Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

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Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

Author: Gina Bégin

All good mountain towns have their winter festivities. Nelson’s might be just about the best of them all.

Just like the culture that created it, The Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival is equal parts of silly and intense. It mixes just-for-the-fun-of-it events, like the Poker Run where entrants are given points not only for course checkpoints along the way but also on the merit of their costumes, with clinics like “Steeps and Stashes” where freeski coaches guide participants through some of Whitewater’s gnarliest terrain.

All aspects of winter life are celebrated in the three-day festival, both on the mountain and off. Friday kicks things off in town with the Coldsmoke Opener Film Fest, a cultural dive into the sights and sounds captured by local adventure photographers and filmmakers. Whitewater will see a transformation with the addition of “The Coldsmoke Village”, the central spot for demoing gear, meeting industry reps, and rubbing shoulders with other winter lovers from around the Kootenays and beyond.

If you’re the kind who needs a pile of food to dig into after a hard day on the hill, there’s something for you, too. The Buff-EH at Nelson’s historic Hume Hotel is the feature of the “Mountain Mingler” social event. Nelson is known for its deep love of good food; and the Hume culinary team will be serving it up alongside live jazz music.

But it’s the after party that may very well be one of the most memorable in-town events of the weekend. Elliott Brood, who also graced last year’s Coldsmoke lineup, is coming back for an encore performance. If flannel shirts, stomping feet, and raising bit of a ruckus in a packed venue sound like your idea of a good night out on the town, you need to be at the Spirit Bar Saturday night.

For those who are looking for everlasting fame (or at least a title they can boast about for a year) as well as a bit of physical abuse, there’s the crowning event — literally. The King & Queen of Coldsmoke requires participants participate in four events during the weekend, rack up points, and give their best as they go head to head with local legends and out-of-towners under the shadow of Ymir Peak. Though the crowns are coveted, only two will be chosen to represent Coldsmoke Royalty for the year (and win heliskiing passes to boot!).

Ready to play?

Coldsmoke Powder Fest starts this weekend with a full list of events and activities for those seeking intense fun and a lot of silly on the side. 

Additional activities, dining, shopping and accommodation are here too!

Whitewater Grows Garden Fresh Freeride Skiers by the Bushel

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Whitewater Grows Garden Fresh Freeride Skiers by the Bushel

Cover Photo: Tristan Martin-Preney

At the 2016, fifth annual Smith Optics Whitewater Junior Freeride Championship, as the World Cup results rolled in and we learned that three of the best junior freeride skiers in the world come from Whitewater Ski Resort, talk on the chairlift centered around all the theories of how this was possible. The local team, coached by skiing legends Dano Slater, Pete Velesik, Pete Then, and Moss Patterson, has skied gnarly terrain since they could walk. They may not have matching uniforms, but they produce more of the world's best freeride skiers than any other hill in North America. 

The championships happen each year in Andorra, and take the best of the junior freeride skiers from around the world to compete for the title. Of the kids who went over from Canada, 5 of the 7 came from Whitewater Freeride Team.

Let me repeat that, because I am not sure it has all absorbed yet: 

  • Five of the seven junior freeride skiers representing Canada in the World championships came from Whitewater Freeride Team.
  • Nigel Zeigler, Sam Kuch, Jeff Ashton, Hayley Cooke, and Savanah Leishman represented Whitewater, while Jackson Bathgate and Tom Pieffer represented Whistler. 
  • And, at the end of the day, Nigel Zeigler placed second, while Sam Kuch placed fourth. Haley Cooke placed seventh in the women's category.

Funnily enough, though seriously proud to represent and happy about killing it, one thread that runs through this team and the sport in general is an emphasis on rewarding a good showing, sometimes over the top score of the day. There's also a seriously blurry line between teams and a camaraderie between skiers that spans geography, team allegiance and age categories.

So while there is some well-deserved hometown pride for the kids who came from Whitewater, those same kids also root for, support and encourage Jackson Bathgate and Tom Pieffer from Whistler. In fact, you can often hear the kids generally cheering for any skier giving a run their best shot.

Part of the reason for this attitude comes from a top-down leadership. Jeff Holden, head judge for the IFSA (International Freeride Skiers and Snowboarders Association) has chosen to live here, and embodies the sport with a combination of soul, spoken word poetry, tight judging standards and a calm demeanor that notices and calls out kids who show the true spirit of the sport, whether they garner top score during an event or not.

