Life of a Guide

You, the guests arrive at the farmhouse, sign waivers, eat snacks, endure the drive up to the bottom of Meadow Mountain, get loaded into a snowcat (a shiny brand new snowcat!) and shuttle up to the lodge. Once at the lodge, you get the Selkirk family warm welcome while we unload your bags. You talk to the dirtbag guides manning the ski rental shop, organize your gear and get more snacks!! Following that is simply a flurry of epic skiing (or snowboarding), incredible meals, mouth watering appies, mind blowing massages, exquisitely talented bartenders, our vivacious and wonderful owner Megan, and hands down the best staff at the greatest ski lodge with the best terrain in the world. Oh yeah, and Ozie! 

But behind the scenes what are your guides doing? While you are driving or flying to meet us in Meadow Creek your guides are up on the mountain digging in the snow like honey badgers. We’re constantly monitoring the conditions and snowpack, digging profiles to see the layers and doing ongoing weather observations. This allows us to get an idea of where the good snow is, and what our snowpack stability looks like. Our aim while out there is your safety, but also your enjoyment. Maybe a slope is really safe but the skiing is terrible. As guides…we are powder pigs. Just like you, we want the best snow! We’re looking for maximum safety, and maximum stoke! (Yes, I said stoke. Full disclosure – I’m a snowboarder.)

Our begin with a 6:00AM guide meeting. We look at the INFOEX which is an avalanche database spanning western Canada. Then we look at the incoming and overnight weather to determine changes in the snowpack on the mountain. Next comes the run list, the bit where we decide where we should ski or gain further observations. Guides meeting completed, we drink so many smoothies that the kitchen (thank you, Melissa!) makes us our own jug. Now it’s hot breakfast and that Selkirk bacon is impossible to resist. 

Now the fun starts. You trickle out and we do a beacon check, the lodge manager has some soft jazz or something playing on the speakers and I go switch it to Guns’n’Roses.  We load into the cat, someone forgot their pack…someone forgot their poles…fully loaded we head up the mountain. 

At the top we get our skis on, I give some instructions, and it’s time to get rad. At the bottom, guests start to slide in with massive grins on their faces. The guests are what make my day good, being able to share the experience of powder skiing with you, seeing that *&#@ eating grin at the end of a run is pretty rewarding. I’m speaking for all the guides when I say that we love skiing with you, and you are the reason we are passionate about our jobs. Looking forward to skiing with you this season!!!

Lead Guide Nate Fochler has been grabbing face shots at Selkirk Snowcat Skiing for 6 years
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