Clinic Info and Logistics

Welcome back to the 12th year of the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival! We are very excited to offer another amazing year of clinics - some tried and true from years past and also several offerings to entice locals, visitors, and coldsmoke veterans alike. As always our stellar group of visiting instructors and guides are stoked to share their expertise in the hopes of giving you a most memorable Kootenay experience. Whitewater Ski Resort and its surrounding terrain is the perfect location to celebrate, educate, and share our collective love for playing in the snow...

We are proud of the festival's educational focus reflected in the eclectic offerings of our clinics and tours. Aimed at helping develop skiers/riders of any level into...even better ones, we hope you will take the time to check out each clinic's individual description and create your own coldsmoke path of powder enlightenment...

"The intermediate telemark and alpine clinics on Fri and Sun were excellent and I can’t say enough about Nate, truly a natural telemark instructor with endless patience!  His teaching style, drills and encouragement were very much appreciated. The film fest and mingler were a ton-o-fun too. Great job to all the organizers and instructors!"

Clinic Ratios

On-Area clinics have a maximum of 6 people per Instructor/Coach; Backcountry Clinics max out at 8.

Clinic Topics

The Festival is a celebration of sliding on snow so our clinics focus on skills that will improve your on-area and backcountry experience. Some clinics focus on technical foundations and will generally be more conservative in terms of terrain choice – to keep the terrain relatively mellow so that participants can focus on fundamentals. Some clinics are aimed at getting participants onto a certain type of terrain – these are considered more tactical in nature and will have less of a technical focus. Unless otherwise stated, clinics are open to both alpine and telemark skiing, we also have snowboard sessions and splitboard offerings. We offer clinics on the ski area and tours in the backcountry. Please read the descriptions carefully and be sure to email us with any questions or points you would like to clarify!

About Clinic Descriptions

All clinics have a topic, ability rating and a description including the difficulty of the terrain that the clinic is intended to gravitate to.   Keep in mind that your safety is your guide/instructor's main priority. The terrain visited during a clinic or tour will always be based on snow conditions and group ability. Clinics may begin as a large group and split off into smaller groups based on pace as well as ability. If you have questions about clinics please email us! We can help you place yourself in an appropriate clinic or recommend a progression of clinics to enhance your experience at the festival:

Ability Level

Please take the time to carefully read through the rating information in the  Ability Level Chart. This will help you place yourself in the appropriate clinic.


Safety gear is required on all backcountry tours. Mandatory gear for backcountry clinics includes an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe. Climbing skins and touring gear (pack, water, etc) will also be needed. All backcountry tours are full-day events - be sure to pack adequate hydration, nutrition, and layers to keep a high level of mental and physical performance! Please email us with questions about gear for the tours.

 Need a beginner Telemark Lesson during the festival? Contact to make a request.

Questions about which clinic is best for you? Contact clinic coordinator, . Please consult the Ability Level Chart also!

Clinic Registration & Check-In

Register on-line until Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018 at midnight. On Thursday, you’ll need to visit the Whitewater Office or Call. On Friday, Saturday & Sunday, day of event registration will occur at the Coldsmoke/Whitewater Yurt outside of the base lodge in the Coldsmoke Village.  For Check- In - we like people to check in at the Yurt in the Coldsmoke Visit so we know you are here, so you can pick up your lift tickets, so you can complete the event waiver!  If you would like to take care of this on Thursday  before the festival or on Friday, this can also be accomplished at the Whitewater office in downtown Nelson.

On Snow Meeting Location

Ready to go? Have your lift ticket, boots on and all your gear with you, snack in the pocket? We have posted Clinic Signs on the Summit Chair side of the base lodge (to the right if you are coming from the parking lot), find the sign that matches the clinic you are registered in and check in with your session coach there…they will have your name and will be looking for you.

Like to be On Time? Your guide/coach will be at the meeting place about 10 minutes before the session starts, please check-in at the Yurt first and then you can go to the specific clinic meeting area with them at the meeting location listed above.

Running Late? That sucks. We wait a few minutes to posse up, but typically go for an on-time departure. After that point we will do our very very best to connect you with your group.

Backcountry Clinics 

*Touring gear required: climbing skins, beacon, shovel & probe, pack, nutrition, hydration, appropriate layers. Please arrive at the clinic on-time with gear.

Need gear? No problem. Please send your gear request to: located in downtown Nelson.

Backcountry tours return at the end of the day — please pack a lunch! Great sandwiches, treats and drinks are available at the Whitewater Lodge just allow enough time to go upstairs and stock up for the day!

Questions about which clinic is best for you? Contact clinic coordinator,

Friday Clinics: 8:45-3:30pm

Saturday Clinics: 8:45am-3:30pm

Sunday Clinics: 8:45am – 3:30pm

Ski Area Clinics -

Friday: Friday On-Area Clinics are Telemark and Alpine full day sessions offered at Intermediate, Advanced and Expert levels. Maximum ratio is 6:1 in all clinics!

Saturday: Saturday On-Area Clinics are open to people who Telemark, Alpine ski and Snowboard. Sessions are offered at Intermediate, Advanced and Expert levels. Maximum ratio is 6:1 in all clinics!

Friday/Saturday/Sunday - All Day - 8:45am - 3:30pm