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Places & Faces: Phoenix, Salmo & Summit Lake

Places & Faces:  Phoenix, Salmo & Summit Lake

CWSAA is deeply committed to serving ski areas of all sizes from Manitoba west.  I should add that the CWSAA Board has identified grassroots skier and rider development as a priority, and that every one of the largest areas have committed to helping community ski areas.  It is with this on going mandate that CWSAA caught up with some areas en route to its mid winter Board of Directors meeting.

Salmo and its community ski hill is located just south of Nelson in southern BC.  Like many areas, it is the people at Salmo ski hill that somehow inspire and motivate.  The operation provides opportunities for first time skiing and snowboarding, as well as first jobs for many local youth.  I felt privileged that Margaret Macdonald from the Board of Directors skied with me.  But pull out a camera and there was no way she or fellow director Wally Huser were going to get into a photo.  Fortunately, Levis Huser was keen to ski and be photographed…hence the intro.

Salmo’s slopes are serviced by a Tbar. The lower half is of moderate pitch, and the upper half helps speed up the learning curve.
Ski run names are always intriguing. I would like to meet Rollie.
The lodge at Salmo is home to a rental shop and change area, but could be described as a shrine to the area’s rich skiing heritage.
Like many areas, Salmo celebrates its heros like Bobby Swan.
Any fan of skiing will love the feel of the Salmo daylodge. The club has preserved, celebrated, and displayed its deep history. This includes home made springboxes and original equipment.
And original Tbars crafted in Salmo.  If you are lucky enough to visit when the lodge is open…definitely check it out.


Phoenix Mountain is located between Grand Forks and Greenwood in southern BC. It is governed by a volunteer society and has a great reputation for churning out great skiers.
Christy Goddard (Director & Operations) and Chris Nason (Mtn Manager) are two of the folks that make Phoenix happen. Many will be happy to hear that Barbara Cornelius still serves as the administrator as she has for 30+ years.
One of two lifts, the tow has an old snowcat cabin for a liftee hut.
I was very excited to see two school buses when we arrived at Phoenix. The Tbar and tow keep the children contained to a specific area. I loved that  ski school classes were announced by the ringing of a large, and loud, cow bell at the bottom of the slopes. The bell could be heard from the top to the bottom of the Tbar.
Kim in the Phoenix cafeteria is entitled to bragging rights for burgers.


Skiing started at Summit Lake near Nakusp BC in 1961. Around that time there was a series of three rope tows on skiers right.
Now one tow remains, plus a Doppelmayr Tbar with a 500 vertical foot drop.
Summit Lake and the regional school board have an agreement to integrate ski and snowboard lessons into school curriculum. This is the aspiration of many jurisdictions across the country. Way to go Summit.
Rob Stevens, known to many SROAM grads and ski industry folks as ‘Turtle’ is very much active at Summit and can often be found laying cord. Rob was one of many volunteers at the area that started the Nancy Greene race which attracts up to 250 skiers…often the biggest day of the year.
Local Butch Warentz and Mike Webster, Board Vice President, are some of the great personalities that contribute time to make Summit Lake possible.
The daylodge is about 50 years old and the original sections of the building were built from the endcuts from the local mill.
Equipment on wheels in the rental shop makes for efficient flow through of school groups.
Turtle, Mike and Butch have right to be proud of the rental shop thanks to grants from the Columbia Basin Trust. A shout out to Sun Peaks for helping supply the shop with equipment.
The shop also rents snowshoes that are often used by parents that have kids in ski and snowboard lessons.
It was great to see Summit’s signage around tubing. The tubing lanes are excavated into the earth.

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