Learn about the importance of relaxation as part of a healthy lifestyle. De-stress and improve your health by relaxing.

Creative Ways to Mother Yourself

Next Mother’s Day, we invite you to think of the word mother as a verb (“to mother”), versus a noun. Why? Mothering transcends the female–you’re mothered by anyone (or thing) who offers you acceptance, nourishment, instruction, and empowerment.

By detaching motherhood from any particular person, you’ll begin to notice where you could personally use more mothering. Ask yourself when you feel unlovable or disgusting, empty or needy, stupid or ignorant, helpless or incapable. Clear answers hint you need to patch yourself together a new kind of mother that nurtures your unmet needs.

Mothering Can Come from Nourishing Experiences Too

Mountain Trek is not your stereotypical mother, but we mother regardless. We provide a safe and healthful environment, teach the important rules and roles of life through our lectures on stress, detox, sleep, nutrition and fitness, and we meet your emotional needs with our empathy.

The Mountain Trek program provides a space for you to not only feel deeply mothered but to seek out the mothering you may be lacking. After my week in the program, I learned nature is my mother, and that hiking is the mothering I need; exploring trails enriches my soul in a way I’ve never before felt. The trees wake up my mind. The rivers refresh my soul.

This isn’t to say I won’t be celebrating my biological mother this weekend; rather, I’ll also be celebrating the many ways in which we are all uniquely mothered. I’ll be celebrating nourishing foods, the open spaces we play in, and the soft blankets we swaddle ourselves in with a book. I’ll be celebrating the fluidity of motherhood, and the gift we have to see mothering as more than a trait of female humans.

Kirkland Shave, Mountain Trek’s Program Director, says, “When we’re on the treadmill of life, we lose track of the wounded child in each of us, and we need to take a break to not only acknowledge our unmet needs, but to reflect on how we can self-care.” He continues, “The need to be mothered doesn’t disappear with age, and the real work is done when we learn how to parent ourselves.”  

Top two ways of mothering oneself in adulthood:

  1. Play and wonder. Open your senses through new tastes and activities. Experience what it’s like to try something for the first time again. Take a ballroom dancing class, or try that funky-colored fruit you always bypass.
  2. Free your emotions. Deeply connect with yourself by letting go of the notion that adults should always be strong and unaffected. The Stiff Upper Lip syndrome only leads to disconnection, and disconnection only leads to feeling lost and neglected. Laugh, cry, go in for energy-releasing body work treatments: do whatever you need to do to tap into your raw feelings.  

As the grandfather of a toddler, Kirkland feels mothered when he’s playing with his grandson. Making forts out of pillows and towers out of blocks, he’s able to nurture his creativity and connect with his desire to live boundlessly.

Other ways to mother yourself are by:

  • Creating a comforting bedtime routine
  • Taking a break from social media (because the unfair comparisons are driving you nutso)
  • Getting fresh air daily
  • Eating nourishing foods
  • Meditating
  • Saying nice, encouraging things to yourself in the mirror
  • Doing puzzles, and other mind-challenging activities
  • Keeping cozy comforts easily-accessible, like a basket of fuzzy socks by the door for when you take your shoes off upon returning home
  • Journaling, in a free-flowing stream-of-consciousness style
  • Listening to uplifting music
  • Making yourself a nice drink (hot chocolate! ginger tea! sparkling lemonade!) and sipping it slowly
  • Planning a special one-on-one date with yourself
  • Building a cozy fort to relax in, equipped with a book, movie, snacks, you name it   

I mother, you mother, he mothers, she mothers, we mother, they mother. The ocean mothers, and the mountains mother. Pets mother, and travel mothers. Look beyond the female who raised you to acknowledge all the different ways you are mothered and can be mothered. Open yourself up to new perspectives and opportunities, and embrace the ability to meet your needs in a myriad of ways. Seek comfort in the potential. You are not alone. You are not stuck.

To realize a new kind of mothering, book your stay with Mountain Trek. Our program will uncover a new ability within you to grow, to heal, and to show up for your life as fully as you can.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:


Extra Mountain Trek Services Form

Extra Services Form

In addition to the services already included in your program, we offer additional treatments and sessions to enhance your stay. Please fill out the form below prior to your stay if you’d like to add anything to your experience.

Important to note:

Scheduling is based on specialist availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to accommodate all extra service requests.

If you have already requested extra services, submitting this form will amend the selected services only. If a different service was previously requested, it will remain unchanged. Please email if you need assistance or want to review what services you currently have requested.


