Russell Hubert started operations at Ice Creek Lodge in 2003 having built the initial building with a partner, Shawn West, who moved on to other things early on. Since that time Russell and his wife have had a crew of hard working Friends, family and locals that share a love for the mountains helping them along through the whole process, without them this business would have never happened. Russell’s motivation to start Ice Creek Lodge was to find a way to have a life in the mountains, shred fat pow and further his skills and knowledge for traveling safely through them. Russell is a father of two, and an ACMG ski guide.
How do the back-country experiences you offer give guests a unique perspective on history, geography or culture of your region?
Our area has a rich history of trapping dating back to the late 1800’s, physical evidence still exists in the old growth forests within our tenure. The Valhalla mountains of the Southern Selkirks were named by these trappers, the Legends and Lore of Norse mythology are fascinating and incredibly appropriate. Culturally our staff speak for themselves, fun, relaxed and professional.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
We started with a bare bones lodge and built it up slow, now in its final stages of construction and15 years later we have a separate staff cabin, sauna building and a sty-lie cozy beautiful timber frame lodge.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
My wife Courtney, our office manager, she covers every detail and makes sure all our guests are prepped and organized prior to their arrival, she misses nothing. Our guests see her for only about an hour on transfer day.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider a back-country ski trip at Ice Creek Lodge?
That feeling that our guests have on the first turn or first summit of their trip, you can’t explain it, you have to experience it.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
Stand up Paddle Boarding, we are launching our grand tour package next year having run 4 trips this season to dial it in. It includes an 18km traverse of the Valhallas on foot arriving at the Lodge on the first night, trade in the Ice Axe and Crampons for Blow up Paddle Boards and follow a 9 lake chain to Slocan city 4 days and 3 nights.
What sets Ice Creek Lodge apart from other back-country lodges?
Our Staff! At Ice Creek we employ only the most professional, well trained, stoked people in the industry!
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Build a solid crew, at Ice creek Lodge rarely do we mix groups. Groups that travel with a guide for many years build a relationship within the team. You get to go more places, desires are unified and aligned with the ability of the group.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Grow slow, ditch the debt and take good care of your staff, they are the face and the stoke of your business.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
Last week we celebrated a Lady’s 66th birthday in the Alpine, it had been some time since she had been in the mountains up high. When I saw her a couple days after her trip she explained that the pain in her leg was gone, she felt better than she had in years and that it had changed her life. This is not an uncommon reaction, the mountains bring peace and health all we do is bring people to the mountains!