(This story is sponsored by Arc’teryx.)
British Columbia in winter is one of the most magical places on earth. The snow casts its spell over the landscape turning it into a rugged and beautiful wilderness, eager to be explored. No matter how much we prepare for the winter season, there is nothing quite like the sheer exhilaration of standing atop the mountain, anticipating our first run.
Skiing and snowboarding give us the opportunity to make our mark on the land, while still being at one with nature; to be a part of a community, while embracing the solitude; to practise physical exertion while enjoying the peacefulness of mind; to find our sanctuary but exist in a vast, open space; and, to escape, while finding ourselves.
Somewhere between the contradictions, is a perfect balance which, in many ways, lends to skiing and snowboarding’s appeal. We constantly crave the thrill of our next run. And living in Vancouver, a city surrounded by mountains, we don’t have to look too far to find it.
But for those of us who love the outdoors, this time of year ignites a greater sense of adventure. And we want to know that our ski gear is going to stand up to the high expectations of our prowess on the mountain.
Arc’teryx, which started in our very own north shore, specializes in technical high-performance apparel, outerwear, and equipment, which is durable enough to withstand the very worst that Mother Nature can throw at it, and which enables and inspires those of us who live at the edge of our passions.
We dream of discovering unchartered territories with fresh pow’ where we can carve our own paths. And for the first time ever, Arc'teryx, Destination B.C., and the Northern B.C. Tourism Association are about to turn our backcountry ski and board fantasies into a reality—of sorts.
The newly launched Hut Magic allows you to be transported to the Coast Mountains near Smithers, B.C., in a virtual reality (VR) backcountry experience. British Columbia’s north is one of the province’s hidden gems offering a vast wilderness of pristine glaciers, raw rugged beauty, and untracked snow. And while the journey to northern B.C. is well worth it, we only have to travel as far as our local Arc’teryx store in Kitsilano to capture a taste of the experience.
Sounds too good to be true? Let us replace our rose-tinted spectacles with a pair of virtual reality goggles and let the magic happen. They say seeing is believing and now is your chance. Virtual reality immerses us in a completely new world through a special headset allowing us 360-degree views and little to no sensory input from the room—or one of 17 Arc’teryx stores across North America—that you’re actually in.
With the help of partnerships including Google, Hut Magic delivers a unique story-driven VR experience that captures the very essence, beauty and transformative power of B.C.’s wilderness. And according to Marsha Walden, chief executive officer of Destination B.C., it hopes this little bit of immersive mountain magic will captivate adventure seekers who live an Arc’teryx life.
“What’s incredible about Hut Magic is that you’re not just watching the action, you’re actually a character in the story,” says George Weetman, director of global consumer experience and digital commerce at Arc’teryx.
So it would seem that magic really does exist if you’re brave enough to go find it.