One of my favorite reasons to live in NW Montana is the proximity to Canada. Before I moved to Whitefish, I had never been to our northern neighbor, but now I’m addicted. Having Fernie under 2 hours away fills the need for when I’m craving steep slopes and Indian/Thai food.
We ventured to Nelson, BC this past weekend for our first trip away from home with Lucy. Five hours to the Northwest, Nelson is a little creative hamlet in the Kootenays. Surrounded by lakes and mountains, it has a similar vibe to Whitefish. We came here a few years ago for a backcountry yurt trip, and I was excited to return and spend a bit more time in town.
Our ski destination was Whitewater, just a short drive from town. Dave and I split the weekend up so we each got to ski a day and babysit a day. I took my day to hang out in Nelson. I relaxed in the hotel watching TV (that alone is like a vacation!) and knit while Lucy napped and then we took a walk downtown and explored the shops and tastes of Nelson. The community is very ‘hippie’ and many of the restaurants have an organic or vegetarian leaning. I had lunch at the Kootenay Bakery & Cafe with a bowl of curry soup, a panini grilled cheese and a steaming cup of Matcha (a great alternative when I don’t want more coffee…paired with almond milk, it was delicious).
A trip to NYC back in 2008 got us hooked on cupcakes (thanks Magnolia), and so I was delighted to find a local cupcake shop! Flavors like Dark Chocolate Raspberry and Espresso were tempting, but I had to go with the Chocolate with Salty Carmel frosting. And oh it didn’t disappoint. I bought a 6-pack of mini cupcakes to take back to the crew for a post skiing snack.
The finale of my culinary adventure on Saturday was dinner at Baba’s Indian Cuisine. Like I said, I have to go to Canada to get Indian food! The rest of the crew was exhausted from a full day of powder skiing, so we hit the sack early for day two and my turn to ski!
After a quick stop at Nelson favorite Oso Negro coffee in the morning, we headed to the hill. It snowed 7″ the night before, and there was a freestyle comp happening at the mountain, so the parking lot was full. Dave set up camp in the lodge with Lucy and the rest of us headed up the lift. The snow was great, and most of the ‘runs’ are tree skiing – not a lot of cut trails. The trees were nicely spaced and so it was fun to just rip through them! Unfortunately, since it had snowed so much, patrol was doing avy control on some of the more extreme terrain. But we got plenty of steep lines and long fall lines to satisfy. Whitewater still has the mom and pop resort feel, but it was bought a few years ago by a development company, and the plans in the lodge show a large development plan including high-speed lifts and lodging. So it was great to be able to experience the mountain as it is currently.
Looking forward to a return trip in the future with a longer stay to explore the side country and a visit to the hot springs north of town!