Coldsmoke Powder festival
Day two of the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder fest found Osprey brand team member Nick Spring celebrating the coming of fresh powder and the passing of Nelson, BC ski fixture, Travis Steeger. Here’s Nick…
Unfortunately my camera decided to check out and not work, so for the sake of today I was making mental notes only! It seemed that despite there was a slight lack of POW folks still managed to have a huge dose of fun!
Most people involved in the festival were probably a little foggy as the Saturday night Buff-eh took its toll on us. The Selkirk College culinary program treated us to a feast fit for kings…a “dessert room”…yes a dessert room ended the meal component of the event and things were turned over to local media icon and MC for the evening Mitchell Scott (of Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine). He lit up the room with his witty remarks as he introduced the photographer finalists in the slide show contest. I must say the caliber of photographs our local talent captured could fill a whole season of Powder magazine! Nelson Brewing Company did a wonderful job making sure that no ones lips were dry.
The on-hill festivities continued with the Poker Rally and the Gerrick’s Telly Cup. Athletes enjoyed another day of sunshine and fast turns; however as the afternoon moved in so did the clouds and I can happily say the first storm system to hit us in weeks has arrived.
The snow riding community of Nelson and huckers across the globe have to take their hats off in respect to a great skier who had his young life swept from beneath his feet late Saturday night. Travis Steeger skied harder than anyone I have ever met and always raised the bar. He was the defending winner of the Valhalla Powder Keg Booter in 2008 but did not attend this year’s event because he was competing at the Freeski Big Mountain competition in Fernie B.C.
Osprey Brand Team ambassador Nick Spring of Nelson, BC is our man on the ground at the Kootnenay Coldsmoke Festival happening this weekend in Nelson. Read Nick’s account of some of the wild, ski culture themed events that took place yesterday in the snowy Kootenays and check back for updates from days two and three. Nick is demoing Osprey’s new Kode 38 pack and he’s putting it to the test at some semi-serious, sorta-wacky Coldsmoke events! On to the action, here’s Nick…
The Coldsmoke Festival is under way and day one is a wrap, well, the “on snow” portion that is. Now we are left with an evening to reflect on the events and mayhem of the day. From going big up on the ridge to the grueling randonee race it seemed to be an event enjoyed by all. The sun was out and strong on our faces making it an enjoyable day for spectators and participants alike. The vendor village was bustling and the list of demo tents was long. For those who were cold a nice steady bonfire kept the masses warm as they talked about lessons learned and lines ridden!
I spent the bulk of my day up on the ridge as I was involved in the day’s biggest spectacle, the Powder Keg Booter! We took a traditional big air competition and added a Kootenay twist (there was nothing green involved)! Talent from our local area and abroad competed in a freestyle expression session off of natural terrain. Thick pillows and gnarly cliffs line the Powder Keg venue and fluidity and style set the bar for competitors to come. Everyone was welcome and everyone had fun, from mother and daughter to young up and comers. The event’s highlight was a HUGE 60 footer from a local ripper whose name shall remain anonymous. Without a doubt my favorite and definitely a crowd-pleasing category were the young bloods, the kids barely old enough to stay out past dark. They were so exciting to watch and will for sure set a new level of stoke as they grow into their reverse camber powder skis!
After all the competitors had a moment to catch their breath we had the results tallied and prizes were ready to be handed out. Of course those of age enjoyed the last of the sun’s fine rays with a frosty mug of the Nelson Brewing Company’s finest. Prizes were given out and respect was paid for those who stepped up today, I look forward to tomorrow and the fun times it will bring. Tonight we will shake the night away and enjoy a beach themed party at the college in honor of our mountains and culture here in the snowy Kootenays.
The Coldsmoke festival is more about the ski culture than it is about skiing, and to get the full experience I encourage you to book time off in advance and make your way up to Nelson B.C. and snowy Whitewater Ski Area for the next one. The hidden talent and skill level here is unprecedented, making it an event that everyone can enjoy. For those of with less of a competitive edge the list of courses and seminars are outstanding so get up here and have some fun!