Your au­tumn play­ground a waits

Calgary Herald - - WORLD - ANDREW PENNER

At 7 a.m. my alarm sounds (“the early bird gets the birdies”) and I roll out of bed and saunter over to the win­dow. I open the blinds and the gor­geous sil­hou­ette of Fisher Peak greets me, a per­fect pyra­mid pierc­ing a creamy pink and pur­ple sky. But I don’t look long. I’ve got things to do, places to go. Lots of places. And that’s the prob­lem.

Well, “prob­lem” isn’t re­ally the right word. A “co­nun­drum” is more ac­cu­rate. As a lover of moun­tain-fu­elled cul­ture and ad­ven­ture, I’ve cer­tainly found my happy place, al­beit for only a week­end.

The re­gion is one of my per­sonal favourites for a quick shoul­der- sea­son get­away. An out­door play­ground webbed with wicked sin­gle-track moun­tain bik­ing, ma­jes­tic moun­tain­side golf, rivers teem­ing with trout, sooth­ing hot springs and heav­enly hik­ing trails, the op­tions are enough to make any multi- sport, out­door en­thu­si­ast dizzy.

Front- coun­try ac­tiv­i­ties, such as mu­se­ums, fes­ti­vals, shop­ping, din­ing, craft brew­eries, zip- lines and wildlife view­ing are also ideal for any week­end get­away.

The Koote­nay Rock­ies is one of North Amer­ica’s most ex­cit­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous places to play golf. And thanks to 27 moun­tain golf cour­ses, it’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to de­cide which cour­ses to play ( just an­other co­nun­drum in the Koote­nay Rock­ies).

On Day 1 we de­cide to play Wild­stone, a Gary Player de­sign in Cran­brook that just gets bet­ter and bet­ter ev­ery time I play it. On Day 2, we play Trickle Creek in Kim­ber­ley, a dra­matic moun­tain track that tum­bles down North­star Moun­tain. On Day 3, on our way back to Cal­gary, we play Ea­gle Ranch in In­ver­mere, a gor­geous lay­out that soars along aerie bluffs high above Lake Win­der­mere.

And, to be clear, it’s not just the East Koote­nay cor­ri­dor that is ripe for the pickin’. From Ross­land to Revel­stoke, Golden to Nel­son, the en­tire Koote­nay Rock­ies re­gion is a moun­tain-filled mecca for ex­plo­ration and ad­ven­ture.

In Golden, for ex­am­ple, where the Columbia and Kick­ing Horse Rivers col­lide, a recre­ational re­nais­sance of sorts has taken place the past few years. The town is buzzing thanks to the Kick­ing Horse Moun­tain Re­sort — home to the high­est restau­rant in Canada! — as well as a new mi­cro­brew­ery, spec­tac­u­lar hik­ing, heart- pound­ing moun­tain bike trails, and some of the best white­wa­ter raft­ing and kayak­ing on the planet. More and more sto­ries of peo­ple com­ing — and re­fus­ing to leave— are play­ing out.

Other towns, such as Fernie, In­ver­mere, Revel­stoke, Cre­ston, Nel­son, Nakusp, Kaslo, and Ra­dium Hot Springs are on sim­i­lar tra­jec­to­ries.

There are nu­mer­ous re­sort hot springs to choose from such as Ainsworth, Canyon, Fair­mont, Hal­cyon, Nakusp, and Ra­dium. Spa lodges and re­ju­ve­nat­ing re­treats of­fer ac­com­mo­da­tion, ad­ven­ture and well­ness pack­ages.

But, in terms of its global recog­ni­tion, I’d put the Koo- tenay Rock­ies in the “some­what dis­cov­ered” cat­e­gory. For visi­tors, es­pe­cially those will­ing to hang with the friendly lo­cals and do a lit­tle dig­ging around, new dis­cov­er­ies, re­gard­less of your pas­sions and in­ter­ests, are there for the tak­ing around ev­ery bend in the pine-lined road.

Re­mem­ber to be safe and Know Be­fore You Go. Please en­sure you check the cur­rent con­di­tions at www.koote­nay­rock­


Hik­ing, golf, moun­tain bik­ing and sight­see­ing are just a few of the many ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able in Bri­tish Columbia’s Koote­nay Rock­ies re­gion.


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