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Kootenay Rockies Guide Service Rec's

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  • Kootenay Rockies Guide Service Rec's

    Looking to hire an alpine guide in the Kootenays later this season. Not a real technical mission, basically just a group that wants to powder hound, but doesn't know the area. I got one recommendation for "Deep Lines" out of Nelson although no particular guide. Anybody have a good experience with someone specific?

  • #2
    Rod Gibbons, based out of Invermere, BC....not the Koots, but not too far. He works for RK Heli, but does freelance as well, I think.


    • #3
      Off topic rant here about that bastardized marketing term "Kootenay Rockies" promoted by Tourism BC. They cast that net over a pretty wide, diverse region which only adds to the confusion that is common for many people who think the Rocky Mountains cover much of the Canadian west, when in fact they only form a little sliver in this part of British Columbia (skiers are usually better informed about this distinction though than the general public). Don't get me wrong, I think the Rockies are spectacular mountains well worth a visit in any season but they are so completely different from the mountains anywhere near where I live in Nelson. It would seem more appropriate for the term Kootenay Rockies to only be applied to B.C. communities within, or east of the Rocky Mountain Trench, like Cranbrook and north to Invermere (which are part of the East Kootenay). In other words, places where the Rockies are actually visible on a sunny day. Lumping West Kootenay towns located in the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains just seems wrong. It's a long drive east for me to go do some skiing in the Rockies.

      Back on topic. It would be worth checking out Summit Mountain Guides, as there are a few powder loving ACMG guides that know the area well, whether that's right in and around Nelson, or into the bigger areas north.

      Mountain Skills & Guided Adventures… At Summit Mountain Guides, we offer professional mountain guiding services and instruction for the vertically inclined.


      • #4
        Thanks for the recommendations. My friends that have skied in the region agree that the skiing is awesome and the naming conventions confusing. I understand the mountains to take the name from the drainage of the river. One friend said their heli pilot was very specific about the valley that split the Monashee and Selkirks and got very upset when the names were confused. It's my first time visiting so I admit to being largely ignorant of the geography.

        This seems like a decent representation:

        Last edited by Matt J; 6 January 2014, 04:40 PM.


        • #5
          Ha, that's funny about the heli pilot, my wife would probably say that I'm likely to give the same response; the divide between the Monashees and Selkirks is an easy one to remember. That's a great link you sent showing the different ranges - now study it!

          I was thinking a bit more about my recommendation for Summit Mountain Guides and although I don't know the lead guide (Dave), I have heard good things about him. I do know Marc and Joel as great guys who love powdery mountains with many years under their belt, so definitely consider getting in touch. These guys are also very familiar with the terrain at a number of fly-in touring lodges in the area if you were ever considering that also.

          I hope you get some great conditions while you are here, there's usually plenty of powder to go around and it would be nice if you got to experience that. A few years ago I would have offered to show your gang around the Whitewater backcountry, but I've really scaled back from touring in avalanche terrain (mostly from a scary avalanche experience not around here, but also the reality of having less time available for skiing as a working dad). Thankfully we have tons of options here for conservative-but-still-fun powder skiing, and there's a great group of people that I can be super selective to do it with, enough that my AT rig is still seeing regular action.
          Last edited by MajorJ; 7 January 2014, 10:14 AM.


          • #6
            We'll see what happens. My wife and I are definitely going, but we've had some friends and family opt in and back out. Won't be there until the end of March so plenty of time for folks to change their minds again. I'd guess we'll try and hit Red Mountain and Whitewater for lift access. Probably do a day or two of nordic skiing and mix BC days in to fill out the 10 days or so we'll be there. Thanks again for the recommendations.