Over the weekend, for example, prizes were handed out for kids who bailed but tried hard, for kids who showed the spirit of the sport in some way above and beyond what you would expect. And throughout the weekend, it was hard not to notice that all the kids cheered for each other in a way that genuinely came from a place of "we're all in this together" rather than a forced showing of sportsmanship.

At the end of the day, it's hard to know how Whitewater Ski Resort and the Whitewater Freeride Team grow such world-class skiers. The fact is, though, that any weekend day during the winter months, just by visiting the hill you can see some of the best skiing in the world and experience it for yourself.  Follow our experience on our facebook page or watch our video.

Let it snow!

*A previous version of this article mentioned that Savannah Leishman came in 7th. She actually placed 12th. Haley Cooke came in 7th in the women's division.

10 Stellar Ways to Get Pumped for Snow Season!

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10 Stellar Ways to Get Pumped for Snow Season!

It's coming. right now we're in full-on fall glory, with gorgeous leaves of yellow, gold, orange and red providing couverture for our streets and trails. Mushrooms are growing underfoot on mossy trails, the air is crisp and clear, and our local biking and hiking trails are almost crowded with locals and visitors alike taking in every last breath of fall.

But soon, winter will come. And with it another epic season in this, the Cat Ski Capital of the World. It's here that the sport began, and here that it remains the crowned monarch of powder. At around 50 feet of that white fluffy stuff per year, there's good reason that we're considered within the best in the world by the Lonely Planet, Powder Magazine, Ski Canada and more.

How to prepare for such awesomeness? Good question. There are many ways, and I'll admit to being swayed by our neighbour to the west, Whistler, for inspiration. Local writer Feet Banks' recent post for Tourism Whistler on preparing for the season had me thinking about how one could prepare for snow in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area in a similar fashion. 

Similar but different, of course. Because though Whistler and Nelson Kootenay Lake both have incredible ski seasons, we're very different resorts with very different vibes (both good — just different). So, with a nod and hat tip to Feet Banks, I'd like to offer ten stellar ways to get completely psyched for the upcoming snow season:

1. Catch the Nelson Kootenay Lake Winter Vibe 

We've got a lot going on in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area when the snow falls — there's a vibe you can feel. Family friendly, casual, deep and simple, the snow falls prolifically and we play in joyfully. Watch and learn: 


2. Stockpile Your Gear

It's time to take note of what you've got and what you'll need. Take advantage of sales, swap with friends, and start saving for those important downy items you'll be glad you splurged for later. We've got lots of places on historic Baker Street to help you shop local, so get started now and get your gear in order!

3. Check Out the Deals

There are always great offers being made to try to lure you to the Nelson Kootenay Lake area — Check out our travel deals and see if anything whets your appetite. And while you're at it, enter contests, too! 

4. Become Your Friends' Worst Nightmare/Best Meteorologist  

After going down what Feet Banks termed the "Weather Wormhole" last week, I highly recommend this activity in case you're suffering from the endless fortune telling that can be predicting winter weather. Luckily, Nelson Kootenay Lake is in that sweet spot where we're right in the eye of lots of winter storms and, protected as we are by being surrounded by lots of mountain ranges, those storms stay with us. 

Still, people love to guess what the winter will bring, and while guessing is good, knowing is better. Learn from our history and from the weather channel to find out what this year will bring weather-wise. Then go educate your friends.

5. Let Our Glaciers and Protected Wilderness Inspire You

Between Sweetgrass Productions latest wonder Jumbo Wild and last year's gorgeous Requiem for a Glacier by Paul Walde, our area has got some incredible, pristine wilderness to inspire you for the upcoming season. 


6. Find Your Full Bucket List

By watching an epic snowboarding video from Transworld Snowboard featuring our own Baldface. As they put it, "Bucket List is a five-part series about leaving the excuses behind and checking those shred missions off the list."

7. Bike till You Drop 

Get ready for the hills by training on your bike. Nelson, Kaslo and the area has got more great downhill mountain bike terrain than we know what to do with. Ride till you drop, then wake up and go again. Gericks Cycle and Ski or Whitewater Ski Resort will set you up with some great rental options. Ride with a friend, get familiar with the terrain, and have a blast warming up (literally) to winter. 

