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Visitor reviews for Sunshine Village Ski Resort
January 25, 2015
discusser from Canada
I've skied Sunshine a bunch of times; always going back hoping that the snow reports and yearly snow stats are true. I'm not sure how this happened but it seems like every ski website I come across lists Sunshine as averaging 360" (10m) of snow a year. Everyone knows ski resorts lie about their snow stats but even the resort, itself, lists its yearly snowfall as "up to 10m". From what I dig up from all sources, the actual average seems to fall somewhere in the 5m range.
Oh, and in searching for data about the resort it seems like Sunshine has suffered some serious reputation and PR problems in the past. It's a really interesting read. Search for yourself if you like a soap opera.
Sunshine Village Ratings
Based on 40 votes. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Sunshine Village.
Public Transport: 3.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Sunshine Village, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Sunshine Village, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.6
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.7
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Sunshine Village.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.3
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Sunshine Village, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Sunshine Village is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Sunshine Village relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.6
(1) There are no snow groomers at Sunshine Village, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Sunshine Village are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Sunshine Village is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Sunshine Village, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.4
(1) Sunshine Village usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.9
(1) The staff at Sunshine Village are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Sunshine Village are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.8
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.9
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.2
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Sunshine Village has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Sunshine Village, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.4
(1) Not even a kicker at Sunshine Village, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Sunshine Village, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Sunshine Village has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.8
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 2.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.3
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.5
(1) Overall, Sunshine Village is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.4
(1) Overall, Sunshine Village is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
Based on 40 votes. Vote
March 25, 2014
Corey Hollins from Canada
First off, I need to clear the air here. I can guarantee that 95% of the city schmucks that have given reviews of SSV have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, and take it from me, as I have skied 45 days so far this season @ SSV. This place just never gets old; there are limitless options and different types of terrain to ride. Standish has more than enough side hits and hips, jibs and small cliffs and chutes to keep you busy for a couple days; only takes about 3 minutes to go up the chair, so hot laps!.. Wawa has the same type of terrain as Standish, but with some trees, and a long varied sized cornice cliff to huck (on good days) Wawa also gives access to the Backdoor/backcountry area over in the meadows to the right of Wawa. Enough said there; it's amazing and has limitless line options and usually good snow long after storms (keep in mind this is a backcountry area and you should know for sure where you are going before you go or ask to follow a local!) Angel and Divide are amazing especially on those Sunshiny days! You can get up to 80 kmh and just cruise across the "Flat Spots" no problem if your not a goon. There is enough room on Angel and Divide to make up a small ski area and yes, you can ride all of it! Just watch for rocks in the bowl lookers (?ed) right on Divide! TeePee Town is great, just look at it and you will see why. It gives access to some huge cliffs and has some great steep moguls and also accesses The Shoulder to Goat's Eye, a great other way around than the flats into JackRabbit. Goat's Eye, man what more can be said? 9000 ft in elev the highest of anywhere around and gives access to some seriously rowdy terrain! South Side chutes are amazing, especially if you grind your way up the bootpack to the top of them! Tons of tree skiing options on Goats Eye as well, and will definitely burn your legs! The Lower lifts: Wolverine and Jackrabbit speak for themselves; they are short and sheltered runs that basically act as an access back to the gondola. I have no bad words for Sunshine, this place is amazing! If you think the food sucks then maybe you should reconsider why you got into skiing or boarding in the first place?! Go to Lake Louise, please, please! That leaves more great snow for the rest of us that love SSV!
November 29, 2013
John from Canmore from Canada
There is a reason why Sunshine Village is legendary: 7 months a year of skiing in the alpine. If you like long carving runs, on piste, below tree line this is not the resort for your season pass. You could still come mid winter if Goats Eye Mountain is open. Otherwise, let those of us who like to play on natural terrain features in the alpine play here.
A few important things about Sunshine:
1) if the snow is good at Lake Louise, the snow is great at Sunshine. This is why I rarely go to Louise anymore. Yes, Louise is also a great resort, but Sunshine almost always has better snow. Sunshine is high up and has very few south-facing slopes that melt out on the warm days, and it collects the snow as it blows up and over from BC.
