Letter: Researching the story of Nickelplate ski area

The story of Nickelplate…is also about excitement, tension, vision, humour, frustration, danger, paperwork and sweat.

To the editor:

The story of the Nickelplate Nordic Ski Area west of Penticton, behind Apex Resort in the Coastal Mountains, has never been written.

There exists at Nickelplate today a system of 65 km of classic and skate-style groomed ski trails. Also on site are maintained snowshoe trails, a warm mountain lodge, bathrooms and friendly staff and about 600 members.

The dream of a cross country ski area in the South Okanagan took shape sometime around 1987. Fortuitously, at about the same time, Penticton was awarded the 1990 BC Winter Games and the dream began changing into the reality of today.

The 25th anniversary of Nickelplate is happening next year, in 2014, at the same time as Penticton is hosting another B.C. Winter Games.

The nordic society has arranged to have the story of Nickelplate written and, as a long-time club member, I have agreed to take on the task.

The story of Nickelplate is not just dates, names of people, budgets and balance sheets. It is also about excitement, tension, vision, humour, frustration, danger, paperwork and sweat. Bureaucracies had to be understood, and bold steps had to be taken to make what exists today, one of the finest cross country parks in B.C.

As often happens when a project such as this is born and nurtured to growth, keeping records and stories and events, even club newsletters and old minutes from AGMs was often overlooked.

Research has now begun on the story and I am interested in hearing from anyone who has a story or document, incident or photograph that would help tell the tales of the vision, the growth and the contemporary operations of an incredible winter resource for our area as well as the soon to be home to two BC Winter Games.

I can be reached by e-mail at nickelplatestory@gmail.com or by leaving a telephone message at 250-492-3316.

Ron Spence,



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