  • Support your individual healing needs with a therapeutic massage. Engage your mind and body, while focusing your session on chronic areas of contraction or pain, while releasing muscle knots and fascia, liberating joints and mobility.
  • Traditional Thai Massage performed fully clothed on a floor mat and incorporating a combination of deep tissue acupressure and yoga-like stretching. Encouraging lymphatic function, this therapeutic offering will also detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system, and prevent injury.
  • An alternative medicine modality in which extremely fine needles are used to help relieve pain and inflammation in the body by stimulating the release of chemicals and the body's natural healing process. *Acupressure can be used upon request instead of needles.
  • A 50-minute, private session with our Registered Nutritionist, Jenn. Health questions and concerns are reviewed, physical, emotional and lifestyle factors discussed and recommendations given. Please bring a 7-day food diary.
  • Enjoy a personalized session focusing on creating your own take-home routine, or deepening your current practice.
  • An anti-aging and mineral-rich nourishing facial treatment.
  • Enjoy a private session with our Registered Clinical Counsellor, Michelle. Whether you’re working through a life transition, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, grief, addiction, or issues relating to self image and self confidence, these client-centered counseling sessions are an opportunity to slow down, become clear and find ways to resolve current concerns or issues from the past that interfere with living fully in the present.
  • During a 50-minute consultation, Dr. O’Brien will review your health history to assess for the underlying cause of your symptoms and health concerns. You will leave with a personalized strategy to maximize your health.
  • Optional Naturopathic Health Consultation Addons: Please Note: the above Naturopathic Health Consultation is required to request any of the following. Additionally, all testing is done in the States so prices are in USD.
  • Food sensitivities can cause fatigue, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, sinus congestion, headaches, joint pain and skin concerns. Test your immune reactivity to over 120 foods via a simple finger-prick blood test during this session. You will receive a detailed laboratory report of your food reactions, which will be reviewed with you during a 30-minute phone follow-up consultation.
  • This test provides comprehensive evaluation of estrogen and its metabolites, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, dopamine, adrenaline, melatonin and more. This test is suitable for both men and women, and is especially helpful to pinpoint the cause of anxiety, insomnia, PMS or menopausal symptoms, fatigue, anxiety and weight gain. Includes a 30-minute phone follow-up consultation.
  • This test provides a comprehensive assessment of thyroid function. It measures thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, T3) as well as screening for autoimmune reactivity. It also screens for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which may be making it difficult for you to lose weight. Includes a 20-minute follow-up phone consultation.
  • This comprehensive test is paramount to help us pinpoint the cause of digestive symptoms, bloating, skin concerns, autoimmune conditions and more by providing us with a detailed assessment of your gastrointestinal health. Through advanced laboratory analysis, we are able to evaluate your key markers of digestion, absorption and inflammation in addition to measuring for bacterial imbalances, yeast overgrowth and parasites. Includes a 20-minute follow-up phone consultation.
  • Includes all tests and 2.5 total hours of consultation time with Dr. Kimberley (50-minutes in person at Mountain Trek and the remainder via phone or video-based consultations once you return home).

  • Involves applied pressure to meridian points on the feet to promote the clearing of energetic pathways and deep relaxation for the whole body. A real treat for your aching feet.

2019 Mountain Trek Schedule Updates

As Sir Isaac Newton taught us, a body in motion stays in motion. At Mountain Trek, we believe this not only applies to the human body, but our program as well. We must constantly seek novel methods to improve the offering—that’s the only way we will continue to help you improve your health. While this often means reading hours of scientific journals, attending conferences, or consulting with some of the best doctors and practitioners in health, this also means listening intently to our previous guests. And thanks to your feedback, we’re excited to announce that the award-winning Mountain Trek program is getting even better for 2019.

Introducing Restorative Wednesday

After three full days of the Mountain Trek program, you’ve earned some well-earned R&R. Wednesday’s schedule will focus on taking the necessary time to restore, both inside and out. With a newly built bridge by Program Director (and former Park Ranger), Kirk, we will hike a wonderful trail directly from the lodge, affording ample time the rest of the day to relax, recover, recalibrate, and reflect.

New Hiking Trail—Cedar Creek Historical Trail

Hiking British Columbia

Mountain Trek has built a new bridge, opening up the Cedar Creek Historical Trail

After a bridge replacement last autumn over the cascading waters of Cedar Creek, and a reopening of the original Miner’s Trail, we are happy to offer a commute-less fitness hike direct from the lodge. Some alumni may well remember the old trail, but an additional section has been added to offer stellar views of the Purcell Mountains and shimmering Kootenay Lake. Not only is it an excellent workout for cardio improvement and fat burn, but the mining relics and expansive views make it a new winner!

