Powder Matt is hooked on Powder! Skiing has been part of his life for 40yrs! From ski racing to backcountry touring there is not a part of skiing that he does not like- in fact he will often say that spending a day in the mountains ‘Life is good when you do what you enjoy’ or refer you to his motto Eat.Sleep.Ski . He has been working in the Ski Resort business for over 20 years.
What is an incredible outdoor story you can share with us? (we want to hear lots of your stories and lessons learned from them)
First I am truly grateful to be able to share my stories. When I share stuff like inspirations – please understand it is not to preach or teach as it is good for me too. Every step is learning. We are one big tree- with roots connecting us all!
Today’s media is filled with bad stories. We get soaked in this madness. I am all about trying my best to change that tide and to stand tall with JOY. Sharing Goodness to give the boot to the bad. Like the Golden Spruce. It is all about Hope. Renewal. Strength. Everyone can stand tall. Everyone can be Bold. Everyone is unique and special in their own way. No one like YOU. You have something good to share and so you must do that. Like a tree branch, hands together now for making this place a better place. High fives.
When you go dark. You learn. Learn about yourself. You learn what matters in your life. It can be scary too. But you have real friends off-line if you just spend togethering with them more. I am co-founder of event called Disconnect to Connect at Assiniboine Lodge, with this amazing person, Jim Button, who is fighting horrible cancer. Jim is a story of goodness and strength as he fights his disease with pure joy, family, friends and relentless positivity. We feel today’s digital barrage and Nature deficit (lack of outdoor time) deserve more attention as both leading us down a destructive path. We are not against technology but we are for wise use and taking #TimeOuts from use. Too much screen time frazzles your brain and makes it really tough to process what is going on in your daily life, let alone takes you away from the real, warm and heart-felt time of eye to eye goodness with those who matter in your life. Join us as we bring back old school block parties, camp-outs under starry skies and in short, humans gathering outside to share joy together!
When you get chased by a Grizzly Bear. Is this it. The end. Life changes. You reflect on what matters.
Panic sets in. Anxiety attacks happen. I learned to dig in deep with those I love for support. I learned how to meditate and I do a daily 10 minute Grateful chant. Learn how to calm that hamster wheel of life and dis-engage. Rest matters and sleep is vital. I also howl with my dog. You should play with your pack too. You don’t need or want a bear attack to get closer to Nature and your friends/family. But it has made me more humble, respectful and feel tremendously grateful for life. Make every step count. Every step matters. Tomorrow is too late.
Teaching Hollywood to ski – I get asked tons about this. Yes it did happen. we did coach the cast of Hollywood blockbuster Inception, like Tom Hardy and Ellen Page, Leo and more in skiing. BTW both Tom and Ellen are super fun and wonderful people. But they are the same as us. no difference. they are just like you and i. We all can do what is stirring inside of us. But we let fear or other reasons stand in the way. While some people may say- go find your passion. What is that? Simply something inside – stirring, something inside that brings you joy or that you think you might enjoy. I say Just try. start making first steps. Say yours is art. Go get the paint and brushes and start. Then reach out to local coffee shop to display your art, and have them share your story. Keep on adding value in everything you do and be proud of what you do. It may not be your best when you start but you can’t be your best if you don’t start. You’ll have set backs, but if you like art you will conquer them through relentlessly making your art. Haters too. Don’t engage them but keep on growing. Love those who love you. Always be moving forward. Doors don’t open when you are not moving.
Take NFL pro-bowler, super bowl winner on a whitewater river journey. Don’t stop paddling. River right. Listen, look, be thoughtful or the river will take you down. Care for your crew. Your crew matters. This big wonderful person shared with me his care and joy for his crew and outside time. We share the outdoors as a place to grow, learn, connect and refresh. Don’t ever take it for granted and always appreciate nature’s gift.
Movie mogul weirdness happens. I am Standing in line at the Sundance Film Festival and this older person (major Hollywood producer) with a young crew comes up to talk and asks me to join in the launch of his latest banger. All ages matter, all types matter. Value the differences that enrich lives and the many common values we share. I see it as life Potluck, where we gather, share, enrich and support each other. We need community. We all want to be part of something and have meaningful connections. Let’s have more inter-generational Potlucks and collaborate to make this place better.