2) there are flat sections. It's on the great divide, but all the facilities and the base of every lift is in Alberta. If you ski into BC dozens of times per day, you're going to have to traverse (or walk) out dozens of times per day. The signs steer you towards the traverses. If you duck those ropes and are willing to walk just a few minutes from the bottom of the run to get back to Alberta, you can find some great powder runs even 5 days after the dump.
3) Delirium Dive is absolutely amazing, but you need avalanche gear and you should have some training about how to use your beacon, probe and shovel before you go in. And it's steep and double-black at the top. If you are an expert (black) skier or boarder but don't do double-blacks and don't have (or know how to use) avy gear, you might be disappointed at Sunshine, because there are a lot of blue and green runs in the rest of the resort. (You are allowed to go look at Delirium Dive without avy gear, just don't take your skis/board up the boot-pack if you don't have the gear.)
4) Bring your skins and touring gear, especially if the avalanche conditions are good. The resort is straddles the boundary of Banff National park and a BC provincial park, there are endless opportunities out there.
5) Think of the terrain off Standish Chair as a big natural terrain park, use the features and have fun. It doesn't have a lot of vertical but it's a fast chair and rarely has long lift lines, so just keep lapping it.
6) Get there early. On a good day, get there even earlier. The parking lot is too small and there's no room to make it bigger.
7) On a busy day, eat lunch early, or late, or eat in the hotel restaurant instead of the main day lodge. The day lodge is too small (a new day lodge is apparently coming in 2014/2015.)
November 15, 2013
matt from Canada
I live in Calgary and have been skiing Sunshine, Nakiska, Lake Louise, Fernie, Whitefish, and Kicking Horse for the last 10 years basically. Besides Kicking Horse, Sunshine is my favourite. While the food sucks, and is super expensive, the hill is great. I love how you can take long lifts (Goats Eyes, Continental and Angle) but also take many short lifts like Standish and Wawa. This gives you more options of how you want to utilize your time on the hill. Also, they usually get some of most snow in the area in comparison to Lake Louise, Nakiska, and Norquay. Also, there are lots of easily accessible great runs with many awesome natural features like cliffs and shoots. Lots of easy hiking to find powder when it hasn't snowed. Staff are always friendly too. And for the icing on top, it's only an hour and a half from Calgary on a bad day. But, if I could recommend anywhere in the world on a powder day, go to Kicking Horse: the best hill in North America. Used to be a heli skiing destination and recently has been turned into a ski hill. Some of the craziest in bound skiing in the world.
November 15, 2013
Rich from Canada
I saw a review at the top of the page and couldn't believe the guy was at the same Sunshine Village where I ride. Sunshine has terrific, predictable snow I've ridden there every month from November through May. I have a green runner, 3 blue runners and 1 black runner in the family. All of us have a great time.
We think Sunshine is beautiful, though we wouldn't disagree that there are other resorts that are just as beautiful or more so. We come for the snow!
Regarding flat spots, yup there are some. There are flat spots everywhere I've ever ridden and that includes, Winter Park, Whistler, Breckenridge, Lake Louise, Nakiska and Sunshine. Ya have to get to know the place, just like every other resort on the planet.
Food is good, not great, perfectly acceptable for a day on the hill. If you want high end cuisine, make the drive into Banff. There are several high end restaurants that will satisfy the foodies in your family. (I have not eaten in the Resort - and can't speak to the quality of the food there.)
We go to Sunshine because it is a slightly more than an hour from Calgary and we find the conditions consistently better than Lake Louise - which we also love.
If you're seeking picturesque with unpredictable conditions - then go to Lake Louise - awesome hill after a big dump. Be prepared to stand in line if you are riding the front side of the mountain. (We stay on the backside.)
If you want short lines and long open runs.....Sunshine wins for us.
Here's wishing all of you an amazing season filled with lots of powder and beautiful days.
November 15, 2013
Mike from Canada
Skip it and head to the Kootenays. Whitewater, Red Mountain and Fernie are a shit ton better with way more snow, better terrain and no crowds. If your thing is to spend the day dodging rich douchebags then head to Sunshine; there's definitely no lack of those around.
