Nothing beats a ski and soak at Radium Hot Springs

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I was pumped to head to the Purcell Mountains in southeastern B.C. It would be a fitting end to my ski B.C. ski tour. The last time I was in the area, I was way up in the sky paragliding from the summit of Panorama Mountain. I remember the rolling cliffs and spectacular views of the Rockies. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to get back here, but this time with something much more down to earth and relaxing.

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Panorama will always have a sweet spot in my heart

I have a cool connection to this place because Panorama Mountain is where I learned how to carve on my snowboard. A decade ago, I’d been snowboarding for a season and hadn’t perfected the infamous ‘carve’ yet and instead spent time catching both of my edges, and crashing. Then I went to Panorama for a weekend and on the last day of my trip I carved like the wind. I will never forget it. So, revisiting this mountain on a board again was like being back in that moment 10 years ago. But this time I also I had someone with me to make my trip memorable in a different way. His name is Karl, and I’d like you to meet him. Read more: http://bit.ly/2ljZFKG


Meet Karl

When I arrived at Panorama Mountain I met with a long-time local legend, Karl Fahrni. Karl arrived here in 1974 from Australia via Switzerland and missed the Alps. That’s when he discovered the Radium area and has never left. Karl loves hang-gliding and being on the mountain. In summer, you’ll find him hiking or fishing in the backcountry lakes. “You have to have a connection and love mother nature to live out here. It is very special.”

Karl and his daughter Karen skied with me for the day and I learned just how much this place means to them. Karen was born and raised in the Radium area, but went to school in Calgary then travelled the world for a year. Then she returned to her hometown. “I keep getting drawn back here, I love being with my dad in the outdoors. He … taught me the essence of hard work. I have no regrets.” Read more: http://bit.ly/2ljZFKG


Soak it all in while surrounded by winter’s icy beauty

An overwhelming sense of relaxation surrounded me as I entered the Radium Hot Springs. The pools are a comfy 39 C, and people speak in hushed tones knowing this is where we all come to chill out. But as a landscape photographer, I was struck by beauty of the ice and snow encrusting the trees, creating magical ice sculptures surrounding the hot springs. Read more: http://bit.ly/2ljZFKG

 

Meet a “headbanger”

After leaving the hot pools, I was wondering if I was going to get chance to meet the local wildlife, the big horn sheep, known as ‘headbangers. Karl told me stories of these curious yet protective creatures, known very well to the locals. They get the name for their fall mating ritual, in which they literally butt heads to see which will win the mate of their choice. They roam the hills – and even the streets – making themselves one of the highlights of visiting this area. As if they knew I wanted to photograph them, they appeared on the side of hill, off the main highway. I pulled into a rest area, jumped out of the car with my camera and began shooting. I had their attention now, and these not-so-shy creatures seemed to love modelling for me.

I can honestly say I found physical and emotional exhilaration in Radium. Chilling out in the steamy hot pools and then having the local wildlife pose for me; it just doesn’t get better than that. Read more: http://bit.ly/2ljZFKG

 

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For more information on our journey visit: http://bit.ly/2lAOb2l and follow the expedition on my Instagram and Facebook pages! x

Partners: SnowSeekers – Tourism Northern BC

Dax

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Author daxjustin

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