» I want to remind readers of a couple other ski areas that have ceased operations: Big Thunder in the Cypress Hills, Sask. Closed in the mid-’90s, it had roughly a 300-foot vertical with an 1,800-foot T-bar and five trails. The trails can be seen with snow on Google Maps. Also, Pine Cree Ski Hill, near Eastend, Sask., had only a rope tow and the remains of the lift can still be seen. Other ones that are no more include White Track, north of Moose Jaw; Ochapowace, north of Broadview; Hidden Valley near Craven; Mt. Blackstrap near Saskatoon; and Twin Towers by Rosetown.
Great job on the magazine. You are clearly the best at ski area stories, but I’d love to read an article about Prairie hills. I know they are not big, however, something can be said about reading about your local hill: Holiday Valley, Asessippi, Duck Mountain, Mission Ridge, Bear Paw, Table Mountain, Canyon, Silver Summit…
TRAVIS MEGINBIR, Calgary
(formerly Admiral, Sask.)
A big deal
» I cannot begin to express my disgust and disappointment with your magazine for publishing such a one-sided article by George Koch promoting the development of Jumbo (“Overcoming the Odds,” Buyer’s Guide 2013). Yes, I understand that you are a ski magazine and want to sell all aspects, however you ignore the fact that many of us who do ski are also proponents of wilderness preservation. We use our local hills, cat-ski operations and travel to existing hills but still feel that enough is enough. The article fails to explain the spiritual connections of the local First Nations, the grizzly habitat and the few remaining untouched “wild” places. That this is not a real estate development, as the article says, is misinformation. Just look at the resort plans.
Shame on your magazine for letting this article go ahead. I’m afraid you will find some of your readers are proponents of Jumbo Wild, and after I burn this issue in my hands, I for one will never bring another Ski Canada magazine into my house.
SHERRI SOUKOROFF, Nelson, B.C.
» After reading the article by George Koch regarding the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort (“Overcoming the Odds,” Buyer’s Guide 2013), I felt the need to inform you that there is much more to this ongoing story than was described. Your magazine obviously has the right to promote skiing, however, I believe a better tact would be to ask the question: Are there too many ski hills in the Kootenay region, and given the controversy and opposition, have we reached our limit?
Even the most basic of research would have shown that others in the ski industry are very wary of this new development, from an economic standpoint, never mind the environmental or cultural impacts that are driving the opposition from the Ktunaxa Nation. Many local avid skiers are actually against this development.
Although your article says that the Ktunaxa “are to the south,” that is a misleading statement that Oberti tries to propagate. The Ktunaxa Territory, which is recognized by all levels of government, extends a large distance, and Jumbo is in the very heart of it. The Shuswap Band, who supports Jumbo, is actually a band that was allowed to enter and stay in Ktunaxa Territory 200 years ago. So despite the perceived proximity of the Shuswap Band, they have no legal claim or cultural ties to this area.
It’s important to point out that the Ktunaxa Nation announced in August 2012 that they are seeking a Judicial Review of the decision made by the province, and this story is far from being concluded.
GARRY SLONOWSKI, Ktunaxa Nation Council
» Thank you for the great article “Overcoming the Odds” by George Koch in your Buyer’s Guide 2013 issue. I feel our original Japanese clients deserve recognition and credit for the vision and support that allowed my office to start the project. The “two potential investors” in the helicopter ride in April 1990 were, in fact, Hiroshi Hioki and Kuni Yamamoto (non-skiers), representatives of Nikken Canada Holdings Ltd., the client group who paid for the ride and for the initial studies leading to the Formal Proposal and Interim Agreement. Kuni Yamamoto also personally invested and remains a Director of Glacier Resorts Ltd.
Another important contributor was Dan Griffith, a heli-ski guide who not only led that first helicopter trip (which went all the way to the Bugaboos for a sightseeing exploration and also included skiing other glaciers in Roger Madson’s tenure), but also several years later guided us on Commander Glacier. Roger Madson was with us also showing his territory to our Japanese clients.
OBERTO OBERTI, Vancouver
» As a regular reader, skier and outdoor recreationist, I was disappointed with the one-sided nature of your article about the proposed Jumbo Resort . I think it would be appropriate to explore why a significant number of well-informed people do not support this project rather than dismissing them.
Local government did not support it, and Bill Bennett did us a disservice in sidestepping local process. I believe, having been at the resort site, that it will be poor skiing as planned, it will not attract enough business to survive, the road will be a huge expense on the public, and we will be left to wring our hands about the folly of this project after it has already destroyed Jumbo Valley.
The glacier is too flat and getting smaller. The village site beneath Commander has the worst snow in the valley. Everybody skis on the other side. You’d have to take a lift from the glacier back to the village. The area would have to have significant avalanche hazard control both on the area and the road. Ski demographics are getting tighter and skier-visits dropping. A little balance, please.
DAVE McBEATH, Fernie
ABCs of skiing
» As an avid reader, skier of 40 years and teacher/advocate of skiing, I’d love to see three skill articles an issue: one for children, the future of our industry; another for intermediates to improve their ski experience and bring them back to the mountain year after year; and one for advanced skiers to give them something to take their performance up. Imagine if those of us who are passionate about the sport could each introduce and encourage two new skiers and subscribers a year to Ski Canada! Literally…
ROBERT MURDOCH, Winnipeg
Like it was yesterday…
» I read Iain MacMillan’s editorial “My Best Run” and then saw the photo and letter from Andrew Bevan (“Picturing the Canadian Dream,” Letters, Buyer’s Guide 2013) and it reminded me of January 21-22, 2002, cat-skiing powder days that were epic—the best in 10+ years of cat-skiing there [at Mt. McKenzie] before [Revelstoke] the resort started lift operations. That was two days of -5 C, no wind, clear skies and huge snowpack that year.
RANDY JANG, Revelstoke
$265 per minute
» My wife and I spent a week at Whistler last February. She fell on her second day of skiing and sustained a cracked rib and severely bruised shoulder. Needless to say, our long-awaited ski holiday came to an abrupt end. The icing on the cake, however, arrived a month later by mail—an invoice from British Columbia Ambulance Service for $530 for a two-minute ambulance ride. Fortunately, our private medical coverage will pay the bill, but what has left us feeling so outraged is that we were guests in B.C. and left behind a significant amount of money in transportation costs, lifts tickets and lessons, dining and grocery bills, entertainment, etc. during our stay. In conversation with a BCAS rep we were told essentially that all the provinces do this so they do it, too. No wonder medical costs in this country are inflated. By the way, the cost of transportation in an ambulance for a B.C. resident is $80. Perhaps it might be cheaper to travel to Utah or Colorado, where they regard tourists as valued guests, not as victims ripe for fleecing.
LARRY EAMER, Cornwall, Ontario