When my husband and I were younger, back in the days before children, we’d leave our home in Calgary after work on Friday, drive out to Kimberley or Fernie for the weekend, and grab the cheapest hotel room we could find. I remember eating instant oatmeal in the morning with water that we’d heated from the in-room coffee maker and remember trying to squeeze at least 4 adults into a room to split costs. These were our “dirt bag ski days” and they worked for us – as adults without kids.
Insert a child into our family dynamic, an injury that has left me unable to ski long days back to back anymore, and changing times – and our ski style has changed just a tad. (For the better!)
Key factors we take into account when planning a successful family ski weekend
- Staying off hill is not an option for us anymore. We look for lodging on the ski hill so that each member of the family can choose how long he or she wants to ski for. At least one of us usually runs out of energy early afternoon or needs to take an extended lunch break to rest and chill.
- Having a kitchen in our suite or condo is imperative to affordable ski weekends. I’m done with coffee-maker-oatmeal and want to have
“nice breakfasts.” (Think bacon and pancakes to fuel the family for the day.) Staying at one of the ski in/out condos on the Kimberley Alpine Resort property allows us to make our own breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (even if it’s as simple as a couple of frozen pizzas when we arrive Friday night.)
- One room hotel suites just don’t cut it with kids. Anybody else ever spend the evening sitting on the bathroom floor of their hotel room with a book and a glass of wine just so that the kids can fall asleep in the main room with no lights on? Or have you ever had to sit in the hallway outside your hotel room while the kids fell asleep? I’ve done both and I’m done with those days. Now we always look for a one or two bedroom condo. The kids go to sleep in the bedrooms while us adults can stay up and talk, play a game of cards, and share a few beers. I call this “successful après-ski parenting.”
- Every successful ski day ends at the resort swimming pool. We shared a condo with friends at Kimberley this month and the kids spent as much time in the swimming pool as they did on the ski hill. They were in the pool within an hour of arriving Friday night, were back in the pool Saturday afternoon after skiing, and spent at least 2 hours in the pool again Sunday afternoon before driving home.
- A ski resort has to offer more than just skiing. When we used to visit ski resorts in our younger days, we came for the skiing and that was it. Get up, ski hard until the hill closes, drink, eat, and socialize with friends, go to bed, repeat. Things have changed now and we actually look for a variety of entertainment/leisure options when we go away for a weekend. On our recent trip to Kimberley, my girlfriend and I brought cross country skis and enjoyed some night skiing at the Kimberley Nordic Club Friday night while the kids were at the swimming pool with the dads. Other activities we could have tried would have included fat biking, ice skating and snowshoeing – all right at the same resort. While we usually only go away for a two-day weekend, we’d appreciate all of these activities if we were to spend a longer amount of time in Kimberley. My body isn’t what it used to be and I’d never be able to spend multiple days downhill skiing without rest breaks to enjoy some other outdoor activities.
A winter resort for every member of the family
On our recent visit to Kimberley, our group included three kids ages eight and under, three adults who could have closed the ski hill each day, and then me, a mom who enjoys skiing until early afternoon each day before retreating to the hot tub or slopeside pub.
Fortunately for our group, Kimberley was the perfect location for mixed interests and we’re now thinking we might plan a future trip with extended family. My mother would love the resort’s snowshoe tour and I’d like to return for the fat biking tour.
Below are some of the many activities a family can enjoy in Kimberley:
- Downhill resort skiing from a ski in/out condo at the base of the ski resort (with night skiing available on the main run – a great option if you spent the afternoon in the swimming pool with the kids and want to get back out on the slopes later)
- Cross country skiing at the Kimberley Nordic Club, a short 2 minute drive away from the Kimberley Alpine Resort base area. We enjoyed night skiing on a 3 km lit loop but next time I return to Kimberley I want to check the trails out in the daylight.
- Resort snowshoe tours including the Kootenay Haus Chocolate Fondue Tour which is perfect for the whole family.
- Resort fat bike tours including the Trickle Creek S’mores Fat Bike Tour (and yes, it includes a fire and s’mores along the easy ride through the golf course below the ski resort)
- Ice skating on the resort rink, conveniently located outside the Trickle Creek Lodge and beside the Stemwinder Bar and Grill. Between skating, the swimming pool that we enjoyed at the Mountain Spirit Resort where we stayed, and the live entertainment at the Stemwinder, we had plenty to do in the après-ski hours on hill.
