At night, the slopes at British Columbia's [R438R, Sun Peaks Resort] become a different world of sights, sounds, and senses. Every Thursday night of the season, the resort offers a way for visitors to experience that nighttime world. Skiers and snowboarders can feast on a fondue dinner and then ski down the mountain by the light of a headlamp.
The Sunburst Lodge, located midway up Tod Mountain, transforms from a ski cafeteria into an evening dining room with candlelight and tablecloths. Skiers and snowboarders hop on the Sunburst Chair at 5 p.m to reach the lodge in time for the sunset to turn the sky orange and possibly douse the slopes in alpenglow.
Arrival at the Sunburst Lodge can coincide with sunset. Photo by Becky Lomax.
Fondue, a Swiss communal tradition, is a meal best shared lingering over conversation. At our table, three countries were represented — Canada, the U.S., and Australia — and the conversation lilted between comparing northern and southern hemisphere traditions to learning how to pronounce words the way they are said in “Straya” or Down Under.
We skewered slices of vegetables to dip into the roasted garlic cheese fondue. Some of us were less adept at the art of dipping our long forks of veggies into the cheese; peppers sunk into the bottom of the pot until we discovered that several peppers skewered together work better for dipping. More veggies and cheese fondue appeared as the pot ran dry.
While there really weren’t any rules about what food should get dipped in which fondue, traditionally the meats — chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp — are soaked in a wine broth fondue to absorb flavors. Between the four of us sharing the pots, we couldn’t finish all that was served.
Bowls of shrimp, chicken, beef, and pork are shared between fondue eaters. Photo by Becky Lomax.
As we delved into more conversation over wine, the dinner fondues disappeared from the tables to be replaced by the dessert fondue. Melons, pineapple, marshmallows, and shortbread cookies piled on a platter to be dipped into hot bowls of dark, rich chocolate.
The dessert features marshmallows dipped in chocolate fondue. Photo by Becky Lomax.
Around 7 p.m, we donned headlamps to finish the evening with a starlight ski down. On clear full moon nights, the headlamps might not even be necessary. The guides broke us into groups of about a dozen skiers and riders. Adopting a leisurely pace to relish the experience, the guides led us down Cahilty and 5 Mile, groomed fresh for us. We stopped frequently to enjoy the sights, the silence, and the night sky.
The fondue dinner and ski down costs $65 per person. It is only for adults and teens at least 14 years old.
Reservations are required. You can book by calling 250-578-5542. Find more information here.