Heeding the Call of Nature at Whitewater and Red Mountain

by Dan Giesin | February 20, 2018

There is a saying that if you want to rob a bank in Nelson, B.C., do it on the morning of a powder day because everyone in town is skiing up the road at Whitewater.
The same can also be said about the nearby town of Rossland, which sits at the foot of Red Mountain resort.
And for good reason.
Both resorts receive prodigious amounts of snow (an average of 480 inches falls annually at Whitewater and 300 at Red), and each has a respectable amount of skiable terrain (2,367 acres at Whitewater and 4,200 at Red) and vertical (2,044 and 2,919, respectively).
And because neither resort possesses a single high-speed lift among their combined nine uphill conveyances, the powder doesn’t get skied out quickly.
But mostly the locals — and visitors alike — head for these hills on a powder day because the skiing and snowboarding is just so damn good; you’d be hard-pressed to find two similar-size resorts anywhere else in North America that has as much fun tree and glade skiing as Whitewater and Red.
With more than 50 percent the runs at each resort rated black diamond or double-diamond, these places are truly steep and deep.
Although Whitewater and Red are famed as being playgrounds for the more proficient skiers and snowboarders, each has its tamer side. Check out the vast green and blue playground skier’s left of the Silver King double chair at Whitewater and just about any run off the Silverlode fixed-grip quad at Red.
The following is a quick guide to help you navigate yourself around the two popular off-ramps on southeastern B.C.’s legendary Powder Highway.
Best trees
Luna’s Corners and Enchanted Forest at Whitewater; High Spirits and Poochie’s Trees at Red.
Best glades
Diamond Glades and Concentrator Trees at Whitewater; Powder Fields and Maggie’s Farm at Red.
Best groomers
Little Mucker and Huckleberry at Whitewater; Southern Comfort and Southern Belle at Red.
Best apres
Torchlight Brewery and Mike’s Pub in Nelson; Rafters at Red Mountain’s base lodge and The Rossland Brewing Company in Rossland.
Best eats
Louie’s Steakhouse and Yum Son (Vietnamese modern) in Nelson; Aka Drake Sushi and Gabriella’s (Italian) in Rossland.
Best nightlife
Library Lounge and The Royal in Nelson; Rafters at Red Mountain’s base lodge and the Flying Steamshovel in Rossland.

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