Infrastructure has afforded us much in this world. It allows us to move and build, watch and create. And while it can do great things, rarely is it life changing. Even more isolated, is its ability to change the lives of an entire community. Skiing the last two days on the new Glory Ridge Chair, with snow falling light and deep, talking to friends and visitors alike as they spin laps on the first new piece of skiing infrastructure Nelson's seen in well over 20 years, it's quite evident that this new "thing" is a very big deal.
"It's an entirely new mountain," one friend says to me. "Can you imagine this place mid-week, storming, all these line to ourselves," says another. Everybody is beaming with excitement, discovering a place for the first time if only because the lift has afforded us the convenience of repetition.
It's a massive increase in terrain and vertical. The tree lines are infinitesimal. There's super steep gnar for the hard cores, and mellow glades for the kids. The lift line is a veritable booterfest and the chair itself, a fixed grip recycled triple, fits perfectly with the vibe so well entrenched at this resort.
As a skier, the last two days have been some of the most exciting I've ever experienced. Our little ski hill way up the road has finally come into it's own. Now our legs really burn. Now our kids have a universe to explore and learn. Now visitors who've heard so much about the funky people and the great snow really have the opportunity for ski experiences they might not find anywhere else on this good earth.
Yes, I'm biased, but I've skied in enough places to know how significant the Glory Ridge Chair is. It's infrastructure born for one purpose: Bringing the People to the Powder. And that's a big deal. When it comes to all the machines and things of the world, there may not be a more noble creation.
Family Guy somewhere in the New World. Photo: Dave Heath