8. Hike the Area While You Still Can

Whether you take a quick jaunt up Pulpit, go a bit farther to the Flag Pole, or head out of town to the old growth cedar trails, there are lots of trails ready to teach you a thing or two about appreciating nature and her beauty. Take an afternoon, duck into the woods, and prepare your body and soul for some mountain time ahead.

9. Buy Your Pass/Book Your Trip

Do we have to mention this? In case you haven't already, take care of the pesky details! Buy your season's pass for Whitewater Ski Resort, book your trip with one of our incredible Cat Skiing/Heli Skiing providers, and book your rooms too. Nelson, Ainsworth Hot Springs and Kaslo (as well as all the Cat/Heli Ski operators) get incredibly busy in the winter, so it's important to plan ahead. Don't be disappointed. Make this winter one you'll remember for a long time to come.

10. Get in Shape!

Come on, you know you want to. Getting in shape for the upcoming snow season now is going to make you very happy come winter time. Whether you need to book an appointment with a physiotherapist, join a Crossfit class, or start jogging, get out there and do it. There are specialized programs to get you in shape just for skiing or snowboarding, too. Just do it; you'll be able to thank yourself later :)

Header image by Nick Diamond Photography

What a Godzilla El Nino Means to Nelson Kootenay Lake

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What a Godzilla El Nino Means to Nelson Kootenay Lake

El Niño

Named by a Peruvian fisherman in the 1800s, it describes a season following detection of warmer-than-usual water in the Pacific near the equator. When temperatures rise by more than .5 degrees centigrade, we’ve got an El Niño. More than 3 degrees and it’s an extreme El Niño.

Right now, we’re at 1.5 degrees warmer than normal.

Bring it, Little Boy

The Godzilla of El Niños. As if that makes any sense at all. I guess if you’re going to mythologize a popular weather system, you should try to get all the multicultural pop references. And that is exactly what scientists are calling this year’s event, according to Vox. So, like an apocalyptic zombie, I’ll sally forth and bluntly wreak havoc on the predictions and tell you why science says you should ski in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area (or at Mount Fidelity, but that’s not super realistic).

Named for The Christ Child

It’s got a fairly ridiculous name, made more ridiculous by its counterpart, La Niña. El Niño refers to the Christ Child...but if you are not a Catholic person from a latin heritage, this may be lost on you, and you may simply think it means “the boy”. But an El Niño, whether a "Godzilla El Niño" or not, is not something to take lightly.

A strong El Niño, like the one in 1982 - 1983, or the one from 1997 - 1998 (which inspired Chris Farley in this SNL skit) can do major damage around the world. From drought in Australia, to mud slides in California to wildfires in the south Pacific, it's not really something to ignore.

So, certainly, the upcoming 2015 - 2016 season is going to set records around the world. But what about the Nelson Kootenay region? 

The Valhalla Effect

If you're already referencing Godzilla and El Niño in one breath, and you're a scientist, then gosh darn it all, I'm bringing my full-mythological game to this story. Enter Valhalla. Which is, really, where we live.

Since it's not much of a stretch to say that we live in the Nordic version of heaven (okay, it's a small stretch), I'm invoking Skadi and, sure, Ullr, as I explain why the Nelson Kootenay region is the place to be this winter.

We exist surrounded by the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges, with large lakes that are the birthplace of stormy cold precipitation. Snow. Mixed with the dry interior air, the proximity to some very large glaciers and the lack of serious wind issues, we exist in perfect conditions for epic powder. We have a mountain range named Valhalla nearby. 

The counter effect of our awesome mythologically-based geography on the El Niño means, basically, that we live in a sheltered area almost immune to its effects.

Epic Stability

Since I've just invoked epic Nordic/Germanic mythology, it would be great if I could follow that up with more cold, hard, scientific reasons to show how we're totally protected from all harm by the long arm of Thor and the ancient something-or-other that symbolically protects us from bad weather.

I can't do that. After the solid geographically-based reasoning for why we are not going to be super affected by this year's El Niño, I can offer statistic after statistic that categorically proves that this is undeniably the best place to ski in any year, but especially in a year of such volatility and unpredictable outcomes.

Whenever someone references our area, whether it's for the epic Cat skiing, heli skiing, backcountry skiing or downhill, they reference the numbers:

Baldface is 32,000 acres of terrain, 50 degree pitches, 3,000 vertical foot runs and 20,000 foot days. 

