Nickel Plate is silver-plated for the cross-country ski season

Skiing in South Okanagan

The South Okanagan's cross-country skiing playground had a bonus for diehard skiers this fall.

Nickel Plate Nordic Centre started grooming on Oct. 24 so skiers could enjoy a weekend of pre-season adventures Nov. 10 to 12 before the ski area officially opened on Nov. 24.

"The bonus weekend let you dive into winter fun even earlier, adding an extra layer of excitement. It was the perfect opportunity to savour the pristine snow, get your legs moving and beat the rush," said Kevin Dyck, marketing and communications manager. Nickel Plate welcomed the UBC Nordic ski team for its five-day pre-season camp and the Telemark race team for that soft weekend opening.

"We are also offering new early-season masters refresher camps. Whether you're a classic or skate skier, these three-day camps are designed to help you kick the dust off your muscle memory so you can start the season on the right…ski. The perennial Rick Watson is running the camps, full of invaluable tips and focused training to refine your technique."

Day 1 and 2 of the camps will have a morning and afternoon session of 1.5 hours (three hours total). Day 3 will be a morning session only. The November camp will be classic technique. The December camp will be skate. To learn more about the camps and how to sign up, go to: nickelplatenordic.org

"We believe that winter fun should be accessible to all and we strive to keep our prices as low as possible (to the chagrin of our GM)," said Dyck with a laugh. Day passes for adults (ages 19 to 64) are $18.50, youth passes (age six to 18) are $10 each and children five-and-under can ski for free.

If your child is ready, the youth skills development program (SDP) is the perfect way to introduce young adventurers to the joys of snow sports, said Dyck.

"Whether your child is a beginner or aspires to become a skilled skier, our program offers something for everyone. The SDP is designed to build fundamental skiing techniques, endurance and a deep love for the sport. Our expert coaches create a supportive environment where your child can thrive, make new friends and develop lifelong skills."

Nickel Plate offers various options, including group sessions, private coaching and specialized training for those interested in competition.

Dyck also gave a shout-out to the club's many volunteers.

"As we prepare for the upcoming season, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible volunteers who have poured their time and effort into ensuring that the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre is ready for action. From cutting, splitting and loading firewood to staining the entire day lodge exterior, their hard work has been truly exceptional. They even moved the wood stove in the old part of the day lodge to prevent chimney damage and built a safety railing around it for added security," he said.

Volunteers also scrubbed the daylodge floor, deep-cleaned bathrooms, installed flooring in the rental shed, painted and repaired various areas, removed the wax trailer, brushed the trails and rerouted the Bonanza snowshoe trail. In addition, Weyerhaueser, via Lawrence's logging crew, delivered a new load of wood for this season.

"We cannot thank these dedicated volunteers enough for their invaluable contributions. Their passion and commitment to the centre have been instrumental in ensuring a fantastic season. It's their hard work and love for the centre that make our winter dreams come true," said Dyck.

This season is not just about skiing, he emphasized. "It's also about connecting with fellow snow sports enthusiasts and enjoying the camaraderie. We have a lineup of exciting social events and gatherings planned throughout the season."

On the second Sunday of each month, Nickel Plate will host a Speakers' Series “lunch and learn.” Topics will range from fitness to social issues and even a reading from one of its members who is a celebrated author. The club will also host a monthly “full moon” potluck and ski.

"The moonlight schedule has been massaged so the events land on a weekend. They aren’t always truly on the day of the full moon but they’ll be fun regardless," promised Dyck. "We can’t wait to welcome you back.”

For the last three years, Nickel Plate skiers have been on snow by Nov. 11 and in the past five years, they have always been skiing before the end of November, noted president Rick Watson.

"With everything else going up in price, you’ll be glad to hear that Nickel Plate is holding the line with respect to pricing on season memberships and day passes. From a club viewpoint, we’re taking the next couple of years to focus on ‘re-lifing’ our infrastructure and grooming capabilities. Next year, we’re looking to re-roof the entire day lodge, for example."

Last summer, Nickel Plate applied for a grant to purchase a new grooming machine.

"The old groomer is still working OK, but we’re quickly approaching the end of its warranty period and getting close to 5,000-hour operating hours (and that’s when things can start to go sideways on these machines). We’re focussed on having a super reliable machine with minimal unexpected downtime so that trail conditions are great every day," said Watson.

