Each evening it snows and I wonder what will happen in the morning. Will I sit at my computer and work or will I grab my skis and head to the hill? It’s tough when you are an independent consultant working from home alone. No one is looking over your shoulder, demanding things throughout the day and suffering along with the masses in the confines of the daily grind.
Today I headed to the ski hill. Fingers crossed for 10 cm by morning !!
Winter has finally arrived in the West Kootenay and we left 2007 with full face shots. As the New Year begins I am taking a moment to reflect on where the road has taken me over the last year. In a nutshell, I came to the Kootenays at this time last year to contemplate my future. The draw of life in Canada, community and the spirit of this landscape was ferocious. I went back to Switzerland on Jan 22nd, 2007 and gave my notice. One year later I am still amazed by the transition and shocked by the change.
Change seems to be a little more difficult to foster and embrace as I get older. Still, I love change, evolution and attempting to live life in the spirit I believe in. Cheers to 2008 from a snowy corner of the world I now call home.
I spent the last week visiting my friend Sarah in her new residence – Salt Lake City, Utah. I came equipped with Kootenay beer, skis for all occasions and adventurous spirit. We had a blast skiing at Snowbird, Alta, 3 days in the back country and ice climbing in addition to the partying, eating and hanging out. We were Team Snoop Daddy and the skis sure rocked!
The Wasatch is a very cool place but requires one to be patient and accepting of the urban scene. People are keen recreationalists. In some cases they ski tour at dawn and are at work by 9am. This ensures that skin tracks are set for those of us who have the day off. Still, I found it kind of annoying. Roads aren’t far, cars are passing by and people are everywhere.
The suburban area just below the valley is primely located to ski, climb and get into the mountains. Again – great access but wierdness persists. It is suburbia in all its essence with repetitive housing designs, insane xmas light set-ups and car access in order to get anywhere. Salt Lake City is the epitomy of sprawl.
I had a great visit to Utah and I can’t complain about the great access, snow and company! But, I was happy to return to Rossland where we have a small ski resort looking over the town, a grocery store within walking distance and funky mining shacks scattered up and down the hillside. It’s got character and soul. These are characteristics worth preserving!!
In a recent newsletter I received from the local ski hill, the topic entitled The Mountain Project peaked my attention.
It appears the ski hill built a log cabin last year and have dubbed it as “a vehicle to foster dialogue and incubate a community among outdoor athletes of all types“. Furthermore, it will be a centre for knowledge sharing among other interesting and innovative things.
While this all sounds good – what exactly does it mean? The newsletter fails to detail in any way how this will be realized. I am new to town however many fellow residents are skeptical given that zero took place in the log cabin last year. If Red Mountain truly wants to be a place of community building, it would likely do them well to expand on their written promises. For example:
– What does incubation of community mean? Is this a new community? Does this mean that our present community is neither strong nor vibrant?
– What type of programming is being planned to foster dialogue, community and knowledge sharing?
– Who in the community is working on this to ensure it is collaborative, inclusive and needs based?
– What resources will be invested to ensure The Mountain Project will be more than an empty log cabin and live up to the vision of Red Mountain’s management?
Personally I think it is great for the mountain to communicate with the community. However, we shouldn’t forget that communication is two ways. If the mountain is listening, they would do well to use more collaborative and inclusive means to strengthen the community which already exists and would likely embrace opportunities to share their knowledge and ideas. First principles of community building emphasize that ideas need to come from the bottom up. This requires including all people who have a stake in the issues from the get-go. The people in Rossland are active mountain enthusiasts who need more than glossy words on paper to buy into the idea of incubation of communities.
The ski season is still a few months away and there is time to nurture The Mountain Project. Still, if the mountain wants it to be more than a corporate Red Mountain project, they will need to start talking to the people who make Red Mountain the legend that it is.
What is this the relationship between a Blog and a Canoe? Both inspire reflective actions but one is explicit and the other is quite private. After 10 days away from the computer and a notable absence from blogging, I do feel a little guilty. However, despite the silence, the art of reflection has been rampant. For the moment I am working out how to organize all the thoughts and get back into ‘managing’ the complexities of the mind.
I am committed to the blog and will be back on line this fall for more thoughts on KM, the environment, development and other fun things. Until next time, long live summer thoughts.
The 7 summits is a sweet trail with all that a cross-country rider loves. More than the ups and downs, it’s also a symbol of community. It allows people the opportunity to visit the landscape around us and see it from different perspectives. It provides for community building through events that highlight Rossland’s epic ride. It’s a conversation between neighbours who have participated in some way to make this trail a reality.
I am new to Rossland and am thankful for the trails. The 7 Summits is a great ride and inspires a great breakfast.