Whitewater Ski Resort’s 10th Annual Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest went off this last weekend, thanks to 20cm of fresh snow, blue skies and record attendance. The now staple event brings together locals and tourists alike, with a huge demo village, tons of clinics and a bevy of events both on and off hill. As one of the title sponsors, Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine was proud to be a part of the action, which kicked of Friday night with the Coldsmoke Opener Film Fest, featuring amazing films from some of the Kootenays more prominent photographers. Kari Medig’s Siberia slideshow and Steve Ogle’s Wapta Canadian Tire spoof were highlights, not to mention a sexy dance by the one and only Uncle Duke.
Saturday’s action was mind blowing. While scores of “Skimo” athletes battled it out in the ROAM Randonee on a lung busting course that had them traversing all over the resort (which had just received 20cms of perfect, Kootenay blower the night before), well over 100 young athletes put on an amazing show of skiing at the Village Hut Slopestyle. Highlights included 15-year-old Liam Kelly stomping a double back flip, followed by his Whitewater Freeride teammate Loki Wickman-Rathe stomping a crazy double front flip.
That night things moved on to the Mountain Mingler at the Spirit Bar, a warm up sampling of good food, drink and prizes before Elliot Brood brought the house down with some amazing music.
Throughout the entire festival, a host of clinics were going on, led by some of the area’s more talented coaches and mentors. Well-known educators like John Buffery led a backcountry clinic on Sunday that was highly educational and delivered some amazing backcountry powder skiing behind the resort. Buffery’s many years of experience in the guiding, safety and risk mitigation world offered skiers and boarders from as far away as New Zealand the unique opportunity to learn backcountry travel and decision making techniques from one of the most respected guides in North America.
Meanwhile, back at the resort, the competitions kept going with Poker Run and the North Face Backcountry Olympics. Of course, for the few with the wherewithall to compete in all of the events, the much coveting King and Queen of Coldsmoke were up for grabs, with a $1,000 cheque from The North Face, a season’s pass from Whitewater and the almighty crown. Congrats to Scott Jeffery and Laura Waterer for winning Coldsmoke Royalty.
As the event continues to grow in popularity, and the snow always seems to cooperate, if you haven’t made it, make sure to mark the third weekend of February next year, and make you’re way over to Nelson for one of the best resort festival’s BC has to offer. Check out all of the results from the weekend HERE.
Laura Waterer, Whitewater patroller and new Queen of Coldsmoke, along with some of the great costumes that show up at this incredibly fun spirited event. Congrats to both King and Queen for winning a trip to up into the big terrain at Stellar Heliskiing!