Happy New Year ! To kick things off, we showcased a Kootenay explorer, Ryan Flett, a photographer living the mountain lifestyle around the West Kootenays. To see more of Ryan's work, check out his Instagram Feed and website Ryan Flett Media.
#1. How does the Kootenay wilderness inspire you?
Wilderness has always inspired me. My dad was the West Kootenay Recreation Officer for the forest service for 25 years and he has taught me the importance and joy that comes from being outside. The large peaks and endless valleys offer me an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and to slow down to the pace of nature, watching an environment that has little impact from humans. I believe strongly in protecting wilderness so that it can be experienced for generations to come.
Tearing off ski skins in the backcountry. Always be aware of the avalanche conditions.
#2. Describe your ideal day in the Kootenays.
Standing on a peak with skis on. Blizzard raging with powder everywhere. Friends yelping for joy as we ski endless deep turns. Pure bliss.
Local RED athlete, Simon Hills of Rossland, BC slashing turns.
#3. Who is your favourite outdoor companion?
Anyone of my friends and family who want to explore. My truest relationships are formed in the mountains and I always want to grow my own community around the love of the outdoors.
#4. What do you love about exploring the Kootenays?
There are stunning and challenging adventures all over the Kootenays. I'm always looking for new hiking areas, places to ski tour in the winter and deep pow turns that enliven my soul. The access to these areas is unsurpassed with old logging roads everywhere that offer ways to get away from society and up into the mountains.
The sun rising over the Motherlode Chair on RED Mountain Resort.
#5. If you could choose one spot in the Kootenays that make you the happiest, where would it be?
I have to go with my hometown of Nelson. There's something about the culture of the community and incredible skiing at Whitewater Ski Resort that always has me longing for home. It's a great home base to start exploring the mountains and lakes of the region too!