- Dinner, shopping, and rock climbing in the Kimberley Platzl. The Bavarian-themed plaza downtown is home to several amazing restaurants including our favourite, the Pedal and Tap. (Seriously, try the mucked up fries and then tell me it’s not your favourite restaurant too!) There’s also a super-cool indoor climbing gym, The Spirit Rock Climbing Centre, in the Platzl that we keep meaning to visit. It’s on the list for the next time we visit when we have more than 2 days to play and explore!
And just in case you still think you could ever be bored on your winter trip to Kimberley, the Hello BC website has even more fun suggestions for ways to discover Kimberley year round.
The Tourism Kimberley website is also a great resource for accommodations, activities, and things to do in Kimberley.
To read more about my family’s adventures in Kimberley and our stay at the Mountain Spirit Resort, check out my recent story on my own blog: The Ultimate Family Ski Weekend at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
**You can NOW Register and Pay at Guest Services or call 250.427.4881**
You can also fill out the RCR Event Waiver online. Please click on the following link: https://
Downhill Ski or Board (2km) Cross Country Ski (5km) Road Runner (4.2km) Rock Climb (5 climbs) Cyclist (4km)
Individual (all ages) $40
Mixed team up to 5 people (all ages) $100
Registration fee includes a bbq lunch, event souvenir and a draw ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes!
Click here to view Schedule and Nordic Maps – 2016 iron legs schedule 5km Nordic Map 3.5km/kids Nordic
8am – Bib pick up, waiver signing and collection of payments on the day of the race. (It is recommended that individual racers drop their equipment off at the transition areas prior to registering at 8am-9:30am on Saturday. There will be a volunteer present at 8am outside the Climbing Gym and Nordic Centre to watch over equipment.)
9:30am – Pre race meeting in Slopeside
10.30am – Race starts
1:30pm: Ceremony in KAR Plaza
Here is the 2016 Course Map for the running/cycling portion of Iron Legs. Runners will start at Kimberley Nordic Club and run down to Spirit Rock Climbing Center through the Platzl. The cycling portion will start at Climbing Gym through the Platzl (mandatory for all cyclists to walk/push bike through Platzl) up Gerry Sorensen Way to Stemwinder Drive (past Trickle Creek Lodge) into the KAR Plaza.
A special thanks to our sponsors so far: Rossignol, Helly Hansen, Head, Jeep, Telus, Kokanee, Spirit Rock Climbing Centre, Kimberley Vacations, Kootenay Mountain Works, Purcell Outdoors and Handz on Evolution, B104 Total Country and 102.9 The Drive, Kimberley Nordic Centre, St. Eugene Resort and Casino and the City of Kimberley.
Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 2nd
9am Splash event information and REGISTRATION tents opens in plaza *Please note – Registration is on the day of the event on a first come first serve basis.
11am BBQ and beer gardens open, photo booth, plaza games, free facepainting and more!
12pm Live music by Mile High Club
2:15pm Spring Splash event begins!!!
4:45pm Spring Splash & event awards
5:00pm Live music by Jory Kinjo and the Static
7:30pm Live music in Stemwinder by Oak Republic
Sunday, April 3rd
9 – 11am Information and Registration Tent opens in the plaza (you can register now for Dummy Downhill at Guest Services or email email@example.com)
Dummy inspection begins
11am BBQ and beer gardens open, photo booth, plaza games, free facepainting and more!
12:30pm Live music by Lucas Hanny and The Fable Hoppers
3:00pm Dummy Downhill starts
4:00pm Dummy Downhill and event awards!
4:30pm Live music by the Good Ol’ Goats
For more info call: 250.427.4881
Slopes For Hope Kimberley
March 5, 2016
To register for this event please visit the Slopes for Hope Website
2 Everest Challenges
What Will You Conquer?
Slopes for Hope is a family-friendly winter enthusiast event designed by local residents in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.
We are inviting snowboarders, Alpine & Nordic skiers and all people who love to play in the snow to join the fight against cancer as we take it to the slopes! Participate individually or in teams of up to 4 people with your family, friends and co-workers.
You can participate in one of 2 challenges:
- Descending Everest – downhill ski or snowboard 16 passes of the main run at the Kimberley Alpine Resort.
2. The Everest Trek – ski 24 kms at the Kimberley Nordic Club (4 loops of the 6 km trail).
There will be an apres-event with entertainment and prizes awarded at the end of the day for both challenges.For more details on the event and each of the challenges, click here.
