Proposal Submitted for Massive 11,000-Acre Backcountry All-Season Ski and Bike Resort in BC

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New Denver, British Columbia
The proposed resort near New Denver, BC

The British Columbia government is seeking public feedback around a proposed all-season ski, boarding, and bike resort near New Denver called ‘Zincton.’ Located an hour and a half away from the town of Nelson, BC, Zincton’s mission is ‘non-mechanized, human-powered, low-impact, carbon zero recreation that contributes jobs, profits, and economic sustainability to the local economy’.

Zincton will be a world-class, all-season, backcountry-oriented mountain destination that delivers an unparalleled recreation experience complemented by a pedestrian-only, environmentally sustainable Mountain Village.

If realized, this project will establish an all-season, backcountry-oriented mountain destination catering to dedicated local, regional, and international guests seeking an immersive mountain experience with world-class accommodation and amenities. The proposed development will blend the lift-serviced recreation experience offered at traditional mountain resorts with an extensive and accessible backcountry offering increasingly being sought by the skier marketplace.

Zincton will offer a range of winter backcountry experiences, including “laps” on chairlifts based out of the Mountain Village and non-mechanical, human-powered backcountry skiing. This range of winter experiences will be matched in summer by a hiking and mountain bike trail network offering challenging hikes, epic rides, and a backcountry mountain experience. The trails will range from short, accessible trails to full-day mountain adventures for the more ambitious. Additionally, a vast existing network of old rail trails connects Zincton to Retallack, Sandon, New Denver, Slocan Lake, and beyond, creating experiences suitable to all experience and skill levels.

Base area amenities will include a comprehensive Mountain Village that will meet the full range of guest needs and a remote, luxury Backcountry Lodge in Goat Canyon below Whitewater Ridge. The Mountain Village and a portion of the recreation facilities (e.g. ski trails, mountain bike trails) will be developed on private land adjacent to the proposed Controlled Recreation Area. Combined with lift-serviced skiing at either end, guests will create their own personal mix of accommodation between the Mountain Village and the remote Backcountry Lodge and lift-serviced and backcountry recreation experiences, both guided and unguided.

At the bottom of the resort, there will be restaurants, cabins, a general and retail store. A chairlift would take backcountry users up the mountain to a luxury lodge in Goat Canyon with access to over 11,000-acres (4,500 hectares) of backcountry terrain around London and Whitewater Ridge leading up to Whitewater Mountain.

Zincton, British Columbia
Whitewater Peak in March. The focal point of the area. Credit: Instagram

In the winter, gladed terrain with ski outs would be constructed to help lead people to chairlifts and the base, although no specific ski runs would be developed. For the summer, a hiking and mountain biking trail network would be developed beneath Whitewater Ridge. It’s expected that up to 1,750 guests and 1,550 skiers would be able to use the resort at any given time. Zincton will be 85% human-powered backcountry and 15% lift serviced.

Guests will be able to access approximately 4,500 ha of backcountry terrain through a small network of lifts and self-propelled travel (i.e. ski touring, mountain biking). The lifts will help guests access the height of land along London Ridge and Whitewater Ridge, with a ski touring route/trail running the length of London Ridge, connecting the proposed Mountain Village to a Backcountry Lodge and beyond. Considerable natural ski terrain exists off the sides of both ridges, ranging from intermediate to expert skier skill classes.

For winter activities, no traditional ski runs will be developed (i.e. cleared, graded), but gladed terrain will be established where appropriate and ski outs will be constructed at the bottom of all slopes to lead skiers back to the base or staging areas. Zincton may name the bowls, glades, couloirs and prominent features of the ski terrain for guest orientation and wayfinding, but it will not employ the relatively intense terrain development found with traditional mountain resorts.

The project still needs approval from the provincial government.

New Denver, British Columbia, resort
New Denver, BC

New Denver is a village in southeastern British Columbia, Canada, along the shore of Slocan Lake. New Denver was founded as a mining town in 1891 and was initially named Eldorado City in the hope that its fortune would be found in gold. The next year, when it became clear that gold would not be the source of wealth for the community, at a public meeting, Thomas Latheen, a former resident of Denver, Colorado persuaded the meeting that New Denver should be the name for their settlement. It was incorporated as a village in 1929 and has approximately 500 residents.

After Whisper Ridge in Utah, which has access to over 70,000-acres, this resort would be one of the largest in North America. Whistler Blackcomb is 8,171-acres, Park City, UT 7,300-acres, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows 6,400-acres.


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2 thoughts on “Proposal Submitted for Massive 11,000-Acre Backcountry All-Season Ski and Bike Resort in BC

  1. The sad thing is, this is one of the only highway accessible backcountry touring locations in the area. If the project proceeds, free backcountry access will be lost. People who want to access London Ridge from the road will have pay to take a course at the resort and buy a permit from the resort to continue to tour there. The BC backcountry is full of commercial operations, maybe the last few spots out to preserved for free public recreation and wildlife.

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