Shared Solitude

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Thanks to the Alpine Club of Canada for the great accommodation

Home page: www.alpineclubofcanada.ca
Huts page: www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/huts
GC Hut: www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/huts/ben-ferris-great-cairn-hut

I find inspiration in just about every corner of life. Inspiration is everywhere: it’s in the people I surround myself with, the passion I have for life. It’s in the change of seasons and it lives in the anticipation of a big day in the mountains. I make the most of every moment I have in the mountains and the fuel these elements add to the fire motivates me. The constant act of acquiring knowledge and experience creates a unique curiosity as I propel myself through, over and down mountains around the world. Learning the about snow – how it changes and the craft of understanding the science of it all – excites me to use and practice my skills in the place where I belong. The management of always changing mountain conditions is a mind game that never stops once one steps into an alpine environment. What is it about self-propelled ski touring that drives me up mountains? It is as much of the up as it is the down: the art of creating my own up track through complex terrain, relying on my strength physically and mentally to push me to the most amazing places I can imagine. When I am out there, I know that I truly am in the right place and right moment of
my life, as if I am following my passion as an internal compass. My first visit to British Columbia’s Great Cairn Hut was two years ago. I skied in from the CMH Adamants lodge, and after two days of navigating though a storm and newterrain, I opened the door to one of my new favorite zones. Getting to know this area is one thing, hitting it with the right weather and conditions for the big prize objectives is something else altogether. When we arrived this spring, I was excited for Forrest Coots and Eric Hoji to see a little more of the northern Selkirk’s. Coots and Hoji are athletes I look up to, and I always feel privileged to spend time with these two savvy mountain men. Learning from another athlete’s perspective can open our eyes in the mountains and teach us to look at everything differently. With a week to explore, we spent long days and early mornings out on the snow and returned every day to the cozy stone walls of the Great Cairn Hut. The team kept
the laughter loud and rich, with stories from past trips, and life moments worth sharing. We called the hut home for a week, and were dealt some stormy spring weather, teasing us with convective clouds, high winds, and loading precipitation. We made the best of the situation – we navigated around the zone and tried our best at some of the bigger objectives we had in mind. Sometimes you can only push so much in the mountains before it becomes really clear that another time, might be a better time.

Words by Christina Lusti. Photos by Angela Percival.

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