In addition to the $20 per person registration fee, we ask that all participants fundraise to support the Canadian Cancer Society. Funds raised through the event will help the Canadian Cancer Society fund cancer prevention initiatives, support programs, research and more. To learn more about what the Canadian Cancer Society does in your community and the services they provide, go to www.cancer.ca
If you want to fundraise offline, click here to print a donation form. Please bring collected donations and filled out forms to the registration table with you the morning of the event.
Please note: Due to last years cancellation, we have rolled over 2015 registered participant’s registration fees into the 2016 Slopes event and any donations collected in 2015 will count towards your 2016 totals.
2015 registrants should login with your 2015 username/password – please do not re-register.
It’s not just about skiing, it’s about the experience.
Morning was a bad time to write this….
As I’m reliving my trip to Kimberley and reviewing pictures, I’m realizing morning was a bad time to write this. Recently, I spent time in Kimberley in what we refer to as ‘the off season’, meaning we’re a hot minute away from winter and being a popular ski base for skiers and snowboarders travelling here from all around the county and the world. As my last visit was in the off season, a lot of time was spent eating out since many of the towns attractions are in between their summer and winter seasons, which made me realize, a ski vacation isn’t just about skiing, food (just like skiing the exhilarating slopes) is good for the soul and a ski vacation is about the whole soul soothing experience.
While visiting Kimberley on your vacation, staying on the mountain to eat is easy to do with so many options, however if you do decide to venture into town, it might not look like it as first, but it’s home to lots of delicious food. And, no we don’t mean schnitzel (although that’s good here too).
The heart of Kimberley is the Platzl. A pedestrian street – park your car in the nearby free lot and enter in the centre to find a variety of places to eat day or night.
Sullivan Pub (and drive thru liquor store!!)
One of my personal favourites (seriously, I can’t visit Kimberley and not eat here, sometimes it’s even more than once in one trip). The Sullivan Pub looks unassuming from the outside, you may be tempted to think its menu follows the generic pub menu format, well, it doesn’t. It’s actually a hidden gem of delicious dishes. This menu presents not only indulgent options like Lobster Tacos, Wild Boar Bolognese and Roast Prime Rib – it also has a whole Poutine section. For a fun meal, try going full on Canadian trying a few poutines – none of which will disappoint in the least.
Did I mention the drive thru liquor store? Even if you’re just stocking up to hole up at the resort and not come back to town, the drive thru liquor store is the novel place to stock up.
In the Platzl, 136 Deer Park Ave.
Stonefire is the perfect place to eat with a family or a group of friends. The large restaurant is comprised mostly of large tables, while there is also a bar to sit at. The bar is situated right in front of Stonefire’s wood fired pizza oven which was hand built in Naples, at the bar you can watch as the busy (pizza master chefs) assemble and toss the pizzas in the oven and then out to the tables at lightning speed. http://stonefirepizzeria.ca/
Pedal & Tap
In the Platzl
The name is meant to encourage people to bike to the restaurant and offers free locks as an added incentive, the inside of the restaurant offers a vintage feel with interesting decorations and awesome bartenders who base your drink off your personality and mood. My first visit to Pedal and Tap was later at night after already eating dinner earlier. This was definitely a mistake. The ‘Alba (hard)core Tuna we had was so delicious it made it difficult to watch other extremely appetizing looking meals come out of the kitchen while being too stuffed to try any of them. The Carbonara looked particularly popular and delicious, with at least half the restaurant seeming to have ordered it. Pedal and Tap is arguably one of the most famous restaurants in Kimberley, it was featured on The Food Networks You Gotta Eat here in 2013 showcasing its care and attention to the food it produces using locally sources ingredients (you can still watch the episode featuring Pedal and Tap on the Food Network’s website). On the wall are Pedal & Tap tshirts, which are in high demand, if your size isn’t available it gives you another incentive to return (if the food wasn’t enough). http://pedalandtap.com/
Eating On Mountain
Montana’s Grill & Cookhouse
Located in Trickle Creek Lodge
Montana’s offers some of the best comfort food you’ll find at a ski resort, just look at the mac and cheese! Plus new this season, they’re open for breakfast. Visit the family friendly restaurant portion of Montana’s, where the extensive menu will please the pickiest of little (and big) eaters or après in the lounge and enjoy the comfortable seating (don’t miss trying the bacon caesar for a truly Canadian experience).
