Episode 11: Making Adventure More Sustainable – Part 2 with Greg Hill
Professional backcountry skier, athlete, explorer and guide Greg Hill continues sharing his perspective on what it takes to keep adventure sustainable. In this episode, Greg talks about the importance of physical sustainability, and how we can reduce our environmental foot print by practicing small things.
Look after your body: This means keeping on top of strength training stretching, taking breaks when needed, good nutrition and hydration, getting sleep, and addressing problems when they come up.
Do what you can: Small choices can make a real difference when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment.
You don’t have to travel far away: The adventures that we have closer to home – especially in the places that we can see regularly, can end up being remembered more often than ones that happen in far away places that we never see again.
No substitute for formal outdoor education: This can help us to be more efficient, save time and save energy.
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Photo credits: Angela Percival / Arcteryx
[00:00:00] Greg Hill: Um, so yeah, I was caught in this avalanche. I shattered my tib fib and then my physio right off the bat was like, you know, you’re never going to be who you were. And, and as somebody who’s like defines himself by what he does, I was like, What? I, no. You know, I need to be able to whatever, hike up mountain, run around, just do these things that bring me so much rewards and I am very concerned that it was over.
[00:00:28] Chris Kaipio: This is delivering adventure. Welcome to the podcast that explores what it really takes to share adventure like a pro with your friends, your family, and as a profession. My name is Chris Kaipio, and I’m coming to you from Whistler, British Columbia.
[00:00:48] Jordy Shepherd: And I’m Jordy Shepard, Recording from Canmore, Alberta.
After a lifetime of working extensively in different parts of the adventure guiding industry, Chris and I have teamed up to launch this podcast. In each episode, you’ll hear top adventure guides, managers, marketers, and athletes share their best stories, advice, and trade secrets. The goal of this podcast is to share how you can take yourself and others farther from the mountains to the office and.
[00:01:17] Chris Kaipio: In this episode, we pick up where we left off in our last episode with Greg Hill. In the last episode, Greg shared some of his experiences involving his record setting, backcountry ski touring endeavors, and how he kept himself motivated. In this episode, we continue our discussion on how we can make adventure more sustainable.
Just to bring everyone up to speed, Greg is an ACMG ski guide athlete and filmmaker. Some of his achievements include climbing 2 million vertical feet in a single year on skis, climbing over 50,000 vertical feet in a 24-hour period on skis and sobbing nine of the 10 highest peaks in the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia.
In 2006, National Geographic named him as one of the top 14 adventures on the planet based on his achievement of climbing 1 million vertical feet that year. Jordy, In practical terms, can you put some of Greg’s accomplishments into context for our listeners?
[00:02:16] Jordy Shepherd: Yeah. Chris, basically, uh, Greg, uh, honed himself into a ski touring machine, uh, and at a well-oiled, Machine at that, uh, to climb 2 million vertical feet in a year, that would mean skinning up and then skiing down the equivalent of Whistler Mountain.
For those of you know that, but picture a fairly large, high relief mountain plus some every day for a year. So just think about that, you know, for, for all of us, you know, you’re, we, we put our ski boots on a lot in the winter, and some of us do in the summer, but imagine doing it every day for a year and doing the equivalent of going up and down a mountain.
That takes more than just physical conditioning. It’s this huge emotional, mental commitment by Greg, uh, to get through that. And it really, if you take a look at the back end of it, it also took huge support from his family.
[00:03:12] Chris Kaipio: Well, let’s see what else Greg has to say about physical and environmental sustainability.
What I’d like to shift to is going from your motivation to hit those targets to how you maintain yourself physically, you know, I make it through the end of a winter of, of skiing, and I usually do about a hundred and twenty-five, thirty days. By the end, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m a little bit worn out motivationally, but my body is sore and I don’t know many instructors and, and skiers who don’t start to wear down and feel the aches and pains and things like that.
Like how, how do you take care of yourself and how did you keep yourself in, in a position where you could keep going?
[00:03:58] Greg Hill: Yeah, I think well one, most of these challenges, I’m 46 now. Most of my endurance challenges were up to about the bigger ones. Were up to like 36. So, I had a bit of a rubbery body. I think , it was a lot easier in your mid thirties, your early thirties to recover from things.
