Head north into Kimberley, and you’ll notice a billboard: “Smile. You’re here. We’re happy.” Ascend into a landscape of the highest city in Canada, the snowpack of surrounding mountains, the people readied for cold weather: steep metal rooves, wood-fired chimneys, Thule boxes stuffed with skis. Enter a town with tales of grandfathers who descended into earth, drilling, jackhammering, and blasting into what was the world’s largest underground lead-zinc mine. Pause for a moment, and you’ll notice Kimberley’s quiet charm, the mining homes built eighty years ago, kids who still wander into ravines and build forts, the town’s one traffic light, and for a loonie listen to the yodel of Happy Hans from the world’s largest cuckoo clock. When you ask directions, there’s a friendliness to the people. You’ll notice their smiles, like those settled in a place they needed to be. It doesn’t take long to discover, whether you live here or are just visiting, Kimberley’s a good place to be doing just about anything.
Among long-time residents, whose families carved Kimberley out of rock, is a new population calling Kimberley home: A younger generation, who’ve set roots here for the lifestyle and the vast array of activities right outside their door. It’s not long before they notice how long it takes to grocery shop, distracted by new friends telling tales of their latest adventures. As organic farmer and counselor Kelly Comishin says, “And all those adventures are from understated, humble folk, out because they love it. Not for bragging rights.” When you talk to the people of Kimberley, there’s a humility to them, and a sense that “good” is sometimes the quietest form of “best”. It’s a town of belonging, where everyone’s welcome. A town, once defined by mining, now by the eclectic mix of industry reflecting the culture of people who live here: skateboard manufacturing, coffee roasting, gin distilleries, climbing gyms, microbreweries, coffee shops and locally-sourced restaurants. All these, infused into the established culture of brick buildings, restaurants, hardware stores, and small businesses that have supported families and served the community for generations.
Kimberley’s a town that will charm you. You’ll never want to leave—there’s too many good things going on. When you enter Kimberley, you’ll smile.
Like the sign says, You’re here. We’re happy.
To Help Put a Smile on Your Face:
Kimberley Alpine Resort: Over 75 runs, five lifts and 2,465 vertical feet, with Rocky Mountain panoramas. Longest night skiing run in Canada.
Kimberley Nordic Club: X-C Ski Trails, with over 40 kms of snow-cat groomed trails; 3.3 km lit for night skiing.
Outdoors Adventures: The Kimberley Nature Park is one of Canada’s largest trail networked municipal parks; as well, a 25 km North Star Rails to Trails joins Kimberley to Cranbrook on a converted paved railway bed. Travel anywhere, just minutes outside of Kimberley, for an abundance of lakes, rivers, trails, and access to the Purcell and Rocky Mountains.
Golf: There are three public courses within Kimberley, and eight within a ½ hour drive.
Fine Food: Kimberley hosts the most restaurants per capita in Canada! Whether you’re looking for a German-themed meal in the oldest building in Canada, or a Rails to Trails chicken burger and mucky fries, Kimberley has a cuisine for everyone.
Activities and Attractions: Indoor climbing gym; aquatic centre; pedestrian-only brick-lined platzl, downtown shopping, and restaurant hub; underground mining railway.
Art and Culture: Galleries. Arts and cultural centre (Centre 64). Live performances. Heritage sites, and a variety of festivals.
Accommodations: In Kimberley, there’s an accommodation for every budget: from mountain chalets, to ski-in/ski-out luxury lodges. Enjoy the Rocky Mountain alpenglow from your bedroom or hot tub.
Getting Here is Easy: Kimberley is only a 20 minute drive from either The Canadian Rockies International Airport, or from Highway 3, one of Canada’s two primary east-west routes.
Photos: Cali Sammel, Raven Eye Photography & Mike Reece
If you’re thinking of booking a ski getaway this winter, now is the time to do it! With Early Booking Vacation Offers available for Christmas and Family Week vacations, as well as special long stay savings packages and spring skiing trips with savings of up to 48%!
Visit our Early Booking Offers page to book a getaway online or give our vacation specialists a call at 1-800-258-7669 to book over the phone.