Mountain Trek Hikes British columbia Fitness Retreat

Hike directly from the lodge to this vista overlooking beautiful Kootenay Lake

Cooking Classes with Chef Simon

Healthy cooking chef

Learn to cook like Chef Simon Vine

Join Chef Simon to learn new culinary skills and Mountain Trek recipes. Growing up in a mainly vegetarian household in Vancouver, Simon was exposed to a wide range of cuisines and ingredients. At Mountain Trek, Chef Simon has developed a style of his own, blending different ethnic influences while maintaining a distinctively West Coast flavor. His food is at once balanced and bold, light and intensely flavourful.


Mindfulness Grass Walk

Mindfulness Grass Walk for Stress Reduction

Reduce stress and increase focus by doing a mindfulness grass walk at Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa in British Columbia, Canada

Walking Meditation is a common tool in the Buddhist tradition, where practitioners walk barefoot on the grass, bringing the mind’s attention to the mechanical placement of the foot and the sensations felt by reawakening the millions of nerves on the bottom of the feet—which have been turned off by decades of imprisonment in shoes. Brain science has shown that going barefoot fires more neurons in the brain and this practice can even reverse early onset of dementia and improve libido…not to mention help us feel like a wild child again! Join Program Director Kirk for approximately 15 minutes to explore this optional exercise.

Sensoral Integration (Nature Bathing) Session

Sensoral Integration (Nature Bathing) at Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa in British Columbia, Canada

Sensoral Integration (Nature Bathing) can reduce stress and increase happiness

Sensoral Integration is the practice of sitting in deep nature and bringing one’s mental focus to each of the 5 senses, noticing as much information as possible. For example, what do we see close, far, peripherally, in the shadows and shapes and the various hues?… then what do we smell? This ‘dropping’ deeply into our senses is an effective practice to control stress levels when we are over stimulated through constant bombardment in our urban setting. The result is the enrichment of the ‘feel good’ hormones and lowering of our stress hormones. Join Program Director Kirk for approximately 15 minutes to explore this optional exercise.

Experience the New Schedule

If you feel like it’s not only your body composition that you’re constantly battling, but your stress levels too, it’s time you experienced the updated Mountain Trek Program. Rediscover and redefine your health.

We’d love to have you join us this year. Email us ( to receive an updated program schedule or to start planning your visit.

Adventure Trek Guest Travel Information Form

We look forward to seeing you on this Adventure Trek!

Please fill out your travel information below. This information is necessary for our records to help ensure the Trek runs smooth. Thank you.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Guest Information Form

Information Form

Please fill out the form below prior to your stay. This information allows us to offer you a highly personalized and transformative experience.

Please note: this form is specific for you and your booking.

What’s so hot about hot springs? 5 Reasons to go for a soak

Hot springs are full-steam ahead on being the #1 luxury that vacationers prioritize when picking their holiday destination. Why? Not only are they great for post-ski socializing, they work wonders for your body, physically and mentally. Japan and Europe have known about the healing powers of hot springs for thousands of years, but Canada is also home to some of the best sources of balneotherapy–the therapeutic use of water for relieving pain, stress, skin woes and more.

Our lodge in British Columbia is fortunate enough to be located in Ainsworth, home of a large healing hot spring pool that was first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples, who recuperated in the hot water after a long day of hunting, fishing, and gathering roots and berries. Mountain Trek guests have unlimited access to this marvel of nature during their stay, and here’s why it’s important to take advantage of soaking in the hot mineral waters.

What is a hot spring?

A hot spring is an all-natural body of water that is warmed geothermally. One way to classify a hot spring is that it must be well above the temperature of the surrounding earth, and usually hot springs hover around the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark. The temperature of a given hot spring depends on the heat supplied at depth (sometimes from a magma chamber), the rate at which the water flows, and if there is a mixture of cooler groundwater into the flow of hot water.

Where are they found?

Hot springs truly are the world’s original spa – interestingly, the term ‘spa’ originates from the town of Spa, Belgium, made famous for its hot springs. Typically, hot springs are found where there is volcanic activity or magma chambers, or where there are fault lines in the Earth.

Therapeutic Benefits

Hot springs have an especially high mineral content, because heated water can hold more dissolved solids. This means they contain everything from calcium, magnesium, silica, lithium, and even radium. In other words, they’re a multivitamin for the skin. The heat in hot springs envelopes and helps soothe aching muscles, and the minerals present in the water get soaked up by the skin, stimulating certain bodily processes.