Um, now I definitely pay attention to my body quite a bit. , Um, because I kind of have to, if I don’t stretch, you know, I was at my masseuse the other day and she couldn’t believe it because I’ve kind of had a down period. I haven’t been doing my stretches and my exercises. Um, but I am pretty diligent with at least six months of every year, probably around six months of doing, You know, I’ve got weights and stuff over here and chinette bars and kind of doing the cross training.
It’s never the full year. I always have downtime. Um, and I think that’s important. I definitely. Definitely listen to my body a lot and it, I let it kind of dictate. Some days you, you’re just going to sit on the couch and not do a lot, you know? But, um, but during, during the, Yeah, I mean I guess that’s the key.
Like in the winter I do, I pay attention, you know, and I try not to just, especially these days go seven days a week endlessly. Um, but there is, there’s always, there’s going to be some stretching, there’s going to be some rolling, there’s going to be some things to just keep the body a little bit more. Um, how do you do it?
[00:05:22] Chris Kaipio: Probably very similar to, to what you’re doing, you know, what you’re alluding to is trying to mix up the activity. Stretching. I’m not nearly as good at stretching as I need to be. My, uh, my physio describe me as, uh, being the guy who goes to, uh, goes to yoga for stiff guys. Ends up being this stiffest guy, you know?
Yeah, yeah. Pretty, You know, you’re pretty tight. Um, but that being, you know, that being said, you know, me, me personally, I try to stay as, as active, uh, as I can, but I also notice that I’m being pretty cautious. Throughout my whole career, if you compare me to the other people that do what, what I do, um, I don’t tend to take the risks.
I tend to go slower. You know, I’m a really slow skier compared to what, you know, most people that do what I do do. Um, but. In addition to being lucky, that’s helped me to avoid the big accidents and injuries and things like that, that I think, um, kinda really threaten the careers of a lot of people that do the kind of stuff that we do.
And it, and it’s hard, right? Because there’s always a risk too. There’s a risk that if I’m not pushing myself harder than I’m not developing as much, uh, as, you know, as I could. But the flip side is we only have one body and you’ve got to maintain it for. For as long as you can. Because once it wears down and you know, you blow at your knee and you get arthritis or, you know, those sorts of things, then those are the things that, that, you know, that stay with you.
[00:06:56] Greg Hill: Mm-hmm, I think, especially now that I’m older, I mean, core strength seems really key at, I’ve watched a few people injure themselves this last winter because they could tell their core wasn’t strong enough and just those plan exercises that my physio gives me and stuff. I mean, I really think it’s key and I.
Yeah, I think we should stay active, but I believe there should definitely be some down periods every year to be active. 12 months of the year I think would definitely wear on it. I like the downtime, but, but I look to my mom and stepdad who are 77 and 73 and they, they’ve been active, you know, they, they’re on their bike ride, mountain bike ride right now, you know?
And I think definitely staying active every day, even if it’s just a mellow activity, is going to help your body to stay fluid. Your joints stay. You know and have your body ready for impacts. Just, you know, I mean more like walking impacts or whatever.
[00:07:46] Chris Kaipio: I think there’s a lot to, you’re mentioning core strength.
There’s so much I wish I had known 30 years ago about, about my body and what I need to do to keep the different parts. in, in shape and, and fit and strong. So, you know, the different stretches, the core strength. Every professional I’ve spoken to, whether it’s a masseuse or a, a physio or a chiropractor’s given me different, a different understanding of how my body works and how to keep it maintained.
It’s like a mechanic talking to you about how your car works and how to keep it, you know, functioning in a, in a, in a good level. And I think if we don’t, If we don’t have that understanding, then it, it, we can be lucky and some people are definitely lucky to, to have bodies that are in good condition that don’t, you know, need as much maintenance.
But, um, you know, eventually it, it does start to, it does start to break down.
[00:08:50] Greg Hill: Yeah, I think, I mean, especially while talking about my shoulder dislocating. possibly back then. I mean, there was, there just wasn’t as much available. I’m sure I knew that I needed to cross train a bit, but there wasn’t anything specific or what have you.
I feel like there’s definitely a better world now where possibly the 21-year-old Greg wouldn’t have dislocated his shoulder because he would’ve been doing push ups and a couple other things on the side that would’ve encountered all the steep climbing he was doing. You know, Although I know I, I did know that you were supposed to warm up and I thought the bottom of the climb was enough of a warmup, which was really.
