After a pair of chilly nights in the backcountry as part of their course activities

Students celebrate spring at -16o Celsius

10 students and two instructors spent March 20 and 21 in the Selkirk Wilderness Ski tenure.

A group of Selkirk College Recreation, Fish and Wildlife Program students welcomed spring by spending a pair of frigid nights in the West Kootenay backcountry.

As part of an annual field trip for the program, 10 students and two instructors spent March 20 and 21 in the Selkirk Wilderness Ski tenure near Meadow Creek in order to get hands-on experience for their Backcountry Risk Analysis and Mitigation II and Commercial Recreation Management courses.

“We were dropped off on a sparsely treed, east facing slope at an elevation of 2,100 meters and were left with only a three-metre snowpack and the backpacks on our backs,” says Selkirk College Instructor Keyes Lessard.

Students and instructors built and slept in trench snow shelters designed to trap warm air generated by body heat. Despite the -16 to -18°C nighttime lows, the temperatures inside the shelters hovered from -1 to -3°C. This type of shelter is the preference over others because one stays relatively dry during its construction, a very important piece of information to learn for survival in such a harsh environment.

Students gained practical outdoor skills including avalanche risk assessment, winter travel and survival.

“One can only truly learn the tricks of the trade for the many winter camping challenges hands on,” says Selkirk College Instructor Robyn Mitz. “Who knew that if one fails to add a little bit of water to the bottom of a pot while trying to melt snow for drinking water, that you will burn your pot?”

Lifelong soft skills—those skills that most employers are looking for in today’s world of constant change—were also acquired during the trip. Time management, organization and communication are all essential skills to living and surviving in the mountains with minimal supplies.

After two very cold nights and days travelling, learning and sliding in the snow, the group descended 900 meters to the Selkirk Wilderness Ski Lodge. The new owner graciously welcomed the tired group, providing warm showers, appetizers, coffee and a relaxed conversation about his experiences owning a commercial recreation business.

“As we sat in the warm and cozy Selkirk Wilderness Ski lodge, with a beautiful view of the Purcell Mountains, enjoying a kale, mango and wheatgrass smoothie and a perfectly made Oso Negro Americano, our tanned faces, sore bodies, and tool box of newly acquired skills were reminders of the adventure we were just on,” says Lessard.

A hot gourmet dinner, a warm and comfortable bed that did not need to be shoveled out and erected for four hours prior to sleeping, a team building game around the pool table and many smiles on tanned faces was the perfect way to experience a commercial recreational business and enjoy the last night of the three night adventure field trip.

 

Just Posted

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries School’s got talent

Talent show to be held Feb. 21 at Brilliant Cultural Centre

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Selkirk College Saints score pair of crucial wins

Stellar goaltending and timely goals lead to victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read