Skiing: Powder Dreams

Heli-skiing, Skiing: Powder Dreams

I’m just returning from seven days skiing in the Canadian Rockies, staying at the wonderful CMH Cariboo Lodge. If you like the majesty of pristine wilderness, the cleanest air imaginable, and mountains covered with blankets of virgin powder, this is the place for you.

Heli-skiing in British Columbia had been on my bucket list for a long time, so when the invitation came to join this trip I jumped. But as sometimes is the case with a couple, one person’s idea of nirvana is another’s anxiety. Even though John likes to ski, he is the king of the groomers and has two bad knees. And I wasn’t obvious candidate for this trip either. I’ve watched the ski movies and really liked the idea of heli-skiing, but we are primarily east coast skiers, raised carving on hard surfaces. But since we aren’t getting any younger (my reaction to a lot of things post 50th birthday), we set off for the land of light fluffy powder, alpine skiing over glaciers and plunging down steep chutes through the trees. John rose to the occasion, knowing I wanted to be here with him (we’d be celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary, after all).  So for the six months before departure, we trained religiously, primarily strengthening our legs.  If being able to keep up with our group wasn’t incentive enough, we soon learned of the need to avoid tree wells and getting swallowed up by the infrequent avalanche.

Just as the prospect of this trip made us stare down our own limitations, on every run our guides and pilots had to strike a balance between risk and reward.  They wanted us to experience the best snow and skiing possible while keeping the group safe. We were all (forty people total on the trip) putting ourselves outside our comfort zone and placing our trust in each other. Traveling to a remote, natural environment where at least eight inches of new snow fell every day, getting in and out of helicopters 10-15 times each day (rotors spinning), we were all pushing ourselves.

On day eight I am happy to report that John and I are each in one piece (just getting banged up by Air Canada at the moment) but stronger and better skiers for the experience. We faced our fears and held our own: strapping on the fat boys and pointing the tips downhill.  And then there is the glow that comes from doing something I’d dreamt about for thirty years with my best friend at my side.

In EDEN, Sarah pushes herself and her family into uncomfortable territory by deciding to keep her baby, and planning to raise it herself. Life constantly challenges us to accept invitations into unnerving territory, but feeling discomfort is when growth happens.

5 replies
  1. Andy Goldfarb
    Andy Goldfarb says:

    I am so happy for both of you. Facing fears and overcoming them is such important personal growth. You are both so blessed. Mazel tov

  2. Jay Bradner
    Jay Bradner says:

    Just loved reading this, imaging the two of you cascading down virgin powder, as you have approached all of life’s new experiences, together.


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