Alpine Ski Hills
The author on the slopes of Sunshine Village, near Canmore. 

At Home in the Outdoors

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne

Photo by Sergio David Spadavecchia.

There is almost no greater place to appreciate the Canadian outdoors than the Canmore Kananaskis region. This impression was made clear to us on Saturday, when we had the privilege of skiing with an English woman named Sinead Hanna on Sunshine Village, a stone's throw away from Canmore.

Though Sinead is originally from England, she has been living in Canmore for 12 years. To me, she represents so much of what is amazing about this area: she works in the mountains, moved here because of the mountains and spends her time off in the mountains. She spoke of spending a year living in a cabin without electricity, and of ski adventures that lasted far into the summer.

The fact that she moved to Canmore from England may seem unusual at first, but the volume of commonwealth expats here is actually impressive: after more than a decade of visiting this area myself, and especially after spending a day on the slopes of a local alpine ski mountain, the expat presence is hardly surprising.

"The Canadian Rockies lie at the heart of Canadian identity."

I believe this is because the Canadian Rockies lie at the heart of Canadian identity. The exploration of the Canadian west and north by early trappers and traders has long played into Canadian lore. The westward expansion of the Canadian railway came with tremendous hardship and, in turn, amplified the persona of Canadian spirit as one that is indomitable when confronted by the natural world.

This culture of enduring the outdoors has changed over time; it has become as much about love as it has about fortitude.

So I wasn’t surprised that, when Sinead found herself out of the office and skiing with us today, she seemed more than happy; as an immigrant to Canada, she seemed at home. 

Want to read more? Check out our full expedition to Canmore Kananaskis: 

110   TOV Kananaskis V2   860x440 Web Feature Area

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