Mickelson Investments Ltd Logging clearing the runs for the Community Forest. / Joseph Nusse

It is incredible what can happen when people partner up for a common aim. The problem with trying to build a ski hill is that everybody has opinions on the matter. Where it should go? Who should run it? Who should it service? Which territorial market base will it draw from? It has been an incredible 11 years working on this project. The larger project is by no means a done deal, but we can now say with utter certainty that Valemount will have some sort of ski hill open for use next winter. To be frank, what this looks like is up to you. You Valemount! Are we ready for a one-chair community hill, or would we rather bite off a small handle tow? You Edmonton, you are our closest population base, are you ready for another option to compliment Jasper or rather forever drive south to the Calgary ski resorts? You British Columbia, are you ready to build something unlike anything we have built to date? And by extension Canada, do you want every Canadian to be able to access the Premier Range to see all of the natural monuments we have named after our Prime Ministers? And you ski industry, are you ready to adapt and migrate further North and higher in elevation as the low elevation hills fall victim to an ever-changing planet?

This project is incredible. Most people in Valemount are ready for it. The Simpcw First Nation is ready for it, and Provincial Regulators are ready for it. So what do we do about the noise in the background? Well my approach has been to ignore it. COVID? Politics? Protests? Ukraine? How about we just do the best we can do to ride the waves as they come? Last week a long-time local logging contractor started to clear ski runs. The Community Forest has committed to remaining a partner in the development into the foreseeable future. The Simpcw First Nation are eagerly awaiting the development of this project so they can start to build a brighter economic future for future generations.

I have no idea where this country is going, and I doubt anybody else does either. But I know that where we are going right here in the Robson Valley is somewhere incredible. If you have not already done so, jump on! If you have skills to offer, let us know. If you have twenty dollars to spare, please donate. If you have kids, help us get them pumped up to be healthy, outside and active. This project is an extension of the incredible childhood I experienced growing up in this valley, and what has finally started this past week is all the proof I need that this is the best and most exciting place anybody can possibly be in the world right now.

Joseph Nusse
President Valemount Ski Society

Photo from Yellowhead Pass and its People showing the extent of the Great Fire several decades later. / Joseph Nusse
Fire snag still standing after the great CN Fire of 1915. / Joseph Nusse
Upper glades cleared by Community Forest 5 years ago, ready to powder ski. / Joseph Nusse
New ski run cleared looking East (Down). The slope will be an easy Blue Run. / Joseph Nusse