The Kootenays are an elusive mountain range–even their border is loosely defined, and they sometimes overlap with the Rockies. Inside the Kootenays lie the Selkirks, Monashees and Bugaboos, just to name a few. Indeed, the Kootenay Mountains are a diverse bunch, but are tied together by the residents of the Columbia drainage. There is no flash in the Kootenays, just skiers. They are there for the deep, light snow, that falls consistently on the range year after year. They are there for the steep, perfectly spaced trees and endless stacks of pillows. They are there for the relaxzed pace of life, for days that melt into weeks, months and seasons of steep lines and perfect powder.
From rolling forested hills they build into a liege of rugged peaks and jagged ridgelines, ramparts, and textured alpine. Granite walls and spired summits softened and smoothed by enormous snows. A place carved and shaped by winter’s longstanding residence.
In British Columbia’s Kootenay region, trees cling high, up past 7,000 feet, with larch and fir bent and twisted on the steepest slopes, barely alive it seems, but evenly spaced. In the sweet spot, where mature timber bleeds to the subalpine, fall-line chutes and rock formations fall into a beautifully choreographed dance of openness and narrow line. Evolved to survive this dependable snowbelt—where westerly, Pacific Ocean-powered storms birth stellar perfection—tall, thin spruce trees stand encased in rime and pow like bendy drawings in a Dr. Suess book…
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