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Hello from Banff! 🖐

I am writing to you from my hotel room in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. What the heck am I doing here? 🤷‍♀️

Well, I’ll tell you!

Some of you may have noticed that I’m not in the field as much guiding this year. I had to take a big ol’ step back out to turn my focus on our back office and management. In making that decision I had no idea how much I would miss the tangible energy of you, our Explorer Chicks.

So, when the random idea to “crash” one of our trips popped in my head, I knew I had to make it happen.

And, boy, am I glad I did. I’ve been traveling in my camper van this summer. Doing the Great American Library Tour while changing my “backyard.” My travels took me north and it was an easy, no brainer to pop in on Explorer Chicks in Banff.

I arrived late on Day 2 after they wrapped up dinner at a local distillery. I found them wandering the streets of Banff en route to Cow Ice Cream. (As Explorer Chicks do!). I could tell instantly this group of Explorer Chicks was hitting it off! Of course, it’s easy to become a team when on Day 1 you tackle the challenging Tent Ridge trail near Canmore. Scrambling, steep scree slopes, and a hair of exposure made for a tough, but exciting day. Yeah, a little baptism by fire and killer hiker booty gains. 💪🍑 They slowed the pace on Day 2 with hiking near the iconic Lake Moraine and snapping all of those Glamour Shots.

I had the opportunity to hike with our Explorer Chicks on Day 3. We woke early for some breakfast before loading up the van to drive to Lake Louise. Yeah, there were certainly crowds, but after grabbing a few pics we started our hike up to the Plains of the 6 Glaciers Tea House. It was a lovely hike with views of the stunning Lake Louise for most of the route. Once to the Tea House, we settled in to nosh on our sammies and a smorgasbord of candies! (Thank you Annie for all your snackies!). We even hiked a little beyond the tea house for an overlook view of the lake and the Fairmount from high on a scree field.

Once back to the lake, we were a bit hot and sweaty. And, some of us cannot resist a body of water! So, we stripped off our shoes and socks for a freezing plunge into the glacier run off waters of Lake Louise! We were quite the spectacle for all the tourists lining the lake. Here we were a bunch of grown women frolicking, slipping, and laughing in the freezing water of Lake Louise! Hey, THAT IS LIVING!

We ended our day with a truly memorable dinner reached via a gondola ride. Once to the top, we were treated to 360 views of mountains high above Banff. And the food? Delectable!

This morning I had to say, “Bye.” Our Explorer Chicks are off to spend 3 days and 2 nights trekking hut to hut across glaciers in the backcountry of Banff!

Just spending a day and half with this group of bold women, I know that the next 3 days will be unforgettable, transformative, and empowering. These women never cease to inspire me. Short conversations on the trails about how they are transforming their lives – I could listen to these stories all damn day. I could feel the love and support of this group (And only 2 women were traveling together. Everyone else showed up solo!!)

The best part? Our Explorer Chick Guide Erin is kicking some serious booty as our gal in the field, so I’ve had the opportunity to really just enjoy the Explorer Chick experience. I might be a little bias, but honestly, this is the coolest f*cking company out there!

Scroll on down to see a few of my photos from the past couple days out here.

And, let’s send our posse of Explorer Chicks in the wild our good vibes for a safe, fun, BOLD adventure!

Nicki Bruckmann
Explorer Chick, Founder

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