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 24-27, 2019) 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; Rossland's Winter Carnival
In Fernie, Griz Days (March 1-13, 2019) 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 12, 2019/TBA) 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
Nelson's Winter Kickoff (Nov 22 to Dec 2, 2018) is back for another year to get you stoked for winter - in true Kootenay-style. Find out why Nelson and the Kootenay Lake region loves winter. From live music performances to workshops and tours, come stay, play and find awesome! Wondering, who has the tastiest hot chocolate in town? Step into one of Nelson's participating cafes to sip and savour the various chocolatey creations. Voting is from Nov 22 to Dec 2: ready, set, start tastying!
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
~ The Best of the Best: Our Kootenay Winter Celebrations
~ Fernie's Griz Turns 40: Let's Celebrate
- 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.