Summer or winter (because we hear you like powder)? Which one wins? And why?
Hey my name is Powder. So lets spray some flakes of winter together. Winter is fresh and some think it can be harsh too. I find that harsh to be more refresh. Winter tests me and I like to test myself against what it can throw at me. I snow-bath. What’s that….like forest bathing but colder. I take my clothes off and play in the snow until I can’t take it anymore. No warm up baby. Just me frothing around in flakes trying to be stronger inside. I continue to chase flakes around the world but always return to the Powder Highway of British Columbia- a place filled with passionate people and big mountains. Its pretty rad.
Surf or ski?
You got me here. How did you know. I like surfing but I am horrible at it. Surfing kicks my ass. Maybe that’s why I surf. But more importantly is that youth-filled energy of nature so raw and wild. Ski don’t worry I am not dissing you- always my bestie
Is it hard being an epic dog dad?
It is a real gift. My dog. crazy dog love. my fur pal. Total buddies we do everything together. He loves powder too. You learn so much about humans from dogs. they have so much goodness to share and we can learn from that. They are so emotionally connected and that is something I am constantly learning – how to be more connected to feelings and respect for others feelings.
When can you consider yourself a “hiker”?
Right now. one step or 10,000 and you are a hiker. Most important is to take those steps and get some outside time each day. Make time – even if only have 10 minutes and take a hike. Benefit from the calm, collect your thoughts and even inspirations can come more freely during this time.
What inspires you to get outdoors?
Being humbled. Feeling small is so good for you. You appreciate everything else in your life when you spend wilderness time. Connecting in a more electrifying way with others outside. You have to trust others on your rope team. You gain confidence every step. You can’t give up. Respect for Mother Nature.
What keeps you inspired / motivated to keep trying new things outside? Especially when you’ve done so much.
Nature is always changing. Every trip is different. I love my backyard and so fortunate to spend time in and around the communities of Golden, B.C., Kimberley, B.C. and Fernie , B.C. But also love my adventures in Tofino, Smithers, Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Atlin and more. From the Wild West coast to the Powder Highway to forgotten trails and peaks of the Northern BC, there is always some way cool place to go here. Make plans. It gives you something to look forward to. Can be as simple as going to your local park. You need to schedule it or it will not happen.
What inspired you to try new things in university? / HS?
Crazy joy always came from doing wild stuff. Never become stale. Always be mixing it up. Try new adventures. Be learning everyday. Always help others. Always share kindness. All doors opened for me came from being in a positive and helpful state. You get what you give. It is not the years in your life but the Life in your Years. I climbed one of the highest peaks in the US when I was 14, I worked on commercial fishing boat in the Bering Sea half way to Russia when I was still in high school, and I travelled in a camper van down the coast of Mexico to wind-surf for months before I even graduated to name a few of my crazy high-school adventures. Don’t get me started on University. There is no certainty today. Use to be you got good grades in High School and then went to a good University, graduated and had a job for the rest of your life. No more. But that’s ok. Embrace that there is no certainty and that you can do what you want today. So its ok to not take the usual path. Maybe trades school, or you want to be an artist. Just start doing what you want to do. As you got this. It is your path and be stoked about it- everyday.
Why is it important for youth today to get outdoors?
For the obvious health benefit for sure but for me it would be the wellness and self development. The calm and refresh is so badly needed to counter-act the side effects of over-device time. Self confidence – believing in yourself- nature provides a massive playing field to develop this. Start hiking – hey we made that 5km! Stoked to feel the inner goodness of I did this. Camping outside, visit your local park, take a walk, go for a swim, skinny dip too! learn outdoor skills, take a course from your local outdoor club or university. Get educated and then head out. Check out #MappyHourYYC as I brought this to Canada as way to share the outdoors but there are so many free and low cost ways to get outside and to learn outdoor travel skills – both summer and winter
Where do you get your energy from? (you’re always so fired up! It’s awesome!)
Craft coffee. Just kidding. I take care of myself. Eat good energy food. Get tons of rest. Get outside everyday. don’t drink too much. Challenge my mind daily and push my self to not get stale or old. Growth mindset. Wonder and wander. Being well loved- so grateful for my amazing family and friends. Share Joy. Share Love. Care. Respect. Always.