Here’s how the combination of these minerals and the hot water help us:

Musculoskeletal problems: Documented in Chinese and Japanese history, hot springs have been used to aid with swollen joints, arthritis, muscle fatigue, ligament damage, and more.

Eczema: Chronically dry, flaky skin, otherwise known as eczema, is a skin condition that affects up to 15% of Americans and Canadians. Regularly soaking in hot springs has been found to reduce eczema itching and redness.

Nasal Congestion: The heat of the water, combined with sulphur, makes for a winning way to combat nasal congestion caused by the common cold, allergies, or even chest congestion.

Circulation: Sodium bicarbonate and calcium found in mineral hot springs help with good circulation in the body. This can have numerous positive impacts, including lowering blood pressure. The weightlessness that comes with floating in the water also helps improve circulation.

Relaxation: Never to be underestimated, is the power of de-stressing and relaxation. A stressed state can lead to all kinds of health complications, such as high blood pressure, depression, and an increase in the output of the stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is released in stress-induced doses, our hormones are thrown off balance, which affects our mood, immune system and metabolism. Long story short, if you’d like a faster metabolism and the ability to shed those pesky pounds, you’ve got to make sure your hormones are balanced.

In regards to the different minerals in hot springs and how they help our health, here’s the lowdown:

  • Magnesium: aids with clear complexion, and healthy-looking skin
  • Potassium: eliminates toxins and promotes healthy skin
  • Sodium: decreases inflammation in swollen joints, and can help the lymphatic system
  • Sulphur: helps with respiratory problems and skin inflammations

Don’t hesitate another moment–hurry over to a healing hot spring; the rewards you’ll reap are thoroughly worth it. Or, come visit us and use ours!

Why There’s No Caffeine At Mountain Trek

The short answer? The Mountain Trek program seeks to balance your hormones for optimal health. For most people, caffeine increases cortisol — and cortisol negatively impacts your metabolism.

Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and it operates inversely to DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) — the “youth” or “rejuvenating hormone.” DHEA builds muscle, burns calories, and lowers inflammation. Cortisol is released when the body perceives that it needs to be in flight-or-fight mode, which results in muscle loss, bone density loss, calorie storage, and chronic inflammation (the body uses its own muscle stores to be ready for extreme exertion and stores as many calories as possible to prepare for any possible famine or lack of readily available nutrients).

The Mountain Trek Program is designed specifically to rebalance these two crucial metabolic hormones in order to get your body into a state of growth metabolism (burning calories, building muscle) as opposed to decay metabolism (muscle loss, calorie storage). If your hormones aren’t balanced, you won’t be able to get deep sleep or achieve your ideal body composition of muscle-to-fat. Unbalanced hormones are one of the core reasons that people can’t seem to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or “muffin top”).

Most North Americans are experiencing long-term, heightened levels of cortisol: between high work stress, lack of vacation time, inadequate sleep, and many more daily stressors, our systems are entirely overloaded. That’s why we cut out caffeine at Mountain Trek — not because caffeine is evil or bad, but because it’s one quick way to immediately reduce cortisol.
Eliminating caffeine is just part of our induction, and helps rebalance and reset the body’s hormones. We certainly don’t expect people to remove caffeine from their lives altogether — but for our induction phase, it’s important for resetting hormones to their ideal balance. During the program, you’ll learn about the best and healthiest ways to incorporate caffeine into your regimen.

If you’re ready for the full experience, join us at our health, wellness and stress retreat — we’ve just announced rates and dates for 2019! Click here to plan your trip.

How To Prioritize Sleep

Did you know that humans are the only mammals that don’t prioritize sleep above all else. This is the time when your body and brain rest and reboot, and healthy sleep is crucial for long-term health and vitality. It’s as important as nutrition and fitness, but is usually the first thing that falls off our priority list.

At Mountain Trek, we predict that within ten years most North American workplaces will offer employees a dedicated place to sleep during workdays. Companies like Google, Zappos, and PricewaterhouseCoopers already offer their employees nap opportunities. Employers are getting more and more serious about optimizing work environments to support their workforce and with good reason. The U.S. loses $411 billion per year due to lost productivity from sleep deprivation. Taking a nap sometime between noon and 4 pm lowers cortisol and improves focus. Smart leaders understand that by creating an opportunity to nap, they’ll get more out of their employees than a 3 p.m. coffee could ever offer.

So, where do you start? Change can be overwhelming: no devices in the bedroom, limiting alcohol, keep your room at 60 degrees Fahrenheit — it can feel impossible to implement all of that at once. Our easy process below will get you on a path to sustainable sleep health.

