The Mother told us to look after all mountains. They are ceremonial houses. We know that all the mountains we see are alive. KOGI MAMA BERNARDO

The innovative documentary Goldenrush will examine a place at the headwaters of the Columbia River, not far from the Great Divide. Golden, British Columbia. Golden is undergoing a change. We will meet someone new to town to explain this further. But first we meet the main characters, the local mountains. It is from their point of view that our story starts of the past, present, and future of this amazing region.

The Rocky Mountains around Golden have sat majestic and unmoving for eons. Well, they do move, geologically speaking, of course. But not very much since the first peoples marveled at them and went to them to gain wisdom from mountain top experiences. The vision quest became a tradition handed down over the centuries. The mountains became a place of hope, a place of refuge, a very special and holy place where the Great Spirit spoke to them, “Your thoughts must be as firm as these mountains, if you are to walk the straight path. Your patience and kindness must be as solid as these mountains, if you are to acquire understanding and wisdom. CHIEF JOHN SNOW, Stony Indian.

So the mountains saw eternal sunrises and sunsets then, after many ages, the first human would have arrived to try to climb up them, perhaps on a Vision Quest. Perhaps it was a pre historic mountaineer or shaman trying to find a place between heaven and earth.

Then these cathedrals of rock witnessed infinite snowflakes and an ice age; new glaciers formed on them.

Now a mountain called Whitetooth, near present day Golden is due to have a 4100ft vertical gondola built on it. Golden is a town in transition. A new ski resort is planned.

The lure of this gondola that accesses incredible skiing terrain has lured a different breed of mountain person. Professional guides, action models and their photographers are among those who have fashioned their lives around this sport of skiing and have arrived here to check the place out.

There are whole weeks when I dream of mountains sometimes climbing them sometimes being the mountain being climbed– JOSEPH BRUCHAC Abenaki poet, teacher, and wrestler

. Among these newcomers is Troy Jungen, a native Canadian and a member of the beaver tribe. Troy has come to Golden to hone his climbing skills in an attempt to attain his full mountain guide status. Troy is excited about the prospect of Golden becoming a “boutique” ski resort. He serves as our guide around the town and takes us into the local mountains. He also introduces us to some local characters that tell colorful stories and legends from the pioneering spirit of the town’s wild western past. Troy’s partner is lovely Tove, an expert telemark skier, from Sweden, and an action outdoor sports model, also training herself in mountain skills. Together they form a great team.

We go back to the days of the railroad’ debut in the town. John A Macdonald’s wife rode a cattle catcher into Golden... Troy also looks back further to unveil mythic and real tales taken from the lore of the areas own indigenous peoples before the coming of the white man.

The people walk over me.

The old men all say to me, I am beautiful...

NAVAHO CHANT of the Beautiful Mountains of the East and West.

Huge helicopters are soon to be depositing ski lift towers on the sides of the mountains. We are introduced to an enterprising entity that has beaten the odds at setting up new ski resorts and they have chosen Golden to set up shop. These new people in town have surged ahead with their plans in a very short time. It is like the second coming of the railroad, or a new gold rush. Ujjal Dosajh, in his first public ceremony as the BC premier has cut the ribbon to formally announce the news.

So the third character” in our story after Troy and The Mountains becomes the developers Ballast Nedam (they built the bridge linking Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick) and the resort planning company McKenzie & Moore.

The mountain resort will be called Kicking Horse and is Ballast Nedam first entry into the business of building mountain resorts.

The planning company and the resort developer promise 350-500 local jobs. There are concerns though. Concerns about a pristine community doubling in size and becoming unaffordable for local people to live in. It will after all be a luxury four-season resort. There are also environmental considerations.

The future though, seems certain. Many people will come and pay a lot of money to be renewed in the mountains because it will be easy to get up to the heights of them and play. They will be close to the grandeur of nature and perhaps will somehow connect with the Earth’s hidden energy, where we all ultimately come from.

To be alive and be a son or daughter of the mountains and the deep canyons, then, is to be the living embodiment of a tradition which extends from deep within the good earth to the mountain tops where the earth meets the sky. It is to be the repository of a spiritual heritage which draws from each of these, and from everything between. It is to be a thousand years old, a part of the beginning...ALPHONSO ORTIZ, Tewa scholar and poet.

The mountains will see more people on them, but maybe they’ll have less of their trees cut down. In summary the Goldenrush will juxtapose the mythical background of this spectacular region, the railroad and the pioneering dream, with the history and progress of the resort developers as they begin to transform Golden into a wild western resort town.


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