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Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Infrastructure Improvements

Ongoing | Sun Peaks Resort, BC

Since McElhanney began work with Sun Peaks Resort in the mid-2000s, our projects have ranged from passenger conveyors (commonly known by their trademark name of “Magic Carpets”), to bike park master plans, to amusement ride engineering services. McElhanney has watched Sun Peaks Resort stake its claim as one of the top year-round destination resorts in Western Canada and has been proud to contribute to that success. 

The original project that brought Sun Peaks Resort and McElhanney together aimed to expand and improve summer operations; the Sun Peaks Go Kart experience planned for a 512 metre long track with a vertical descent of 52 metres. Visitors would ride gravity-fueled MCC Carts to the bottom of the track at speeds up to 35km per hour, and then get pulled back to the top of the track by a T-Bar lift. McElhanney provided engineering services, as well as authority submissions in a joint passenger ropeway and amusement ride submission. 

Over the following years, several new passenger conveyors needed to be installed and Sun Peaks Resort approached McElhanney for authority approval submissions.  

In 2017, McElhanney headed to Sun Peaks again to develop a cross-country mountain bike trail master plan. The resort had earned a reputation as a hard place to ride; there was little for families or those interested in more moderate trails. The resort was also receiving criticism for calling old access roads cross-country trails.  

The new cross-country mountain bike trail master plan was funded by the local bike club, SPRTA, Sun Peaks Resort, and the Sun Peaks Resort Municipality, all of whom were eager to change the reputation of their bike park. McElhanney’s plan linked the resort’s existing lift accessed alpine bike trails with a bigger cross-country network. The plan featured numerous linkages in and out of the existing cross-country trails and the neighbouring Mount Morrisey. 

In 2020, McElhanney helped Sun Peaks Resort design a trail network for the new lift accessed bike park full of flow trails in the Sundance zone. McElhanney provided the conceptual design for this network, as well as ground truthing services of the area to provide proof of concept.  

Additionally In 2020, McElhanney helped SPRTA write a grant to a design and construct a series of trails designed for pedaling in the Morrisey zone. McElhanney provided the conceptual design and detailed design for Cedar Twist climb trail and Calypso Groove flow trail.  “Our trails are meant to have a prescribed experience and purpose,” says Trail Designer, Matt Hadley, “and we gave these Morrisey trails a bit more of a raw feel compared to the Sundance Bike Park.” 

Most recently, Sun Peaks Resort reached out to McElhanney with an engineering dilemma; they had a manufactured system that allowed them to bolt bike carriers onto the existing chair carrier, but there were nagging loading issues. McElhanney adjusted the bike carrier’s bale so that it would clear bike handlebars, resulting in smoother loading and higher capacity due to fewer misloads. During that project, McElhanney provided design and analysis to validate the design’s durability under fatigue.  

McElhanney provided:

  • Engineering design and analysis 
  • Joint ropeway and amusement authority submissions 
  • Mountain bike trail master planning 
  • Mountain bike trail conceptual design 
  • Mountain bike trail detailed design and layout 
Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Sundance Trail