August 22, 2016
If Americans have a cultural stereotype about Canada, it’s that we’re a land of ice and snow inhabited by “Eskimos” and policed by red-coated Mounties on horseback. (The Mounties drive in police cars and they have the same tools as cops in America… and the Eskimos, well, they are actually called Inuit, and live much closer to the North Pole).
But Canadians certainly do celebrate winter, and of course, skiing and snowboarding. Our resorts – though perhaps not quite as familiar or accessible as Vail or Tahoe — compare favourably in every way. Whistler, of course, is the most widely-known—the resort hosted the 2010 Winter Games alpine skiing events—and it’s continuously ranked highly amongst the (mostly) American readers in SKI Magazine’s annual resort poll. And Banff/Lake Louise are on the radar map—though most Americans (like Canadians) visit there in the summer months.
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies believes that the best discoveries in skiing are the unexpected ones—and, like siblings, their three resorts—namely, Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort—offer a rootsy, authentic Canadian ambiance that makes each of them worth visiting—even on one trip.
Perched above a historic mining town that still relies on nearby natural resources, FERNIE ALPINE RESORT is all about powder and adventure. Poking skyward like a giant baseball mitt, the rugged Lizard range hauls in over 35 feet of legendary Rocky Mountain fluff annually and attracts freeriders from all over the world. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in town during the raucous Griz Days celebration that celebrates the mythic mountain man who makes it snow. Independent “non-chain” stores and restaurants thrive in the red-brick building main street of historic Fernie, once named the “Coolest Town in North America” by Rolling Stone magazine. Indeed, many Americans who visit here comment on how much it’s “like Telluride or Aspen used to be.”
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT west of Golden is a true “big mountain” experience, with 1,260 metres (4,133 feet) of vertical—fourth-highest in North America. Compared by those in the know to American resorts like Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley, Kicking Horse boasts 121 runs, four alpine bowls and 85 inbound chutes spread across 2,800+ acres of skiable terrain. No stay at Kicking Horse is complete without a visit to Canada’s most elevated restaurant: Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, a mountain-top, fine-dining experience. Four mountain ranges come together to create a mountain panorama that’s second to none.
Nestled in the majestic Purcell Mountains in BC’s southeastern corner, KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT receives more hours of sunshine than any other resort in the province. Its 80 runs range from open glades to gentle cruisers to thigh-burning bump runs. Dive into the Easter Bowl on the mountain’s backside or enjoy Kimberley’s front side cruising. Kimberley even offers Canada’s longest night skiing/riding terrain. Stay slope-side and ski from your door in the morning or enjoy the charming Bavarian-themed town just down the hill. Kimberley compares favourably to the family friendly vibe found at Snowmass, Keystone, or The Canyons—with a superb ski school and perhaps the most high-value vacation packages in North America.
Thanks to Canada’s devalued currency, Americans considering a ski vacation north of the 49th parallel receive a thirty percent discount, before they even start shopping for the best deals of lifts, accommodation, and lessons. “Our close proximity to the United States means that Fernie and Kimberley have always had visits from keen skiers in border states—folks who live in Whitefish, Kalispell, Sandpoint, and Spokane,” says “Powder Matt” Mosteller, spokesperson for the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Holidays at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Week and even Easter attract skiers and riders from a wider net, including Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and even major Midwestern and eastern cities.
And there are a few other differences. Take money, for example. Canadians use the same dollars and cents system that Americans have, but your wallet won’t be budging with one-dollar bills if you ask for change for a five. Canadians have “loonie” and “toonie” one-dollar and two dollar coins. Different denominations of dollars ($5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) are in different colours (and some words, such as ‘colour’ have an extra ‘u’ in them – don’t ask.) Gas (and all liquids) are priced in liters – $1.20 per liter equals about $4.00 per gallon of gasoline.
Snow depth is measured in centimetres (doesn’t “thirty centimetres” sound deeper than “eleven inches”?). And the outside temperature is in degrees Celsius. Don’t freak out if the temperature is minus 5, that’s only 23 degrees Farenheit, perfect skiing temperature.
Oddly, some things are the same. If you ask the bartender for a pint of beer, he’ll pour you a 12 ounce glass. And if you need anything else, just ask! To dispel another myth—not all of us speak French, (and we actually say ‘a-bout’, not ‘a-boot).’
