Dept of Perpetual Optimism

Houstonians, Reclaim Your New Year's Resolution Canadian-Style

The Bayou City and British Columbia: a match made in holistic heaven

By Scott Vogel January 17, 2019

Later this spring, if all goes well, I will have much more to say about an utterly unique spa in British Columbia called Mountain Trek that you need to know about now. I say this not because I think you’re fat—let’s just say you could stand to hit the gym more, and leave it at that—or because a number of your fellow Houstonians swear by it, although they do. I tell you this now because we are smack dab in the middle of failed resolution season, also known as the darkest days of winter. Still, don’t give up hope yet!

It has now been over three months since I myself made the trek to Spokane,Washington, then boarding a bus for the four-hour bus to the tiny town of Ainsworth, just over the Canadian border. It is there, in the relatively remote Selkirk Mountains, that Houstonians have spent their springs, summers and falls, some of them since the days when Mountain Trek—which opened in 1999—was a rather traditional fat farm.

These days, it is nothing short of a comprehensive, weeklong reset button, a place for deeply rethinking one’s diet, exercise regimen, sleep protocols, nutrition, cortisol enablers and much more. Under the direction of Kirkland Shave, Mountain Trek’s guru, the facility—a beautifully rustic lodge that sits astride Kootenay Lake—offers a perfect escape from the same old routine even as it fills your days with hours-long hikes through breathtaking Canadian scenery, rigorous workouts and yoga in its studio, daily lectures packed with smart tips on escaping the trappings of modern life, and gourmet meals that somehow meet a 1,400-calorie per diem allotment (1,200 for women).

Mountain Trek's regimen includes a healthy dose of down time--and you've never needed it more.

If it all sounds a bit, um, onerous for a vacation, perhaps it’s time you rethought what it is you’d truly like to vacate—namely those habits of mind and body preventing you from achieving whatever physical, emotional and/or spiritual goals present on your psychic bucket list. After seven days at Mountain Trek, I myself broke no fewer than three bad habits that had long plagued me, and while of course your own mileage may vary, it seems likely that most everyone who can afford the asking price (currently $5,400), will emerge from Mountain Trek with more than a lighter wallet. Indeed, you may well leave with that most priceless of acquisitions, a new attitude, that and a healthy respect for your body and all it is capable of.

And there is a final reason I am telling you about this now: your fellow Houstonians are already booking in earnest for the 2019 season, which begins on April 27 and runs through early October. Those in need of more immediate intervention, meanwhile, should consider MT’s brand-new partnership with the Hotel Domestique in the South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, commencing in February. Shave and his merry band of holistic disruptors plan to decamp there each winter, bringing with them the same time-tested and Houstonian-approved program of physical and mental wellbeing they perfected in the Great White North.

Visit Mountain Trek’s website to reclaim your resolution today.

Weeklong stays at Mountain Trek’s British Columbia lodge run from Saturday to Saturday in 2019, April through October. There will also be two weeklong sessions held in South Carolina next month, although only the February 16-23 session was available at press time. 

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