Skiers and boarders alike wait in anticipation for opening day at their local mountains. Opening day is an event to mark on the calendar and a day not to be missed. There are even those obsessive riders whose crown of achievement is getting first chair of the season. This may entail getting up really early, or maybe even camping out overnight, to claim that first spot in line. It's a point of pride that also comes along with bragging rights. And who doesn’t want fresh turns at the start of the season?
Snow is a celebration in British Columbia and we know how to pray to ULLR (pronounced: ULL-er: is a product of Norse mythology - he's been dubbed the God of Snow, Patron Saint of Skiers, the son of Sif and stepson of Thor) to entice him to give us the goods. Well, sometimes the party is worth it on its own. Different places have different ways of celebrating winter and they can vary from parties, to heritage events and even comedic competitions. There is no shortage of entertainment throughout the ski season in the Kootenays.
The Rossland Winter Carnival (January 25-28, 2018) is an event that must be experienced to be believed, there’s even a bobsled race through the middle of town. Tourism Rossland’s Executive Director, and newcomer to Rossland, Andras Lukac is excited to be working alongside the carnival this year. "The Rossland Winter Carnival is the oldest winter carnival in Canada and the biggest party in our calendar. This celebration of snow-culture embodies everything that makes this resort community so special.” Says Lukacs. “If you really want to immerse yourself in the mountain culture of the Kootenays, understand the locals' deep connection to Rossland, there's no better time to visit."
Photo by Steve Ogle
Located just outside Nelson, the Whitewater's Winter Carnival and Snowball Apres (January 20-21, 2018) “is a family favourite weekend at the mountain” says Whitewater's Marketing Manager, Rebeckah Hornung. “From marshmallow roasting, snow sculptures, fireworks, live music and a buffet feast, from the legendary chef of the Fresh Tracks Café, it’s a special time to make memories with your loved ones”. Come for the fun and stay for the incredible food.
In Fernie, Griz Days (March 2-4, 2018) is a 3-day festival that includes downtown celebrations, free concerts and the Rocky Mountain Lumberjack Show. Fernie always stays true to its industrious beginnings. In Kimberley, at the Kimberley Alpine Resort (January 13, 2018) locals and visitors are encouraged to wear their best viking gear and pay homage to ULLR the 'Norse God of Snow'!
Photo courtesy of the Kimberley Alpine Resort
In the Kootenays, winters are met with joy and excitement as people embrace the cold weather and the outdoors. There’s just so much fun to be had! Our snow is legendary but so are our parties. This year, make ULLR happy and celebrate winter!
Photo by Ryan Flett
- Story by Ryan Flett, a local photographer from Nelson, BC. Ryan started skiing at Whitewater Ski Resort at a young age and knew that his obsession with the outdoors would guide him. He sought a career where he could experience the world around him and capture its beauty. He's chased skiers down powder runs in the Kootenays, experienced the culture wonders of South America, sailed the majestic BC coast and travelled east to west in Canada. And continues experiencing as much as he can, with his camera in tow.