to skiers and snowboarders to respect the ski area boundary.
“There should be no reason for resort skiers to venture beyond the boundary, particularly with the immense amount of powder within bounds,” explains Jamie Tattersfield, the 20 year veteran Director of Mountain Operations for Sun Peaks Resort Corporation.
Wind and intense snow flurries in the last few days have combined to create hazards in the backcountry.
Heavy snow storms reduce visibility, create deep hazardous tree wells, and lead to instabilities in the snow-pack that can result in avalanches.
Inside the ski area boundary, slopes and trails are monitored by experts on a daily basis to increase safety.
Through years of experience, knowledge is gained about wind and snow patterns. This gives professionals the opportunity to stabilize the snow and mitigate risk areas.
“Skiing is a healthy and exhilarating activity,” says Tattersfield. “Thanks to thoughtful trail design and natural attributes, Sun Peaks is regarded as one of the safest destinations in the country. But like most ski areas in the province, Sun Peaks and local Search and Rescue respond to lost persons that have purposefully ducked under a roped boundary and ventured knowingly out of bounds. These unprepared skiers and snowboarders often make uninformed decisions that lead to a necessary rescue effort.”
In cases where the mountain resort is required to conduct a rescue, the individual is responsible and may be charged for the cost of their rescue.