You are here
Life is Better on the Slopes
A Winter Wonderland
The roads were, thankfully, pretty clear sailing all the way from our starting point in Kelowna, BC to Nelson, in the southern part of the province. I was headed for a few days of 'ski-cation', about to spend four days in the famed Selkirk and Monashee mountains of British Columbia, and I was pumped to see dry pavement, until the last hour of my trip. When the snow did hit, I not only expected it, but relished in the fact that the hills would be carpeted with fresh powder. Unfortunately, I was on the road before the sanders or plows were out. Still, the ride wasn't too bad, considering we were still having a very, long Canadian winter. I kept my eyes focused on the road ahead and only when I checked in, opened the door to my suite, did I finally breathe a sigh of relief and had a great, happy surprise at my room at the Prestige Lakeside Resort in Nelson.
Whitewater is Actually Snow
A short 15-minute drive from downtown Nelson, Whitewater Ski Resort is situated in Ymir bowl, beneath the 2,400 m high Ymir Mountain, in the Selkirk Mountains. The Selkirks receive plentiful, dry snow, and the location in a high alpine bowl provides an annual snowfall average of approximately 12 meters. The day I drove up to the lodge, the sun was beating down on the road, melting snow and ice, and the air was clear and blue. Ski Canada has rated Whitewater to have the Best Deeps, Best Bowls and Best Glades. When I arrived, the hill was dotted with an array of skiers - a raft of kids lining up to get on one of the mountain's three lifts; 'oldsters' who appeared to embrace the 'hippy lifestyle' and others wearing the latest ski styles; families - all mingling together, with smiles on their faces obviously enjoying what lay before them and having a great time getting up and down the hill.
During my online research before making this trip, I was surprised to read a story in the Globe and Mail, which stated Whitewater remains a veritable secret to many skiers and snowboarders. When I asked a couple of 'locals' on the trail, they said it was probably because of its location - away from major airline centers, like Kelowna and Vancouver - and that they didn't mind it remaining a secret. As they swooshed away on skiis, they looked back and playfully said: "Don't tell anyone anything good that we've got going here!" When you've got something all to yourself, it's sometimes hard to share ... I get that. Still, I can't imagine the secret of Whitewater continuing for much longer when people discover its almost 1200 acres of skiable terrain and the absence of lift lines - with a great menu to nosh on when you get tired on the hill.
Nelson, in a lot of ways, reminds me of San Francisco - the way the streets climb from the shore of Kootenay Lake - to the vibrant restaurant scene. Downtown is a small, constrained couple of restaurant-filled blocks, with Baker Street the main draw. The architecture, similar to San Fran's consists of Victorian heritage buildings and cozy bars. Not wanting to venture out into the night (except to grab a picture), I decided to spend my night in the Prestige Lakeside Resort's restaurant (West Coast Grill) knowing that after downing a few calories, I could easily retire to my warm, puffy bed. I wasn't disappointed in the food selections, as this comfy restaurant fits right into the 'food heaven' that is Nelson.
I started off with the tuna tower, accompanied with crisp won tons and a small side salad. My traveling companion, Miss A, decided to begin her meal with a warm bowl of soup, the clam chowder. Both were stellar starts to the meal. The chowder was packed with seafood and the tuna tower felt refreshing. I continued my seafood theme with the steamer pot while Miss A ordered flat bread. To finish we couldn't resist the cheesecake, a raspberry concoction in a small mason jar.
For more photos and the full story visit the Prestige Hotels and Resorts blog...