Health and Wellness

Top Resort in Canada

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Top Resort in Canada

By John Bowden, Cover Photo: Mountain Trek

Resort Paradise on Kootenay Lake

Already known as North America’s Best Ski Town and Canada’s Best Small Arts Town, the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region can add Top Resort in Canada to its bookshelf.

Happily, we’re still the same small-town charming destination, even if the word is getting out about our little slice of paradise.

Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa just took home top prize in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards for the Top Resort in Canada. Nestled just above Ainsworth Hot Springs and overlooking fjord-like Kootenay Lake, the resort has been steadily attracting worldwide acclaim. Travel & Leisure named Mountain Trek the #1 Destination Spa in the World last year, and it consistently ranks in the Top 3 of Canadian Resorts.

Mountain Trek takes the pride in stride. “This is big for the whole community. We’re just a little place in the middle of the mountains, and to be awarded this designation among esteemed company of resorts in places like Banff, Lake Louise and Whistler is an honour” says GM Kirkland Shave.

Started in 2000, the resort helped to pioneer a growing movement of weight loss retreats in North America. But it’s more than just a diet. Mountain Trek focuses on a holistic approach that includes de-stressing, digital detox, fitness, hormonal balancing, re-alignment, yoga, stress lectures, and sleep hygiene.

A naturopathic doctor, fitness trainers, massage therapists and guides help to deliver the experience, complemented by a team of cooks, housekeepers and maintenance crew that all share the same values.

“We’re proud of the authentic care of our staff and comprehensiveness of our program,” says Shave. “These are true Kootenay people that work at Mountain Trek. They live this alternative lifestyle, growing their own gardens, and being active during their days off. Guests see they’re living a lifestyle with balance and groundedness.”

Guests stay for a minimum of one week, immersing themselves in a program that draws from the region’s pristine wilderness and nature. The respite from urban living attracts guests from all corners of the world.

The health and wellness experience at Mountain Trek is complemented by the natural healing waters of nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort. Open year-round, the resort is a great base for discovering other nearby attractions.

Cody Caves is a spelunker’s delight, offering guests the opportunity to discover a magical subterranean experience. A short drive to the north, near Kaslo, is little known Fletcher Falls, a towering waterfall and short walking trail that also leads to breathtaking views of Kootenay Lake. Add in a variety of nearby hiking options, some cozy accommodations, and it’s hard not to feel rejuvenated and re-connected with nature.

Whether you’re looking for an immersive wellness retreat or a short respite, a trip to Kootenay Lake is about as good as it gets. Come find awesome!  #findingawesome 

Nelson Makes the Move Away From Plastic

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Nelson Makes the Move Away From Plastic

“If anyone can do this, Nelson can.”

That is the spirit behind the plastic bag by-law that Claire Hitchman proposes. Karen MacDonald, Public Works supervisor for the city of Nelson emphasized that message of optimism recently during a meeting of by-law supporters.

Joining a Worldwide Movement

Some of the reasons Karen MacDonald supports the ban rise from the amount of money the city spends on cleanup from the bags.

But ultimately, this by-law isn’t just about saving money. Four major Hawaiian islands have a ban in place, over 100 counties and municipalities in California have instituted a ban and the state will vote in November to be the first state to ban bags. From Bangladesh to South Africa, countries are banning plastic bags. China has saved 40 billion dollars a year since 2008, and because of comprehensive bans in much of Australia, their use of plastic bags has effectively halved since instituting bans in 2007.

Claire Hitchman heads a grassroots campaign that wants to encourage Nelson to join the ranks.  And, with  30 small business letters signed and over 1000 signatures on her petition, her proposal for a plastic bag free Nelson is coming closer to reality.

Show Your Love for Nelson

At a recent conversation with supporters, one refrain I heard over and over was that we all love Nelson, and this ban is just one more way we can show that love. Encouraging renewable options such as wicker baskets, canvas bags, or similar is a way to demonstrate that Nelson is a place to cherish and celebrate.

It’s a small step, but an important one. Again, listening to Karen MacDonald, the sheer number of bags that clog our sewage system each year is a hindrance to a well-run municipality.

