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Coldsmokin' Success

Big snow, big wins, and big smiles wrap up a successful 10th Year of the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

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The 10th anniversary of the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest was nothing short of a spectacular weekend. Those from far and wide assailed upon Whitewater Ski Resort to enjoy clinics instructed by top industry professionals, compete in a variety of different on-mountain events, and spend the evenings being entertained throughout the streets of Nelson.


The weekend started on Friday with a variety of clinics at the resort offering something to those on snowboards, alpine and telemark skis. The Friday Alpine Performance went out with a full crew, as did the Freeskiing clinics for the entire weekend.

Professionals such as Kendra Starr, Sonja Lercher, Lila Jansma and John Buffery shared their wealth of knowledge both inbounds and beyond the resorts boundaries throughout the weekend. The official kick off to the festivities was the Friday evening Coldsmoke Openerat the local non-profit Civic Theatre. The theatre hosted an incredible spread of Kootenay talent, including an impressive presentation on travel through Russia from Nelson local yet world renowned Kari Medig. A big thank you to the team at Kootenay Mountain Culturewho put on a show that inspired at all levels, including uncontrollable laughter.

Saturday Coldsmoker’s awoke to the most perfect of winter recipes; 20cm of fresh Kootenay powder and blue skies. The conditions were perfect for those 44 athletes competing in the ROAM Randoneeand the sold out Village Ski Hut Slopestyle, as well as the variety of clinics both in and out of bounds. Saturday night the festivities continued onto the historic Hume Hotel in Nelson as participants gathered for more sold out events. The Mountain Mingler in the Spirit Bar put out an incredible spread of food and Nelson Brewing Company, Kootenay Distillery, and Tod Creek Cider provided complimentary samples of their deliciously local BC beverages. There were a plethora of games as even more winners walked out with everything from Osprey backpacks, a Burton Throwback Snowboard, and a pair of S7s’s from Rossignol. Local talent Red Eyed Soul started the After Party with the right tune and warmed up the stage for Elliott

Brood who rocked the Spirit Bar into the late hours of the evening. The best part of the Saturday night social? Thanks to the donations of many generous sponsors, Whitewater was able to raise over $4000 for local non-profit Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries Society that has provided free youth avalanche education to over 300 kids since 2009.

The blue skis continued into Sunday as 15 teams arrived for the Poker Run showed up in style for their ski tour with a race twist to play their hand of poker and to win Best Costume. Congratulations to the Senior Shredizens who each walked away with a new pair of skis compliments of Icelantic and Faction.

The final event of the weekend, but one of the most entertaining, is The North Face Backcountry Olympics where competitors showcase their backcountry skills inbounds of the resort. For those that chose not to partake in the various clinics and competitions spent the weekend demoing from over 25 various ski and snowboard products in the largest ever Coldsmoke Village.

To wrap up the weekend, the results from the weekend were announced under the towering peak of Ymir.

Generous prizes to all first, second and third competitors were handed off as they made their way to the snow podium, including the anniversary gift of aluminum prints by Dave Heath to each person walking away with first place. The final moment of the weekend, the one that everyone was waiting for, was the announcement of the new King & Queen of Coldsmoke. Congratulations to locals Scott Jeffery and Laura Waterer for working hard in all four on-mountain events to walk away with a Whitewater Season Pass for next year, $1000 compliments The North Face, a day heli-skiing with Stellar Heliskiing and of course the bragging rights!

A big thank you from Whitewater Ski Resort to the sponsors, volunteers and staff that make this festival such a success. It could not be done without your support! For a full list of results visit our latest BLOG at Mark your calendar as each year only gets bigger and better; see you for the 11th annual Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest February 24-26, 2017.