Let it snow: Skiers, snowboarders descend on Whitewater

Opening day featured a malfunctioning lift but no disappointment.

It was all smiles at Whitewater Ski Resort on Friday as the mountain opened for the new season.

Sleep always comes second to snow for Brad Scheepers.

He was among the first on the chair lift for opening day at Whitewater after hitching up the mountain Friday morning. Summer went on too long, and Scheepers was ready to break in his new board.

“I couldn’t even sleep last night,” he said. “I was sitting around, it was like 2:30 in the morning and I was so excited, I was shaking.”

Scheepers was just one of many who were eager to take advantage of the fresh snow. There was no sunshine, but a settled snowpack of 144 centimetres was all that mattered to anyone with their feet in bindings.

Stacey Haley, who stood out with her leopard-print snowpants, said she appreciated the rustic appeal of the resort.

“It’s not, ‘Here’s tamed runs and you can only go within the bounds,'” she said. “It’s like, ‘Here’s a mountain and we’ll get you up it, and go have fun.'”

Opening day wasn’t without technical difficulties — an electrical issue shut down the Silver King chair, leaving visitors with only the Summit lift and Hummer Handle Tow to carry them up to the peak.

That meant the lineup for Summit was longer than it normally would be. Haley said she wasn’t bothered by it.

“You get to hang out, see all your friends in the same line,” she said. “It’s hard to miss your crowd when you’re all in the same lineup.”

Louis Dionne travelled from Rossland to get used to skiing again. He’s skied for over 50 years, but Friday was his first day back since breaking his pelvis on the slopes just after Christmas last year.

After two runs, Dionne was happy to report no pain or fear on the trip down.

“Feeling all right. Still not walking good but I can ski pretty decent,” he said. “The legs, it’s going to take a while for the memory of the muscles to come back. You work decades to get good muscled legs and now it’s so long, that’s the worst part.”

The positive atmosphere extended to Whitewater’s staff. Kirk Jensen has been the resort’s general manager for five years, but he said he never gets tired of opening day.

“Never. It’s always exciting,” said Jensen. “It’s great to see the locals up. It’s a great community thing to get people up, even if they are only doing a few runs and socializing in the lodge, putting their gear in their locker and heading down. Or having a bite to eat and just connecting with friends they haven’t seen over the summer or since last winter. It’s a good vibe for sure.”

It sure was. Scheepers was giddy as he waited for his turn on the lift.

“Whitewater is so rad, man,” he said.

Just Posted

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

DATELINE 1969: Narcotics seminar hears call for drug law reform

Greg Scott digs into the Nelson Daily News archives

Motion calls on Rossland city council to recognize ‘climate crisis’

Andy Morel wants to raise awareness of urgent need for action by higher levels of government

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

CHECK THIS OUT: Enquiring minds want to know

Anne DeGrace writes about the diverse reasons people use the library

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read