Purcell Mountains 2021

In 2021 I was lucky enough to participate in the Royal LePage Purcell Mountains Challenge for Shelter.

What an incredible week! What an incredible experience! Honestly, the toughest, most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I was lucky enough to be part of a group of 23 amazing new friends, plus 3 fantastic guides. We spent 6 days trekking through the northern Purcell Mountain range in B.C. We spent endless hours backpacking over mountains, high passes and ridge lines. We traversed alpine meadows, did some intense bushwhacking, and dealt with steep Heather descents, large rockslides, snow glaciers, and insane scree and talus slopes. The terrain proved overwhelming at times and made us test our physical and mental strength, and yes, there were quite a few tears shed. We fought our fears and struggled with extreme weather conditions as well as smoke, high altitude gains, dehydration, intense blisters and grizzly bears. We carried heavy packs while trying to maneuver through unforgiving terrain, arriving exhausted and emotionally spent every night at our tents.

What did we accomplish ? In total our three groups of trekkers have raised over $700,000. for Shelters across Canada. That was our why, and we are so proud.

In the process, we bonded as a team.

We helped each other, lifted each other up when needed and allowed leaning on, when required. We celebrated the highs and gave lots of hugs during the lows. We endured each and every day in honour of the victims of domestic violence that we were there to help. Each morning after hearing a poignant letter from one of the victims, read aloud by one of us, silence fell over the group, tears fell, and then after a few moments we gathered ourselves and propelled ourselves forward once more  «this is why we walk « .

I am humbled by the support of my sponsors, and friends and family that have supported me emotionally through this endeavour. I am grateful beyond words for the support and assistance of my 26 new family members. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Melody May