A magazine feature in the winter edition of Kootenay Mountain Culture is devoted to the young partnership between CMH and K2, and how it has put the sleepy town of Nakusp, in Interior BC, Canada, on the map.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Kootenay Mountain Culture, check it out. It’s the magazine you wish all other outdoor mags were like. It’s honest, well-written and diverse, covering every mountain sport yet invented and revealing the often hidden world of mountain culture, art and lifestyle.
In the article on CMH K2, titled “Nakusp Gets Sethed”, Editor-in-Chief Mitchell Scott presents the local’s view of the new face of Nakusp, the K2 athletes and executives thrill at having a world-class Heli-Skiing destination to “work” with, and the CMH guide’s story of their “office.”
I suppose it’s not surprising that two of the snow sport industry’s most iconic brands, with a century of experience between them, could get together and turn one of the least know ski destinations in BC into perhaps the world’s coolest place to ride, but it is surprising how the change has permeated the local culture.
From the local ski hill, where K2 put up $1500 to install rails where the local kids could learn to jib like the pros, to the renovation of the Kuskanax Lodge into the K2 Rotor Lodge, in just two years, cool has transformed the ski scene in Nakusp.
A quote from Mike Gutt, K2s Global Marketing Manager, sums it up: “It’s a cool place where everything resonates with the K2 vibe: the town, the mentality, the terrain.”
Scott describes the renovation at the Rotor Lodge that helped lead the town’s metamorphosis from unknown to cool:
"Old K2 paraphernalia is sprinkled throughout the lodge, and each (room) has its own distinct theme. There are posters, top sheets of classic K2 models, covered bar stools, and bits of helicopters on the walls. It’s funky and it feels ‘ski’ in every room."
CMH K2 Area Manager, Peter Macpherson, reveals the mentality:
"The presence of K2 athletes and staff, who've been coming up religiously for the past couple of years, as well as the photography and footage that's coming out of our lodge, is beginning to attract younger, more adventure-oriented skiers."
Finally, an interaction with one of the guides reveals the conditions and terrain:
“It’s sunny, there are 20 centimetres of col -9C powder, and the mountains are firing. ‘This is skiing in the Selkirks,’ says lead guide and Nakusp local Patrick Baird. ‘It’s always good up here. It always snows.’ With that he leads his group of 10 skiers down into clouds of whitesmoke, through perfectly spaced trees, to the valley bottom far below."
The terrible twos at CMH K2 are happening, but there is hardly any space left at the party. All the seats during the K2 athlete weeks are sold out, and the rest of the season has precious few openings, so if you want in on the coolest partnership in skiing (and a free pair of K2 skis of your choice for your efforts) speed dial CMH reservations before anyone else at 1 (800) 661-0252.
Lots of space next season though!
Photo by John Entwistle: Seth Morrison hiding out in the Kootenays.