Welcome to Canada, partner. Your powder is waiting.
Words: Steven Threndyle
Photos: Raven Eye Photography, Vince Mo, Brooke Wilson, Abbydell Photography
August 5, 2016
It’s not over yet! Although it’s winding down, there is still plenty of summer sunshine left before the chill of winter creeps up on us. In the meantime, whether you’re a golfer, runner or explorer, here are the rest of the summer events to attend to soak in the last of the summer rays!
Pars & Guitars 2
August 18th at Trickle Creek Golf Resort
For the second Pars & Guitars event of the summer, Trickle Creek Golf Resort will welcome Amy Thiessen to our Clubhouse Patio stage. Pair your tickets with a round of golf and/or dinner reservations before the show, call 250-427-3389 to order advance tickets.
Black Spur Ultra
August 20th at Kimberley Alpine Resort
From the creators of the Sinister 7 Ultra, the Black Spur Ultra is a race wrought from the windy, technical single track that trail runners dream about. No pavement, big climbs through rugged terrain, and stunning scenery. It its first year many racers dubbed Black Spur an “instant classic”. Hosted at Kimberley Alpine Resort, you can walk to the start line right from your hotel room. Visit the official website for more information or to volunteer!
September 3 in Kimberley
First Saturdays in Kimberley is a monthly celebration of Kimberley Arts & Culture. With a variety of local vendors and artisans to visit and shows throughout the day to enjoy. For more information on the First Saturday events in Kimberley visit the Kimberley Arts at Centre 64 website.
Thursdays until September 8th
Stop by Howard Street in Downtown Kimberley each Thursday from 5 – 7:30pm and purchase fresh food from local farmers and producers as well as products from vendors such as Bootleg Mountain Soap, Pridham Studio (functional pottery) and WaterMELon Designs (for our furry pet friends). For more information visit the Kimberley Farmers Market website.
Men’s Mountain Classic
September 15th – 17th at Trickle Creek Golf Resort
The 28th annual Men’s Mountain Classic will be at Trickle Creek Golf Resort on September 15th – 17th. For all event information visit the official website.
That’s what the experts are saying. And while many people across Canada may be rolling their eyes, for winter outdoor enthusiasts it’s music to their ears.
What is La Nina anyways?
La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. (According to Wikipedia)
Okay, but what does that really mean?
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada – “In B.C. there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. A little cooler, a little bit more snow..”
Read more about what exactly La Nina means and more from Dave Phillips on the CBC website.
For a longer and even more scientific explanation of La Nina visit the Weather Network website.
La Nina = Happy Skiers & Snowboarders
Don’t forget to order your Kimberley Season Pass before the end of the Early Bird Season pass sale on June 25th – order online through the RCR webstore now!
Join us for another Mountaintop Kidz Festival on June 26th, 2016! Ride the chairlift to the mountaintop to find a kids wonderland of fun including bouncy castles, scavenger hunts and live music! Plus facepainting, crafts, mountaintop BBQ and petting zoo!
Tickets will be available starting June 10th from Trickle Creek Lodge.
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
Words by Cali Sammel
Photos by Tourism Kimberley, The Real Mckenzie Photography and Mike Reece.
The ski (and tourism) industry are run by numbers and stats – i.e how many runs the mountain offers, how many centimeters or feet of snowfall received, how many other things can I do while visiting? Well, here are some interesting Kimberley numbers you might be less familiar with!
historic points of interest. Kimberley Alpine Resort and the city of Kimberley, B.C have a strong history in mining, leading the town and resort to have many names and areas that pay homage to the industry. Find out more about the points of interest on our website – https://skikimberley.com/things-to-do/points-of-interest/.
feet of fire! A favourite tradition of the locals and staff in Kimberley is the annual Ullr Dag ski burning ceremony. Near the beginning of each year, there is a gathering and offering to the Norse god of snow by burning old skis and hoping to appease the god to bring the perfect purcell powder falling all season long.
