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Transformative Skiing Experience: A Journey That Altered My Life

Struggling with fatigue, I made an effort to pull myself up from the deep snow after a fall. Beads of sweat trickled down my face as I noticed my guide, Kris Robinson, waiting patiently below. Lacking the strength to continue, I sat down and took a moment to absorb the vastness of Canada’s Columbia Mountains. It was then that I radioed Kris for assistance. Following his advice to “Cross your poles on your inside ski,” I managed to overcome the obstacle, a valuable tip that stayed with me.

This journey felt like a unique experience for me. Having never ventured into backcountry skiing in British Columbia before—my usual outdoor activities involve cycling, hiking, or skiing near Boulder, Colorado—I found myself in the heart of the northern Selkirk and Monashee Mountains. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and untouched powder, I was staying at the Gothics Lodge on a memorable March trip.

Located just an hour north of Revelstoke, an old mining town renowned among avid skiers for its stunning alpine terrain and abundant snowfall, the lodge proved to be a relatively accessible backcountry destination.

I had the opportunity to join a group of outdoor industry professionals for a four-day heli-skiing adventure. Jared Smith, the president and CEO of Alterra Mountain Company, which owns CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays), described the Gothics as one of CMH’s most welcoming destinations. He emphasized the comfort provided by the lodge staff, ensuring a seamless experience from arrival to departure. Jared’s promise of a blend of training and exceptional skiing experiences rang true.

Our group, consisting of over 30 individuals, including athletes, innovators, and familiar faces, embarked on this journey. Despite being a novice in backcountry skiing compared to Olympic snowboarders, actresses, and professional skiers, I found inspiration in their expertise.

Each day began at 7 A.M. with a variety of activities. The first day focused on essential training for navigating backcountry powder, including avalanche safety sessions, helicopter orientation, radio operation, and equipment adjustments overseen by Pontus Carlsson, a skilled ski technician from Sweden.

Guided through tree runs and gladed slopes in challenging weather conditions by our experienced guides, I gradually found my footing, learning to navigate the soft powder and avoid tree wells—a valuable lesson in safety.

The success of a trip often hinges on the quality of the team involved. At Gothics Lodge, we were under the care of top professionals, including CMH guide Pete Murray and his team of skilled guides. The warm hospitality extended by the lodge staff, led by Brittany Johnston, Laoise O’Neill, and Alan Fraiser, added to the overall experience.

Evenings at the lodge provided a mix of relaxation, camaraderie, and delectable meals—a welcome break for my tired muscles. Listening to CMH president and COO share his journey from apprentice ski guide to his current role, I gained insight into the company’s rich history and extensive offerings.

As we explored different terrains and faced varying challenges over the course of the trip, the camaraderie within the group deepened. Sharing personal stories and experiences, such as a preview of Fasani’s upcoming documentary, created lasting connections and enriched the overall experience.

Leaving Gothics Lodge with a profound sense of gratitude and inspiration, I reflected on the transformative power of nature and outdoor adventures. This trip served as a reminder of the importance of connecting with the natural world and fostering a sense of community and well-being.

As I boarded my flight home, reinvigorated by the experience, I felt a renewed commitment to Outside Inc.’s mission of inspiring individuals to embrace the outdoors. Outdoor activities have always been a cornerstone of my life, serving as a source of health and vitality. Encouraging my children to appreciate nature and spend time outdoors is a priority, reflecting my belief in the benefits of outdoor pursuits for overall well-being.

Passionate about sharing my travel experiences and promoting the outdoor lifestyle, I aim to inspire others through storytelling and imagery. As I continue to explore new destinations and engage with the outdoor community, I hope to serve as a role model for my children and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. See you on the trails.