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Greetings from Nelson, BC and the Coldsmoke Powder Fest

February 13th, 2009

images3Osprey launches its 2009 Brand  Team with this post, from Nick Spring, a Brand Team member from Nelson, BC. Osprey Brand Team members are being dispatched to outdoor events all over North America this year, reporting from the ground back to our friends through this blog! Nick will be spreading the Osprey word and wreaking havoc on the many events planned for this year’s fantastic Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder festival. This is Coldsmoke in a nutshell (for more check out the event’s official site here):

The Kootenay Cold Smoke Powder Fest is a grass-roots gathering where both experienced and debutant backcountry skiers and snowboarders can celebrate the culture of backcountry pursuits amongst breathtaking scenery and world renowned snow. Nelson, British Columbia, the powder mecca of the Kootenays is a natural choice, and so the 3rd annual Kootenay Cold Smoke Powder Fest is slated to be held from February 20-23, 2009. In addition to seasoned veterans, this event will also draw “keen to be” backcountry skiers and snowboarders who want to give off-piste adventures a try. Whitewater resort’s terrain combined with the Selkirk’s legendary snow, provides fantastic opportunities for all levels to ski, learn, compete, and celebrate off-piste and backcountry riding. The festival revolves around 4 full days of clinics, films, beer drinking, and competitions for all ski/snowboard pursuits as well as a ski/snowboard photojournalism competition.

Nick will be demoing the brand new for ’09 Kode 38 pack (check the sneak peak Outdoor Retailer review here) and will be able to show all you eager souls what we think will be a huge hit for next season’s snow crowd. Enough of the babble – here’s Nick.

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I can’t believe we are in the middle of another deep winter. The Cold Smoke Festival for people in the Kootenay Region is a platform to showcase the beauty of our mountains, people, community and of course legendary deep snowpack.  The 2008-09-ski season has been riddled by many unusual circumstances.  We had an unusually long fall that held the early season snowfall at bay, we dealt with a wrath of unfortunate avalanche fatalities and hazards, and one of the longest sustained high-pressure systems recorded to date.  Words like catastrophic, epic and “never seen before” were used to describe the storm and avalanche cycle that we dealt with in early January.

So where does that put me? Aside from the edge of my seat it puts me into a state of Zen like patience.  One thing is known about the interior of British Columbia, the snow comes for those who are patient.  Snowfall amounts that trump most ski area’s monthly snowfalls are a weekly occurrence up at Whitewater Ski hill, host and creator of the Kootenay Cold Smoke Festival.  With a week of sunshine behind us I find it hard to believe that I spent that last two days lapping deep untracked blower snow just minutes outside of the ski area boundary.  Currently Whitewater holds one of the deepest snowpacks in the province and is set up well for future storms to come.  If you have not been to the area the festival is a great venue or “sampler pack” if you will of what goes on here daily.

My name is Nick Spring, and I moved to Nelson to pursue a lifestyle in the mountains. I chose Nelson because it is different then other mountain towns; we don’t have any large and over powering hotel chains, restaurants or tourist attractions. People come here for the exact opposite, to get away from the rat race, to walk down a main street littered with independent unique shops and eateries owned and operated by local residents.  I have an active role in the community and find my time spread thin across my many adventures.  I spend my day outfitting the coolest clients in the best gear shop possible, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, whether it is an Osprey pack for extended trips or short day journeys. When I am not at the shop I spend a good deal of my time training and practicing with Nelson Search and Rescue and am ready at a seconds notice for a variety of emergency situations.  I have a Talon 44 packed and ready to go regardless of the situation. On my weekends I patrol up at the ski hill and tour the phenomenal backcountry we have in the area on my split board.  Come on up to the festival and just maybe if you catch me at the right moment I will divulge some of the deepest of local backcountry secrets.  Nelson gets a mixed bag of bio-diesel powder hounds, dedicated heli ski clientele and industry professionals intermingling together in the many cafés and bars around town.

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Nick Spring in Nelson, BC

The festival is a great reason to make your way up here, it is action packed with all sorts of events, clinics and demonstrations.  The vendor village is a great opportunity to catch up with the latest trendsetters in the industry and talk shop with the brand representatives.  The après ski will be full of delicious food and local brewed organic beers, musicians that have set roots in the Kootenay area will entertain until the sun comes up with their eclectic world beats.  Bring your ski boots and dancing shoes with you and come spend a week in a powder hounds paradise! I hope to see you out on the hill and keep your eye out for me on the hill; I will be showcasing some of the coolest new innovations from Osprey!

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