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Where they once mined for minerals, winter enthusiasts mine for pow at Red Mountain
The story of skiing at Red Mountain Resort in the Kootenays of southeast British Columbia, is written in stone.
In 1890, miners discovered deposits of gold-copper ore on the south side of Red Mountain. In 1897, well before Red Mountain was, well, Red Mountain, Norwegian mining engineer Olaus Jeldness, known as the Father of Competitive Skiing in Canada, organized (and won) a ski race from the peak to downtown Rossland—Canada’s first recorded ski competition.
As Red has gone from luring hardrock miners to hardcore skiers, that blue-collar ethic still dominates.
No high-speed chairlifts or heated sidewalks here. It’s the skiing that matters most, and, acre-for-acre, nearby Red Mountain boasts perhaps the best, most expansive ski terrain in the region.
A trio of chiseled peaks—Red, Granite and Grey—comprise the terrain at Red Mountain. Experts will enjoy the steep rock chutes and a dizzying network of runs; beginners and intermediate riders, the mellow glades of Paradise or Grey Mountain. At approximately 4200 acres, Red is the size of Jackson Hole—at about half the cost, and with none of the locals-only airs.
The locals share secrets
Having checked in at the Prestige Mountain Resort in downtown Rossland, I wander the steeply angled streets toward dinner at the Flying Steamshovel. It’s quiet downtown, as it is on all my visits to Rossland; the town is decidedly less rowdy than during its gold-crazy heyday. But a powder day is forecast for the next morning, and skiers and snowboarders here have only one thing in mind: mining some turns on their local mountain.
If you go
For more information about Red Mountain and to start planning your own powder mining expedition, head to the official website.
Contact Red Mountain at: 1-800-663-0105 or, 1-250-362-7384