Nelson is a town full of children.
When you come to this part of the world, observe the adults you come into contact with and you’ll see what I mean: our townspeople have a carefree attitude, a “do what makes you happy” approach to life, an acceptance of people who are different than one another, and the ever-present need for play.
Take note on that latter one. It’s as if Nelsonites have a job description for life and part of it is getting in a few hours of daily play time.
It’s also that latter one that keeps that childlike spirit so present in our people.
In winter, the playground of choice is Whitewater. Both front-country and backcountry skiers alike head to Ymir’s realm, armed to the hilt with skill and exuberance. The lifts unleash the town’s “children” — either in age or in spirit — into a canvas of white.
Standing on that canvas summit, the world unlocks and playfulness begins.
From here, the “children” scurry all over the mountain: some choose to place their ski lines on groomed runs, finding happiness in the open views and well-known terrain. Others head to the trees, playing hide-and-go-seek with their friends as they chase each other down the mountain. Still others head into the backcountry, captured by the process of discovery.
For each, it’s creative expression, a chance to fingerpaint the mountain, not with fingers and a blank paper canvas, but instead with skis and a snow-covered mountain.
This kind of freedom is rarely found in places you usually expect to see adults: at work or running errands around the city. Rigid protocols are in place here, boundaries set to follow blindly, and a rush to achieve all that’s necessary for a grownup’s day-to-day life.
Nelson has a place to break free, and it’s not taken for granted. Whitewater is close enough for a lap before work, it’s comfortable enough that even the “new kid” can find their way, and the lifts access more than enough to keep the natives exploring for generations. It’s a place that can set the good vibes pre-workday or cap off a hard day of adulting on a positive note.
Because of this playground, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in town that needs to “get in touch with their inner child.” We’re already there; our mountain requires both our feet be firmly planted in play.