“When I think about how I was before I left England to move to Canada, it feels like I’m now living a completely different life. As cheesy as it sounds it’s changed me as a person. I used to be a bit of a layabout and go out drinking and partying but never did anything outdoorsy. You can’t really do that here; it’s far too beautiful to not get out there. During my first week here a friend plucked me out of my hostel and we went to hike Garibaldi. It was the end of summer and I didn’t have any equipment, jacket or shoes, I just went in some lace-up Vans. I remember getting up to the top of the hike, and it was so quiet, and I just thought it was the most insane place I’d been in my whole life.
I did my first winter hike the other day to Garibaldi again, and it was a freezing freezing cold experience. When we got to the top after about six hours we set up camp on a frozen section of the lake, dug a fire pit, drank some fireball whisky and camped there. I had the worst sleep of my life – we slept on the snow and it was so cold I covered my whole body in hand warmers. I only slept in 20-minute intervals, but when you get back from a winter hike you really feel like you’ve accomplished something. As much as I hated that sleep, the day I got back I wanted to go straight back up there.
One place I really want to go is the Yukon. I was told about this one shot they do there called ‘The Sour Toe Shot’. You basically have a human toe in the bottom of a shot glass that people donate after they drop off from frostbite. So you pick a whisky to go in the shot glass and then do the shot with the toe in. If you swallow the toe, there’s a $500 fine – so you have people who go into the bar, slam down $500 and then drink the toe straight up.”