3 Steps to Healthy Sleep

Step 1: Evening Journal

Before you try to change anything, first you should observe your evening ritual. Journaling is beneficial for all sorts of reasons. In this instance, it will help you identify patterns you may not know you have. Every night for a week, jot down how you spent your evening. What time you arrived home from school, work, or errands, how long it took to cook and clean up dinner, and your evening leisure activities. Did you have a glass of wine or a beer? A big meal late in the evening? For one week, do nothing but log and reflect.

Step 2: Identify the Lowest Hanging Fruit

The next step is to analyze the results of your sleep log. Do you spend more time watching Netflix than you’d have guessed? Is dinner an ordeal that takes 90 minutes when all is said and done? Identify which factors contribute to getting in bed later and write a solution for each. For example:

  • Dinner takes more than an hour every night. Each Sunday, I’ll prepare and freeze two dinners for myself and my family in order to cut down on labor time.
  • My two favorite shows are both on Tuesday evenings. In order to cut down on screen time, I’ll record one of those shows and watch it the next day.
  • My job is stressful, and I usually have 2-3 glasses of wine per night to unwind. I’ll download a meditation app, and for 3 nights per week, I’ll meditate for 10 minutes instead of going for the Pinot.

Step 3: Choose No More Than Two Evening Activities to Change & Adjust

One pitfall of habit formation is that people try to do too much too fast. Which results in failure, feeling shame for that failure, and abandonment of the entire goal. Keep your habit formation goals simple, and make sure it’s something you know that you can commit to. 

We recommend choosing no more than two of the items are on your list to implement. If you can successfully change those actions, then great! Add another two on. However, to start, only choose two that you are 100% confident you can accomplish. Keep the journal you started, noticing how the 1-2 changes your making affects your mood, energy, and appetite levels.

These three manageable steps to prioritize sleep help you make reasonable, long-lasting change. For most of us, the stress of our jobs, families, and lives can contribute to short and shallow sleep — but by being mindful of your evening activities, you can gradually make a big impact on your sleep health.

Sleep is one of Mountain Trek’s core pillars of health. Need a whole-body reset? Come join us for gorgeous trekking, digital detox, and healthy, deep sleep.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

Why You Should Take Your Next Wellness Trip Solo

Photo Jun 13, 12 04 04 PM

Solo wellness travel is growing in popularity. As individuals realize the value of recharging alone, and without all the responsibilities of home to bring with them. This is something we’ve long known and treasured at Mountain Trek: the return to the self while spending time in deep nature. Check out the top three reasons why you should take your next wellness trip in blissful solitude.

Finally, A Real Vacation

We all know that a family vacation doesn’t always feel like a vacation — especially if you’re generally the planner of your crew. Your mind, body, and spirit crave (and deserve) true relaxation and release. With all the worry of getting everyone organized and on time, reservations and excursions, big dinners out, and early mornings with the little ones, even exotic vacations can be overwhelming

You deserve a real vacation, where you can gently let go of all your daily responsibilities and truly recharge. Find peace of mind, mental, digital, and physical detox, and you’ll come back totally renewed.

Restorative Power of Time Spent Alone in Nature

Our busy, urban lives exhaust the body and mind. At home, we’re surrounded by noise, activity, and digital devices. You won’t believe the difference a week away, surrounded by fresh air, gorgeous scenery and lots of good physical activity can do to counteract that stress.

Time spent immersed in nature has been proven to lower blood pressure, blood glucose levels and stress hormones. This life philosophy is a cornerstone of our approach to wellness at Mountain Trek: in the program, we spend at least four hours per day outside (preferably more) in order to reap the maximum benefit of the soothing, restorative power of the outdoors. Most of this time is spent in relative quiet, as we hike around The Kootenays and focus on our personal experiences.

Self-Discovery & Contemplation

Removed from your responsibilities and able to devote a full week to yourself, you’ll find that Mountain Trek is a place for self-discovery and contemplation. Many guests join us specifically at a time in their lives when they need to focus on a next step, or process something that’s recently occurred. At The Lodge, you’ll find like-minded explorers and travelers on similar journeys (80% of our guests are solo travelers); and this invaluable time spent to take a step back often serves as a crucial turning point for people on their own wellness, emotional and spiritual journeys.

For women solo travelers, Mountain Trek can be an empowering, courageous act of self-care. Sometimes what we really need to grow is to experience something alone — something that might intimidate us.

Taking a solo wellness trip is the ultimate act of self-care and will recharge and refresh you in a truly life-changing way. Haven’t traveled solo yet? Make this year the year you add it to your annual self-care regimen and watch how your life unfolds with more clarity and intention. Ready to reinvigorate your life?

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

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