Dispatch from the Monashees: Reasons to Spend a Few Nights in the Mountains
Join skiers Caroline Gleich and Leah Evans on a mountain mission into the Monashees for some powder and a chance to reset. Read more.
Earlier this winter, I had a chance to link up with fellow pro skier, founder of GirlsDoSki, and Patagonia athlete, Leah Evans, to spend a few nights at Monashee Powder Snowcats. Luckily for Leah, it is not far from her home in Revelstoke, Canada. What I took home from that trip was far more than just beautiful photos and face shots.
Spending those days and nights in the mountains reconnected me to my place in the natural world. Escaping the modern day hustle and bustle and bright city lights reminded me that life is more than a rat race. This trip was a reset button that re-energized me and brought a sense of calm, mindfulness and presence back into my everyday life.
Planning a multi-night stay in the mountains isn’t always easy. That’s why I love visiting backcountry lodges. You can find anything from a rustic hut to a modern, luxurious chalet. First, you have to commit to the dates and book the trip. And once the hut is locked in, so are you, since there’s no cancellation fallback. There are no more excuses, just a window to hit the mountain.
Getting into the Monashees was a journey of its own. After flying into Kelowna, I met up with Leah and we had a long drive, eventually leading us to a 30km dirt logging road. As we ventured deeper up the road and into the mountains, the city lights and cell phone coverage faded away. We went from dirt to snowline, and the transformation was magical. At the end of the road, we were greeted by a snowcat, where we loaded up and headed to the lodge. Peering out the windows, I was astonished by the amount of snow covering the huge pine trees. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Stepping out of the car, I was like a kid in a candy store. The lodge glowed with warmth both literally and figuratively. To me, venturing to a hut with fellow outdoorsmen and women is like reconnecting with my tribe. While I love life in Salt Lake City, Utah, the city often feels lonely and alienating. I long for that human connection and going on a hut trip always gives me that sense of snow family. We share meals and look after one another in the mountains.
The next morning, I was excited to get up and see the terrain in the daylight; thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. In those few short hours of transportation, we became immersed in deep snow banks and piles of powder! We took a short cat ride to get into a zone and then went backcountry ski touring. While it was helpful to have the cat assistance to get up to the higher terrain, I loved putting the skins on my skis and earning my turns. I love the quiet solitude, the lack of cell phone coverage and the camaraderie of working in a team. It was my first time skiing with Leah, and I felt nothing but positive vibes. She had been to the Monashees a few times before and was happy to show me around. Together, we broke trail, found endless pillows and face shots, laughed, and shared stories.
I love all my ski partners, regardless of gender, but there’s a special place in my heart for my female mountain partners. I’ve been on many trips with the bros, so it’s an absolute treat to be able to get after it in the backcountry with another female pro skier.
We spoke about how easy it is to fall into patterns of stress in the world, and how days like those in the mountains, far from the constant hum of social media and constant obligations, remind us there is so much more in life. There’s more to experience, more to discover, and more to share. So while the memories of these days are still crystal clear, Leah and I invite you to step out the back door, and follow adventure wherever it leads you. We invite you to Experience More.