It’s true that they make up around 1% of landfill, but because of their weight and shape, they’re easily carried by wind and water. We see them caught in trees, along gutters, in river eddies and along the roadside. By taking care to eliminate this one problem we’re creating a message around how we feel about where we live.

Beautify Nelson — Plastic Bags are Just the Start

Joining the growing worldwide movement to bring reusable bags and baskets to our grocery shops is a first and very public step toward beautifying Nelson and the entire region. Nelson is beautiful, true. But perhaps because of our stunning natural surroundings, we can sometimes get complacent about things like trash on the side of the road or even the impact one more plastic bag will have on our local environment.

Thanks to the hard work of residents like Claire Hitchman, though, Nelson looks just a little more beautiful, a bit more well loved. Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism supports the idea of a plastic bag ban and we hope you’ll join us.

Mountain Trek, Vitality Found in the Nelson Kootenay Lake Area

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Mountain Trek, Vitality Found in the Nelson Kootenay Lake Area

Defining Mountain Trek

I’m not the first person to say that Mountain Trek, located just above Ainsworth Hot Springs in British Columbia, is world-class and life changing. But I am probably the first person to acknowledge that the fitness training and nutritional information provided at Mountain Trek were the foundation to my recent successful adventure: standup paddleboarding 100 kms of Kootenay Lake over seven days - Meadow Creek to Nelson, BC. Preparing for such a trip requires a lot of logistics as well as a high level of fitness and wellbeing. It is that level of fitness, well-being and nutrition knowledge that Mountain Trek specializes in. With small groups at the retreat facility, they catered to everyone's personal needs, no matter how grand or small.

An experience like Mountain Trek is almost undefinable because everyone who goes there has a different reason for their need to rebalance their health and wellness. Some go to lose weight, others to retreat or spa, or like myself to improve fitness and nutrition. I’ll speak honestly and candidly about why I went and what I got in return, in hopes you too see the value in rethinking what you eat and what you do to keep your vitality.

View from roomFood for dinner

Upon arrival I was greeted by the most friendly and attentive of staff, making me feel right at home. As I settled into my room overlooking the gorgeous grounds and view of Kootenay Lake, I quickly texted a few friends telling them I that I would be turning off the outside world for a while. Mountain Trek was calling and I wanted to give it all my attention.

It didn’t take long for the professional staff to gather all of us together for a delicious dinner. It was more than just a dinner; it was a display of conscious nutrition and well-proportioned calories, served in their window-filled dining hall, looking out at, of course, the magical Purcell mountains and glacier-fed Kootenay Lake. We then relaxed in the living room, a comfortable and welcoming space, for a highly refined lecture on the foundational elements of the Mountain Trek program: metabolism, nutrition, fitness, detoxification, sleep hygiene, stress management and goal setting. Each day they discussed one topic in detail, engraining in us a holistic approach to finding vitality.

What Did I Learn?

I thought I was pretty healthy before going to Mountain Trek but what I learned took me into a whole new realm of personal awareness. My three goals were to learn to: engage my core (I sit at an office desk most days, not unlike many others); gain muscle strength (specifically focusing on my paddling muscles – which actually is my entire body); and improve my diet (eliminate my bloated belly and give me more energy throughout the entire day). I can say without a doubt that I was successful in achieving my goals. Even better, all the guests who were with me at Mountain Trek achieved their goals as well! After only one week I now stand and sit much taller and stronger. I gained four pounds of muscle, lost 3 pounds of body fat, and I addressed some dietary needs to improve my metabolism and energy levels.

How Did I Achieve My Goals?

I never knew that hiking could be so rewarding for my entire body. Everyday the well-trained staff didn’t just take us for a hike, they took us to stunning locations throughout the Nelson Kootenay Lake area and they made sure we worked the entire body, head to toe – full-on fitness, monitoring us through the heart monitors that were included in the retreat package. I'll tell you one of their secrets to getting in shape: it is good old hiking with poles, which helps to engage your core. Cardio classes, yoga and Tai Chi also added to our fitness routine. Through repetition and superior instructors I finally learned how to effectively engage my core – yeah! How do you engage your core? How does your posture and fitness affect your life?

