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Places & Faces: Whitewater

Articles Places & Faces

Whitewater Ski Resort is close enough to Nelson BC in the Kootenays that folks will dash to the mountain to take 2 runs at lunch.  Colby Lehman, Outside Ops Manager and Rebeckah Hornung, Marketing guru, are just two of the folks that make this place great.

Matt Kastrukoff is the maintenance manager at Whitewater. A Nelson guy all his life, he has been at the ski area for 18 years. Starting at the rental shop after high school, he gained experience and moved to grooming, then maintenance and lifts.

Matt’s home away from home is his shop. The four year old shop has all the amenities including a 2 tonne lift and 24 foot doors. One of many great ideas collected at Whitewater was the grooming routine.  Of course the mountain is known for its pow and terrain, but the grooming shift starts at 2:00pm.  This includes some mandatory skiing and chatting with folks about the grooming and conditions until about 3:30 to determine the grooming strategy for the coming hours based on the direct feedback.

The lifts at Whitewater are as rich as the ski areas people. The Silver King used to be Whistler’s Olive Chair…a composite of Murray Latta, Yan, and Riblet. The Summit Chair is a Riblet. And the newest addition on Glory Ridge is a Doppelmayr from Vail.

Glory Ridge offers fantastic glade skiing. It is now serviced with a triple Doppelmayr chair. The Glory Ridge chair is 7.35 minutes closer to Nelson than the main base area. And yes, everyone counts on a powder day.

Summit Chair

Freshies Coffee Bar…at Whitewater things are fresh.

Whitewater food is legendary. Click on the photo and take a closer look at the menu. Greek, Vietnamese, Mexican, and oh yeah, burgers. During a conversation about ski area food a couple years ago, I remember the point that skiers still buy burgers. The lesson that Whitewater capitalised on years ago, is that while consumer’s today will buy a burger, they expect and demand and exceptional burger.

Whitewater partners on a shuttle with two shops in Nelson, Roam and Sacred Ride. What is even more clever and costs nothing, is that they park the shuttle near the bottom of the lift so every single person skiing that day knows there is a shuttle.

Another great idea that costs virtually nothing is a transceiver practise plot. This allows guests to practise searches, offers more activity in the base area, and supports a back country identity.

Fat tire bikes are available through the rental shop and use multi purpose trails.

The Whitewater Ski Club utilises a yurt at the base of the mountain for its clubhouse.

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