An invitation is at the heart of our outdoor exploration. We believe that invitation makes all the difference. “I Am, Because You Are,” is a story about how a healthy community in the outdoors can help us go further than we ever dreamed of on our own.

“I Am Because You Are” follows the journey of six women of colour as they embark on their first mountaineering trip in the beautiful and rugged Bugaboos. The plan was for a summer trip with the opportunity to learn foundational mountain skills from their guides, but up until the last minute the trip was almost canceled due to historic levels of spring snow. Despite the group having mixed levels of experience with backpacking or camping in the snow, the crew decides to come together, pack their bags and take on the adventure with trust in their guides.

“I Am, Because You Are” challenges the narrative when it comes to creating a culture of equity and inclusion in mountaineering. It shows how we can work together to reduce barriers, create opportunities and extend the invitation.

Mountaineering narratives often focus on conquest, personal victory, and have long excluded diverse faces and stories.

So we wanted to tell a different kind of story. One that is already happening all around us if only you could be there to see it happening. A community that is forming with a different kind of spirit. Not of competition or conquest, but one of togetherness. We are telling a story that aspiring adventurers can look up to and see their own faces and fears represented in.

Join a six-member crew from the Colour the Trails community as they attend their first-ever mountaineering trip. Exploring the traditional lands of the Ktunaxa, Shushwap, and Sinixt Nations, also known as the Bugaboos. In summer with historic levels of snowpack, this crew heads out for 5 days to experience a taste of mountaineering. Many of the members have little to no experience ever going backpacking, let alone camping on snow.

This community set out to challenge the traditional narrative of mountaineering through the long-standing African tradition of Ubuntu, which translates “I am, Because you are”.

Ubuntu is that nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness: humanity, you and me and our natural world. While drawing on this notion of interconnectedness of all life. Throughout this story you get to travel right alongside the team members, and see them face fears in a way that is reliant on those they are traveling with. See what it looks like to challenge yourself in a healthy way with experienced guidance. We believe that the spirit of this story will continue to help shape a different way of thinking about how we do community in outdoor spaces.

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