He also thanked all the volunteers. "A strong membership base that also volunteers its time to support club events and projects is critical to our ongoing operation. Last year, we had over 1,000 hours in volunteer support."

The Nickel Plate Loppet will be back March 17, 2024—St Patrick’s Day, he added. "It will be a classic-only loppet. Loppet distances and course routes are still to be finalized but I can guarantee there will be a course and distance to challenge every level of skier we have."

The president reminded those who drive up from Penticton via Green Mountain Road that Nickel Plate is accessed by driving through land held by the Penticton Indian Band.

“So please be respectful of their community, obey the speed limit and drive with courtesy,” he said.

Located a scenic 40 minutes west of Penticton, the club was established in 1989 and has 56 kilometres of cross-country ski trails and 26 kilometres of maintained snowshoe trails.


Now, an update on cross-country and downhill openings in the Southern Interior.

SilverStar launched its cross-country ski season Nov. 23. "As for Alpine, while it looks like winter on the slopes right now, we will need Mother Nature to come through with a big storm to be able to get alpine skiing operational for our opening on Nov. 30," said Ian Jenkins, director of sales, marketing and events.

"While only a small amount of snow is in the immediate forecast, we remain hopeful that this will happen, and when it does we will be ready to open."

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre was the first to officially open the cross-country season on Nov. 15.

Sun Peaks Resort officially opened Nov. 18. Big White Ski Resort's opening hs been delayed to Nov. 30. Apex Mountain Resort will open Dec. 9 and Baldy Mountain Resort will open Dec. 15. Telemark Nordic Centre and the Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club have not yet announced opening dates.

This is the fourth in a multi-part series on what is new and different at the 12 downhill ski resorts and cross-country ski areas in the Southern Interior. Columns on Sun Peaks, Baldy and Revelstoke are in the lineup.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


SilverStar Mountain Resort ready for opening day Nov. 24

SilverStar shining bright

When the first significant snow fell on SilverStar Mountain Resort in mid-October, the grinning face of Ian Jenkins said it all.

"It is very exciting to see new snow at the mountain and hopefully, it bodes well for where the season is headed," said SilverStar's director of sales and marketing.

"The new gondola cabins have been put on the line, the parking lot is under expansion and we are nearing the launch of our new SilverStar Ski app. We have also completed renovations at Paradise Camp and lots of touch-ups in our other locations. Overall, the excitement is building and it's shaping up to be a great season ahead."

The scheduled opening day for cross-country skiing is Nov. 24 and for downhill, Nov. 30.

You could call the upgrades “up, down and around.” In anticipation of heightened skier and snowboarder demand, 21 more cabins have been added to the Summit Express eight-passenger gondola, doubling its uphill capacity to 2,400 riders per hour.

The resort has also added two new Piston Bully groomers to its fleet to support terrain park maintenance, enhance natural terrain features and create more flawless corduroy runs for those on the way down the slopes.

New radio frequency identification (RFID) gates will scan all passes and tickets, eliminating the need to take out your ticket to get checked at the lifts and that will improve the flow of riders back onto the chairs.

In addition, with the new SilverStar Ski app launching this winter, you can track your stats, find your friends and check conditions on-demand. And shhhh - only tell your friends - SilverStar now offers an “early riser” experience so you can have the slopes all to yourself for an entire hour before everyone else jumps on the lift.

If you are heading to the Terrain Park, the popular play spot had numerous pre-season enhancements including a design-and-build collaboration with legendary park builder Elliot Cone; a full redesign of the XL Lanes to create a world-class slopestyle competition course, new rails and custom features and lighting, slope and feature improvements for the Night Park.

One hundred and fifty new parking spots were added to expand the popular ski-in/ski-out Lot E. (You can ski right to this lot off the Attridge ski area).

It's not news to perennial guests, but SilverStar will continue its all-encompassing My1Pass day tickets and season passes which conveniently bundle a mountain of fun for downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, skating and “fat” biking.

When you are done having so much fun, new executive head chef Nigel Baks is ready and willing to challenge your taste buds, said Jenkins.

"A full renovation of Paradise Camp is underway, in addition to facility updates at several of our other mountain restaurants. D’Argento, for example, will have a new and improved menu for shared family dining experiences."

