Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort: Innovative or Irresponsible?

Deep in British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains, a controversy has brewed for more than 20 years.

The Jumbo Glacier Resort proposal to build a 6,000-hectare European resort replica — complete with 23 ski lifts and 6,000 bed units — first surfaced in 1991.

While proponents argue the proposal would make the Invermere area home to Canada's first year-round, glacier-based ski resort, those opposed to the project say it would desecrate a sacred place for the Ktunaxa Nation, imperil grizzly bear habitat and overload a region that already has 13 ski resorts within a three-hour drive.

Time is running out for the proponents — in more ways than one. Climate experts predict the glaciers will be entirely melted within four decades. And in the more immediate future, if substantial construction doesn’t begin by Oct. 12th, 2014, the environmental assessment certificate for the project will expire, meaning proponents have to go back to square one.

At this crucial moment in the project’s history, DeSmog Canada sent award-winning reporter Judith Lavoie series to the Columbia Valley to take a closer look at the issues swirling around the Jumbo Glacier Resort.

Photo credit: Pat Morrow.

The original reporting in this series was made possible through the generous support of Wilburforce Foundation.

In this series

Jumbo Glacier
A film documenting a battle that has stretched over almost a quarter century, pitting communities...
By Judith Lavoie, 3 Dec, 2015
This is a guest post by Gerry Taft, the mayor of Invermere. When most of us...
By Guest, 13 Nov, 2014
Jumbo Landscape
Snow is flying in the Jumbo Valley, covering both the rapidly constructed foundations of a ski lift...
By Judith Lavoie, 7 Nov, 2014
Grizzly bear
Grizzly bears in the Central Purcell Mountains are more vulnerable than shown in 15-year-old...
By Judith Lavoie, 30 Oct, 2014
Pat Morrow
When Pat Morrow looks around at the mountains, towering on either side of the Jumbo Valley, his...
By Judith Lavoie, 20 Oct, 2014
Commander Glacier
The rough track at the foot of West Farnham Glacier, carved by a Glacier Resorts bulldozer in 2008...
By Judith Lavoie, 17 Oct, 2014
Jumbo Glacier ski resort
This is a guest post by Troy Sebastian, special projects coordinator for Ktunaxa Nation Council....
By Guest, 11 Oct, 2014
Jumbo Glacier ski resort protest
The clock is ticking toward the deadline for Glacier Resorts Ltd. to prove substantial progress has...
By Judith Lavoie, 10 Oct, 2014
B.C. Supreme Court Jumbo Municipality
With a construction deadline looming this Sunday, Jumbo Glacier Resort is also facing two legal...
By Judith Lavoie, 8 Oct, 2014
Ktunaxa rally against Jumbo
Disappointment has turned to optimism for members of the Ktunaxa Nation, who are hoping that, over...
By Judith Lavoie, 7 Oct, 2014
Jumbo Glacier ski resort
There is steel behind Kathryn Teneese’s smile as she describes her nation’s unwavering commitment...
By Judith Lavoie, 6 Oct, 2014
Minister Bill Bennett
During the last decade, as Jumbo Glacier Resort’s plans for an all-season ski resort in the Purcell...
By Judith Lavoie, 3 Oct, 2014
Jumbo Glacier ski resort
Democracy has been ignored, wishes of local residents disregarded and taxpayers are on the hook for...
By Judith Lavoie, 1 Oct, 2014
Jumbo Glacier Resort proposal
Stuck in the ground, halfway down the valley trail leading into the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort,...
By Judith Lavoie, 29 Sep, 2014