But you do, You look at pro climbers now, you see, oh, they’re like, they all start off nice and easy and warm their way up, and they have fingerboards that they bring to the cliff and all, you know, it’s like there’s definitely a lot more available to keep us on with good bodies than there used to be.
[00:09:39] Chris Kaipio: Six years ago, I had some hip, hip issues that, um, I actually thought was going to end my career.
Um, bothered me all summer. Ended up going to. Physio, uh, multiple times a week. And I, I really did think that was the, that was the end of it. You know, it was kind of mid forties and, um, then luckily, I, I saw the chiropractor and put me in, in shape and, and while that, that situation has still kind of stuck with me, it’s, um, it’s more manageable now.
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought your career, um, might not be physically sustainable?
[00:10:21] Greg Hill: Hm. Well, for a while I was naive and didn’t realize how lucky I was, but no, so I mentioned breaking my leg in the a in the avalanche and, um, what is that, eight years ago now? 2014. Um, so yeah, I was caught in this avalanche.
I shattered my tip fib and. Then I, it was quite the procedure, you know, I got Dr. Her and BFF to do it and, and when he put it back together, the surgery typically takes about a half an hour for him. And it took about two hours because he was like putting all these pieces of the puzzle back together to put my legs.
So it was somewhat straight. Um, and then my physio right off the bat was like, you know, you. Going to be who you were, . And, and as somebody who’s like defines himself by what he does, he was like, What? I, no, You know, I need to be able to whatever, hike up mountains and run around and just do these things that bring me so much rewards.
And, um, it was a long process of healing and I definitely was very concerned that it was over. Um, I wasn’t sure what other, what I was going to fall back on, but it looked like you. Maybe I wouldn’t even walk that well, You know, Or that that first winter ski tour was so hard on my body. I could remember the first time we ski, I went out ski tour in 2000 feet, which, which used to be nothing for me, you know, half hour of up, but on the ski down, like my legs wasn’t even strong enough to ski the whole way down.
And I had to sit on the cat track and I remember I was like yelling at my leg to like activate, but it couldn’t, because it didn’t have the strength or whatever. And I, I was pretty sure it was. Um, but one thing I have is I’ve got a lot of naive optimism. So I just kept focusing on, you know, the physio and trying to prove that physio wrong because whatever she’d said.
And, you know, I got, I right off the bat, I got back into more running because I wanted to, I wanted impact. I wanted the leg to just feel and just heal as best it can. And, um, Definitely a super long process and I mean for sure my physio was slightly right. I’m definitely never get back to what I was , but I was still able to get to my present a hundred percent, which is still pretty damn good and it’s still provides me with enough.
Strength and energy to go and adventure and, and find what, what I need to be happy. And I’m pretty fortunate, but it definitely required lots of focus and I still, like, I was always doing exercises to try to bring it back. And I mean, I did some leg strengths in the fall and my left leg was at 140 pounds and my right leg was at 200 pounds.
Um, so there’s still , huge discrepancy. , but luckily I’ve got the stamina and drive to kind of overcome that and keep enjoying what I get to do. But for sure the 2014, I was like, Oh, I think I’m over. And I had no idea what I was going to do. So then I also, that’s sort of, that’s sort of when a big pivot in my life happened, um, which I know we’re going to get to later, but maybe we’ll get to right now, is that lying on that couch healing for whatever it was, the three months that I couldn’t even wait.
I really started looking at my life. I’m like, Okay, what legacy have I left behind? And, and what if I had died in that avalanche? What would my kids think? You know, what memories would they have? And, and I objectively tried to really look at my life, and I think, I think that’s a good thing to do. But I was looking, I was like, You know, that’s really cool.
I showed people that, you know, the potential, we’ve, we’ve all got more potential than we think, and you know how to push ourselves. And I, I loved, I loved that. But I started looking and I was like, Well, I don’t really have any, So there’s wasn’t a lot of give back. It was a lot of selfish. And selfish is great, like life is is selfish.
But I think in our lives we can have some aspects that are like about giving back and you know, I’m taking people outta the mountains, but there was no real like giving back. And so while I was healing I was like, okay, let’s, let’s look into how I can maybe use this little soapbox I’ve got and try to become a better adventurer.
