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I did it!  If you read my last newsletter, you learned I was heading into the Cariboo's to meet my brother at his heli-ski lodge to celebrate his 50th birthday and heli-ski for the first time.


It was incredible.  If you want to feel alive, tread into unknown territory.  I experienced complete vulnerability.  My life depended on decisions I had to make in any given moment, the hands of others, and plain old faith!


heliski2The experience began with a helicopter picking me up at the heli-pad in Valemont.  We flew into the mountains where the lodge is on a cliff amongst the trees. 

I was greeted on the pad by my brother John, given a special tour of the lodge, and was introduced to the guests.  I met a 90 year old (Gordon), an 83 year old (Johnny), a 78 year old (Jim), a 73 year old (Walter) and then many more going down to the age of 19.


As my work is about keeping people active and living a full life into old age, I was curious about these men.  The great news is that as I was new to heli-skiing, I got to ski with these gentlemen for 3 days.  What an inspiration.


I watched in amazement at their skiing abilities.  So fluid and strong.  They have been going heli-skiing for more than 40 years every year.  What I noticed, is that they had difficulty walking, climbing in and out of the helicopter.  It took the group to support them, but once their ski's were on it was like they floated on the snow.


I found out that one was getting a hip replaced the next week, another could only ski on one leg, another had a torn meniscus in one knee and the other is well...90!  The determination of these men to continue to do something they love, and that makes them feel alive, keeps them going.


The CMH staff  is simply the best.  The guides and lodge staff ensured that each guest had the holiday of a lifetime.  The guides were beyond professional with safety always a priority.  If heli-skiing is a goal of yours, I would fully recommend CMH Cariboo lodge.


I loved watching my brother John in action.  He is in charge of the lodge and the guides.  In the background he takes his job seriously, as lives depend on him.  He is up early checking the conditions for avalanche danger and where the best powder might be.  In the foreground, he is the spirit of the lodge with his guitar playing, singing and love of people.


helisking1While I wasn't able to get pictures of me skiing... (it was all about survival for me), I did get some pictures of my brother and I and some of the men on dress up night.  The theme was party animal and you could dress up as an animal, partier or both!  The lodge has a huge tickle trunk and below are some of the outfits these men put on.  Talk about spirit, fun and loving life!

 johns 50th + pm'sJohns 50thjohns 50th linda johnnyheliski

I would like to thank the TWC Team, TWC clients, and my family, for their support in making it possible for me to take this trip of a lifetime.


In health,

Linda Mallard

Owner, Tsawwassen Wellness Centre - Pilates & Health


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