April 11, 2013
Zach from Canada
Definitely not my favourite hill. I'm not here to complain about management and such, but the hill isn't great either. Many flat spots and all of the good runs take forever to hike out of. Although the snow can be pretty good at times, there aren't any good runs that have enough vertical to enjoy it. You'll get to the top of a chair, ski along some flat, go down 20 m of actual vertical, ski flat to the chair and do it again. I would not recommend this mountain to anyone. Although the turn off is before Lake Louise, you still have to go up the access road to a usually packed parking lot where you still have to go up a 5-10 min gondola ride. By then you could already be Louise. Waste of money.
March 24, 2013
Charlie from Canada
This hill has the worst, and some of the most expensive food and beverage service on earth. The people who complain about the food here are spot on, and the best possible thing you can buy once in the village is probably a power bar. Bring your own lunch.
The visibility is often poor here, there are flat spots on the hill that mean you must spend at least a day learning where you can and cannot slow down, or you will spend a lot of time walking.
The management and ownership of the hill seem to spend what little investment they have in pointless infrastructure. They prettified the hotel a couple of years ago without actually recruiting (and treating well enough to retain) any competent staff. The patrol do not seem able to consistently open much of the mountain, yet ten years ago closures were rare.
Given all that, you might wonder why anyone goes here. The answer is simple. The very best snow, and the longest season in the entire world. You can ski here for seven months of the year, and find deep powder days in five or six of those months. The terrain is varied, with drops, cliffs, chutes, challenging trees and gorgeous powder bowls. People in the know fly here from France, Germany and Switzerland. You might wonder why people who can hop a bus to the Alps are flying here and putting up with crap service? Because it's one of the finest places to ski on earth.
Don't get me wrong. The current owners should have their lease revoked by the parks, and the hill awarded to someone who might actually treat it with the respect it deserves. Pack a lunch, because you would rather eat prison food in Somalia than choke down a burger in their pub (how the hell do you even cook ground beef without any browning at all?) for god's sake do whatever it takes, up to pitching an RV camp in the parking lot to avoid the on hill debacle of a hotel.
And ski your guts out. All the mismanagement and incompetence displayed on a daily basis by the management of this hill cannot destroy one of the finest playgrounds ever sculpted by nature.
March 21, 2013
Skithedivide from Canada
Awesome snow - best in Rockies - most important attribute. Lots of room - rarely crowded except in parking lot on weekends. Food is horrible - best bet is coffee shop. Wide open runs. Could choose to go elsewhere, but almost never do. Maintenance of equipment is above other ski hills.
March 07, 2013
Dean Dolph from Canada
Been skiing there for 35 years. Girlfriends, wives, friends, children have come and gone. Snow shoed it, walked it, tobogganed it, bob marleyed it, telemarked it , cross country skied it (seems they have eliminated this option), 2 planked it many times. Lots of memories.
Who teaches these kids to continually spray water on the burgers as they cook. Morons. Definitely the worst burger anywhere. Steamed not grilled so tastes like it's been boiled.
Hill seems to be on its last stand (crowds have dwindled) much like Norquay, partly due to parks canada and partly due to poor management; overpriced bad food and slowly eroding accommodations.
Went for first chair once (never again) this year. Something that could have been checked and repaired the night before caused me to wait 2 hours. Can you say labour problems?
I can live with crap food but not ownership. Looking for new hill and memories.
January 23, 2013
erinb from Canada
Sunshine is great in that it has natural snow and usually lots of it. You can ski here 7 months of the year! First ski day this season was Nov 12, and they already had nearly 1m base. I have never had a problem with ice here (vs Lake Louise). I am a skier and it pleases me that there are fewer boarders here than at other places (due to the flats I think).
There is a fair amount of terrain for the intermediate skier- Goat's Eye, Lookout and Standish Mtn all offer a bunch of runs. However, the runs are pretty short, often interrupted by flattish areas. I like to cruise and carve; best areas for me are coming down the South Divide/world cup downhill off of Lookout. This is the longest uninterrupted cruising run, then there is a little flat and little more steep and then more flat. Goat's Eye: nice cruising blue on top, then a traverse flat, then nice cruising, then more flat. Standish runs: shortish but still enjoyable. In total, there is a lot of variable terrain to ski, it is usually not super full (vs Lake Louise) and there is usually good snow.
-not all blue runs are groomed/ not very many black runs are groomed, meaning it is hard to move up the difficulty without facing both increasing steepness and more difficult snow.
-very expensive lift ticket, somewhat mitigated by Sunshine, Marmot card.