Um, because I, my brother’s been an environmentalist for years. and for sure the writing was, has been on the walls forever. But I started really looking at myself and I was like, I’m somebody who’s out there. Loves nature, gets so much reward and everything from nature. I’m sure you guys agree, but I wasn’t being a steward for it.
I was like jumping in my F three 50, my big diesel truck driving, whatever 50 kilometers put and starting my snowmobile up, which would spew fumes everywhere. And then I’d rip out up some logging roads, spewing fumes, every. Gas and then I’d go and I’d enjoy nature and I’d just be in my sublime place where everything was perfect and I was happy.
And, and I started really looking. I was like, Well, this doesn’t make any sense at all. Like you, you’re killing what you love. And then, so that’s when I was on the couch. I was like, Okay, well let’s see if I can do something better. Maybe like show my kids and teach them and, and their friends, what have you that they’re there.
Maybe there’s a way that we can be sustainable adventures and, and give. Some mother nature and kind of help protect it because we’re the stewards, we’re the ones that are out there, so let’s see what we can do. Um, so yeah, that’s sort of the journey I’ve been on for a while now, is trying to figure out how to adventure differently.
I, I mean, I basically, since 2017, every adventure I’ve been on has been at electric powered in my little car without any fossil fuels. Um, you know, I’ve broken down a couple times, maybe three times in. Five years for adventures. You know, I do use gas occasionally, but for adventures strictly as there only been a few times and, and that’s just, that’s been really neat because I’ve just kind of, especially in 2017, we all thought electric cars were Tesla and they’re all for commuting and nothing else.
And I mean now it’s, there’s lots of electric cars out there. Um, but it was neat just trying to see if you could live an adventurous life and have less, Getting around my F three 50, my snowmobile, I stopped heli-ski guiding, stopped using helicopters except for emergencies. And yeah, it was kind of a whole process.
It was quite neat. Um, and I’m still on it. It’s a journey, like I call it, I say the ev, it was a vehicle for an idea and it was, it just kind of, it helped me change things in my life, helped me try to figure out ways to have less of an impact at home. And it’s kind of an ongoing process.
[00:16:48] Jordy Shepherd: Do you have an e-bike?
[00:16:49] Greg Hill: I have an e-bike. Yeah, I do.
[00:16:51] Jordy Shepherd: I I, I find it’s got a lot of, it’s a, it’s become my sport utility vehicle. I, I’ve got an EFA bike I use in Canmore here, and yeah, in two years I’ve got 5,000 kilometers on it and I, I don’t drive my truck or my motorcycle around town very much. At all, unless I’m getting something from the, you know, something too big to carry.
But it’s amazing what you can carry with few racks and some, some innovation on a, on a big e-bike. And, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s been a game changer.
[00:17:24] Greg Hill: Yeah. And like, just think of that like, well, you know, there you were, your individual impacts right there, 5,000 kilometers that you could have used gas or not, and you didn’t, you know, and it’s, it’s neat to see that, just little choices like that actually overall have big.
Yeah, I, I, I live about three kilometers from the main downtown Rebel Stok, and three kilometers isn’t far on a normal bike, it’s pretty easy, but regardless of how energetic I am on some things, I’m also quite lazy at other things, and it’s quite easy to drive into town. Even if I’m driving my ecar, it’s better to be on my e-bike, you know, and that sort of thing.
Um, but yeah, I love it. Or, or just e-bike into the trailheads is pretty fun too. And just go off running and jump back on your bike. I mean, I’m sure your town’s the same. It’s as quick into town biking as it is driving. It’s faster.
[00:18:12] Jordy Shepherd: Yep. Yeah.
[00:18:15] Greg Hill: Cause you don’t have to stop at stop
[00:18:16] Jordy Shepherd: signs, right? Oh yeah. We stop at stop signs.
Uh, in terms of the electric forms of transportation, uh, there are people that are arguing that it’s not all that green just because of, you know, the carbon footprint that comes of building these, uh, these things and batteries and, and where the power comes from. What are your, what are your thoughts on that?
[00:18:43] Greg Hill: Yeah, I mean, you can read articles that argue both sides pretty easily. Um, Yeah, there’s a lot of them. I think, yeah, regardless, we’re going to have impacts. To me, it’s investing. My, my idea or the electric idea is that we need to start looking into something different. The status quo is obviously not doing that well.