Whitewater Ski Resort notes that we average 42 feet of snow per season.

Retallack mentions elevations of 7000 to 8200 feet with 800 year old cedars on runs that can be as long as 4200 feet. 

Selkirk Wilderness notes that the terrain is larger than Vail and Whistler Blackcomb combined.

White Grizzly ensures that over 50% of the runs are super steep tree runs, on top of the stats already mentioned.

Bottom line, we're the birthplace of Cat skiing and the Cat Ski Capital for good reason. 

What About This Year, Though?

Well, I'll tell you. I've read those statistics year after year, but recently (after hours of digging) came across a few gems: Of all the resorts in the Rockies and the Interior of British Columbia, Whitewater Ski Resort has the highest percentage of epic powder days. Your chances of skiing one of those powder days that people write home about, skip work for, and devote their lives to this downhill affliction are so much higher at Whitewater Ski Resort than anywhere else in what many call the best snow region in the world. 

Add to that this gem. It begins on a sober note. The Tyee wrote a great piece asking whether we're at "peak snow". There's a great call to join a non-profit group called POW (stands for Protect Our Winters), and some really good information about how and why we should care about climate change. However, we should maybe also note that, for all the dire predictions in the article, they don't really affect Whitewater much at all. In fact, the predictions for snowfall in our area remain pretty constant for the next 50 or so years.

I'll add in one more set of stats: Whitewater has the highest (by far) chance of 90+ inches of snowfall during winter months (over an 18 year period). It also has (again, by far) the lowest chance of a crappy year (less than 30 inches). 

Why is our snow just so good? It has to do with the combination of storms fuelled by Kootenay Lake, bumping up against our mountains, creating serious amounts of snow chilled by some of BC's largest glaciers, and dried by our interior weather. We just can't help it.

Add in the Culture

Finally, I'll reference our culture. We're not much for hyping up something that's not already self evident. The snow report for Whitewater is known for being understated. Culturally, we're an area that attracts and keeps hardy people who really would rather play in the snow. It's my opinion that most people here feel as though if it's not completely obvious to you why you should be here, then perhaps, well, perhaps it's not meant to be.

Sure, we smile a bit more broadly when we reach the New York Times or the LA Times travel sections. Sure, we acknowledge as self evident that we live here because it is a literal slice of heaven on earth. But do we need to spend any extra time hyping it? I would say that pretty much everyone here agrees that this is a negative. 

Finally, for the Californians...

True, this year may be a pretty good snow year for you all. As someone whose heart still feels Californian and who sometimes awkwardly straddles both cultures, I will say that some of the best skiing I've ever experienced has been in California.

However, I'll just turn the screws here a little bit: Sure, you can ski Mammoth this year. And then there's Heavenly, which also may get some good snow. And you could easily travel over to New Mexico to Taos and put in a few good runs...but...the US dollar is currently trading at 1.33 Canadian dollars. So, um...there's that as well.

All in all, this is truly the year to ski our area. Whether this is the year you finally stop putting off that Cat skiing adventure you've been saying you'll do every year, or whether you come here to ski Whitewater. We're pretty much ready for an epic year with the best snow conditions imaginable couple with an American exchange rate that makes it all look almost silly it's so perfect. 

We hope to see you soon in the cat skiing powder capital of the world. 

Whitewater: Small Town, Big Snow

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Whitewater: Small Town, Big Snow