A new Indian fusion restaurant - The Spice House - will add to the global flavours already found at the Bulldog Grand Cafe, Bugaboos Bakery Cafe, Pizza Gratta, Long John's Pub, Black Pine Social, The Den and Red Antler.

"SilverStar is a spectacular winter destination with much to explore on and off the slopes. There's a reason Canadian ski pioneers, Olympians and world champions across the globe call SilverStar home," said Destination Silver Star executive director Cassandra Zerebeski "And this winter, we have a lot of exciting updates to look forward to, not to mention a packed events calendar."

Of note, SilverStar will hosting Treeline Retreat on Nov. 17-19, a pre-season weekend wellness retreat, and the new Silver Star Arts and Culture Festival is showcasing the community's impressive artistic and cultural aspects.

Some of its biggest returning events will include the annual Light Up, the Winter Carnival, the OTH (Over The Hill) downhill race, Monster Boarderstyle, the SEISMIC Spring Festival and the Sovereign2SilverStar ski marathon.

SilverStar, at an elevation of 1,609 metres in British Columbia’s Monashee Mountains, boasts a 760-metre vertical drop, an annual snowfall of 700 centimetres, and 132 runs on 3,282 acres of terrain. Together with nearby the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, the two offer 105 kilometres of Nordic trails, the largest continuous groomed cross-country trail network in North America.

As if that wasn't enough, SilverStar and Sun Peaks have been named to the list of top 10 ski hills in North America.

In its annual 2023-24 ski season report, HomeToGo, the world’s largest vacation rental marketplace, assessed the top 48 ski destinations in British Columbia, Quebec, and 13 U.S. states, evaluating them based on traveller interest, affordability (lift ticket and accommodation prices), chairlift capacity and average snow depth. SilverStar ranked seventh overall, while Sun Peaks near Kamloops placed 10th.


The cross-country ski season is officially underway with the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre east of Vernon the first to welcome skiers on Wednesday. However, Nickel Plate Nordic Centre west of Penticton started grooming on Oct. 24 so skiers could enjoy an unofficial weekend of pre-season adventures Nov. 10 to 12 before the ski area officially opens Nov. 24.

"Even with limited skiing, our opening was a success," said new Sovereign’s general manager Wendy Shannon. "Athletes participating in the provincial biathlon and XC camp shared trails with members and day users. There were some moments when Passmore resembled a highway more than a ski trail, but there were smiles all around. Partway through the day, snow started to fall and we received around five centimetres. The groomers will be out packing more trails in the coming days. Thanks to everyone who came to welcome the new staff in the lodge.”

At Nickel Plate, the opening was a good one as well, said marketing and communications manager Kevin Dyck Wednesday.

"We were fortunate enough to welcome the UBC Nordic Ski Team for their five-day pre-season camp. What an incredible group of young adults. If that's the future of Nordic skiing, the sport is in good hands,” he said.

“We also welcomed the Telemark race team, who were happy to be back on snow (well, everyone was - so that was an easy win). Overall, the weekend was a hit. Now, we just need more snow, but it was dumping when I left today, so it's coming."

Sun Peaks Resort was scheduled to open on Saturday (Nov. 18). Big White Ski Resort's official opening will be Nov. 23. SilverStar Mountain Resort will launch its Nordic season Nov. 24, Alpine on Nov. 30. Apex Mountain Resort will open Dec. 9 and Baldy Mountain Resort will open Dec. 15. Telemark Nordic Centre and Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club have not yet announced opening dates.

This is the third in a multi-part series on what is new and different at the 12 downhill ski resorts and cross-country ski areas in the Southern Interior. Columns on Sun Peaks, Revelstoke and Nickel Plate are coming up.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Multi-million dollar infrastructure investment at Big White Ski Resort

$100 million in upgrades

Big White Ski Resort made multi-million-dollar history with its off-season developments. But that's just the start of a major expansion kick.

"This year, we've taken significant strides to address new resort upgrades and areas that need further development,” said senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall as he prepared for a Nov. 23 season launch. “According to the Kootenay Boundary Regional District, $100 million is being invested around the mountain in vital infrastructure, road upgrades, staff accommodation and private homes and condominium development.”