Every car is getting bigger. They have less mileage per leader than the, than they used to. You know, we’re actually going the wrong way with those cars. So yeah, electric cars do have a big. , you know, when they’re built, whatever it is, eight me. Eight tons of eight tons. But then once you have it, the second you’re driving, especially in BC we’re 98%, um, BC Hydro.
So theoretically, although yes, dams aren’t great, you know, nothing’s, nothing’s perfect. Perfect is walking back and forth to places. But once you look into the vehicles, I mean, there’s for sure it’s, there’s, I’ve read lots of articles that prove that once you have your ev. You know, you just keep using it.
And the impacts are less than a gas car. You’re not, you’re not putting out fossil, you’re not using fossil fields every day. Obviously there’s a lot invested in it. Um, the recycling, you know? Yes. All of a sudden you go down the lithium thing and all of a sudden there’s all the issues with the lithium mining, you know, it’s, it’s endless.
But you also, there’s going to be a huge demand for all those batteries and, and the recycling. Figuring out how to recycle. I think 95 or 97% of the batteries, you know, all that stuff. Once, once the value’s there and there’s enough batteries, the recycling’s going to happen. So there, there’s like, there’s a lot of evolution that can happen in the electric car market, whereas fossil gas cars, it’s been well, well over a hundred years and they aren’t really changing.
So, To me, it’s like I’m investing in an idea that’s only going to get better versus staying with a status quo that’s not getting any better.
[00:20:40] Jordy Shepherd: And a lot of it is, it’s, it’s, it’s thinking about consumption, right? And just have, it’s causing us to think about our consumption. And it, it’s interesting because when you feel like you can just drive anywhere and always get, find a gas station and you, you can get, get quite long ranges.
Um, In a, in a gas powered vehicle or even carry an extra can of gas with you kind of thing to extend it. You don’t think about it as much. And I find moving to an electric bicycle, for example, like I am constantly watching that odometer. How, how, how far have I gone on this charge? How much further can I go on this charge?
How, how can I conserve and actually pedal, uh, as you know, and or, you know, when I’m going downhill, turn off the electric side, you know, all that kind of stuff. Right. To, and it just makes you think about it, which I think is a big thing for us in society to move towards and not just take it for granted that you can always just throw a throw, throw more gas in your vehicle and carry.
[00:21:48] Greg Hill: Yeah, no, I think that’s absolutely on point. It does. It’s like, yeah, you just all of a sudden recognize your impacts. And like I said, my ve it’s a vehicle for an idea and not, I’ve changed considerably. I’m about to put solar panels on my roof just to have them because that’s kind of the next step and, and, and be more responsible for my personal impacts.
Um, and I also, it changed the way I drive. I used to be somebody that is just hammer, um, for me to be you. From Rebels Stoke to Vancouver was always less than six hours. Five and a half, five 15 is my dad’s record, . But since I’ve had an ev I’m the most relaxed driver out there because I understand that I’m going to get better range if I drive 95 kilometers an hour and, and I don’t get into the whole road rage and stress because everybody’s passing me.
I’m just toodling along, enjoying myself, listening to music or podcasts or my own thoughts and, and it’s actually. Absolutely changed the way I drive, which is.
[00:22:47] Jordy Shepherd: And it can cause you just to, to enjoy the journey more when you’re actually traveling instead of just, It was, it’s always been, well, when I get to wherever I get off the airplane or that sort of thing.
Right now, I actually, I feel quite guilty when I’m on a airplane going somewhere, which fortunately, I guess with the pandemic, not too many people have actually been traveling by air or, or has definitely been reduced. Um, but when I have just recently went, I went to Quebec for some work to teach an avalanche search and rescue course.
And, uh, a couple months ago, and I was on an airplane and I, I was, I was thinking about all kinds of stuff, pandemic and, you know, masking up and all that kind of stuff. But I was also thinking, wow, this is the first time I’ve been on an airplane in a year and a half. And that wasn’t normal operations for me.
Uh, I, you know, I, I was, I was flying quite a bit for, for work and for pleasure. Um, and my wife is a sustainability. Expert, Right? That’s, that’s the field she’s in. And uh, you know, it’s just, it’s just making us more conscious of, of what we’re doing and then realizing we can make those choices that don’t really negatively affect us at all.