in the morning – NEW this season, Montana’s opens for breakfast at 8:00am on Friday, Saturday & Sundays (8:30 am Monday through Thursday). Montana’s is located in Trickle Creek Lodge in the base area at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
hundred! Hectares of skiable terrain, now that should keep you occupied for a wee bit of time!
thousand! Our lift capacity per hour, it’s easy to keep those slopes uncrowded with that kind of movement.
months to night ski! From mid December to mid March, enjoy Night Skiing on our main run (and the longest lit run in North America) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t forget to check out the ‘Rec Rut Runners’ our Thursday night race series or our Friday College Nights! Visit the Online Events Calendar for more information.
hours of Fat Biking! Try the newest and hottest winter outdoor activity craze and take a Fat Biking tour around Trickle Creek Golf Resort. Rent it for just $45 – email the Winter Sports School (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or see the Fat Bike section on our website.
awesome après spots on mountain. Head up the stairs and check out The Stemwinder – featuring a variety of daily food and drink specials as well as local jam nights and live après music every single weekend throughout the season! Got kids? Montana’s is the place to be, with views of the ski resort and a restaurant for the whole family to enjoy a beverage or after ski snack together. (Note – Stemwinder is kid friendly as well – ask our staff for ‘kid friendly’ hours).
Good Place to Be. Kimberley is: A Good Place to Be… “all together now, finding adventure, closer together, pinnin’ it, roughing it with friends” or whatever else you choose to do here!
Don’t be one of those skiers or snowboarders who decide to store their gear in the garage by the time the first tiny flower begins to bloom in early March. Indeed, there’s a rather cruel irony to spring skiing. Days are longer. Snow is softer. Vacation packages are cheaper. And you’ll come back to the city with a killer tan. Tucked into the southeastern corner of British Columbia and just a short shuttle from the city of Cranbrook and its Airport of the Canadian Rockies, Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort really know how to celebrate spring.
- Spring skiing starts with sunshine, and plenty of it. After three months of heavy snowfall and endless face shots, most skiers and riders are happy to see ol’ sol. How much sunshine is there? Well, Cranbrook, BC (home to the Airport of the Canadian Rockies), boasts over 2300 hours of sunshine annually. Morning temperatures start a few degrees Celsius below freezing, but warm up by mid-day to very comfortable It’s not exactly spring in Vancouver, but the sunshine is abundant and is strong enough to make the need for sunscreen on exposed patches of skin mandatory. On another note, keep the bikinis and surf shorts for the hot tub, you really don’t want a bad case of road rash if you fall on corn snow!
- There’s plenty of snow. It goes without saying that by the time the vernal equinox rolls around, that base measurements on the mountain exceed two metres or more. That means you won’t ding any rocks or stumps and can ski with confidence on all aspects. At this time of the year, it’s prudent to “follow the sun” around the mountain; starting with slopes that Both Kimberley and Fernie have many runs that face in different directions – east and south facing runs “warm up” the quickest, west and north facing runs receive sun later in the day. It’s worth noting that even on the warmest spring days, north facing slopes can hold grippy, even powdery snow because they’re in the shadows all day long. And of course, the higher you go on the mountain, the colder temperatures will get.
- Not only is the sun more powerful, by the time March rolls around the days are getting longer, too. Early birds will want to rise near dawn and get the heart beating with an invigorating morning run. And make sure you go for a walk around downtown Kimberley or Fernie after the lifts shut down. Enjoy the fiery rays of golden light that mountain folk call alpenglow.
- Combine sunshine and a deep base and you get… corn snow. Corn snow is so named because its granular structure resembles kernels of corn that have been cut from the cob. The kernels form on a melt/freeze cycle. As the sun comes out and intensifies during the day, hard, icy snow starts to melt and morphs into a slushy texture (think of a snow cone that you eat at a fair or farmer’s market). Forming in a layer up to several centimetres thick, these pellet-like grains are easy to set an edge in and a delight to ski. Fearsome mogul runs become easily tamed piles of mush. Bulletproof groomed slopes develop a layer of granular goodness that makes it fell like your Marty McFly and his hoverboard – literally, you’re cruising effortlessly on a thin carpet of frictionless, ball bearing snow. Corn snow is often called “hero snow” because it’s so easy to work with – push out your skis and “rail” those hard carving turns. Or widen your stance, flatten your ski and butter some spins in the terrain park – it’s all good. To get the most out of your skiing day, sign up for a lesson or two and explore chutes, alpine bowls, soft bumps, and carpeted cruisers. Lessons are worth taking at any time of year, but since you’ve probably already got your ‘ski legs’, you can take more chances and have more fun!
