Rossland/Nelson Wins the Ski Town Throwdown

B.C. beats Bozeman in the finals of 32-town tournament

Winning. Photo: Red Mountain Resort

There’s something going on in the Kootenays. It could be the yam fries in the poutine at Whitewater. Or the oversized nachos at Rafters, Red’s legendary bar. The cute hippy chicks and Oso Negro coffee probably help. Then again, maybe it’s just the rowdy terrain, pillow lines, and smoky B.C. pow.

Some combination of these things led POWDER magazine to rank Rossland/Nelson fourth overall in the first P3 (Powder Per Person) rankings in its annual resort guide. But the magazine editors weren’t the only ones to think highly of the Canadian paradise. After thousands of votes and nearly two months of voting, POWDER readers voted Rossland/Nelson the best ski towns in North America. The winners of the Backscratcher Region, Rossland/Nelson beat Bozeman, the winners of the Daffy Region, in the Ski Town Throwdown finals Sunday night by a vote of 11,426 to 10,572.

“It validates why most of us have given up the big careers and the paychecks that went with them, to live in this hard to get to place, where nearly 40 percent of the population has a ski pass hanging from their jacket,” says Anne Pigeon, the general manager of indoor operations and marketing at Whitewater.

On its way to the finals, Rossland/Nelson beat Sugarloaf, Maine; Whitefish, Montana; Crested Butte, Colorado; and Sandpoint, Idaho. According to Pigeon, as soon as Nelson won its first matchup, the town really rallied. Nelson Mayor John Dooley even went door to door to remind citizens to vote.

POWDER will recognize one lucky voter with an all-expense paid trip to Rossland and Nelson. To whomever it is, enjoy the poutine. And the pow.

Posted In: Events, News, Stories


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  • James Wm Johnson

    As a person who skied Big Sky since the season it opened (73-74) and voted for Bozeman MANY times, I have to admit (now) that the very best powder skiing I have ever had was right next door to Nelson, my favorite Canadian city. That area would be Baldface, the year it opened. Congrats.

  • SurfdeePhowdah

    Red and white together? Nothin’better. The only suprise maybe that locals usually only ski one, and not the other. Totally unfair advantage. Sorry everybody else , you never stood a chance in this competition.

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  • snowrider

    You can’t beat Whistler for high alpine bowls, but since the calculation is based on “powder per person,” it’s no wonder that the BC interior was chosen.

    • knob

      you have never ridden interior bc i tak it then

  • Kyle Kanada

    Indeed . . . Rossland is a very special place in the world . . . can’t really describe it until you’ve lived the vibe there . . . doesn’t look like much when you roll into town, but that’s kinda the point; it’s not that hyped up, commercialized, flashy “in your face” kinda place; but you’ll soon realize, the only thing that’s really in your face is ultra-light Kootenay Cold Smoke, and people around that place kinda like it that way :) So if you’re headed there, ditch the swag, relax and take a deep breath (you’ll need it ;)

  • dern rekken

    That means that Castlegar BC is the place to live . Its exactly halfway between Red and Whitewater. And only 40 minutes to either so you can ski both easily.

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