Photo courtesy of Whitewater Ski Resort

…surprise, surprise. In Canada.

I HAVE TO ADMIT, I got a little shot of pride after seeing my hometown of Nelson (and nearby Rossland) winning the title of best ski town(s) in North America, as voted on by readers of Powder Magazine. The two towns in the Kootenays region of southern BC are separated by a drive that takes just over an hour to complete, but both share the same dry, fluffy, deep champagne powder that makes them the best terrain I’ve had the pleasure of shredding.

Nelson/Rossland made it through their half of the elimination-style contest of 32 competitors and went head-to-head with Bozeman, Montana in the final. The result (by Facebook voting) was 11,426 to 10,572 in favour of the Canadian hero(s).

Yes, as many over the course of the contest rightly pointed out, combining the two towns of Nelson and Rossland made it tough on the competitors. Although, to be fair, Bozeman has a population of 37,000+ with two ski ski hills — Bridger Bowl and Big Sky — while Nelson/Rossland has a total population of under 14,000 and also two resorts — Whitewater and Red Mountain, respectively.

Besides Whitewater, a 20-minute drive outside of town, Nelson is also home to the backcountry area of Baldface, chosen as the site for the Red Bull Supernatural snowboarding contest, broadcast on NBC and named the #1 event of the year by Transworld Snowboarding.

Of the win, Anne Pigeon, general manager of indoor operations and marketing at Whitewater, said:

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.

Agree or disagree? What would be your choice for North America’s best ski town?

[Note: Don't miss last year's Matador video series shot along BC's Powder Highway.]

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