2/28/2013--Red Mountain, Rossland, British Columbia, Canada..Rafters, one of the best ski bars around, fills up after the ski lifts close with locals sitting at picnic tables and downing B.C.'s unofficial apres-ski drink, the Bloody Caesar, a Bloody Mary with Clamato juice (SEEN HERE). Stuff like that gives a place character, and a sense of place; it's what a Whistler-Blackcomb, with its Potemkin village hawking overpriced cocktails and Bogner one-pieces, will never have. ..Red Mountain Resort has legendary steeps and tree-skiing, ghostly empty slopes and the little village of Rossland at its foot, which Canada's Explore magazine called the nation's No. 1 outdoors town. But for Americans Rossland isn't particularly near to anywhere, a 2.5-hour's drive due north of Spokane, Wash. in a region of B.C. known as the West Kootenays. In the autumn of 2012, though, the resort's owners embarked on the biggest ski-area expansion in North America in years. The growth spurt onto adjacent Grey Mountain has added nearly 1,000 acres of skiable terrain to the ski resort, accessed by a new chairlift that opens in the winter of 2013-2014. Skiable terrain has increased from 1,685 acres to 2,682 acres which suddenly lifts Red into the pantheon of North America's largest ski areas...©2013 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.