Kootenay Gateway

At Kootenay Gateway in Rossland and Nelson, Natasha, Ian and their team strive to enhance the Kootenay experience for tourists and residents alike. Kootenay Gateway offers year-round services through Mountain Shuttle & Kootenay Mountain Biking. The summer months can be spent exploring trails in Rossland & Nelson through use of their daily shuttles, biking tours, and lessons.  And if you are looking to ride the iconic Seven Summits Bike Trail in Rossland, Kootenay Gateway Mountain Shuttle will help you get to the trailhead. In the winter, take advantage of their snowshoe and fat bike tours, experience their out of this world Forest Fondue tour or simply catch their shuttle to the ski hill, hockey game, home from the bar or around the area. Keep in mind that their local art & souvenir store is open year-round and filled with items by local artisans everyone will love, they are proud to be building a store with keepsakes sourced locally and not from abroad.

Kootenay Mountain Biking makes mountain biking accessible to both beginners and enthusiasts, locals and tourists, from 4 yrs old to 80 years old.  They offer lessons, summer camps & kids programs to develop your skills so that you can enjoy their guided tours or take advantage of their shuttle service to get you to out on the trails. Kootenay Mountain Biking’s Coaching/Guiding team consists of Natasha and her husband Ian Lockey, 2014 Paralympian, with combined over 25 years of coaching experience, Travis Hauck Canadian National XC champion with over 6 years’ experience plus an experienced group of keen coaches who love sharing biking with others! With their team they coach the first time little rippers up to World Cup downhill racers as well as adults looking to get started, get more skills or compete at an elite level.  Kootenay Mountain Biking also runs the local Cycling BC Iride program, which brings biking into the schools to give every child an opportunity to get confident on a bike and experience the joy of pushing through ‘I can’t’ to ‘Look at me go!’ Natasha acknowledges that the more skills you have the more fun mountain biking becomes, but don’t let that stop you; “Biking, it confronts our common perceptions because it is easy to say ‘I can’t’ in life but … on a bike but you don’t really have a choice,” Natasha explains that biking can cause you to examine the limits of what you can do.  If you want a similar experience in the winter, get out into the forest with one of Kootenay Gateway’s snowshoe or fat bike experiences, or catch their shuttle to or from the ski hill, airports, and other events. Whether you’re coming in from the Spokane, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Castlegar, or Trail airports they’ll get you when you need to go. Residents can also access their services for transport from weddings and Christmas parties so everyone can have a safe and fun time.

Kootenay Gateway began with BettyGoHard— a women’s progressive action sports community which has since evolved into BettyGoHard Leadership, a roadmap to bringing your weekend warrior into your everyday.  ‘It’s about having fun’ Natasha explains, ‘when Nike says Just Do It , and we do, and it isn’t fun we assume it is us, that we are doing something wrong.  What if by assessing where your balance lies, as in your intention behind ‘Just doing it’ you adjust your perception and not only do you start having fun, you also get better. “Whether it’s starting snowshoeing for the first time, going for your first mountain bike ride or stepping into a new career it’s about appreciating that you’ve taken that first step … and by you doing that you show yourself that it is possible.  By following our passions we inspire ourselves and others to step into possibility” Natasha says. The lack of photos of women in action prompted her to start taking groups of girls on rides to take pictures while they have fun. This evolved into wine & cheese bike rides, then women & kids coaching programs; ultimately beginning Kootenay Mountain Biking (KMB). With KMB came the need to transport people and bikes, sparking Mountain Shuttle. Lastly their store, Kootenay Gateway came to be, arising from need souvenirs from the region and an office space. 

Natasha calls that process of bringing items into the store an “odd organic process.” When the physical storefront of Kootenay Gateway opened, she took on some of the artists and artisans who had sold out of that location under the previous owners. Now, she gets clients several ways: sometimes searching online for local artisans, sometimes it’s by recommendations of customers, and other times she stumbles upon works local artworks and contacts the artists herself.  ‘The best is when artists reach out to us’, says Natasha, ‘it is such an honour to represent these artists and celebrate the talent in the area’.  She encourages any artists looking for a place to share their art to please contact the store.  The unifying factor in all her stock is that is almost entirely made in BC.    

If you want to know more about what the Kootenays has to offer, Kootenay Gateway has all the tools for you to explore. Whether you use their mountain biking and snowshoe services to get into nature, their shuttle services to get you out to the trails or ski hill, or want to discover what the region’s talented artisans, Kootenay Gateway provides an awesome experience.