The snow at Baldface Lodge came early and it has stayed

The snow at Baldface Lodge came early and it has stayed

Baldface Lodge set for another deep Kootenay season

Snow is piling up at Baldface Lodge, where staff will welcome their first guests of the season next week.

Snow is piling up at Baldface Lodge, where staff will welcome their first guests of the season next week.

The popular cat skiing location in the Selkirk Mountain range — a short helicopter ride from Nelson — already has 180 cm of snow and counting.

According to owner Jeff Pensiero, the snowpack is about where it should be this time of year.

“Things are looking really good up there,” he said. “We’re expecting another great season.”

Besides the mounting snow, Pensiero said there’s lots for Baldface to look forward to this year.

The company added a fourth snowcat to its fleet and opened up some new terrain on the mountain.

As well, one of the cabins will get a makeover and a new name this winter to commemorate 10 years since snowboarding legend Craig Kelly was killed in an avalanche near Revelstoke.

When it’s renamed in January, the Craig Kelly Cabin will have a newly renovated interior, with new wall art featuring the legendary athlete. The outside of the cabin will also be painted by a team of muralists, provided by Burton Snowboards, the company who sponsored Kelly.

“It’s going to be a huge, artistic project,” Pensiero said.

Local metal worker Keith Berens is also remaking the cross that sits on the ridge where Kelly and five others died on January 20, 2003. Kelly was 36-years-old and had been living in Nelson for two years when he perished.

Baldface will also be featured in several major magazines in coming months — including upcoming issues of GQ, National Geographic’s Adventure and Outside magazines.

“All that stuff was written last winter, but the magazines will actually put the stories out this winter,” Pensiero explained.

And the lodge will again host a snowboard series sponsored by Red Bull, an event that brings a lot of publicity to the area.

Reservations for trips up to Baldface the 2012-13 season are nearly sold out. For information see baldface.ca.