He added 2023 has seen some of the biggest construction starts in the history of the resort, from “future proofing” infrastructure builds to environmental and safety upgrades.

“We are excited and proud to facilitate private investments in accommodation across the resort. Plans are also in place to add more lifts and more terrain down the road."

The numerous improvements and changes during the off-season include:

• Work has started on two new staff accommodation apartment buildings with 68 beds that will cost $12 million. During the past four years, the resort purchased or built 575 new bed units for its staff.

• The Big White water utility is building a $2.5-million, 2.8-million-litre concrete drinking water reservoir to ensure a reliable and ample water supply for guests and staff throughout the year.

• Construction began on the first phase of a $600,000 upper parking lot in the Black Forest area, enough for an additional 250 vehicles this season. Rock blasting next summer will add another 200 spaces for a total of 450 parking spots. Parking has always been an issue at the resort, said Ballingall, and the new lot should ease that.

"There's a few things in my world that excite me,” he said. “This is one of them.

“Black Forest is a really unique area with one of the busiest chairlifts on the mountain. Those runs over there are really popular with beginners, intermediates and seniors. So it means people can start their day a little bit easier. If you're not there at 8:30 in the morning, you can't find a parking spot to get access to your locker. So, it's the one area that we've had the most trouble with. We've been trying to do this for over two years. As soon as it freezes, it's ready to go."

• The new POWder Card means guests can access three-day and five-day flexible lift passes designed to provide the freedom to hit the slopes any three or five days of the season. Not only does this grant unparalleled flexibility with absolutely no blackout dates, but it also provides impressive savings of up to 15% and 20%. The POWder Card is also a key player in bolstering Protect Our Winters Canada (POW) memberships (advocating for policy solutions to climate change), thanks to Big White's co-branded marketing initiatives. POWder Cards will be available in early January 2024.

• New digital lift status signage boards will provide real-time information about lift status, trail conditions, weather updates, events and other important announcements.

• A new $550,000 groomer with advanced technology will increase efficiency in snow-grooming operations, reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

• A new software ticketing system will provide a seamless and efficient process for guests to purchase lift tickets and access resort amenities while streamlining the resort's payroll system to improve workforce management and payroll processing. Additionally, the new accommodation reservations system with e-commerce improvements will enable guests to book lodging and other services online resulting in a more convenient and user-friendly booking experience.

• New 100kW, 200A rapid-charging electric vehicle stations are now in full operation at the new Big White Central Reservations building in the Happy Valley parking lot. Provincial funding was provided through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation's CleanBC Go Electric Public Charger Program.

• Gondola controls were upgraded with advanced safety features, improved monitoring and reduced downtime.

• The resort's rental shop got a $200,000 facelift with a new Wintersteiger compactor racking system to enhance the shop's aesthetics and significantly improve operational efficiency by making it easier for staff to access and retrieve gear, ultimately streamlining the guest experience by reducing wait times and ensuring a smoother, more seamless rental process.

• A new luxurious and relaxing Spa at Stonebridge Lodge will offer uniquely-designed body and facial treatments, curated escapes, specialized massages, foot and nail treatments, hair services and local and organic product lines designed to rebalance and rejuvenate the mind and body.

The return of former Big White executive chef Boddie Macklin-Shaw means an overhaul of menus at key eateries. Food and beverage services are returning to a renovated Ridge Day Lodge. Happy Valley Day Lodge has a series of menu upgrades including specialty coffees. Black Forest Day Lodge will include more international flavours.

The Ridge Day Lodge had a complete makeover from the back of the house to the customer interface. The kitchen was completely gutted and retrofitted with a fresh design to accommodate its exciting new concept, Spuds, centred on quick-serve options and ski hill favourites, like a poutine bar, baked potatoes, perogies and daily soups. Many items are gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Breakfast sandwiches will be available starting at 8 a.m. for those looking for a quick chairlift brekkie.

The Happy Valley Day Lodge's main cafeteria upstairs was not only updated but split into two concepts. Alpine Express features an expanded grab-and-go section of house-made salads, sandwiches, breakfast items and pre-packaged snacks, plus a specialty coffee bar serving espresso-based hot and cold beverages.The Alpine Burger Co. will operate out of the adjacent space, with deluxe gourmet burgers and sides along with a selection of popular appetizers.

