The Countdown is On!

One month and one day.

Thats how much time until the Calgary Firefighter Stairclimb! When I registered, it seemed like I had so much time, but now the countdown is really on. Our team is doing well for fundraising and we are currently selling raffle tickets as a fundraiser. If you are interested in a raffle ticket ($2 each and LOTS of amazing prizes!) you can get them from myself or any of the firefighters from our hall who are participating. You can also make a donation here.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to my team:

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My team is an incredible group of guys who are like my family. Colin was a mentor to me when I started with Kananaskis Emergency Services; he helped me get over my fear of claustrophobia. Mike and I started training together and it has been amazing to watch both of us grow as firefighters. Kyle is new to the department, but has been a firefighter for years and was previously a bomb disposal technician with the air force. And me? You guys already know enough about me 😉

I am so proud of this team. They have worked hard and trained hard to get ready for the stairclimb. I love each and every one of them and I am so excited for the stairclimb! This is a team that can accomplish anything and is ready to kick ass.

 

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Dear Eddie Bauer

Anyone who tells you that a job cant inspire, or wont shape and change you is wrong. It is largely because of a part time job that I have become the person that I am today.

Dear Eddie Bauer (and staff),

I worked for your company for 6 years, off and on, and because of that job I have become the woman I am today.

I grew up in rural southeastern Ontario, in the middle of farm country where spending time outside, or going for a walk in the woods wasn’t an event, it was just part of life. I spent plenty of time outside growing up, but until about 8 years ago, could never have been described as outdoorsy. My family did not hike, and my mothers idea of camping is a Super 8 motel.

I grew up being told by everyone around me (although never by my parents) that girls were supposed to look and act a certain way, or be interested in certain acceptable things. I was fine with that, with those expectations until in grade 10 when I elected to take an Outdoor Gym class. In the class I got introduces to hiking and ‘real’ (backcountry) camping and I was hooked. The semester ended, but I kept finding ways to get outside and explore, hiking the different nature trails around my home.

That summer I visited Jasper National Park with family, and for the first time I did what I would now consider a real hike. There were hills, I got blisters, I was tired and I loved every second of it. It was so much more challenging and more rewarding than the easy strolling nature trails I had so far experienced.

Fast forward to spring the next year: I was looking for a part time job where I could work with good people in a fun environment. My mother has shopped at Eddie Bauer for as long as I can remember, and on one such shopping trip there with her, she pointed out to me the ‘Now Hiring’ poster in the fitting room. I applied and a few days later  I was sitting down with the store manager for a job interview.

I still remember that interview as clearly as if it was yesterday. The store manager sat me down in her office and told me what Eddie Bauer as a company stood for. The company values of quality and integrity stuck with me. As did the ‘Get Outside’ program for employees. The manager asked me if I considered myself ‘Outdoorsy’ and I eagerly told her about my recent introduction to hiking. I remember being able to name off every hike I had done up to that point (because I had done so few that I could remember them all individually…) and feeling pretty proud of myself. The manager must have seen something in me, because shortly after that interview I started work at Eddie Bauer in the Quinte Mall (Belleville, Ontario).

I started working at EB just before the launch of First Ascent, a brand new, groundbreaking line of mountaineering and technical gear. I remember the excitement in the store as the product started to arrive. A big flat screen tv was installed in the store and showed a continuous loop of daring adventures: climbing mountains, kayaking over waterfalls and all sorts of other incredibly inspirational footage. Watching this footage constantly, seeing the interviews with the guides and athletes made me want to push my boundaries. It showed me that there was a potential for non-traditional careers. It showed me that I could live a life full of adventure.

Working at EB also prepared me for a life of adventure. When I started there, I knew next to nothing about gear. I got a full education in technical fabrics and features, fitting backpacks, how to layer for any weather or any environment and I gained an appreciation for good quality gear and a company that actually stands behind their gear and backs it up with a warranty.

About a year after I first started with EB, I knew the time had come to start trying to find my own adventurous life. I applied for a job as a Park Ranger with Ontario Parks and got hired on at Bon Echo Provincial Park. I spent my summer hiking, paddling and exploring and after that point I knew there was no going back, I had found my passion.

