Emelie Stenberg – a true adventurer.
It is an age old story, but it is a favourite. Girl comes to Canada from else where, falls in love with the mountains and decides to make it her home. This is ACMG ski and hiking guide Emelie Stenberg‘s story.
“I was 21 and just came for a season” Emelie tells us “I am still here.” Emelie comes from Sweden and although she is still “very much connected to Sweden” – Revelstoke, British Columbia is here home.
She is one of the many talented female ski guides with the heli-ski founders, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). But Emelie loves to earn her turns. “Ski touring is what I really love to do.” In the winter, when is isn’t guiding for CMH, she is guiding ski tours In Canada and other countries such as Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Greenland.
In the summer, she is a hiking guide and has done so all over the world. One journey that caught our attention was a trip to Afghanistan to help guide and support Afghan women whose objectives were to the Afghan mountain peak of Mir Samir. Vice documented the trip here.
“Whether it is getting in the mountains in Canada or Afghanistan, it is always empowering.” Emelie tells us.
We recently met up with Emelie and chatting about living the Hike365, her favourite skis, hikes and her love for the mountains.
Hike365: What do you wish more people knew about the mountains?
ES: People have always been drawn to the mystique and power of mountains. In todays busy society people see it as an escape, a place of serenity and calm. I’ve seen many people transform in the mountains, it can really have huge impact on peoples lives. It certainly has had on me. Its a place I find freedom and connection. Freedom to roam and connection to the earth, to the people around me, and to myself. I have had some of the best moments in life in the mountains, but also some of the hardest life lessons.
The landscape allows you to be yourself and to be playful and adventurous. Forget about all the worries and be there in the moment. I never feel so full of life as when Im in the mountains, they give me strength and clarity, and its where I find inspiration and creativity, and I can’t imagine not spending time there, whether its on a pair of skis, climbing or just roaming around by foot.
Hike365: Where is your next adventure?
ES: I’m headed to Iceland next month for skiing. Its turned into my annual spring migration destination. Mixing the ocean with the mountains is pure bliss! In Iceland they are not two separate environments, they are intertwined into one world. It really is a special place to me and I would highly recommend going there. As for bigger adventures there are always some ideas for long ski traverses and exploratory trips on the back burner. I’ve always had a draw to the arctic regions so there is more on the horizon for some arctic ski adventures soon.
Hike365: You live Hike365, what words can you say to others to encourage them to keep living the Hike365 life?
Hiking is such simple thing, yet so rewarding. When I was younger I didn’t appreciate the simplicity of it, hiking was not exciting enough, but the older I get and the more time I spend in the mountains, the more I appreciate the quiet moments. Putting your phone away, and stepping away from the constant buzz surrounding us. You really don’t realize how much it influence your life until you remove yourself from it. It doesn’t need to be complicated, a walk in the woods taking in all the views, smells or sounds, or a week long backpacking trip, it all can have profound impact on you.
The longest I’ve been away from civilization is on a 30 day long ski traverse, and I would say the longer you are away the more perspective you get and the more you can keep that connectivity and presence when returning to civilization. On an extended trip like that you just kinda get into this daily rhythm, almost into a meditative state that just happens naturally, and when returning to reality you feel liberated and recharged.
Tell us about your favourite hikes and skis!
Hike: Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park. High alpine lakes, beautiful flower meadows surrounded by glaciers and rugged peaks, with options to hike and scramble some of them without any technical equipment, it really is a paradise for hikers!
Ski: Icefall Lodge, on the western slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Its one of my absolute favourite destinations for backcountry skiing. Big glaciated terrain with the characteristics of the Rocky Mountains but with a deep Selkirk snowpack makes it the best of the both worlds.
Hike: Kungsleden (The Kings Trail) is a beautiful journey that takes you through the Scandinavian Mountain Range, approximately 440km long from south to north. You can choose to hike sections of the trail, and most of it have huts situated along the way. The most popular part of the trail passes by the foot of Swedens highest peak, Kebnekaise, where you have the options to climb to the summit.
Ski: Lyngen Alps in Northern Norway. The unique concept of skiing from the summit to sea, snow-covered peaks surrounded by deep fjords, midnight sun, and incredible scenery, what more can you ask for!