Lifts & Terrain

Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Sunshine Mountain Skiing and Snowboard Terrain

Ski Sunshine Resort for the vast and varied terrain that is suitable for all ability levels from the first timer to the extreme skier who wants to access terrifying backcountry type terrain. Sunshine Mountain attracts more skiers than snowboarders, possibly due to various runs that are interrupted by flattish areas.

The Sunshine Resort terrain is spread out horizontally across three mountains. Goats Eye is predominantly black and double black terrain, and has steeps, fast groomed runs, bumps and some gladed runs (our favourite being “The Big Woody” – hee hee). Lookout has a variety of terrain for all levels which includes a lot of treeless terrain. Mt Standish is more protected and is predominantly easy terrain, although there are also some black runs close to the fall-line of the Standish Express quad chair.

The Sunshine resort boasts 1,070m of vertical and whilst there’s reasonably adequate fall-line, it’s not accurate in a real sense, as the drop in altitude below the gondola mid-station is just a home trail down to the carpark.

The Sunshine Ski Resort has 3,358 acres (1,358 hectares) of terrain, making it one of the largest ski resorts in Western Canada. However unlike some of the other big ski resorts, Sunshine Mountain hasn’t expanded many years (being in a national park makes things a little more challenging).

Sunshine Snow

Sunshine boasts a fabulous annual average snowfall of up to 10 meters (so it’s not an average!), and generally it is fabulous dry snow. Even if it hasn’t snowed recently, the snow generally stays in great condition because Sunshine has a tendency to be very cold and a lot of the terrain has a favourable aspect. Sunshine Village has the highest top elevation of the western Canadian ski resorts, which is also a major contributor to the snow quality. The snow conditions are such that Sunshine Village enjoys a very long season, so you can enjoy schussing from early November all the way through to mid May.

Of course, no ski resort always has perfect powder, and high traffic areas at Sunshine can become icy, and the top of Goat’s Eye and Lookout Mountain can suffer from wind scoured slopes.

The name “Sunshine” isn’t particularly fitting, as the ski resort has many more days of cloud cover and flat light than sunny days. Unfortunately there aren’t too many protected areas for these bad weather/low visibility days. The Wolverine chair has tree runs for protection, as does the bottom half of Goat’s Eye Mountain. However the top half is quite exposed, and in bad conditions the mountain requires some “skiing by braille”.


The resort has 12 lifts incorporating 6 high-speed quad chairs, 2 fixed grip quads, one double chair, and 2 magic carpets. There is also a gondola, but this is primarily for access from the car park up to the ski area. The lift infrastructure is quite well developed, but it often doesn’t cope with some of the weekend hordes that head to Sunshine Village.

Ski Sunshine - Beginners

Sunshine has some very good terrain for novices served by magic carpets that are conveniently located near the village. The next progression is to head up the Strawberry chair lift. Other learners predominantly invade this area, so beginners can learn in relative peace away from hooning experts.

For more confident beginners, there’s a long run off the Continental Divide Express Chair, but this is not advisable for novices on a low-visibility day. There are also various green runs off other chairs.

Timid beginners would be advised to avoid the home trail at the end of the day. Speedsters and snow-plowing beginners are not a good mix, and it can be complete mayhem as lots of riders descend to the parking lot. Download the gondola instead.

Sunshine Skiing - Intermediates

In theory, a large proportion of the terrain at Sunshine Village is dedicated to blue runners, but in reality it doesn’t feel like there are that many blue runs, particularly those that run the fall line and are not interrupted by green runs or traverses. The upside is that there are blue runs off all the chairs.

For fine days there are some great cruising slopes from the top of the Continental Divide chair (where you’ll score awesome views), and also some ungroomed areas for intermediates to get bumps experience.

Freestyle Terrain

A word of advice for shredders – it’s pretty cold at Sunshine so if you’re an old school terrain park junkie you might want to pull your pants up!

The terrain park is large and varied, and plenty of fun for both beginner and advanced park-riders.

The parks develop throughout the season and obviously evolve slightly from year to year. They have some infrastructure for developing shredders such as small rails, boxes, small kickers and jumps. For more advanced shredders, there are much larger jumps, and longer and more advanced rails. Like many other Canadian ski resorts, there is no pipe.

Advanced Skiing Sunshine Mountain

Sunshine Mountain has some good winch grooming that enables steep runs to be groomed. Goats Eye Mountain usually has at least a couple of steep runs that are fantastic for getting some speed that will make your eyes water, even with goggles on!

There are also plenty of ungroomed black runs off various chairs, but undoubtedly Goat’s Eye Mountain will become your area of choice or runs off the Teepee such as The Shoulder. 

Sunshine Village is very popular with powder hunters due to the terrain and snow quality, but on a powder day you’ll need to be pretty quick because the freshies disappear rapidly.

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

There are in-bounds expert and extreme areas where appropriate avalanche equipment is required. The steep Delirium Dive is the famous expert/extreme area of Sunshine. The area is gated and permission is only granted if transceivers are carried. You can pop into the patrollers hut to ask about snow conditions or routes, although when we did this we were greeted by some major attitude from the patrollers. As to be expected, the entry into the Dive is the steepest and most challenging part of the run but there’s an easy way to get in via a staircase then a rope to walk over some rocks. The Dive has plenty of rock features, drop-offs and chutes, but unless it’s a low vis day the route finding is reasonably easy (unless you’ve got zero experience at route finding). As is common with a lot of expert areas at ski resorts, the egress can take a while and it takes time to get around to do another loop. Lines in Delirium Dive are usually very fun and often powder gets blown in there, but once you’ve done the run a few times you’re keen to go off looking for another expert area….except that there aren’t any.

Other extreme zones are Wild West and Silver City, but both areas are seldom open due to high avalanche risk or inadequate snow to cover all the rocks. These are not your average double black diamond runs, as the potential hazards are far from predictable, and there are lines and chutes that have mandatory drop-offs. These areas have some lines that could be rated as triple black runs.

Sunshine Village also provides access to some fabulous sidecountry and backcountry. Wawa Ridge and Twin Cairns are options for experienced backcountry riders.