The Gathering - Underground Meeting of Skiing Icons at Red

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
March 12th, 2009

There is a very underground and slightly mysterious event going on at Red and in Rossland as we speak; it is known simply and clandestinely as “The Gathering.” Those who are up on their ski history and who have followed ski culture and the ski-lebrity scene over the years will want to keep their eyes open around town this weekend.

Originally scheduled for early December, the slow start to the snow season necessitated a schedule change to the more reliably snowy mid-March weekend, a move that seems to have worked out beautifully with a long awaited return of snowy weather to these parts.

Just what is The Gathering? Well, it wasn’t easy to find out, and even harder to get real details about. My messages were left unanswered and tracking down organizers led me down dead ends; my intrigue over the event only grew stronger as the mystery deepened.

The Mountain Project (TMP) website describes the event as: “The first annual Gathering at Red Mountain is a remarkable convergence of international adventurers who have crossed paths in far-flung locations but have rarely been captured in the same place at the same time. Red Mountain’s heritage as the original ski resort of Western Canada makes it the perfect location to bring together the old guard of the ski world with young up-and-coming skiers, bikers, photographers and filmmakers of the vibrant Kootenay region. The Gathering is a TMP event and another signal of Red Mountain’s growing reputation as a “crossroads of international mountain professionals.”

Even after getting in touch with Red’s GM Erik Kalacis, details were hard to come by and he was somewhat surprised that I found a note about the event on “The Mountain Project” website which was equally vague. While he wasn’t able to divulge any specifics, only insinuating that it was indeed an underground event of private parties, he did fill me in on some of the special guests and the general intent of the event.

“It’s a gathering of very influential ski-lebrities around the world and they are here to enjoy a weekend at Red and just getting caught up and sharing their experiences and stories,” said Kalacis. “It all I guess stems from bringing in folks from our international ski network to show off our great mountain, show off Rossland and Red, to turn people on.”

Pressing further, I asked just who these ski-lebrities were.

“We’ve got a group of very influential skiers who lived in Verbier Switzerland in the late 70s and 80s,” explained Kalacis. “These guys were on the leading edge of freeskiing and ski modelling. They are known as “Team Clambin”. Mark Shapiro is one of them who is the main photographer. John Eaves is coming who is a multiple world freestyle champion and we also have Pat Morrow who has summited Everest and who has done all seven summits, and a few other adventurers and photographers as well”

While not open to the public, word has it that on Saturday night freestyle skiing legend John Eaves and his band will be jamming in the infamous Rafters Pub. Kalacis reinforced, however, that this is a private, invitation-only event. While we might not be invited to the party be sure to keep your eyes open while up on the mountain and around town this weekend as you just might catch a glimpse of some serious world skiing icons.

If you spot a silver fox or two popping twister twister spreads off the bumps on Centre-Star, or an athletic Swiss skier dropping big lines and throwing the odd chopper here and there, you never know-you may have just witnessed a bit of living ski history rocking the terrain at our very own Red.

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