Ski Photo Credit: Ashley Voykin/Red Mountain Resort

Welcome to Rafters, One of North America’s Best Ski Bars

It’s the kind of place where you’ll see old-timers and twenty-somethings sharing a picnic table, a pitcher and a story.

The rough-hewn vibe of Rafters is only a short stumble from Red’s brand new four-star hotel, The Josie.

There’s already a lot to love about Red Mountain. Where big resorts might see 30,000 skiers on an average day, a high-volume day at Red sees 3,000… on 4,200 acres of terrain.

The lifts aren’t high speed, but as a local Rosslander pointed out on one leisurely ride up the hill, they aren’t missing them, either: “Then you’d miss out on conversation time.” The mountain’s not easy to get to—from Kelowna, you’re looking at another 3.5 hours down the road—but that means the people really want to be here. Like, really want to be here.

And that’s part of what makes Rafters one of the greatest ski bars on the continent. The building’s timbers come from the original 1910 mine that founded the nearby town of Rossland, and when it was built in 1948, it served as a lodging house for those who wanted fresh tracks on the mountain the next day—BYO sleeping bag, and pay $1.50 a night.

By 1974 the top floor of the day lodge had transformed into what it is today: the kind of bar where you’ll see old-timers and twenty-somethings sharing a picnic table, a pitcher and a story about the day’s best runs, and where the walls are lined with tributes and shrines to local skiers who’ve gone on to shred those great mountains in the sky.

And later, the best après morphs into the best live music around. You’ll really want to be here.

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