The fitness regime was intense but I loved it! Morning to night they made sure we pushed our bodies to our personal limits, and then we detoxed and glorified in the spa with an infra-red sauna, steam room, hot and cold pools, and massages of all techniques. Pretty much whatever treatment you needed, they would get it for you. What a treat, but also, what a realization how important the spa experience is to rebalancing the body and mind. I live in Nelson and will be in contact with one of the massage therapists very soon. She discovered new and wondrous pressure points to help relieve my tension and old sport injuries.

Taking Mountain Trek Home

I’m living what I learned. I start and end my days differently than before, and what happens in between has been adjusted to improve so many aspects of my health. I am 50. With my new fitness regime and nutritional intake and daily routines I feel so much better. I can honestly say I am more balanced. While paddling Kootenay Lake for seven days, I felt great, I didn't tire or get dehydrated, and I am committed to keeping the regime going, keeping me happy, healthy and full of vitality.

Mountain Trek is a well-oiled machine from the moment you step onto their stunning grounds to the moment you depart for home. I can’t thank them enough for bringing to my attention their many years of study on topics that get overlooked in our busy lives. I am already planning for my next retreat with them. Want to join me?

For locals, the breathtaking views are one of the many reasons we choose to live in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area. We sometimes come close to taking them for granted. But one thing I couldn't help noticing at Mountain Trek were the visitors' reactions to our views: They were in awe daily, overwhelmed by the beauty, vast greenery and clean air and water. Some stayed two weeks, some will be back again soon, and others are looking at how they can move here. And most importantly we all left with a bit more knowledge on how to manage our health and improve our vitality.

Selfie, Dianna Ducs looking happy

Dianna Ducs, Executive Director, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism

MSBike 2015 — Ride Because You Can

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MSBike 2015 — Ride Because You Can

The Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge

Why should you cycle alongside Kootenay Lake this August 22nd? Why should you then continue the next day and cycle along forested highways to Salmo? Because you can. If you can do it, if training to ride for MS Bike is something you are able to do, consider doing it. It's a ride that takes you through some of the most gorgeous country in the Kootenays. It's not the easiest ride on the MS Bike roster, but it may be one of the most fulfilling.

MS Bike Video

Day One — Toward Salmo

The ride takes you climbing up inclines that will test your grit, down hills and along back country roads through pine forests and this year, even across a small ferry. Because of road work this summer, the MS Bike committee is changing the route a bit, making it actually an easier ride than usual, but still challenging. The ride will start and finish in Nelson this year. Day one, you'll leave Nelson and head out toward Salmo on the two-lane highway that winds past the turn off to Whitewater Ski resort and past lovely countryside. Two rest stops on this day, and lunch in KP Park in Salmo will give you the chance to take in your surroundings and contemplate how very lucky we are to have access to this kind of gorgeousness all summer long.

You'll finish the 88 kilometre ride back in Nelson, in time for the traditional Save On celebratory dinner in Lakeside Park's Rotary picnic area.

Day Two — Toward Proctor

Day two will take you through Nelson out along the Big Orange Bridge across Kootenay Lake and out toward Procter. You'll actually ride the Procter ferry, a short 5 minute ride across the lake, and then through lovely countryside past pasture with grazing cows and horses to the Village Bakery in Proctor. The Village Bakery is home to the best cinnamon bun you will ever try. Some might say that this is reason enough to join in on the ride...which may be true.

In any case, the cinnamon bun will help your spirits as you head back to Nelson and the finish line! This route is quite different from previous years, and will the route will return to the traditional one next year. For a more detailed description of this year's route, take a look at this link.

A Challenge This Summer

Training for a ride like this, one that can benefit so many people, is the challenge we'd like to present you with for this summer. Getting in shape is a great goal. Getting in shape and tackling a ride like this while helping to raise money to end Multiple Sclerosis turns what is a wonderful personal accomplishment into something so much more: the knowledge that you’re changing lives, which makes every mile that much more meaningful. 

The Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge provides all you need for a fabulous weekend: rest stops, food, entertainment and support. And when you commit to doing this bike ride, you are also committing to do your part to help end Multiple Sclerosis. All the money raised by the event goes to the West Kootenay Chapter of the MS Society to fund local programs and services for people affected by MS and to support critical research for improved treatments and to find a cure. 

Multiple Sclerosis: It Affects Us All

Multiple Sclerosis usually starts slowly. It's often hard to diagnose, and when you finally do get that diagnosis, it's a mixed feeling: there is no cure, but at least you know that there's a reason for all those symptoms you're experiencing.

Because MS doesn't look the same for everyone, it's also hard to know how to tell people about it. Blurry vision, difficulty with balance, fatigue, pain and emotional changes are all part of the picture. Not everyone with MS will experience all symptoms. The disease also can start slowly and progress slowly, or escalate very quickly, or go through periods of remission. 

But everyone with MS knows one thing: at the present time, there is no cure.

And Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. Nelson Kootenay Lake area has a high rate for Canada. 

Luckily, the West Kootenay Chapter of the MS Society has a strong mandate to do as much as possible for its members. With Executive Director Leona Dimock leading the way, the chapter has several very successful fundraising events each year. The Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge is one that really challenges you as you do your part to raise money.

Join in, Create a Team & Start Fundraising!

This year, the fourth annual West Kootenay Glacier Challenge has hit its stride: with more riders signing up each year, and more money raised each year, the goal in 2015 is to go even further. Sign up today as an individual or join a team. You can even create a team if you'd like — it's a great way to stay motivated and keep that momentum flowing as you train and raise money. Once you sign up, you'll get reminders about training opportunities, fundraising incentives, and motivational emails. 

Next Year, Route Will Return to Traditional West Kootenay Glacier Tour

This year, because of highway construction, the route has been changed to take cyclists along Kootenay Lake to Proctor and then back to Nelson and out to Salmo, returning again to Nelson. Next year, however, the route will return to the 222 kilometre route around the glacier from New Denver to Nelson to Kaslo and back again to New Denver. Both rides are awesome and take you along some of the most spectacular scenery in the world (no exaggeration). Learn more and sign up today!

We can't wait to see you out there this year riding on August 22 and 23! 

Cover photo taken by Kathryn Gardner

Mary-Jo Fetterly personally welcomes Kootenay Spirit Festival!

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Mary-Jo Fetterly personally welcomes Kootenay Spirit Festival!

Kootenay Spirit Festival - Nelson September 12-14th 2014

Mary-Jo Fetterly basketballI had been invited to teach at the Kootenay Spirit Festival in Nelson many many months ago when they were just formulating the concept of the idea.  I felt immediately an affirmative yes and was heartened by the idea that there would be a coming together and celebration of all of the various talents and expressions of the rich spiritual and cultural community of my hometown Nelson, BC.  On so many levels this means so much to me, as well I think, to the community.

Mary-Jo Fetterly and Nelson

For me personally I always feel a welling up inside when I think of Nelson, my time there, the land that I worked, the people, my friends, the trees, the water, the valleys and peaks and the characteristic jewel of a little city that Nelson is.  Nelson is one of those kind of places that you never forget. In fact that happened to me, a fortuitous time on my 18th birthday that I traveled there to attend an outdoor Tai Chi camp - the only place in Canada at the time that offered an outdoor Tai Chi camp, hosted by then Rex Eastman. This was a turning point, as from that point forward I knew I would have to come back to this pristine valley and make it my home.  The physical, cultural and spiritual expressiveness even back then, was a rare find - especially in a small interior town. Mary-Jo Fetterly with dogI did return with my two small young children and live a bountiful and idyllic life on my small acreage in Proctor. The things that made Nelson what it is for me and my daughters is the community, the people and all the various expressions how they appreciate living in accordance with nature and with their neighbours. As a yoga teacher I was incredibly supported opening the first yoga studio in Nelson and Nelson has had many firsts in this regard.