-if there is bad visibility (happens often here), Lookout and Goat's Eye become impossible and one is left only with Wawa/Standish (maybe) and Wolverine Express runs, which are all pretty short and therefore the lift ticket becomes extremely expensive!
-food on hill is overpriced and bad (bring a lunch).
January 02, 2013
Lucas from Canada
Sunshine Village is a good resort but there are some obvious problems with it as well.
-Great FreeRide Zones (Delirium Dive and Wild West)
-Goat's Eye Mountain has long runs
-Usually very poor visibility (not sure why they named it Sunshine Village)
-Lots of flat spots to avoid
-Mostly short runs
-Not much vertical
[note from editor : last sentence removed as it was not compete]
November 15, 2012
mountain lover from Canada
After spending a fair bit of time up there enjoying the mountain i found the hills way too small and easy with a lack of diversity throughout the mountain. Runs marking is made to boost the number of runs available to riders (in order to compete with other growing resort) giving the riders a fake feeling of not being able to ride everything so they come back to only get dissapointed once they venture off the beaten cat tracks. Try other resorts that actually have what they are claimaing their resort can offer like Kicking Horse or Revelstoke, even Castle or Fernie down south. First class resort should always thrive to improve and give more to their customer, not taking them for granted because competition is fierce and only a handful will eventually survive. Up to you which one you will keep alive with those green bills in your wallet.
June 06, 2012
old schooler from Canada
Sunshine had a record year for snowfall - benefits of being on the Great Divide. Looking forward to next year. Get your pass now and avoid the rush!!
May 01, 2012
Geopublic from Canada
One of the world's great ski resorts. Sunshine is unique, with it's vast alpine landscape. When the weather and snow are just right, which is frequent, Sunshine is other-worldly. And it is possible to manage your budget and take advantage of Sunshine. Most importantly, pack a lunch and buy the Sunshine Marmot Card for $85 which gives you discounts and day 1, 4 and 7 free. Sunshine is for everyone, all levels, all ages and it's much safer than some of the new areas in B.C. It's managed well, that's the main reason. Trails are marked properly and grooming is superb.
March 26, 2012
MountainGirl from Canada
Sunshine have, this year, decided to eliminate group lessons for anybody skiing above their "Blue Runner". So, if you want to get good at skiing... go somewhere else! It's a ridiculous policy.. the instructors hate it and both guests and instructors try to get around this new policy.
January 14, 2012
ski,ride or die from Canada
I lived in Banff for about 10 years and now living in Golden B.C. I used to ski and ride a minimum of 150 days/years up there. Unfortunatly, the resort changed a lot over that period, sometimes not for the best. The resort became known woldwide for it's high prices, attracting the elite (not talking about elite skier here!) from around the world so they can spend their money. The resort claim that ski resort operations in a national park are in a serious disadvantage compare to resort outside a national park. Using this reason to raise prices on virtually everything.. Food has become really bad and seriously overpriced for junk food. The Chimney's Corner and Eagle's Nest fine dining use pre-made and store bought products and pretend making everything from scratch. I had a pizza there once and honestly the dough was tasting like cardboard. I didn't pay for the pizza but stayed hungry since I couldn't find items that suited my food preferences. Bring food, it will save you money and at least you know that you get what you pay for.
As many people noticed, the ski industry is shifting to B.C. With amazing new resort like Revelstoke and Kicking Horse. The best Canada has to offer: dry, deep snow and steep terrain with friendly locals showing you the way instead of showing you their tricks like Whistler's wannabes. So before booking at Sunshine Village consider other options. Expand your ski experience to other resort that will probably treat you better as a customer therefore sending a message to Sunshine Village resort to start caring again for the people that kept this place alive for soooooo long..loyalty should not be a one way road...
August 22, 2011
kelly williams from Canada
Banff's Sunshine Village-Love this Mountain. I mean 3 Mountains. Skied there May and powder snow. Not corn snow, real powder. stayed on the slopes at Sunshine Mountain lodge and got first tracks before other skiers arrived. Love Sunshine!
May 28, 2011
spice from Canada
Visited this season and found the resort is way overpriced for what it has to offer. The terrain is mostly for beginners, with lots of flat areas you need to keep your speed for, or you're walking. The steep terrain is seldom opened even though they advertise the heck out of it and the food is of very low quality while the price for the food is out of this world. I don't recommend this resort!
