When you’re on a ski safari, it’s as much about the driving as it is the skiing. Getting from Red Mountain to Nelson, the closest town to Whitewater Ski Resort, was one of the shortest driving legs of the trip, a little over an hour. Our route took us through Trail B.C., which was the location of the JP Auclair’s creative urban ski segment in Sherpa Cinemas All.I.Can.
Nelson is a town I spent just enough time in last year to want to go back. It has many of the things I seek in a ski town – great coffee (Oso Negro), lots of ski shops, and a number of interesting restaurants. Oh, and a ski resort just outside of town, one known for great powder and great backcountry access. Win-win-win-win!
Just our luck we arrived in Nelson on the eve of a holiday – Family Day. It’s a new holiday for British Columbia, but new or not, local citizens took it very seriously. As such, all stores, including most restaurants, were closed, outside of the one located at the Hume Hotel, where we were staying (the newer rooms have great beds & groovy decor). Americans, particularly those of us living in resort towns, might learn from this example.
I was eager to ski Whitewater, as much to explore the terrain as to enjoy another awesome lunch. Our timing meant mid-week ‘crowds’ and a cloud layer up high, the latter which kept us gravitating towards the trees, and the former meaning there were not many people besides us in said trees.
Like Red Mountain, Whitewater doesn’t have a whole bunch of lifts, and ZERO high-speed quads. But its geography means that the two lifts we rode accessed a lot of fun (and steep) terrain. By lunchtime I had worked up an appetite, and since I had eaten well the last time we were here, I was looking forward to lunch. Whitewater’s Café is still as interesting and delicious as I remembered. We split an order of vegetarian poutine with yam fries that I was still talking about the next day. Were we not on a schedule to get to Revelstoke that night, I might have insisted on returning to Nelson to find the Whitewater cookbook with that recipe. As it was, we were on a mission ski safari.
After another few hours of endless turns past snow ghosts, we packed up in order to get to Revelstoke by dinner time.
Next stop: Revelstoke