The Kootenay Spirit Festival

The upcoming event "The Kootenay Spirit Festival" is one such example. These types of events are vital and valuable to the community as well as to all of the people who benefit from coming. I am so excited and elated to be coming out there to teach at this event. Not only is it a bit of a homecoming for me where I get to come back to Nelson, but it is also a milestone for Nelson as another first - in a long line of beautiful examples of what a community can be. Mary-Jo Fetterly with horseSince my injury 10 years ago I have been teaching in and around Vancouver initially as my old "teacher" self and slowly but surely I have become very compelled and moved by what yoga can do for all people in every different physical capacity. In addition I have continued to study with my teacher - the Art and Science of Tantra, the heart and soul of yoga. I'm excited to be coming and offering the latest of what I've been doing. I feel again fully supported by the Nelson Community, including the festival organizers and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism.  Don't miss this great event!!! Thanks everyone, and I hope to see you at the Festival. Best, Mary-Jo Fetterly And there are no truer words than: "absence makes the heart grow fonder"

Top 14 Healthy Things in Nelson Kootenay Lake This Summer

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Top 14 Healthy Things in Nelson Kootenay Lake This Summer

We're in High Summer — Hot August Days, Long Warm Nights

The beautiful hot summer days are upon us. The beautiful hot summer days are upon us.


And so much to do! If you are looking for healthy things in Nelson, you don't need to look far: Shambhala this week, Hot August Nights next week. Fat Tire Festival coming soon after, followed by Sufferfest and then the Kootenay Spirit Festival. So we thought we'd take a moment and give you a list of some top healthy things to do in Nelson and the Kootenay Lake region this summer. Healthy Things in Nelson and Kootenay Lake — Late Summer Festivals:

  • Shambhala — This year, the early entry for Shambhala begins August 6th and the festival runs until August 11th. Shambhala is bursting out this year, having sold out and then somehow found space for 1,000 more souls to attend, bringing the number of people coming to this electronic music experience to around 11,000 (so there are still tickets online!). Wow.
  • Columbia Basin Culture Tour — The Columbia Basin Culture Tour is a perfect way to see our area, visit and get to know some working artists and artisans, and enjoy a drive in the countryside.
  • Fat Tire Festival — The 19th annual festival celebrating the sport and fun of bikes, this festival has stuff to do for all ages and abilities. If you have the time and inclination, make your way to Nelson for this one. Parades, wheelie contests, a chance to show off your bike, and so much more is waiting for you!
  • Kaslo Sufferfest — The name says it all! Just kidding...There's actually something for everyone at the Sufferfest, as long as you want to be outdoors enjoying the natural splendour we call "home". You can, of course, attempt the 50 km trail run, but there is a 10 km race as well as a 5 km "fun run" — among other events! This is more about getting outside and feeling alive and well. For kids 13 and under, there's also a 2.5 km race just for them. Experience true "suffering" :) Kootenay-style.
  • Kootenay Spirit Festival — A celebration of yoga, meditation, dance and music, this first-annual festival is the perfect chance to experience Nelson community at its spiritual best. Come raise your spirit and experience mindful-living, love of nature and engaged community with us.

Whitewater Rafting

Baker Street

  • Baker Street — The fact that we live in an eminently walkable city, with a highly admired downtown, is truly a "thing-to-do”. We've highlighted our main street before, and for good reason. Baker Street is a great place to walk along, visit the Wednesday Farmers Market, meet friends, shop, visit artisans, and eat delicious food in local cafes and restaurants.

Lakeside Park

  • Lakeside Park — We've highlighted the parks in our area before, but perhaps the best-known is Lakeside Park. Lakeside Park offers streetcar rides, a cafe serving local and organic foods, a sandy beach, picnic areas, playground, and lovely views.

Touchstones Museum

  • Touchstones Museum — The success of Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is an amazing testimonial to the power of a committed group of volunteers. The museum highlights the history of the area, as well as showcasing artists from around the province and around the world. There is also a wonderful museum shop, with local artist and artisan crafts available for sale.