May 14, 2011
Pete from Canada
This season has been amazing everywhere.
It's hard to knock anything about any of the ski hills this year.
Firstly, the patrol matter. I don't really care about it but it's understandable that they've blasted the hell out of the Dive this year. What would have happened if they hadn't done it enough and something happened. Screwed either way.
To SSV (Sunshine Village): Advertising 9 super lifts is pushing it. Wawa may have the potential to be a superlift but it's always running slow, it would be lots better if it ran quicker. TeePee isn't a super lift! Jack rabbit? Strawberry? hmm... Need a drag/small lift to service the terrain park for the park rats, Divide chair is a pain in the arse if all you wanna do is lap both parts of the park (Lake Louise had you hands down on the terrain park this year).
Also look after your seasons pass holders a bit better. I'd definitely go for the big 3 pass next year so I can go to Lake Louise more often (25c large drinks plus better, cheaper food & beer). SSV does have The Beef Burrito at Goats Eye which is the best value meal for season pass holders discount.
However, the back-country at Sunshine was amazing this year and I certainly had a great time this season. Like I said before, I would buy the BIG3 next time so I can still ride Sunshine as well as Louise and Norquay on hangover days.
Recommended but improvements need to be made to be a first class resort.
May 11, 2011
kelly williams from Canada
Sunshine has the best spring skiing in the Rockies.
Located only a few miles from Banff, Sunshine Village is beautiful.
May 10th and I just skied powder. 3 Incredible mountains, my favorite is Goat's Eye. Daycare is excellent and my kids had fun.
Delirium Dive is the most amazing run ever (need a peeps and shovel).
I will be back for Slush Cup on May long weekend.
May 05, 2011
ssv snowsafety from Canada
I think we've done a better job of updating the phone every morning for the last couple weeks. We now try to do it by 8:30 every morning and change it during the day if closures/openings change.
We've also started a Twitter account so you can get updates on your phone. Follow us at ssvsnowsafety.
Sorry for the late updates in the past and thanks for the feedback. We're on it now.
April 21, 2011
720D from Canada
Well it's quite obvious that SSV (Sunshine Village) has dispatched it's PR team to add some reviews on here. Let me address some of the issues as I have been a season pass holder for 4 years now.
1. Yes, they have been open for a bit now, but with the snow that SSV has gotten, how would they not be? It's actually quite sad it took them this long. And every time there is 10 cm of snow they obliterate the place by bombing. I have never heard so many charges being set off in the 7 years I have been at this place. It's quite obvious that things aren't the same without the fired staff. Last time I checked the phone was updated around 9:00-9:30, as the previous poster highlighted. Some of the people who rent beacons/shovels to ride this terrain are totally hooped by this.
Unfortunately, I will be buying another season pass, as the the slack-country/out-of-bounds areas around SSV are truly epic. At least then I don't have to deal with all the drama and I can assess the conditions myself.
[Editor's note: edited slightly for purpose of relevance]
April 11, 2011
SSV long time rider from Canada
While it is nothing short of amazing that the patrol managed to open the Dive and the WW without their fired co-workers, it is not a smooth operation at all this year.
Differences riding freeride terrain between this years and years prior:
Lack of confidence. They kept blowing up Delirium all year like we've never seen before, resulting in no snow on top 100m vertical of the ridge for most of the year. Delirium wasn't closed cause there was no snow, this was a huge snow year, but that's useless when you blow it all away after every storm, until we got to the good old stable spring snow pack.
They are short staffed and opening steep terrain is delayed by days after every single storm and timing is completely unpredictable.
The hotline is never updated early in the morning like it was years prior. Takes them hours each morning to get into steeps and scope them out.
They are blowing the entire ridge line after every storm instead of having the confidence that it's stable.
They are too short staffed to get to work on terrain on time, resulting in too much settling and consequently the avalanche running to ground when they do get to it (Milky Way and Cream).
The only time Delirium is functioning normally this year is when its been a 10 days since the last storm and there is no avalanche danger cause it was shredded to pieces 5 days ago when it opened unexpectedly 5 days after the storm.
SSV patrol did amazing work and they have my full support, but things are not as usual at SSV steeps.
