Words By Villy Genier Bouchard.
Nestled in the Monashee Mountains of south eastern BC; steeped in a legacy of gold mining and the trapping cabins of the wild west, lies one of the gems of BC’s legendary Powder Highway. RED Mountain. If you haven’t heard of it by now, it’s time you perk up and put your boots on. With a long-standing claim to some of the west’s best inbound terrain (not to mention 3850 acres of it, putting it in the top ten for terrain territory in North America), combined with an annual snowfall of 7.5 meters; RED Mountain has shown that it has a spot at the top of the resort food chain. As the seventh stop on BC’s legendary Powder Highway in the Kootenay Rockies, RED should not be slept on. Epic steeps, manicured Glades; and the undeniably pristine Kootenay powder has raised the bar for what we come to expect from riding. The shredding is real as it gets. All of this combined with Rossland’s deep rooted authenticity as the realest of ‘ski towns’, it’s hard to imagine that anyone might find anything lacking here.
Many of us flock to the mountains to avoid the stresses and over stimulation of our everyday lives. For those who have made their homes in ski towns like Rossland, the escape is a way of life and has become the status quo. In an industry so heavily focused on monetizing our adventures, many of the larger resorts have experienced unprecedented growth. But at what point does this growth detract from our experience during our proverbial escapes? Furthermore, lack of growth can create stagnancy. But RED Mountain seems to have taken a different approach in its development, and aimed for an evolution rather than superficial expansion. An evolution of its core values. Perhaps this is why in 2013, the NY Times ranked Rossland and RED Mountain No.8 on their ‘Top Ten List of Places to Visit’.
With a uniquely branded “Fight The Man, Own The Mountain ” equity crowdfunding campaign (started in 2016), RED Resort has managed to maintain itself with small-scale authenticity. A dying breed among many modern resorts, RED stands apart from the pack of an increasingly gentrified and monopolized resort industry. You won’t find a chateau, the steep prices, or the glitz and glam of Whistler and Banff. But with a refreshing lack of insane line-ups, and a tightly knit community; RED and its untainted mountain town of Rossland B.C. have distilled a vibe which has long been forgotten.
RED Mountain Resort, was created by the RED Mountain Ski Club (RMSC) in the early 1900’s making it one of the oldest ski hills in North America. It’s history is deeply entrenched within the Cabin Culture, With 9 existing inbound ski cabins dating back to the 1920’s spackled among its Glades. Grandfathered in from a different era, locals have kept these secluded weather havens as relics of a community persisting through over a century. Inevitably, history seems destined to repeat itself. Building off of the irresistibly simple idea of on-mountain accommodations, 2020 marked an ever-expanding repertoire for RED with the official opening of the Constella Cabins. A modern rejuvenation of the winter cabin getaway. These Handcrafted cabin getaways have set the scene for a unique mountain experience. Six modern and cozy cabins situated in RED’s ‘Paradise Basin’ under the starry sky; each baring the name of one of Southern BC’s local constellations (ie. Orion, Ursa Minor, ect.). Free from the light pollution, the sheer brightness and expanse of a night sky witnessed from these mountains might be reason enough for making the escape. Combined with winter campfires and the best of company, nothing seems to rejuvenate the soul like crisp mountain air. It’s uncanny. Just imagine, waking up in the comfort of your cozy rustic cabin; perhaps taking advantage of a catered breakfast. And before even having to line up, your boots are laced up, and it’s been nuking all night. You’re in paradise (literally). With a chill warm up lap to your first chair, you can begin your day feeling warmed up & ready to rip untouched pow to your heart’s content. While the idea of “ski-in, ski-out” is well established, what sets the Constella’s apart is their literal “Mid-Mountain” location. This minor detail undoubtedly creates a level of remote seclusion that is typically reserved for backcountry cat and heli lodges, only without the unattainable price tag. Groups of up to five people can book a cabin at what seems to be a very reasonable price when compared to a hotel. Where a quirky and rugged experience may not be for everyone, the trade-off of being able to ski from the front door is a worthy distinction for adventurous types. At the risk of sounding cliché, it seems that history has been destined to repeat itself with a modern rejuvenation of the trapper’s cabin allure. With seemingly no other similar offerings anywhere in Canada, RED seems to have cornered a new niche within a well-established industry.
Just remember that in the midst of our world’s reopening, these types of authentic getaways are sure to get scooped up quickly by early adopters. And as someone who has grown up in the Kootenays, I can confidently say that riding in the Kootenays can be an unmatched experience. It’s all about timing.
visit https://www.redresort.com/constella/ for more info.