And we still live our lives and, and have our adventures and, you know, we can have our cake and eat it too. Um, just have it be more sustainable into the future.
[00:24:07] Greg Hill: Yeah. And I think. With protect our winters, we call it, it’s progress over perfection. And, and so many of us are stuck on this idea that we’re not perfect, so screw it.
I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. And, and I think just realizing that, yeah, we’re not aiming for perfection. We’re not going to get down to two tons a year in Canada, but if all of us are just being conscious of it, and if it’s in our conversation and our thoughts, we’re going to figure out different options.
I mean, you know, You go to a taco place, if you order the chicken taco versus the beef tacos, you’re having much less impact. And even just having that idea and knowing that, Oh, I just have this, has less of an impact, I think. I think that’s what’s really happening now is that that the mindsets change and everybody’s starting to understand that, yeah, sure, we can all actually do little things here.
You’re never going to be perfect, but I can at least choose this battle or that battle. And except that I’m not great on this side.
[00:25:00] Jordy Shepherd: Yep. It’s always give and take. So, what, what do you think about, uh, longer distance travel for yourself and, uh, and how, how that’s changed or changing for you and, and affecting you or not affecting you?
[00:25:14] Greg Hill: Yeah, I mean, right off the bat, when I just started just driving electrically, I was telling my sponsors and everything. I was like, No, I listen. I’m not going anywhere. You know, let’s just accept that this is what I’m doing. I think there’s a lot of value in. Now it’s definitely evolved a bit where I do, I’ve taken a few flights.
If the, if I can figure out the, if the destination’s worth it. I’m trying not to re frivolous, you know, it’s almost like, okay, let’s just be really conscious, You know, I have a family reunion in Ontario and I’m going to go there. Like, I haven’t, I don’t wanna miss out. I haven’t seen my family for quite a few years and you know, I’m going to go to it.
I’m going to accept that there’s impacts, but you know, I do, I do. Their offsets are better than nothing, so I’ll offset my. And then when I’m there, I’ll make sure that I multitask it. And then I do some business in Toronto and visit some other friends in Montreal. So, I make it a valuable trip and kind of max it out that way.
[00:26:07] Jordy Shepherd: And that’s a, that’s a really good point, is choosing that to offset as well. And it, again, it shows that you’re being thoughtful about what you’re doing. You’re actively making a choice to, you know, have, have an admissions emissions footprint. Uh, but I, I was doing that, uh, he skiing as a guide. Uh, you know, it’s like, okay, well I, you know, I’m not heli skiing as much for actually, essentially the same reasons as you.
Uh, now I feel like that’s a carbon footprint that I can probably do without. Uh, but when I was heli skiing, uh, and I was managing a heli ski company, I, I put in off an offset program that was optional for guests, but I part, I partake in that. Um, as a guide and said, Okay, well this year I’m going to have this, this is my portion of my admissions for being in that helicopter.
So, and it’s actually not that big a deal financially even. Right. It’s just making the choice to do it.
[00:27:04] Greg Hill: Yeah. And, and it is, it’s good. At least you, like, I recognize my impact and I’m going to, I, I know it’s there, but I’m going to try to make it so that somebody in the future doesn’t have to, and I’m going to invest in this project or whatever you’re.
Offsets aren’t perfect, but there definitely a way to one, yeah. Be responsible and ideally push other projects that are going to help other people save carbon. Carbon at some point, or yeah.
[00:27:28] Jordy Shepherd: Well, we could talk about this probably all day. Maybe we’ll do another sustainability episode that we’ll have you on for Thanks for your thoughts on that
[00:27:37] Greg Hill: Well, I’ll quickly talk. So something I’m planning, I did one course last year, but I wanna have people come to Rebel Stoke and organize their whole trips to make them as sustainable as possible. Show them how to offset their flights, get them to do carbon calculation at home, because there’s a lot of things you can do on your home energy bills that people don’t know about like this.
This writer that came on one of my trips, I looked at her energy bill and for an extra. Dollar 50 a month. All of our electricity all of a sudden came from, from a wind farm. And it’s just, there’s these things we don’t know about. So I want to kind of run these like courses where people come and we, they rent an electric car, a cologna, show them that so they can kind of test, test the waters, you know, and, and then eat as sustainable as possible and that sort of thing.