But Parks is a seasonal job. Luckily Eddie Bauer was a place I could go back to for the winters. For five years I worked with Ontario Parks, travelling all over the province hiking and photographing and exploring, returning to the amazing team at Eddie Bauer when the weather turned cold. Throughout my career as a ranger, I practically lived in my Eddie Bauer gear and clothes. I have travelled from coast to coast and have worn my EB and First Ascent gear while hiking mountains, horse packing the mountains, canoeing northern lakes, exploring ice volcanoes and so much more.

About two years ago I moved out to Kananaskis, Alberta where I now work year round as a hiking/snowshoe/canoe guide and firefighter. I am outside every single day, no matter the weather and because of the layering and gear knowledge I learned at Eddie Bauer, I am always prepared.

I am truly living my dreams, sharing my passion for adventure, nature and exploration with people each and every single day. I spend my days paddling clear mountain likes, summiting mountains and exploring waterfalls.

Eddie Bauer really inspired my love for the outdoors and prepared me for my life and career as a professional adventurer. If my gear could talk, it would tell some incredible stories. I still have almost all of the Eddie Bauer gear I started out with, and have added on to it throughout the years. My original Little Tahoma backpack is still one of my most frequently used pieces of gear.

I wouldnt be who I am or where I am today if it wasnt for the inspiration I had while working at Eddie Bauer. It was a part time job that has lead to a life full of adventure.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Scott

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Spring Paddling

With all this gorgeous warm weather and sunshine, the lakes and rivers around Kananaskis have been opening up and I havent been able to resist getting out on the water. I have already been out paddling three times this season with plans to go out again this weekend. So where have I been paddling? My favourite open spots so far are at the Seebe Dam, in Exshaw and the Resevoir below Ha Ling in Canmore.

Check out the pictures below to see the best of spring paddling so far!

My favourite photo by far is this one:

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But I also love these:

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I often get asked ‘Any special gear for spring paddling?’

And honestly in the mountains, no. The water doesn’t change temperature a whole lot from summer to winter. The water is cold. You also should just always be prepared with smart layers. Depending on my likelihood of going for a swim, I wear a wetsuite or drysuit as well as an insulation layer over top and a shell if its windy. I have a pair of 3mm neoprene coldwater gloves from MEC that are perfect for Rocky Mountain water year round. And when its a little chillier, I love to bring a coffee or tea with me and my one-handed Stanley travel mug is perfect (my kayak even has a cupholder!). My go-to insulation layer this year has been my Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody. I lived in it all winter long and it has turned out to be a great spring paddling piece as well. Its cozy, warm, breathable and stretchy: what more can you ask for?

Stay tuned for more paddling pictures coming soon!

 

 

 

Northern Lights and Stars

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know how much I love the night sky. I spend a lot of time out photographing it. The last couple nights have been incredibly beautiful. Here are a couple of my favourite shots from this week:

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^ The light pollution from Canmore made the clouds look like fire.

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^The aurora was visible from Barrier Lake

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^The Aurora was just visible on the horizon for this photo.

Outdoor Adventure Show – Calgary

On March 19th and 20th, the Outdoor Adventure show is coming to BMO Centre!

This show will have all sorts of awesome travel and adventure exhibitors and is sure to make you crave a new adventure!

The Camera Store will be putting on a series of photography workshops on topics ranging from Adventure photography, to gadgets, to landscapes and a particularily interesting looking seminar called Abandoned Alberta.

The list of exhibitors covers a little bit of everything! Parks Canada will be there, as will Canmore/Kananaskis Tourism, plus some more exotic Adventure exhibits like Go Safari Tours.

Show info can be found on the OAS website, here.

I will be attending the show and doing a write up on it afterwards, so if you can’t make it, check back here to see how it was! I will also be scouting a new kayak and a new tent for myself, I look forward to being able to try things out before I buy them!

The organizers of the show have also given me a coupon code to share with my followers so that they can purchase discounted tickets. Check it out!

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Yonder

If you had asked me two years ago if I ‘yondered’, I probably would have looked at you like you were crazy. But then I found Yonder. Instagram is great for perusing photos, but if you truly love the outdoors, Yonder is where it’s at.

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Yonder, the apps own words, ‘A community that inspires adventure.’ Much like all other social media platforms, when you download Yonder, you set yourself up a profile, you pick which outdoor activities you are most interested in, and then you can start browsing by activity, location or popularity of the photos. All the photos on Yonder are of breathtaking outdoor locations, whether it be the Rocky Mountains, a tropical beach, or someone in their own backyard. The entire community exists to inspire each other to get outside, to spend quality time in nature and simply to enjoy yourself.

