It's still dark, but the alarm yells at us to get out of bed. It is 6 a.m. on Dec. 21, the winter solstice and, according to the Mayan Calendar, the end of the world as we know it. I've come to Valhalla Mountain Touring, a backcountry ski touring lodge located deep in the Canadian Selkirks, with photographer Garrett Grove, splitboarder Liz Daley and skier Caroline Gleich.
After five days of breaking waist-deep snow, my body is sore and exhausted. On this morning, I begin to wonder if the world ended and we are the last people left. The snow continues to fall in the early morning light, covering up yesterday's tracks.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla is the great hall of Odin, the eternal dwelling of warriors who have died in battle. If life has ceased, I hope that I may share my eternity within the walls and snow-covered trees of these mountains. We spend our days shredding waist-deep powder and our evenings relaxing in wood-fire saunas and resting in the lodge's big leather chairs.
All of us are in agreement that if the world has ended and we are the last people on earth, this is the place to spend eternity.