Outdoor Fun:

  • Granite Pointe Golf — The local golf club has 18 holes just waiting for you to walk the course. Incredible
    Beautiful golfing at Granite Pointe with views that are hard to beat! Beautiful golfing at Granite Pointe with views that are hard to beat!


    views of our lake and the Big Orange Bridge.
  • Footsteps Eco Adventures — Private day tours of the area. Whether it's hiking, biking or even a bachelor-party skatepark tour, these guys know their stuff and love to share!
  • Nelson Streetcar — We've mentioned the streetcar before. It's a wonderful example of what a small dedicated group of volunteers can do to create a memorable and genuine experience in a community. The streetcar is a wonderful way to enjoy our city, and sit down for a few minutes :) (Hard to do sometimes in a city as active as Nelson!)
  • Gerick Cycle and Sport — Awesome to think that a local bike shop is listed on TripAdvisor as one of the top things to do in Nelson. A reviewer notes, though, that as soon as he arrived in Nelson, he headed to the local bike shop to suss out which trails to ride. He said he immediately felt welcome, and "a part of the gang." What a great testament to that healthy community vibe we all love here.

Whether you're ready to hike and bike, or visit our local shops and museums, or party it up at one of our festivals, we're so looking forward to seeing you this summer in Nelson Kootenay Lake. Take your pick of things to do, but do come and visit us soon!        

Gerick's Cycle & Ski Goes Above & Beyond

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Gerick's Cycle & Ski Goes Above & Beyond

We are in Nelson for the BC Hockey Provincials with the Victoria Ice Hawks Pee Wee A team. We are here for the week and have lots of time to explore and enjoy Nelson in between games. We have found many amazing coffee shops, restaurants and stores as well as interesting things to do and see. We have found people to be friendly, helpful and extremely accommodating. We thought we had enjoyed the very best of Nelson hospitality but our incredible experience today at Gerick Cycle today easily wins the top award for amazing customer service and ensuring an amazing destination experience. Three of our players wanted to go cross country skiing at Nordic in the early afternoon. We made our way to Gerick's and found a very helpful host in Ross McNamara. Ross outfitted us with gear and provided extremely helpful information on conditions, directions and what to expect when we got there. The most amazing moment though was when Ross solved our transportation problem in getting there by GIVING US HIS TRUCK FOR THE AFTERNOON!!!!! The generosity of spirit which Ross displayed demonstrates not only how deeply invested he is in the customer but also of the destination experience he wants Gerick's to contribute to for each and every customer. As someone who works in the convention/tourism sector, I can say that this experience was second to none and will become my story of choice to demonstrate the true "brand" of Nelson. Thank you Ross for a most incredible day! Jocelyn Jenkyns, Denese Alexander, Jacson, Chris and Tristan.

Blissful treatments for your Skin at Nelson's SkinBliss Medi Spa

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Blissful treatments for your Skin at Nelson's SkinBliss Medi Spa

SkinBliss Medi Spa ServicesSkinBliss Medi Spa is thrilled to announce that they'll be moving to an exciting new location! As of June 1, 2013, they'll be moving to #101-466 Josephine Street in Nelson (the old Araya Day Spa location). Perfect for visitors wanting to take some time to relax and rejuvenate their bodies, minds and spirits, Nelson's SkinBliss offers advanced techniques in aesthetic services designed to keep you looking your best! At SkinBliss the focus is on education and customization. They cater to a variety of skin issues such as acne, discoloration, anti-aging and scarring with the goal of helping clients maintain a healthier, younger and more vibrant face and body.   The current treatments and spa services offered include: Treatments:

  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Laser Vein Treatment
  • IPL Photorejuvenation
  • Dermal Rolling
  • Acne Treatments
  • Chemical Peels
  • Treatment by Skin Condition
  • Waxing

Spa Services:

  • Facials & Skincare
  • Make-up Services
  • Wedding Packages
  • Spa Parties
  • Eyelash Extensions
  • Ear Candling
  • Massage
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures

