I was riding the chairlift at our local ski hill one day and mentioned to a fellow skier that a fair number of ‘out of town’ skiers had crossed my path lately (or should I say tracks). They’d come from far and wide in search of snow and a cooler clime.
My friend’s eyes widened and he uttered, “Whoa – It better not get busy here!”
After wiping the pile of snow off my goggles, I looked ahead and behind at mostly empty chairs and below me at the untracked run. We’d just had 90 cm of fresh snow in the last 3 days and we were becoming exhausted trying to ski it out all by ourselves. It’s like cat skiing for $49 a day!
“Well,” I replied, “we could use a few more people – it gets kind of lonely here sometimes and it’s fun to meet new people.”
His remark is a common utterance in this Northern town of Smithers, BC. With Hudson Bay Mountain rising spectacularly at the end of Main Street, the snow covered runs can be seen by almost every household. The lineups are non-existent, the snow consistently soft and deep, the atmosphere friendly. And the locals are bent on keeping it that way. Many of our residents secretly slipped away from busy ski towns like Banff and Whistler, bought acreages here with funky houses for not much money and are living happily ever after.
It’s as if we have our own private ski hill and backcountry wilderness. We savour every bit of this freedom and peace. So why am I opening my big mouth and letting the secret out? Heaven forbid – you might all want to live here! Well, some of you might – we do have a constant small trickle of migrants looking for a quality lifestyle but -REALLY – we are pretty far north – way too far for the unhardy, snow-fearing, city addicted dwellers to make the move. But for those courageous lifestyle seeking souls – COME ON UP – WE REALLY DO WELCOME NEW PEOPLE.
Whoa! I hope I’m not in trouble with my friends now.