Surviving 60 – Summit Lake
“Even on a powder day Summit can be busy with 30 or 40 people skiing,” says one smiley and proud skier at Summit Lake Ski Area near Nakusp, B.C. “Summit also turns 60 years old this season.”
In the heart of the Selkirk Mountains, Summit is the definable “Breeder” in the Breeders, Feeders and Leaders hierarchy of ski hills. One T-bar, one rope tow, seven runs, a tube park, cross-country trails and “a good selection of expert terrain up to 47 degrees,” says Mr. Smiles. Don’t we all wish we had a Summit in our backyards?
With all the larger ski resorts in B.C. having closed their operations by Sunday, March 15, last year, GM Rob Stevens and Board Director Butch Warantz, Nakusp locals and long-standing Summit Lake supporters, made the decision to keep the hill operating. “Our daily calls to Interior Health, B.C.’s southern interior health authority, indicated no cases had been reported,” says Warantz. This gave them the confidence to stay open.
The skier count stayed low for the first few days, but with the word out that Summit Lake was still open, the Friday head count jumped. “News that a COVID-19 case was reported in Revelstoke raised concerns,” says Stevens. “We anticipated a large crowd on Saturday and made the difficult decision to close the hill.”
Summit’s 60th anniversary celebration in February 2021 promises to be a subdued, if powdery, affair.
by BRIAN CALLOWBC, British Columbia, Summit Lake Ski Area