Article by Alf Anderson: originally posted on Travel Section

A few miles from Whitewater ski resort in British Columbia you'll find a little old mining town called Ymir – more of a village really. Among the scattering of Victorian buildings is the Ymir Hotel, which dates back to 1896 and is one of the oldest hotels in the region. It has much in common with the nearby ski resort in that it is quiet, isolated and home to unexpected curiosities.
cted comes in the form of the largest private art collection in British Columbia. Guests are encouraged to browse, even if they've only popped in for a beer. In the case of Whitewater, the surprise comes in the form of some of the best snow conditions and tree skiing to be had in Canada.
Whitewater is tiny by European standards, with just four lifts, serving 78 runs, and a very modest vertical drop of 2,044ft from a high point of only 6,700ft. But there's a hidden bonus: Whitewater has an annual average snowfall of 40ft. Yes, you read correctly: 40ft. So, you can see why ski photographers and filmmakers flock here to get their action shots. In fact, the chances are that the next time you pick up a ski magazine some wild action from Whitewater will feature among the most spectacular pictures – for they enjoy leaping off cliffs in these parts. Aspiring free-riders like myself also tend to be drawn to Whitewater, even if we have no real desire to leap off cliffs. The lure of 40ft of "cold smoke", as the locals call powder, is a big draw, but the tree skiing is also among the best in Canada. And when the resort opened up a whole new stack of lift-accessed glades a couple of seasons ago, that lure became too much to resist. All of which is why I'm standing with ski local patroller Andrew Voigt at the top of Whitewater's Glory Ridge chairlift. We're about to take on one of the resort's newer gladed runs, but we stop first to admire the views, which are classic BC: forested mountains draped in snow as far as we can see and little sign of human activity other than in the resort. Towering over it all to our right is the craggy face of the 7,867ft Ymir Peak, which culminates in a perfect triangular summit. (The preponderance of the name Ymir locally comes from the fact that many of the region's early European settlers were Nordic, Ymir being the name given to the Norse frost giant.) I ask Andrew not to take me down anything too terrifying, so we begin by dropping into the easy blue of Ramble On, where the pines are widely spaced, the angle is easy and the snow is soft and forgiving. We descend diagonally on to a black called Jack Leg Glades, where the trees begin to crowd in a little more and the slope gets steeper, but it's still fun and the snow is still soft and light, then suddenly we're under the lift line and heading for the base station. It's all over pretty quickly compared to the average descent in the Alps, but the concentration involved in skiing trees – which are not often a big part of European skiing – makes the length of the slope almost meaningless. Andrew and I are living in, and for, the moment. And we're enjoying every second of it. As we ascend again on the two-person Glory Ridge chair I ask Andrew what it is that's kept him skiing here for 14 years. "It's the consistent quality of the snowfall – that simple," he says. "And the way the small-town vibe of Nelson carries up on to the ski hill." Ah yes, Nelson. Nelson is Whitewater's satellite town, about 15 minutes' drive away. There's no accommodation at the hill, just a great restaurant and bar with its own widely acclaimed recipe book, Whitewater Cooks, plus a small souvenir shop. Nelson was recently voted "Best Ski Town in North America" by readers of the influential Powder magazine, sharing the accolade with nearby Rossland, which serves the Red Mountain Resort (also well worth a visit if you're skiing in this area). Nelson's origins as a tough silver-mining and lumber town situated on an arm of Kootenay Lake are still plain to see in its historic downtown area. The mining and lumber industries eventually collapsed and, in recent years, many of the town's old buildings have been converted into coffee houses, eclectic shops and bars, restaurants and music venues, along with the restored Capitol Theatre. It reminds me of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, where I grew up; a dying old industrial town in a lovely setting that has re-invented itself by attracting creative outdoor types who give the place an unpretentious, welcoming feel. Andrew is right about that small-town vibe also being present on the hill. Everyone seems to know each other and will soon start chatting to the stranger in town on the lifts and in the base lodge. They'll enthuse about the local skiing in a way that may seem just a little over-the-top when you consider how small Whitewater is. But if your ski hill enjoyed 40ft of snowfall every winter, wouldn't you get a bit excited too? Travel essentials Getting there Frontier Travel (020 8776 8709; offers a week at Hume Hotel in Nelson, with breakfast, plus a six-day lift pass, car rental and return flights from Heathrow to Cranbrook via Calgary from £2,018pp, based on two sharing. More information

Laugh Away Your Stress at Kaslo's Winter in the Forest Festival

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Laugh Away Your Stress at Kaslo's Winter in the Forest Festival

This blog is a repost from our sister blog, 108 Healthy Things to Do

Winterfest collageThere is nothing like forgetting yourself, all your cares and worries amongst a group of fun loving people. Those participating in the human sled dog races at Kaslo Winter in the Forest definitely contributed to people's good times and laughter. The plain and simple fact is laughter is good for your health.  It relaxes the whole body by releasing physical tension.  Each guffaw boosts the immune system and triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel good chemicals. The photos of Kaslo Winter in the Forest capture the camaraderie of the participants as they partook in sleigh rides, snowshoeing, X-C skiing, a street hockey tournament, a fire-making contest and the spoken word and storytelling by the bonfire. Children skied in the Jackrabbit races and vied to be "king of the mountain" on the hillock of snow built for this purpose.