Located in the plaza
The Stemwinder is the most popular Apres spot in Kimberley! With live bands every weekend and theme nights like local jam nights and college nights, the Stemwinder is definitely the place to be. Stemwinder also offers a full menu with daily specials, stop in to see what they are and for a great time.
Meanwhile, please excuse me, I’m off to eat lunch…
Looking for more to do in Kimberley? Check out “The Top 6 Things to do in Kimberley this winter (aside from skiing)”.
KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT CELEBRATES OUR COMMUNITY WITH FREE SKIING/RIDING
COMMUNITY DAY IS Sunday, January 10th
Kimberley, BC – Continuing with the tradition of thanking our community, the resort will offer a FREE day of skiing/riding to locals on Sunday, January, 10, 2016.
Burgers will be available for $2.00 supporting the East Kootenay Adaptive Snow Sports (EKAS) – residents can go to Guest Services and receive a voucher that will entitle them to a hamburger for only $2.00!
TELUS Winter Sports School invites beginner skiers or snowboarders to a complimentary lesson. There will be a total of 10 ski and 10 snowboard spots available, with a 1 hour lessons starting at 10:30am. Space is limited and guests must pre-register at the Winter Sports School Cabin by calling 250.427.0315. Lessons will include a voucher for FREE equipment rentals at the Rental Shop! Please note that these lessons are for NEW skiers and snowboarders only.
Please note that Photo ID and proof of local residency (driver’s license, pay stub etc.) are required to receive the lift ticket. Complimentary tickets are available to residents of Canal Flats, Skookumchuck, Meadowbrook, TaTa Creek, Kimberley, Marysville, Wasa, Wycliffe, Moyie, and Cranbrook.
A huge thanks goes out to our BBQ sponsors including Sysco, Kimberley Alpine Resort and other food sponsors.
Kimberley is cute. There is no other way to put it. Actually, there is – Kimberley is quaint, adorable, homey, comfortable, charming, pleasant and just plain delightful. Its atmosphere gives you those warm and fuzzy feelings you only get from places you truly love.
If you’re looking for a resort village and nearby town to get away from regular city life – all the traffic, the full calendars and all things marked ‘urgent’, Kimberley is the place for you, it’s a genuine Canadian ski town with a laid back atmosphere offering a large variety of places (indoor and outdoor) to explore. Stay on mountain for a ski getaway everyone dreams of – wake up on the mountain, enjoy the slopes right outside your door during the day and dine and/or dance your night away at one of the many on mountain bars or restaurants.
Did you know? Kimberley is known as the sunniest ski resort in B.C? It’s true, at Kimberley we get most sunny days than anyone else in the region! Along with that sunshine also comes some amazing views and vistas like this sundog spotted last year (not the first and we expect not that last we’ll have here)!
Another plus to Kimberley – it’s off the beaten path while not being off the beaten path at the same time! It’s super easy to get to with the new Integra Air flight called “Spirit of the Kootenays” flying multiple times weekly during the ski season from YYC to YXC. YXC (Cranbrook international airport) is just half an hour away from the resort. Have you ever wanted to fly & ski in the same day? At Kimberley you can!
Have you been convinced to visit yet? If not, this will do it – how about 80 roomy, uncrowded runs and over 1800 acres of skiable terrain to tour, family events all season contributing to Kimberley being voted A family favourite ski resort, on mountain skating rink and live après concerts every weekend! Ya, that should do it!
Now that you’re going to visit Kimberley here is an exclusive tip from a local, just for you “our favourite run is called Geneva in the black forest, a long “black” leg burner with very interesting and variable terrain. It’s the first stop after a large overnight powder dump. Also hit up the Tamarack chair for a bunch of terrain which few people ski on!
See you soon!
Words by Cali Sammel
Photos by Roland Gaschen & The Real Mckenzie Photography
If you aren’t participating in the Gran Fondo race on Saturday, you likely know someone who is. The best spot to cheer on your family and friends is in the platzl. Each of the 3 race categories pass by the Aid station set up in the platzl during their races, while waiting check out one of the many pubs, European themed restaurants or cafes, play a giant game of chess, check out the Heritage Museum, the largest freestanding cuckoo clock in North America or just enjoy the socializing. Visit the Gran Fondo website for more information about the race.