In 1890, the discovery of gold laden ore deposits on
the south side of Red Mountain in Rossland, BC marked the start of one
of the richest gold rushes in Canadian history and the birth of ski
racing in Canada. As adventurers and gold seekers poured in from around
the world, it was the arrival of one particular Norwegian Mining
engineer (Olaus Jeldness) that would place Red Mountain and Rossland on
the leading edge of downhill ski racing.
Jeldness organized the first ever downhill ski race on Red Mountain on
Feb. 15, 1896, and the original “Jeldness Trophy” is still on display
in the Western Canadian Ski Hall of Fame to this very day! Red Mountain
and the Red Mountain Ski Club would go on to produce world cup champions
such as Nancy Green & Karin-Lee Gartner, and today Red Resort
offers some of the best lift access powder and tree skiing available in
Western Canada (all within a 5 minute drive from Bearkat Lodge).
You can ski on groomed cross-country trails right from your doorstep at Bearkat or access the Blackjack Cross-Country Ski Club
located 5 kilometers from the lodge. Blackjack offers 30 kilometers of
beginner to advanced groomed classic and skate ski trails, expert
instruction for all levels of skier, and an active junior racing
program. You will find an engaged group of passionate board members and
volunteers that have hosted everything from Provincial to National level
races, including Biathlon.
The West Kootenays are comprised of the Monashee,
Selkirk and Purcell Mountain ranges and offer some of the softness,
fluffiest powder skiing conditions in the world, receiving over 45’ of
annual snowfall. Big Red Cats
out of Rossland offers over 450 runs on 8 mountains of varied
intermediate to advanced terrain, with great equipment and expert guide
staff; and for those of you who prefer to hover check out Snowwater Heli-Skiing and Boarding operating in the Selkirk range out of Nelson, BC.