Enjoying fresh bannock cooked over the fire. Enjoying fresh bannock cooked over the fire.


A delight in winter and the incredible setting of Kaslo, the wide-open lake flanked by majestic peaks all permeated by fresh, clean air was a recipe for health and happiness for all those experiencing the fun. All the good food didn't hurt either. Don't miss this event next year or ones like it going on in the Kootenays year round.  Keep an eye on Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism's calendar of events to see what outdoor delights, culture and arts are available to you. Moreover, most of all remember a visit to the Nelson and Kootenay Lake area will make you smile, the first step toward a good belly laugh.  You will leave healthier than when you came. Photos provided by Daphne Hunter. ***

Get Ready for Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest!

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Get Ready for Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest!

Whitewater Ski Resort is getting geared up to host the 8th annual Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest this weekend, February 21-23, 2014. This three day festival is a celebration of the culture of the Kootenays and its passion for powder. Powder, something that has not been as abundant this year in the West, is once again making a grand entrance to ensure that the Coldsmoke Powder Fest will be, well, just that. With 40 centimetres fallen in the past week and a tantalizing long range forecast, it looks as though guests of the festival will be guaranteed to experience the Coldsmoke that the weekend is designed to celebrate. This festival is the only event in the entire industry that offers access to such a high concentration of instruction, coaching and guiding talent as well as serious yet quirky contests and eclectic socials over a period of three days. “I am SUPER stoked about the caliber of people we have this year - the mean industry experience of the group of visiting instructors and guides we have lined up is about 20 years,” exclaims Karen Reader, coordinator of the Clinic portion of the weekend and two time podium winner of the US National Telemark Freesking Championships. With thirty-six different clinics offered for every level of skier, snowboarder or telemarkers throughout the weekend – both in and out of bounds – there really is a clinic for everyone during the festival. If the Olympics have ignited your competitive spirit, try one of our four competitions during the festival weekend: the ROAM Randonee Race (now with a new tag team category!), the Valhalla Pure Slopestyle, the Poker Run with a Race Twist, or The North Face Backcountry Olympics. Compete in all four events for your chance to be crowned King or Queen of Coldsmoke! The King and Queen will not only be awarded a season pass to Whitewater for the 2014/2015 winter season, as well as a full outerwear outfit, compliments Arc’teryx, but a trophy to display your right to brag! If on the snow is not your specialty but you love the unique culture of the area, make sure to participate in the social elements of the festival. The weekend truly kicks off with the Friday night Coldsmoke Opener at the Capitol Theatre. A film festival put together by the team at Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine, you know that there will be a good showing of talent both local and beyond. The Coldsmoke Village will be host to over fifteen different vendors over the weekend, including local ski/snowboard shops and brands such as Osprey and G3. Saturday will also feature a special après party in the Village from 3:00pm to 4:30pm with DJ Rafferty Funksmith and delicious appetizers. The party continues into Saturday night with a Casino Royale Buff-EH dinner hosted at Ric’s Lounge and Grill in the grand ballroom of the Prestige Lakeside Resort. Come dressed for success at the tables and for a great meal! The early bird deadline for the clinics and event is Wednesday, February 19 and space is limited so make sure to reserve your spot in your favourite clinic, competition or social event now! Register now at or after the early bird deadline by calling 250-354-4944. Make sure to check out the various packages available throughout the weekend as well. ABOUT WHITEWATER SKI RESORT Located along Canada’s famous Powder Highway, just a short drive from the counter-culture city of Nelson, British Columbia, lays Whitewater Ski Resort. Quietly legendary, Whitewater is hard to describe to those who have not had the privilege to experience its true authenticity and abundance of snow. Whitewater. Pure, simple and real…DEEP.

10k at the end of the Rainbow

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10k at the end of the Rainbow

By Robin Goldsbury, Dock 'n' Duck In spite of the cold weather Kootenay Lake saw about 600 fisher people braved the elements to take part in the 2nd Annual BC Family Day Fishing Derby on Kootenay Lake. The event was organized by Canadian Training Resources of Calgary, and hosted by the Dock 'n' Duck Pub, Family Grill and Lodge in Balfour.

