We are honoured and inspired (and straight-up stoked!) to bring the world-famous Rocky Mountains into the Mountain Life family.
From Jasper to Fernie, Calgary to Revy we vow to scour every trail and overturn each boulder in search of uplifting stories and smile-inducing images that pay homage to our home turf and feed our souls the way only nature can.
This first issue Mountain Life Rocky Mountains, the Roots issue, explores our relationship with the peaks and valleys we call home and how the mountains tether us to the earth and each other. Where did we come from, what are we doing here and why do we stay?
Discover glaciologist and alpinist Alison Criscitiello’s love for all things cold; get inside the mind of Rockies’ preeminent adventurer Will Gadd as he riffs on the delicate interplay of life and death; consider how shifting ecology will forever alter the notion of the classically Canadian Rocky Mountain landscape; reflect on where settlers and immigrants fit in the ancestral home of Indigenous people; follow the tracks of an elusive wolverine family; find your zen on the legendary Bugs to Rogers ski traverse and more.
We’re so glad you’re here with us. Enjoy the ride.
Editors’ Message: Our Roots Are Showing
Standing on a mountain top, contemplating the valley below, things look familiar: the unbelievably flat quilt of the prairie bulges into golden foothills; navy blue rivers snake away from the continental divide, and uniform grey rock gives way to lush green forest. But, it’s not the same is it? What changed? What remains? What happened to us these past 20 months?
For many, in the absence of a workplace to physically report to and the loss of schedules packed with extracurriculars—time slowed almost to a standstill. We longed to see family, and we mourned the deaths of elderly loved ones, from a distance. During the endless, slow-motion blur of lockdowns and virtual meetings, our social interactions were reduced to “bubbles” and TikTok trends. Whether we’d opt for revolution or de-evolution was a matter of a like or a thumbs down. Yet, amid the unrelenting wash of digital noise, we managed to surface long enough that… somehow, we found ourselves.
People flocked in unprecedented numbers to mountain playgrounds, rediscovering the simple joy of wandering among wild things, pushing pedals on a bicycle and fishing for dinner. Through this challenge, we rediscovered our people, our souls—our roots. And when we did, we found some of our roots had flourished, reaching deep to our foundations and holding firm. But, we also discovered some of our roots had rotted and collapsed under the weight of centuries of ease and neglect.
A walk in crisp, fall air to ponder this inaugural issue of Mountain Life Rocky Mountains magazine, The Roots Issue, led to the popular Fenland Trail in Banff. The woods there are a mix of standing and downed trees, the bones of windstorms past. That marshy, fenland forest is a metaphor for society’s pandemic experience: like trees blown down by the wind, our roots now lie exposed; our foundations revealed: family, community, love, compassion—and also genocide, colonialism, racism, and lack of understanding.
For generations, we’ve been too distracted to consider where we’ve come from or our path forward, and the events of the pandemic laid this truth bare.
Transformation is not only possible; it’s necessary. The process of building this magazine, something meaningful where those roots have been exposed, where the richest dirt in the forest can be found, is changing us, and we hope you’ll find the stories we’ve chosen to tell will inspire you to grow too.
We’ll aim to be a breath of fresh mountain air in a digital world; an opportunity to learn and reflect on the best things in life, while deepening our sense of belonging and care for this special place: the Rockies. The Stoney say: wazin îeichninabi—we are all one, interconnected like the roots below. Thank you for joining us. –Kristy Davison & Erin Moroz
Print Pick-up Locations
Canmore: Arts Place, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, communitea cafe, Eclipse Coffee Roasters (both stores), Paintbox Lodge, Basecamp Lodges (in-room), Valbella Gourmet Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart and more.
Banff: Baker Creek Chalets (in-room), Banff Beer Festival, Banff Tea Co, The North Face Store, Elements Patagonia, Wild Flour Cafe, Uprising Craft Bakery, Banff Mountain Film + Book Festival, Monod Sports, and more.
Calgary + Edmonton: Elements Patagonia.
Golden, Revy, Jasper and Fernie: Locations coming soon!