LIFTS & TERRAIN
As mentioned in the SV Executive Summary, it is important to provide the necessary terrain and lift system to balance to the 8,500 in a way that creates an excellent visitor experience.
SV lift plan:
New lifts: SV proposes the following new lifts
- Hayes Hill
- Bye Bye Bowl
- Meadow Park
Wildside (Goat’s Eye III)
- Goat’s Eye II
- Goat’s Eye Tram (or gondola)
PC lift plan:
New Lifts: Parks Canada’s language and maps are vague and unclear in their draft site guidelines.
What is clear is that Parks Canada’s draft plan removes land from the existing leasehold boundary that previously allowed for Bye Bye Bowl lift and Meadow Park lift. Parks Canada’s draft ignores mention of other important lifts located within the existing leasehold boundary such as the Wildside lift (Goat’s Eye III) and Lookout Lift. Their plan only vaguely references two new lifts in text - Goat’s Eye II and Hayes Hill, but neither are shown on any drawings, unlike the site guidelines for Lake Louise and Marmot Basin. A parallel lift to the existing gondola from the base area to Goat’s Eye is mentioned in their text but not shown on any maps. We strongly believe this lift system is in the wrong location from an environmental and visitor experience point-of-view.
In their Draft Site Guidelines, Parks Canada is proposing to cancel out lifts that have been planned for many years. Each of our proposed ski lifts are within the existing leasehold boundary and do not require a boundary expansion (except for one tower required for the Goat’s Eye secondary access lift). Parks maps in their draft site guidelines do not show the new glading and new trails, as Sunshine Village’s maps show.
We disagree with Parks Canada’s vision for new lifts, glades and trails for Sunshine as other mountain park ski areas site guidelines allowed to not only build lifts within their existing boundary but have reshaped their boundary to allow new lifts and significant new trails/ski terrain outside of their old boundary.
Secondary Lift Access from the Base Area
Sunshine Village has long advocated to construct a secondary access lift to get people out of the base to access the mountain. Currently, we are the only major ski area on the continent that is dependent on one lift to access the resort. It is critically important to provide a secondary lift out of the base area. Park’s Canada has recognized the importance of this but how they propose to do it is incorrect.
We propose a secondary aerial lift that goes from the base area to just above the tree line on Goat’s Eye, tying into the Sunshine Coast ski run. It could be either a tram or a gondola. This is a very elegant solution because:
- It requires only one intermediate lift tower because of the steep terrain profile
- It requires less than 200 trees to be removed for just the one tower site.
- The alignment flies over steep terrain, rocks and cliffs, which are not prime wildlife usage areas.
Alternatively, Parks Canada proposes to accomplish this by running a secondary access lift parallel to the gondola. This is less preferred from an environmental point-of-view because:
- Parks Canada’s plan requires excavation and installation of 32 towers (because of a flatter terrain profile), verses one intermediate tower in our plan.
- Parks Canada’s plan requires approximately 5,750 trees to be removed verses less than 200 trees in our plan.
- Park’s Canada’s plan has the lift traveling along the relatively flat Sunshine Creek area, which is a wildlife travel route verses our plan which has the lift going up steep terrain and over cliffs not suitable for wildlife use.
- Accessing 32 towers for summer maintenance causes much more noise and wildlife disturbance than with our one tower plan.
Admittedly, the one intermediate tower that is required for the Sunshine Village proposal is outside of the existing ski area boundary. It is not located in designated wilderness zone. A licence of occupation could easily be provided to allow for this one tower. Sunshine is willing to give back valuable wildlife corridor land out of its existing leasehold to help offset this tower installation.
Additionally, we feel the SV proposed alignment would enhance the skiers experience by providing direct access to ski terrain whereas the PC proposal just provides access to the bottom of other existing lifts.