Hector Sandoval of Creston, BC, won $10,000 for his Rainbow Trout that measured just under three feet long, weighing 18 pounds, and 34 and 5/8ths inches long. To the dismay of many seasoned participants, Hector had never been fishing before this weekend. Bruce McIntosh, won the top prize for his Dolly Varden, a $2000 win for a fish weighing 14 pounds, 33 and 3/4 inches long. Over 220 boats and approximately 600 fishing enthusiasts took to the lake throughout the three day event, and over $30,000 in prizes were given away. Approximately 420 participants came from outside the Kootenay region, adding a boom to the local tourism hospitality scene during a traditionally slow time. For pictures of the winners and the fish check out Thank you to all the participants and congratulations to all of the following winners: Rainbow Trout: $10,000, Hector Sandoval, weight 18 lbs, 34-5/8" long $1000, David Jamieson , weight 16.5 lbs, 34-1/2" long $500, Rick Carlson, weight 19.5 lbs, 34" long Dolly Varden: $2000, Bruce McIntosh, weight 14 lbs, 33-3/4" long $1000, Kirk Daley, weight 11.5 lbs, 32-3/8" long $500, John York, weight not available, 32-1/8" long

Bonus Prize Give-Aways: $6,000 West Coast Fishing Trip, Neil Wieldon of Cranbrook Bonnie Quadttrucci of Balfour who won the Mercury Trolling Boat Motor from Lancer Marine $3000 Mawdsley Lake Fishing Lodge Trip in Saskatchewan, Maureen Whieldon $1000 Online Shopping Spree Hector Sandoval of Creston $1000 Online Shopping Spree Tim Tansy of Spokane

Still Best Ski Town in North America

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Still Best Ski Town in North America

Still Best Ski Town in North America!

This year Powder Magazine is hosting a Facebook contest that brings 64 ski resorts together, competing one ski hill against the another, gradually drilling down to one resort that will carry the title of Best Ski Resort in North America. Last year Nelson/Rossland won the title of Best Ski Town in North America. Woohoo!!  But this year, Nelson on their own, was defeated in the second round, by only 20 votes, to powerful Revelstoke. The community supporting Nelson and Whitewater Ski Resort gave it a valiant effort, they showed us their commitment to the last seconds of the competition. This lose is nothing to be ashamed of, we should be proud of our efforts, our community and ski hill. When we went into this competition Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism and Whitewater Ski Resort discussed openly the possible voter burn-out factor from last year and also the many other contests that everyone has been exposed to online. Our attitude was that we would step into it whole-heartedly, and the community would determine the outcome, and they did, which is absolutely fine. It's ok to give the win to another Powder Highway resort - go Revelstoke! The exposure through this competition, like last year, will impact the entire Kootenay Rockies region. Last year was a huge community effort and thousands of hours were put into winning that competition. We can ride on the coat tails of Best Ski Town in North America title for a long while and reap economic stimulus from it. Our exposure from the Powder Magazine contest showed an increase in media attention and accommodation sales last winter and this year we are anticipating a similar increase. Thank you everyone for supporting and participating in this initiative - now lets get ready to ski Whitewater! Bring on the snow! PS Recognize your achievements and our glorious city and ski hill and put a sticker on it! (car, snowboard, skateboard, skis, school binder,  helmet, computer, etc). Pick up your sticker at the Nelson Visitor Centre or email your mailing address to  

3, 2, 1 action! Filming an episode of Ski TV at Whitewater and Nelson

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3, 2, 1 action! Filming an episode of Ski TV at Whitewater and Nelson

Ski TV Filming at WhitewaterTogether with producer Darryl Palmer and host Claire Challen, we got to work on an exciting new project. We, Caroline & Julie, two Dutch ski journalists, shot an episode of Ski TV at Whitewater and Nelson. We focused on what makes WH2O so special to us. Being surrounded by cheerful people who are just as excited to go shredding as we are is a huge privilege. Since we have been in town, skiers of all sorts welcomed us into their interesting lives. They have shared their secret stashes, their stories and more importantly their everlasting stoke. We have been greeted with open arms and felt at home right away! For us Whitewater is the complete opposite of a busy European resort: there is no scene, no (powder) stress and no mass tourism and that is why we love it! We are proud to share our love for Whitewater and we hope we did a good job on camera. The show will be aired in a few weeks already and we’ll keep you posted!


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