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It’s a testament to just how insane the snow has been this winter that Sunshine Village was able to open its Wild West terrain in early February.
Normally, skiers and snowboarders looking to rip down the four chutes make up the main attraction in the Wild West area need to wait until a lot longer in the season.
This year, though, heavy snowfall that started in December and has rarely seemed to stop allowed Sunshine to open its most extreme terrain in the first week of February.
“The Wild West is even more extreme than Delirium Dive, and it opened a month earlier than it did last year because of all the snow we’ve got,” said Kendra Scurfield, manager of brand and communications at Sunshine. “It’s really been since December. We got that one 118 cm storm before Christmas, and then in January, which is traditionally a lighter-snow month, we roared … into 2020 with snow pretty much every day, and it’s continued to be great through February.”
All that powder is good news for any skier or snowboarder, whether they’re taking the first tentative strides on their alpine sports journey or are the type of person who wants to spend their day taking on the most challenging terrain that the Rockies have to offer.
And there’s plenty of options for both types of skier at Sunshine, to be sure. We’re here to talk about the extreme stuff, though.
While most guests to the Banff resort will spent their time on the easily accessible runs that are open all season long, there’s a whole other side to Sunshine that provides thrills and challenges for even the most courageous skiers and snowboarders.
Delirium Dive has an almost-legendary reputation in the alpine community. It’s steep lines and deep powder stashes make it a hair-raising but rewarding experience for absolutely anybody. It’s like what you’ll find in the backcountry, without any of the hassle of … you know … actually having to make it to the backcountry.
And then there’s the Wild West. It’s the most technical terrain that Sunshine has to offer, and the four chutes — all named after mavericks of the Canadian Rockies — will put the skills of even the most seasoned alpine athlete to the test.
It should be noted that both the Dive and Wild West require that guests have a buddy with them, as well as proper avalanche gear (a beacon, a probe, a shovel and a pack).
“We do recommend that people are comfortable with the terrain in Delirium Dive before going into Wild West,” Scurfield said. “It’s pretty amazing. What I love about Sunshine is it really is a resort that grows up with you. From perfect beginner runs off Strawberry where you get to take in the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and the uninterrupted views of the mountains to the absolutely extreme, adrenaline-pumping terrain at Wild West and Delirium Dive.”
Making it all the better is, again, the heavy snowfall that was needed before either of the more extreme terrain areas could be open. And it’s been legitimately nuts. In the past week alone, Sunshine Village saw 45 cm of fresh snow, bringing the season total to an awesome 588 cm.
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