Documentary coming to Tahoe dissects struggle between corporate ski resort, nature-loving community | SierraSun.com

Documentary coming to Tahoe dissects struggle between corporate ski resort, nature-loving community

Staff report
Jumbo Pass showing fall-colored Alpine Larch (Laryx Lyallii) in the Purcell Mountains, British Columbia
Courtesy Steve Ogle Photography |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Alpenglow Sports has partnered with Patagonia and Sweetgrass Productions to present “Jumbo Wild,” a documentary highlighting the 24-year fight over the future of British Columbia’s iconic Jumbo Valley.

The film, to be show Tuesday, Oct. 20, documents the tension between the protection of wilderness and the backcountry experience and the ever-increasing development interests in wild places — specifically the proposed 1,500-acre Jumbo Glacier Resort in British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains.

“The desire to protect wild places is a common thread among mountain athletes living in Lake Tahoe,” Brendan Madigan, owner of Alpenglow Sports, said in a statement.

The geography, recreation opportunities and physical nature of the rugged and remote Jumbo Valley lie at the heart of the debate, according to a summary of the film.

Located at the headwaters of the Columbia River, Jumbo Creek cascades out of deep snowpack, past crumbling glacial ice, wildflowers and grizzly tracks.

The Jumbo Valley has long been revered for its beauty, and to the Ktunaxa Nation, it is known as the home of the grizzly bear spirit. Part of an important international wildlife corridor, the Jumbo Valley is one of only two areas in North America where grizzly bears can freely roam between Canada and the U.S.

In 1991, Oberto Oberti, an Italian-born Vancouver architect, and Grant Costello, a former Canadian ski coach, had a grand idea: They proposed building a ski resort with 20 chairlifts and a village in the Jumbo Valley, located five hours west of Calgary.

For decades, First Nations, conservationists, backcountry skiers and snowboarders have fought the proposed large-scale ski resort deep in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia.

Twenty-four years later, Jumbo Glacier Resorts has yet to build a single lift tower. However, their dream, despite turning in to one of the most contentious development issues in the mountain world, has not died.

Sweetgrass Productions has produced award-winning films such as “Afterglow” and “Valhalla.”

Patagonia ambassador and former U.S. Ski Team member Max Hammer will host the evening.

The screening will take place at 7 p.m. at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema in Tahoe City. Tickets are $5 and can be purchase at http://www.tahoearthauscinema.com.

For information, contact Madigan at Alpenglow Sports at 530-583-6917 or brendan@alpenglowsports.com. Visit alpenglowsports.com to learn more.