If you ride groomed runs, everything is fine. If you want to ride steep and deep, good luck with the terrain being open on the day that you arrive - not likely.
April 10, 2011
Staff from Canada
I am just one of many staff members working at Sunshine, and also one of many who is truly enjoying the experience. From day one, I've loved every moment from the amazing snow to the new and repeat guests and to my co-workers.
The snow has been more than plentiful and with the Spring sun peaking around the corner these days, I have had some of my best days out here. The Dive AND Wild West are open (weather and avalanche conditions permitted) giving guests big smiles and positive reviews! If you're finding some terrain blues and not getting the thrill you are looking for, take the time to ask the staff on some insider hot spots.
It's a shame that the ski patrol/SSV dispute has turned a lot of folks away from such beautiful mountains. I don't know the hard facts and personally avoid drama like the plague. I do, however, understand sticking to your beliefs of not supporting companies who don't treat their staff well. But when was the last time you bought something at Walmart or a box store in a mall? I'm sure you can google a few disputes there as I am sure some of their employees have had better employers.
I have never once felt mistreated and disrespected. I love my job and plan on coming back next year, as I know others are as well!
You may have been following the media over the past few months and have your mind jet set on "boycotting" Sunshine, but just think of this: there are approx 600-800 staff that still provide the best service they can for guests and love doing it! Is that not something to support? Also, avoiding Sunshine and putting a bad name to it puts a huge dent on Banff tourism, which already has been struggling. SSV is an asset to Banff Tourism and community, which needs the support of the Bow Valley citizens and visitors alike.
a proud staff member of Sunshine Village.
March 26, 2011
Visitor from Australia
I think it's really funny that everyone was talking trash saying Sunshine wouldn't open the Dive or Wild West this season cause of the who ski patrol who ha.
Funny that the Dive has been open for two weeks and Wild West has been open for nearly a week all without problem and all without the fired 4. There are very competent people in snow safety, ski patrol and operations new and old that remain at Sunshine. Why not show a little support for your local resort.
Sunshine has amazing snow and great spring skiing. It should be about the sport not the drama.
March 15, 2011
Bob S from United Kingdom
I love skiing in Canada but I've found this year's experience at Sunshine deeply disappointing. If I'd known I would have to walk across town to catch the ski bus I would have gone elsewhere.
I've been tracking the snow safety/ski patrol debate with interest but the simple fact of the matter is that the best terrain at Sunshine is closed and doesn't look like opening this season. Lake Louise, whilst often having poorer, more weather affected snow, is a much better bet this season.
Come on guys, stop treating your customers poorly. I hate the thought of going through US immigration but at this rate I'll be visiting Utah or Colorado before I come back to Banff.
March 08, 2011
Dick Baker from Canada
Generally SSV (Sunshine Village) has good powder, however, with DD and WW closed, the terrain available is rather ho-hum.
March 03, 2011
Ralph from Canada
The "junior patroller" was a mid-level employee with 3-4 years patrol experience. He was the patroller who first stopped Taylor Scurfield from taking his friends into an area that was closed due to shallow snow and natural hazards. He was fired by Ralph Scurfield personally even after providing a letter of apology for doing his job and being left to sweat for a few days. His ROE indicated he was "laid off" however he was replaced almost immediately by an inexperienced foreign worker employed on a temporary visa at a lower rate of pay who was working on trail crew. That action alone is illegal.
Sunshine Village is not telling the real story here.
March 03, 2011
charles parr from Canada
Sunshine has been my hill since I was a little kid, but now at the age of 45, I will not be renewing our seasons passes. While the snow is excellent, and the terrain is entertaining, the hill experience has grown steadily worse for several years.
The staff, frankly, are treated like crap, and it shows in their demeanour and their attitudes. The owners treat the hill as a private fiefdom, and recently when a member of the owners family was caught skiing in out-of-bounds severe avalanche terrain, the ski patrollers who kicked him and his friends off the hill were fired.
I strongly suggest to anyone considering a trip to sunshine that you boycott, and send the hill an email telling them of your decision.
I will most likely be buying a pass at Kickinghorse resort instead. It's another 90 minutes down the road, but I simply will not support a hill that allows the owners family to endanger lives and flout rules that would have any of the rest of us banned from the slopes.