This Is CS Hut Trip

Friday July 22nd. 8:39 AM. 4 missed calls.

“Lana, someone dropped out of Hut Trip last minute. You were next up on our list. I know this is crazy last minute but… could you be at the airport in an hour?”

And here I was in my fleece polar bear jammies thinking I was just gonna have a casual morning at home.

“Sorry, what? You want me to.. umm, what? Can I have, like, 5 minutes to process?”

“I’m forwarding you the emails. You can do it. Let’s go.”

What happened in the next 72 hours was a total whirlwind. This is my attempt at conveying some of it in words.

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Alright. Hut Trip, in a nutshell: Chasing Sunrise got 20 of us to show up at the airport, only knowing we were going somewhere on a seaplane for the weekend. Where to? Your guess would’ve been as good as mine. I knew there’d be a hut involved, outdoor shenanigans, a stunning lake as evidenced by the hints of pictures dropped, and a sunrise chase, no doubt. The rest was a mystery, but hey – I’ve always loved surprises. I managed to pack myself within 20 minutes, my apartment a train wreck of dirty dishes and clothing strewn everywhere, trying to get out the door as soon as possible to catch the last plane out.

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ally Pintucci

I rocked up to the airport a total mess of adrenaline and stoke to be greeted by a bunch of lovely looking strangers sitting in the sun, waiting for the next plane. We all sat together for a while, cracked a few beers {yes, it was 10AM, but when you're over weight capacity and have to clear some out.. no good beer left behind, right?}, and started chatting. Soon enough, we were on a plane soaring high above Squamish, with faces keenly pressed against the windows, and landed straight onto Lake Lovely Water in the Tantalus mountains. We looked at each other in total amazement, clearly thinking the same thing. Yes, this was real. Pinch me.

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

One might say it’s quite the bold gamble to put a group of strangers in a small hut together with no electricity, no running water, and no personal space. But barely an hour into the trip, friendships were already crystalizing out of seeming thin air, later to be solidified under the stars, in mountain valleys, over dock chats.  Something nothing short of pure magic occurs when you take people out of their comfort zone and drop them into a circle of like-minded others who are in the same boat, all thirsty for adventure, and willing to delve into the unknown. They open up. They share wholeheartedly. You get to know someone on a level that we don’t often get to experience each other. One thing was obvious: a certain raw quality of friendship blossoms when you get to share an awe-inspiring moment {or dozens, as was the case that weekend} with someone. It cracks you open, and them too, and suddenly you’re blessed peering through this window that we don’t normally get to see. That, and you’ll quickly learn someone’s true nature by observing how they interact with nature and the world around them, how they cope with surprises {and questionable outhouses}, and ultimately – how out of hand they get in an aggressive game of spoons, as evidenced by our nightly entertainment shenanigans.

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Highlights of the weekend:

+ Our hike to Niobe Meadows. We trekked up a waterfall, played around the glaciers, explored, galavanted around the meadows. There may or may not have been some rogue streaking. Snowball fights in July anybody?

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ally Pintucci

+ Good old-fashioned fun by propane lights and headlamps. Card games. Spoons. Kings cup. A confusing game of Settlers of Catan, where I’m pretty sure nobody had the slightest clue what was going on and everybody equally lost. No wi-fi, no electricity, no problem.

+ Nights spent laying under the stars, watching the moon rise, or out for a midnight paddle on the lake.

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

+ An epic glacier floatie sesh. 20 people in inflatables all roped together into one big raft, beers in hand, jammin’ under the hot sun all afternoon? Heck yes. We went out there as enthusiastic humans, and came back as equally enthusiastic lobsters. #worthit

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ally Pintucci

+ A 4:30AM wakeup for a canoe out to the end of the lake. We linked vessels, passed around coffee, ate the best damn banana bread we’ve ever had in our lives, and watched in complete rapture as the sun spilled over the glacial peaks around us.

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

+ More hikes, more glaciers, more waterfalls. Also – more beer.

Capture: Ally Pintucci

Capture: Ally Pintucci

+ The most epic meals made by Fuel Your Fire, shared together over great conversation and the best company.

+ Canoe adventures, all day every day. In fog, in rain, in mist, in sun. And the iciest lake dips we'll ever take.

Capture: Callum Snape

Capture: Callum Snape

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

So here’s the thing.

Strip away the gorgeous scenery, the adventures, the activities, strip it right down to its very core, and this is what remains at the center: connection of the purest, most raw form. That’s the lifeblood of the weekend, right there. It’s the kind of connection that comes from like-minded humans coming together to experience awe-inspiring things, new things, mystery things, not having a friggin’ clue what they’ve signed themselves up for but going along with everything thrown at them with the brightest smile. The kind that’s present across shared meals, dish duties, trekking across the lake to grab glacier ice for the beer together, shared sleeping bags when it got ridiculously cold out, looking out for each other in every way a family would. The kind of connection that comes from putting your phone away, shutting away the outer world, and being 110% present with those around you.

The stories you hear, and the ones you share in that space, they’ll change you.

Capture: Callum Snape

Capture: Callum Snape

There is something so utterly powerful, a certain unbreakable bond, that is forged when you look around a room of people and think – dang, I’ll never quite be able to put this experience into words, and every single one of these rad humans will be the only ones who will ever be able to fully understand because they were right there alongside me. I think it’s safe to say this was one for the books.

Capture: Ivan Calderon

Capture: Ivan Calderon

The best part? You don’t have to fly into some remote location for three days to have an adventure, to experience life in depth, to do things you’ve never done before. Look around you. We have infinite opportunities to do the crazy, the ridiculous, the different, or simply the downright fun. Grab some friends and vote to do something you’ve never done before. Go to the lake, switch off your phones, and be kids again. Sit under the stars – on a mountain, in your backyard, on your patio, in a field, with someone you love. And just be with them. Those Instagram pictures you keep screenshotting of places you want to go? Make a plan and get amongst it. There’s a whole world out there, outside of the routines we fall into and the responsibilities we take on, and it’s easy to forget that this is accessible to all of us. It doesn’t take much to have your mind blown, if you’re just willing to open yourself up and try.

You can keep your day job and still live a wild life, I promise.

Just say yes. All in, always, right?

This was Hut Trip.


A big thank you to the rad companies that sponsored this event and made the weekend possible: Jansport, Vega, 49th Parallel, Fuel your Fire, Lifestraw, Seair, Granville Island Brewing, and Hitcase.

And to the photographers and videographers that captured the moments so beautifully:

Ivan Calderon - @icalderonphotoIvan Calderon Photo
Ally Pintucci - @allypintucciAlly Pintucci
Callum Snape - @calsnapeCallum Snape Photography
Joel Schat - @joelschat / Joel Schat

.. To our videographer Max Bailey for the epic edit of the weekend..

And, of course, to the incredible crew behind Chasing Sunrise: @chasingsunrise / Chasing Sunrise

Joel Schat also shot a stunning video of our trip {watch it here!} For more photos of the weekend, hop over to the Facebook album here.