Vista at Black Forest Day Lodge, Big White's sunniest bistro and situated at the base of the Black Forest Express, has a refreshed menu, including beef stroganoff, international-inspired noodle bowls and a delicious beef dip.

Clocktower Coffee Co., the ski-in, ski-out coffee shop in the Village Centre Mall, has new digital menu screens displaying an updated selection of pastries and hot sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. Upgraded barista equipment will streamline ordering and delivery of its high-quality coffee.

The Woods, which boasts a traditional chalet feel with exposed timber beams, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Easy Street ski run and a vibrant outdoor patio space, has completely revamped lunch and dinner menus, a hand-crafted cocktail list and a B.C.-centric wine list. Between three and five p.m., it has an apres-ski menu that you can pair with a cocktail or featured bottle of wine at 50 per cent off Monday-Thursday.

"The focus of our off-season efforts this year has been to add individual personality and distinctive offerings to each of our food service outlets," said Trevor Hanna, vice-president of hospitality. "In the increasingly competitive market for the consumer's attention, we felt it was important to ensure that Big White Ski Resort continues to offer a wide variety of menus that will be attractive across a wide array of palates and budgets."

Kelowna's beloved seafood institution, Broken Anchor Seafood, has expanded to the Globe restaurant with family deals such as its crispy fish and chips, and succulent shrimp.


The Friends of Mission Creek Society will hold its annul general meeting at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 16) at the RH-EECO (the log building) in Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna with refreshments from 6:45 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. There will be a short presentation by students of the Better World Club, followed by guest speaker, Bob Hrasko, administrator of the Black Mountain Irrigation District, addressing a range of issues that relate to Mission Creek with a focus on hydrology.

This is the second in a multi-part series on what is new and different at the 12 downhill ski resorts and cross-country ski areas in the Southern Interior. Columns on SilverStar, Sun Peaks and Nickel Plate are already in the lineup.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


Kelowna Nordic ready for 'Snovember'

Trails ready for grooming

This is the first in a multi-part series on what is new and different at the 12 downhill ski resorts and cross-country ski areas in the Southern Interior. Columns on Big White, SilverStar, Sun Peaks and Nickel Plate are already in the lineup.

It's officially “Snovember!”

That's when the 12 downhill resorts and cross-country ski areas in the Southern Interior encourage everyone to do a snow dance or some other ritual designed to produce enough snow to launch the winter outdoor recreation season.

Some, like Constant Companion Carmen (CCC), want to head south as soon as the temperature drops. However, when you think about it, winter in the Southern Interior's valleys doesn't really get into high gear until the beginning of December, and then there is only 16 to 18 weeks, more or less, until March and April and the return of spring to the valley bottom.

When the Sheriff was working full-time, he could only ski or snowshoe on Saturdays and Sundays—usually downhill on one day and cross-country or snowshoeing on the other. That's why he can hardly wait to dig out the rock skis in Snovember and again feel that exhilarating rush of boards cruising down a snowy slope.

"I'm super excited. It's going to be a great season," John Davina told the Sheriff this week.

However, as president of Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club he said, “We were concerned with finding and employing a groomer but we received interest from nine applicants!"

For the 2023-24 season, the club has three full-time groomers, two part-time and a new grooming plan. With more than 75 kilometres of ski trails, they will groom 50 kilometres during the week and more on weekends.

Groomers will focus on the trails members have said they love to ski, and those trails will be registered on a new grooming app called Nordic Pulse.

"Members will see what trails have been done as they head up to Nordic,” said Davina. “Please check our new website at kelownanordic.com to view real-time grooming and the webcam for weather reports. Kelowna Nordic is also proud to have 24 kilometres of trails for skiers and their canine friends. And the 75 kilometres of snowshoe trails are canine friendly.”

He added Kelowna Nordic’s rolling terrain and numerous loops have been compared to those in Norway, Sweden and Germany by those who have experienced them both.

“Come and give them a try, you’ll see that Kelowna Nordic is closer than you think," he said.

Most of the trails on McCulloch Road, off Highway 33 past Big White Road, are in great shape and thanks to a dedicated core of volunteers, sight lines around some corners have been improved for skier safety.