One of my favourite parts of the app is that the people who created it aren’t faceless, nameless people whom you will never see, they are active members in the Yonder community.

There has even been a spin off to the Yonder App on a facebook, a group called Yonder Buds where yonderers can chat, share stories and post more photos. The entire group is so incredibly positive, reading through the feed will be one of the best parts of your day. This group also plans Yonder Meet Ups, all over the US and Canada, getting Yonderers together to camp, hike and get to know each other in person. This is an app that will make you feel connected to real people.

When I joined Yonder, I made contact with some truly incredible outdoors people, from all over the world. I love logging into the app and seeing what all these wonderful people are doing from day-to-day.

I found myself posting more and more on Yonder, checking it a couple times a day whenever I needed a quick pick me up. Last spring, when Yonder reached out to me and asked me to come on board as an Ambassador, I was incredibly flattered and of course said yes. I love meeting people out hiking and telling them about the incredible community that is Yonder. Since last spring, my life has grown increasingly more busy, but I still find time to log onto Yonder at least once a day and see what everyone is up to. Seeing all these beautiful photos inspires me to keep getting outside.

Check out Yonders website today to download the app: www.Yonder.it

If you’re on Yonder, I am @ThatCanadianGirl

Peak A Week Fitness Challenge

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As many of my followers know, I am participating in the Calgary Firefighter Stairclimb on May 1st, 2016. The challenge is to climb the Bow Tower in full firefighting gear. That means over 60lbs of gear to run over 1200 steps. I have been training for quite some time now, but as the weather is getting to be so nice I am taking my training outside.

This is where my ‘Peak a Week’ challenge comes in. I figure I can either run on an inclined treadmill/elliptical or I can climb mountains. Anyone who knows me, knows what my decision would be. Mountains. Every time.

So every week until May I will be doing a hike with some serious elevation gain. I might not be able to hit the summit of a mountain every week (due to time or weather), but I want to commit to a hike that is going to get me to a higher elevation and at least a little bit winded.

Stay tuned for my weekly updates and pictures 🙂 Thanks to everyones support in this crazy endeavor that is the Stairclimb. To learn more about Wellspring Calgary, the charity hosting and organizing the climb, or to make a donation, please click here

Calgary Firefighter Stairclimb

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On May 1st of this year, I will be taking on one of my biggest physical challenges ever: Myself and two teams of firefighters from Kananaskis will be participating in the Calgary Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraiser for Wellspring Calgary. We will be climbing the Bow Tower in Calgary in full firefighting gear.

Wellspring Calgary is  a charitable organization that helps people living with cancer. It offers support in whichever way they need it most, and best of all they charge no fees and their services are available to anyone with any type of cancer at any stage. For more information on Wellspring, click here.

 For more information on the stairclimb itself, check out the website: http://calgarystairclimb.com/

Why am I doing the Stairclimb? Why climb over 1200 steps up with more than 50lbs of gear? The answer is an emotional one: In the last couple of years, I have lost a number of family members and friends to cancer. Watching your loved ones die from something that can’t be cured is the worst feeling in the world. How do you handle that emotionally? I don’t really have an answer on that. For me, this Stairclimb will be a way to help me come to terms with losing people whom I loved dearly. Participating in this Stairclimb is also a way to make sure that programs like Wellspring are around down the road, so that more families can find help and support in their time of need.

I know that when May 1st rolls around, and I am standing looking up at the Bow Tower wondering what the heck I was thinking when I signed up for this, my team will be there to support each other and cheer for eachother, but more than that, I know that I have angels looking down on me, rooting for me to make it to the top.

To help support my fundraising goals, please click here.

Spartan Race

Last year, I ran my first ever Spartan Race and, whoa. What an incredible experience. I ran the Spartan Super in Red Deer, Alberta. That means 14km, 21+ obstacles and a whole lot of fun. The race made me push myself hard, but I loved every second of it. I plan on running 3 more Spartan races this summer, possibly a 4th if I feel like I am up to a Beast by September. A Beast is 21km, 28+ obstacles and means running up a mountain 3 times.

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This year, I have joined the Spartan Race Western Canada Street Team, which means encouraging other people to push themselves to try a Spartan Race. I have even been given a promotional code to share with my followers/fans/friends. Check out the poster below for the code:

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