Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival returns to Whitewater Ski Resort this month. What is Coldsmoke? Super light, fluffy, powder puff snow that skiers passionately pursue each winter. What is the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival? A four-day (Feb. 25–28) grassroots gathering of backcountry skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers from all over British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest at Whitewater Ski Resort. Now in its fifth year, the Coldsmoke Powder Festival (presented by Arc’teryx, Whitewater Ski Resort and Mountain Gear) draws dedicated, die hard and enthusiasts, as well as neophyte backcountry skiers and snowboarders who want to give off-piste adventures a try. Highlights include: • Three full days of clinics for skiers, snowboarders, and telemarkers of all ability levels. Learn about free-heel skiing skills, the basics of tree skiing, taming wild snow, route-finding and track-setting, and mountain medical skills. • Parties get rolling with the Coldsmoke Opener at the Capital Theater on Friday evening, with screenings of ski films from around the world. To keep things interesting, local microbrews from Nelson Brewing Company will be on tap. On Saturday, don’t miss the Buff-Eh dinner and the Cold Shot Multimedia Face Off. • Sign up and participate in one of several super-sweet contests – you can even enter the G3 ski-graphiks competition in advance. More energetic types can enter the Valhalla Pure Powderkeg Slopestyle competition, the Scarpa Poker Run, Gerick’s Dually Slalom and the ROAM Randonee Rally. It’s not called the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest for nothing. As of Jan. 30, Whitewater is boasting a base of just over 220 centimeters. For our American attendees, that is over seven feet of snow. There’s always powder at Whitewater. You just might have to earn your turns to find it. Check out the Coldsmoke website on your mobile phone, join their Facebook and Twitter groups, and sign up on-line for money-saving packages on courses, accommodations, lift tickets and more.