And just kind of share some of my knowledge and try to make their footprints less. Maybe they’ll take it home and they’ll teach somebody else. I mean, Cassidy, she was blown away by just that quick click of the button and the fact that all her energy is much better.
[00:28:38] Chris Kaipio: Now, I’ve run into so many people that will arrive in Whistler and, and I’ll ask them where, where you hear from, and they’ll say, Well, just North Vancouver.
And, and I find it so funny. It’s like, No, you aren’t from just North Vancouver. You’re from North Vancouver! It’s one of the world’s best cities. Like that’s, that’s amazing. But I think people have this perception that in, if you’re not from somewhere else or somewhere further away, it’s not exotic. Oh, yeah. And and the further away it is, the more exotic, uh, it is.
And so how do you think we can find more value and appreciate? trips and And adventures closer to home.
[00:29:24] Greg Hill: Yeah. I guess for me, what I started realizing is I’ve traveled all around the world. I’ve skied lots and lots of places, and so say Norway, we skied a bunch of great lines there, some first descents, what have you, and they’re amazing, but then I never see them again.
Whereas I think there’s so much value in your backyard because you get to. Those peaks again. And then when you see them, it’ll trigger the memory and you’ll revisit that memory. So they kind of resonate for longer. Like I haven’t done it yet, but the lions, you know, in, in Vancouver, I have yet to climb them.
But I can’t wait to climb them. Because once I finally do, every time I fly in, I’ll look up there or and drive in what have you. I’ll look up there and be like, Oh yeah, that cool day where we hiked up that and we had lunch there, what have you. And I think to me, backyard adventures resonate for a lot longer.
You know, say the panelist. Every time I drive up to Whistler, now I look over there and I’m brought back to the only day I’ve ever had there. But it, it keeps living. Whereas those far off adventures, sure they’re incredible at the time, but they kind of slowly fizzle in your memory. So to me that’s the biggest thing is, is that the more you get to know your backyard, the more all those memories resurface and, and live a lot.
[00:30:40] Jordy Shepherd: Thanks so much for coming, Greg, it’s been awesome to hear your thoughts on sustainable adventure today. It’s been really, really enlightening. If you’re looking to learn more about Greg, please visit his website, greghill.ca not.com. That’s greghill.ca. So, Chris, what were some of your key takeaways from what Greg had to say in this episode on how we can deliver more sustainable a.
[00:31:03] Chris Kaipio: There were a lot of great points there. Jordy two that I will share, uh, with our audience that came to mind, uh, for me is to start with that idea of doing what you can. And so one of the things that Greg highlighted was the small things that he has done, small changes that he has made to help to reduce his impact.
Things like taking a bike instead of driving. Driving slower. I. Going faster, choosing destinations that are closer instead of going further away. And on that last point, I really like the idea that you don’t have to travel further away to get great adventures. He highlighted the idea that adventures can happen closer to home, and often those are adventures.
We’ll remember them, uh, more often because we get to see where they happened on a regular basis. He, you know, used the example of, you know, his trip to Norway where he went and did some amazing things, but he may never make it back to Norway again. And so that experience isn’t going to get relived in his memory as he goes forward.
It’s also worth noting that Greg likes to call himself electric, Greg because of his use of electric vehicles to access adventures closer to home. Jordy, what stood out to you?
[00:32:35] Jordy Shepherd: Well, one of the big ones, and I think we all struggle with this, is looking after your self, physically looking after your. To really have a long life of adventuring, you need to make sure that you look after yourself, your body.
And this means keeping on top of strength training, stretching, taking breaks when needed, good nutrition and hydration, getting sleep and addressing problems, uh, when they come up or hopefully even, uh, before they come up. And, you know, even, even going to get physio. Before over issue, overuse issues blow up.
And I, I’m probably an example of not doing a number of those things just so you know. Uh, another thing that, uh, stood out for me was that there’s really no substitute, substitute for formal education. So, you know, in the first episode he talked, uh, about this the whole way along. And so let’s, uh, let’s focus a bit on that.
