The Whiteway is a fantastic asset to the Columbia Valley, and a ticket to international recognition for Invermere.
But after three years of attempts to get the 17-kilometre outdoor skating track recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest and largest outdoor skating surface in the world, the claim is proving even more elusive than the burbot that lie in wait in the bouldery sections of Lake Windermere.
The record book writers need to have the track meet some stringent criteria in terms of smooth and skatable ice and proper amenities nearby. And to make the record have an impact on tourism, the District of Invermere is hoping to have the Whiteway recognized in mid-winter by a Guinness representative in person, so its new-found status can be enjoyed and exposed to international media.
A confluence at The Forks river trail in Winnipeg is longer, and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is larger in terms of total surface area. But a revamped design for the Whiteway will, under prime conditions, enable it to trump both of those titles.
With the nice cold snap we’ve had to start our winter, and the earliest opening ever, the Whiteway is well on its way to making us even prouder to live in the Columbia Valley. If you haven’t had a chance to yet, get out and skate or ski on it so you can say you knew about the Whiteway before it became world-class cool.