Zincton – A Radical Departure

The ghost town of Zincton, located between Kaslo and New Denver, is being reinvented for skiing, boarding and mountain biking and is a radical departure from existing resorts.

Zincton first appeared in 1892. A massive ore body was discovered at a point, about five kilometres west of Retallack. However, the ore body was not the much sought after silver. It was predominantly zinc, which was unwanted and even despised by the silver-crazed prospectors. The Lucky Jim Group, which owned the site, had hoped they would find greater amounts of silver. However, by late 1903 zinc was becoming marketable and for many years the Lucky Jim mine became the only zinc mine in the province. The Lucky Jim mine closed in 1959.

The new vision has been created by Zincton Farms Ltd. In Autumn of 2019 they were busy building roads, digging trenches, dynamiting rock and planning.

They retained Brent Hartley & Associates who used a suite of digital tools to evaluate and analyze Zincton to determine its potential. Does the market exist? What are the associated costs? What steps are required to be granted approvals? BHA helped deliver answers to Zincton’s questions, helping create a solid foundation to move forward with a successful project.

The plan is to start installing the lifts and infrastructure in the summer of 2020 with plans to open in 2021. The concept hinges on approval from provincial authorities.

Google Map here.

This is the information that Zincton released this week:

Our statements below reflect deeply held Kootenay values, all of our design concepts build on this foundation … more specific detailed information will be available early in 2020.

Zincton Mountain Village’s proposal stands apart from other mechanized ski operations.

1. Backcountry skiing represents the lowest impact on wilderness terrain and wildlife. Zincton will be 85% human-powered backcountry / 15% lift serviced.

2. Helicopters are known to negatively impact large-mammal populations, especially during late-term pregnancies. Even a small helicopter burns 600 liters of jet fuel per hour. Zincton’s proposal does not permit the use of helicopters – except for critical rescue call-outs.

3. Zincton’s proposal operates 100% on run of river electric power and solar panels (gravity and sunshine). The ongoing carbon footprint of the completed Zincton project will be very close to zero.

4. Zincton’s proposal creates the lowest-skier-density ski area in North America. Low density is the holy grail for those who seek untracked ‘deep snow’.

5. We are working proactively with all stakeholders to create a Kootenay-proud, industry-leading, carbon zero, minimal impact Mountain Village and operation that serves anyone who loves peace and quiet, wellness, community, deep snow, and pristine wilderness. We look forward to partnering with our neighbours to enhance the Kaslo to New Denver corridor experience.

6. Zincton investments, residents and activities will assist local infrastructure like hospitals and schools remain properly funded by reversing ongoing population declines. Local businesses will benefit from having additional traffic in the winter season.

7. Zincton is the first ski and mountain bike operation in the world to join “1% for the Planet”. This initiative will fund important local conservation and restoration projects for generations to come.

We look forward to demonstrating that Zincton is a radical departure from the status quo, a positive addition to the North Slocan, and a project worthy of your consideration.

Lunch onthe Western Summit, London Ridge, 4600 vertical ft above the Gondola Base

With most resorts increasing in skier density and the resulting decreasing quality of snow, opportunities for new recreation concepts will be well received by users. The outdoor recreation business is growing quickly, backcountry skiing and boarding and adventure mountain biking are leading the way.

Zincton is a radical departure from existing resorts however a true sign of the times—bring it on!