Trail Stories

Local Ambassador Laurie McCargar shows us how she follows #MyNature.

Before heading out the door for my “Outsiety GETTIN’ SOME SKIN on BIGGY!” event and while sipping my morning coffee, I came across someone’s Facebook post with a photo and caption that read, “Don’t be afraid of being a beginner”! At that very same moment, I was having trepidation that no one will join me on my event. I was contemplating if I should go for it anyway. Is this a sign telling me that I need to stick to my plan and skin up even if solo?  Ugghh!Inside, I was having mini tantrums because I have never skinned up alone, I wondered if I actually knew the route, and I was worried about sliding backward and feeling embarrassed; that caption entered my mind again “Don’t be afraid of being a beginner”! Okay, I decided that with company, or not, I was going to go for it!

My start was from the Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery…I took a deep breath and began the hike alone. I was relieved that no one else was starting just before me and I did not see anyone prepping to go from behind me. Right away, I forgot to unlock my heel and fell over!  Dang!  Okay, all good now and away I go!

Music was in my ears so I could relax a little.  I was doing okay with a slow but steady pace and I was actually feeling pretty optimistic about this venture.  Geez, so many people skin up daily and they are alone.  Why is doing this alone such a difficult thing?  For one, I am new to this winter sports thing, I only recently began to be more confident doing new things alone, and it seems easier to try new things with the ‘power in numbers’ factor.


I passed the first and second uphill sign, and was pleased that I escaped any ‘sliding backward’ episodes. I actually felt strong until one woman came from out of nowhere and passed me as if I was walking in place on a treadmill. Eeks! I was bummed someone passed me. I switched my focus to “just – keep – going!” I was getting tired and began wondering if I would make it to the summit before sunset! Does anyone know how many ‘uphill traffic’ signs there are anyway?

In the end, I did not make it the entire way. I am happy to say, I did make it to the top of the Toni Matt downhill route and I’m fine with that. I was stoked that I hiked alone even though I was nervous! I chose to stop when I finally succumbed to that dreaded sliding backward fear. The sliding happened 2x and, on the 2nd episode, I just sat down, locked my heels on my bindings, took my boots out of walking mode, yanked my skins off (which flew off quite easily…hmmm?), checked out the beauty of where I live and skied my way down with a smile on my face!

I hope I can inspire anyone to get past the fret of trying or beginning something new. I am often complimented with being called a ‘badass’ but I really just approach all or most things in life with an abundance of enthusiasm…NOT experience! As few as 4 years ago, I was introduced to many of the sports I do now, like mountain biking, snowshoeing, skiing, xc skiing. It is not easy to be the newbie but now I think I need at least 50 more years to get better at these sports!  Maybe I can be the 1st 100 year old professional skier? Perhaps there will be others that might join me on my next “Outsiety GETTIN’ SOME SKIN on BIGGY!” event. No matter what, “Don’t be afraid of being a beginner”!

Post by Laurie Mccargar, BadAssador

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