The idea of first aid training skills, training, professional development, and keeping, keeping up your, your personal skills, professional skills. For example, I’m going to Revelstoke next week to run an Avalanche search and rescue professional development session for the Canadian Avalanche Association. And there’s going to be 18 participants there who are all very high-end professionals, and, uh, it’s going to be great to, uh, to bounce ideas off of them.
And, uh, and just to, you know, hone up our skills at the start of the, the upcoming season here for Avalanche Search and Rescue. The better we are, the more equipped we are to deal with things that go wrong and things don’t go wrong. Um, you know, kind of in a planned way. So by having a, a good, well-rounded, uh, set of tools, um, and keeping those tools really nice and honed and sharp, then uh, we can just pull them right out at the toolkit and use them as we need to, you know, and hope hopefully through good planning, preparation.
We don’t have to. You know, use, use these skills all the time. Uh, and the reality is, I, I found operationally, if you use something a lot regularly, you probably have to train a bit less for that. And it’s the stuff that you don’t use very often that you have to actually, uh, spend more time training on and practicing on.
So, if you don’t do first aid a whole lot in your regular things that you do, Probably spend a little bit more time being up on that and making sure you, you know, where your stuff is. And along with this idea of educating ourselves and, and keeping up on things, it’s, the reality is the more we know, the easier we can make things on ourselves and others.
And this can really help us to be more efficient as professionals. We can save time, energy. And then one of the things, one of the keys to being a pro is being efficient. And that’s what helps the true pros live longer, adventure lives.
[00:35:25] Chris Kaipio: These are all excellent points, Jordy, and thanks again to Greg for coming on the show.
Now let’s turn it over to you, the listener. What were your takeaways? What stood out to you? You can share your thoughts, stories, or insights with us via our social media feeds or by emailing us. You can find all of our contact information at deliveringadventure.com. We have also posted our contact info in the show notes as well as a link to Greg’s.
Also, please don’t forget to follow or subscribe to this podcast through your favorite streaming service, and if you can please share this with your like-minded friends. This is how you can help to make this podcast sustainable. Before we go, we have one last funny story to share about Greg. Thanks for listening.
[00:36:14] Jordy Shepherd: I’ve got a funny story about you, Greg. So, uh, I was in Frisbee Creek, northwest of Reto at drainage there, uh, in the springtime doing, I was actually taking a ski guide exam, and I believe we, you might have to correct some of the details here, Greg, but I believe we flew in. You were doing this Monashee traverse that you planned.
that had nothing to do with the guide course except that we were flying in there. So you’d orchestrated that we would fly in a food cash for you to where we were base camping there for our week of guide exam. And so we, we, the guides candidate group, we, we dug it in and flagged it out for you there where we said we were going to leave it for you to find in the.
And, uh, I thought not too much of it, but we, uh, we did all kind of add into it a little bit there. So, you know, some folks, you know, left a beer or, uh, some tobacco or, you know, and so I, we’d done all this preparation for being in the area, including having lots of maps. And so I had this kind of cartoonish artist rendition of the, the CMH Heli ski tenure map there that showed the cmh.
And, uh, and I, I just jokingly threw that in the box there because I didn’t need it anymore. I was done my guide exam and, uh, I just used it for reference for, for where the Heli ski runs were, but not for actual navigation. And then I see Greg in, in Rebel Stoke where I was living at the time too. You know, this is, this is a couple, few months later he’s done this monies Traverse, which sounds like it went quite well and he made your way back to Rebel Stoke, uh, all like right to Rebel Stoke on the traverse.
But Greg, uh, did, he thanked me for leaving that map there. Because, uh, they hadn’t, they didn’t actually didn’t have a map for that last leg of the journey of the traverse because they’re in like home, home terrain. Right. Oh cool. It’s like, oh yeah, we just, we just cruised through these last couple drainages.
But she said it was kind of nice to have like something with it sketched out which way the drainages went. So that worked out quite well. Oh yeah. No, absolutely. Well
[00:38:22] Greg Hill: I do definitely remember your map. It helped us figure out this nice sneak. But we really did like the tobacco at the time that that really helped, helped us get you our last six days.
that was 2002. Also, I think that you’re talking it’s quite a long time ago.
[00:38:38] Jordy Shepherd: Uh, yeah. It’s going, Yeah, it’s going 20 years back. Yeah.
[00:38:44] Greg Hill: Yeah. We were quite thankful for everything extra that you guys had left.