Adventure Never Felt So Good

Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa

Jan 1, 2004
Outside Magazine

Orienteering in the Selkirks of British Columbia    Photo: Mark Gilbert

5. Mountain Trek Retreat and Health Spa
Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia

THE VIBE: With a staff-to-guest ratio of more than two to one (only 14 guests are allowed at a time), visitors to Mountain Trek, in southeastern B.C., are pampered like Sinatra in Vegas. But be warned: The staff's main job isn't performing chemical peels; it's getting your butt out the door and up the surrounding Columbia, Selkirk, and Purcell mountains. And no wonder—Mountain Trek employs a Delta Force cadre of local guides who can't wait to get out there every morning. In fact, these folks are so hardcore, they spend their precious days off ... hiking. Guests can choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced hiking groups. (Advanced boot jockeys typically trek 12-plus miles per day over 4,000 feet of elevation gain.) After the day's trek, spa-goers crash in a fully feng shui 8,000-square-foot cedar lodge located on a former fruit orchard along the banks of 90-mile-long Kootenay Lake. Though hiking is Mountain Trek's raison d'être (notice "Trek" in the name), the resort periodically follows a different path, offering weight-loss retreats, supervised fasting regimens, and other specialized programs. GUEST LIST: Energetic hikers and dieters looking to amp up their fitness program.
AWE FACTOR: Yoga and meditation on the beach of ice-blue Kootenay Lake, with the 11,000-foot Purcells as a backdrop.
TO-DIE-FOR TREATMENT: Forgo the standard three-massage-per-week package and pay $185 extra for the Zombie, an option that includes a decadent hourlong full-body Swedish massage every day.
MENU: Favorites of head chef Aaron Jeffs include tofu tarts with tomato, basil, and black olive, and banana-coconut raw-fruit flan.
HE-MAN RATING: Four grunts—six days of hardcore mountain hiking means you earn that daily rubdown.
PRICE: $2,598 per person for the seven-night mountain-hiking option, meals included
CONTACT: 800-661-5161,

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