"We had lots of help. All four cabins (and eight biffies) have been cleaned, the cabins stocked with firewood, and they are ready for both skiers and snowshoers to visit. There's also lots going on in the background with membership drives and fund-raising for a new groomer. Both snowcats have been serviced and are ready to go. And we're doing future long-range planning, etc., etc. This would all be impossible to do without an awesome board of directors and many members stepping up!"

A complete roster of events will run from opening day (to be announced), including Demo Days with Fresh Air, two moonlight ski and snowshoe nights and two special member-and-guest events. The Stride and Glide fundraiser for Kelowna General Hospital is slated for Feb. 10 and the popular Cabin Cookie Tour will return on March 2.

Kelowna Nordic will continue to help members improve their skills with two separate master’s classes to be held in January and February for both classic and skate skiers. Registrations for these masters social ski lessons will be accepted starting in late November. In late January, instructor Emanuela Bandol will host special clinics, for beginners to intermediate skiers for those who want private instruction.

An adult season ski pass cost $160 until Sept. 30 and is now $180. A snowshoe season pass was $60 and is now $70. Adult day passes are $18 and $9.


As promised, the Sheriff has one more funny story about a recent 26-day outdoor recreation holiday in Europe.

This story should be set to the theme music of the Lone Ranger television series from the 1950s. (For those unfamiliar with the William Tell Overture, the cadence is used as the punchline in the joke: What music accompanied the Lone Ranger on his way to the garbage landfill. "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.”)

The funny story involves a cruise ship excursion. After checking in, passengers were told to wait on one side of the ship’s theatre. The best two seats on the bus are right behind the driver so the Sheriff suggested he and CCC wait at the top of the theatre stairs to be right behind the excursion coordinator and be the first on the bus.

Six other passengers had the same idea and also stood beside the coordinator despite being told repeatedly to please sit down.

CCC laughed, went to another entrance/exit and stood at the original entrance/exit to be the first to follow the coordinator. The Sheriff quickly followed but a Spanish couple cut in front of CCC.

"We're more fit than they are. We'll take them on the gangway," whispered CCC. Cue the overture.

The Spanish wife was panting and fell behind but her husband quickened his step, looking behind several times to see how close the Sheriff was. The husband got into one lineup to show his ship ID but the Sheriff went to a shorter lineup and dashed into the port waiting area.

The husband cut through a crowd waiting there for another excursion and regained the lead. Arriving at the bus, he had the audacity to ask the ticket checker if he could save two seats for friends.

"No reservations, sir," he was told.

By this time, his wife had arrived and threw her handbag to him. He jumped into the primo seats and tossed her bag into the next two seats behind him. His two friends got into those and handed him the wife's handbag.

Breathless, the Sheriff and CCC took the two seats on the other side of the bus right behind the tour guide. When the bus stopped to let us off, the Spanish wife got up but the husband smirked and waved the Sheriff and CCC off first.

Then, the Spanish couple and two friends decided to stay in town for lunch so their prized seats became available for the scenic ride back to the ship— until the guide placed her small suitcase on those seats to collect the tour headsets.

Haha. Cut the overture music.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Making Tracks articles

About the Author

J.P. Squire arrived in the Okanagan Valley from flatland Chatham, Ont. in the middle of the night in the spring of 1980. Waking up in the Highway 97 motel, he looked across the then-four-lane roadway at Mount Baldy and commented: "Oh my God, there's mountains." Driving into downtown Kelowna, he exclaimed: "Oh my God, there's a lake."

The rest is history. After less than a month in Kelowna, he concluded: "I'm going to live here for a long time." And he did.

Within weeks and months, he was hiking local hillsides, playing rec hockey at Memorial Arena and downhill skiing at Big White Ski Resort. After purchasing a hobby farm in the Glenmore Valley in 1986, he bought the first of many Tennessee Walking Horses. After meeting Constant Companion Carmen in 1999, he bought two touring kayaks and they began exploring Interior lakes and B.C.'s coast.

The outdoor recreation column began with downhill ski coverage every winter as the Ski Sheriff but soon progressed to a year-round column as the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff.

His extensive list of contacts in Okanagan outdoor recreation clubs, organizations and groups means a constant flow of emails about upcoming events and activities which will be posted on Castanet every Sunday.

You can email the Sheriff at: [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories