From the spectacular vantage point of the Main (Western Canada's longest night-lit ski run), skiers and riders at Kimberley Alpine Resort enjoy commanding views of the colossal Rocky Mountain Trench and the jagged peaks that line its eastern perimeter.
One of Canada's highest mountain towns, Kimberley sits at the edge of the widest part of the Rocky Mountain Trench. Some 20km/13mi across the valley, the face of the Canadian Rockies rises like a sheer wall. The scale is slightly humbling.
Purcell Mountain Range
Like many Kootenay Rockies towns, this former mining community borders on the wilderness – in this case, a chain of mountains that parallels the Canadian Rockies for hundreds of kilometres. The Purcell Range extends some 80km/50mi from east to west. South of town, the St Mary's River valley provides access to the interior of this mountain range, which is populated by a mix of deer, elk, moose and bears.
Kimberley Alpine Resort is located above the townsite, backed onto the Purcells. The skiable area wraps around the face of the mountain. The front of the mountain has broad slopes that offer sunshine and unimpeded views across the valley. Some of the steeper, north facing runs drop into Easter Bowl, suggesting that the serious skiers are less likely to go home with a tan.
The Kimberley Nordic Centre is situated south of the resort, with the Trickle Creek Golf Course settling into the sloping topography below.
Mark Creek flows into the town from the north, and separates the two mines that sustained the community for more than a century. Underground tours of the Sullivan Mine are offered throughout the summer.
Climate & Weather
Although not as much snow falls on Kimberley Alpine Resort as on others in the region, the resort's average annual snowfall of 400cm/150in is supplemented by snow making equipment.
An average January temperature of -7°C/19°F makes for a pleasant ski day when the sun is shining – Kimberley is one of the sunniest spots in British Columbia.