At the new location, SkinBliss will be offering a few new services and carrying a new product line. Their current Certified Eyelash Stylist will now be providing Eyelash Extensions full time. They'll also be welcoming a new Certified Zen Shiatsu Practitioner and a new Certified Hot Stone Practitioner and Body Sugaring Specialist to their team. For those looking for Pharmaceutical grade Skincare products, SkinBliss will now be carrying the Environ SKincare line. Based out of South Africa, this line is designed for all skin types and contains some of the purest forms of vitamins and nutrients to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. For more information on products or services, check out their new e-commerce website -

Ainsworth Hotsprings - an easy getaway in the the Kootenays

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Ainsworth Hotsprings - an easy getaway in the the Kootenays

Ainsworth HotspringsMy wife and I decided to go up the road from Nelson BC for a little r 'n' r and spend the night at Ainsworth Hot Springs. It's a short 30 minute drive from our home, so a painless trip. We arrived in their newly renovated lobby which incidentally features some spectacular stonework. Next we settled into our room facing the Purcell mountains rising above Kootenay Lake. All of the rooms have been tastefully modernized with ours featuring two double beds, comfortable seating and a modern new washroom. After relaxing into our hotel it was time to head off too the perfectly located 'Springs' dining room. Having dinner in the Springs Dining Room is the complete dining experience. The surrounding picture windows give one a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding mountains and to the south the pools below. The three waiters provided terrific service and later we were informed that two had worked here for almost twenty years and the third had been employed for ten years. Impressive to say the least, and our expectations were exceeded again with the food...mmmmm. For appetizers we shared scallops, asparagus, boconcini with basil and prosciutto, it was wonderful! The main was a tender strip loin and Francesco prawns, wow it was great. Great dinner, a wonderful bottle of wine followed by superb desserts!  The next morning we relaxed in the hotsprings, moving between the legendary caves and the warm pool. We then packed up, and headed to the top floor for a delicious breakfast in the panoramic dining room with the lovely owners Norm and Joyce. The getaway to Ainsworth Hotsprings was a soothing, relaxing antidote to a busy week. Blogger: Ross McNamara

Ainsworth, BC dinner Ainsworth, BC desert

#74 crossed the finish line, last

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#74 crossed the finish line, last

Nelson BC Nordic SkiingThe Nelson Nordic Ski Club hosted an incredible Kootenay Cup event on January 27th, 2013 in Nelson, BC. Little wee skiers to adults of all ages, and all abilities, flooded the race track, walking, pushing, sliding and skate-skiing their way across the finish line. It was exciting watching everyone do the best they could. Which I can say for myself, I did the best I could. I signed up for the Nelson Kootenay Cup with the intent of finishing the race, that was my goal. I didn’t think all that much however about the true distance I was about to skate-ski, for the first time in my life, 15 kms.  I pushed out of the gates ahead of about two people and very quickly saw only the backsides of everyone. Within seconds some were out of my vision. I grunted and sweated (yes Travis I was over dressed), but carried on at ‘my pace’. (Thank you Shelley for those final words of advice as I completed my second lap.) After my 3 stadium loops, and Cottonwood, and heading into my final laps of the stadium I realized it was just me left to finish the 15km. They had started tearing down the course, and officials were leaving their posts, but one fine gentleman saw my confusion on where to go to finish my last lap and came to my rescue, and directed me, or should I say escorted me to the finish line.  He even encouraged me to ‘giver all I got’ for the last 100 or so meters, which I did. Not sure I actually went any faster at that point. I don’t know my final time. Does it matter? I finished! Would I do it again? Most definitely, and if I came in last again, that would be completely fine. I am a stronger skate-skier for completing this challenge and am elated about learning to become better and better. Look out Nancy and Linda, #74 may be clipping the back of your skis next year, maybe. The Nelson Nordic Ski Club accumulated the most points at Teck Kootenay Cup #5 last weekend, but the Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club retained the overall lead in the competition for the Teck Kootenay Cup Series aggregate prize that will be awarded following the final race in Kimberley next month. Five clubs from the region participated in Sunday’s race:

  • Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club
  • Kimberley Nordic Ski Club
  • Castlegar Nordic Ski Club
  • Nelson Nordic Ski Club
  • Hills Nordic Ski Club


Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Nelson Nordic Skiing

Photos were taken by John Boulanger, the full album can be viewed here:  

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