I often get asked where my love for the outdoors came from– most assume I grew up camping and exploring the outdoors with my family. As fun as my parents are, hiking many kilometers and sleeping in a tent isn’t their ideal weekend of fun. Outdoor Education was an optional course in junior high and my teacher during that time really sparked my interest for camping, hiking, biking, all varieties of skiing, and most importantly safe practices on any adventure. This gave me the foundation of knowledge and a glimpse into the endless possibilities that our beautiful mountains offer us right in our own backyard.

Hiking has always been one of my favourite activities, and backcountry trips in particular. It gives you the opportunity to explore wild landscapes and go places not many others frequent. The winter months limit the options for day hikes due to snow/ice conditions and accessibility, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’m ready to take on camping in -20 degrees. This is where my interest for backcountry skiing began! I saw it as a door to more accessible winter hiking and a really fun way to get back down to the car. I took my AST 1 in January of 2020 and have been itching to get more experience since. While I tried to assure myself ski touring was for me, I stuck to renting gear before committing to my own set up. However, during the pandemic there were limited options for gear rentals which made my ski touring days limited last year. I was lucky to get out for a day on the Red Skis with Adam and Cam, and although they aren’t advertised as their backcountry ski, I still found them very light and great for coasting in the freshies. - Jenn M.