#1 – What is the Kootenay's best kept secret?
Don't tell anyone, but the Purcells just might be the best kept Kootenay secret. While the Canadian Rockies so obviously command your awe and attention, the Purcells are just that little bit more unassuming that their magic sneaks up on you. Plus, the fact that they're often that much harder to access (think long, bumpy roads or chilly sled rides) makes them all the more alluring. Spend a few days deep in the Purcell mountains & you'll come out with a higher appreciation for the region, guaranteed.
#2 – What is your favourite, epic day in the Kootenays?
I'm definitely a sucker for early mornings. Wake up at an unreasonable hour, drive to a trailhead and start walking uphill while the sun comes up and the mist rolls off the mountains. There's not much better than greeting a new day from a Kootenay mountaintop.
Summit (9,336 ft/ 2,845m high) of Fisher Peak in the Canadian Rockies
#3 – List your top 3 things ‘you love’!
Growing up in the Kootenay's, I definitely wasn't always aware of what a goldmine this place truly is. But the fact that you can hop on your bike at your house and be on the trail within minutes, or be skiing down a mountain shortly after you've woken up is something truly precious about this place. Everything is at your fingertips! Plus, there are some pretty great coffee companies in the area (essential for those early mountain mornings), and the people don't hurt either!
Kootenay Haus, atop of the Kimberley Alpine Resort
#4 – Where in the Kootenays, makes you the most happiest?
I feel instantly at peace and at home when hanging out along the St. Mary River. There's such calmness in the St. Mary Valley, and there's always a secluded river bend to be found.
St. Mary River and Valley (nestled in the Purcell Mountains), west of Kimberley
#5 – What area(s) gets you inspired?
Spending time in the Kootenay outdoors reminds you why you keep being called back to this place. It's difficult to translate the Kootenay feeling into a photograph or a piece of art. You have to immerse yourself in it and experience it first-hand. Essentially, the feeling you get by being in this beautiful backyard is inspiration enough to keep getting out and exploring further.
All photos and artwork by Jen Creasy.