- Blue skies and puffy clouds are great for snapping photos with your iPhone camera or recording videos on GoPro. At high mountain elevations, the blue end of the spectrum becomes especially vivid, which is why spring skiing is synonymous with “bluebird days.” Of course, you’ll want to Snapchat or Instagram your day on the slopes, but here’s a high contrast tip: try shooting when the sun’s a bit lower in the sky, before ten in the morning and after two in the afternoon to reduce harsh glare and black skier/ white background contrast. You might even wait until the sun ducks behind a cloud for an instant to make the colours and skin tones pop a bit.
- Virtually all school districts throughout British Columbia now receive a two week Spring Break during the month of March. , Spring Break sees both Kimberley and Fernie with virtually all terrain 100 percent open and with short, manageable lift lines.
So, extend your ski season this spring at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort… and get a great goggle tan!
Words by Steven Threndyle.
Photos by Raven Eye Photography & The Real Mckenzie Photography
City of Kimberley receives $4.5M federal Gas Tax Fund contribution for reconstruction of Gerry Sorensen Way
KIMBERLEY, B.C. – The City of Kimberley is pleased to announce that it will receive the lesser of $4.5M or 100% of the costs for the Gerry Sorensen Way Reconstruction project under the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund.
With an estimated 800,000 vehicle trips on Gerry Sorensen Way each year, local residents should benefit from reduced wear and tear on their vehicles. As a resort municipality, the City of Kimberley is also interested in improving tourists’ perceptions and experiences in our City. Travel between the downtown core and the Kimberley Alpine Resort, Trickle Creek Golf Course, Kimberley Nordic Centre, 500 condominiums, and 300 townhouses should be greatly improved.
The poor condition of Gerry Sorensen Way is largely due to poor drainage and improper subsurface materials from the original construction. The annual patching of potholes and cracking has consumed approximately half of the City’s paving budget over the last five years.
The project will go out to tender in March. The work on Gerry Sorensen Way will begin in May and finish in September 2016.
Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick states “Good roads create a positive impression of the community, and are a visible indication to taxpayers that their tax money is being well spent. Virtually every visitor that comes to Kimberley drives Gerry Sorensen Way, as does the majority of residents on a regular basis. Our highest profile road needs to be one of our best. We are thrilled to be able to do the work this year.”
Don McCormick, Mayor, City of Kimberley
“Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada is allowing communities in BC, and all across Canada, to make informed decisions about their infrastructure investments and how best to spend federal dollars. Community officials are best positioned to identify their specific needs, and the federal Gas Tax fund supports them in making those strategic investments. These 57 projects will contribute to building the strong, inclusive and sustainable communities Canadians desire to live in.”
Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“These funds will help support the construction of infrastructure improvements that will provide a better standard of living for residents in communities all across B.C. I’m pleased to say that local governments throughout the province are receiving more than $69 million in funding for 27 capital projects through the Federal Ga s Tax Fund, which is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and provided by the Government of Canada.”
Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
“Investments through the federal Gas Tax Fund are helping British Columbia’s municipalities address their local infrastructure priorities, while creating jobs and supporting economic growth. Gas tax funding is important for building and improving critical transportation infrastructure, including the bridge in Zeballos and other municipal facilities. We thank the federal government for its support from this fund, which will make way for a number of worthwhile projects around B.C. to complement our 10-year transportation plan – B.C. on the Move.”
The Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
“The federal Gas Tax Fund is helping local governments accelerate their capital investment plans. These investments will support improved levels of service for facilities in communities throughout BC. The 189 local governments that we represent appreciate the ongoing commitment of the Government of Canada to improving local infrastructure. We are also pleased with the valued support provided by the Province of British Columbia to deliver this program.”
Al Richmond, President, Union of BC Municipalities
To learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gtf-fte-eng.html.