Pemberton local hosts new mountain culture interview series

Mountain Story kicks off Jan. 23 at GLC

Former professional telemark skier and Pemberton local Naheed Henderson has had plenty of experiences in the mountains — now she’s looking to bring mountain stories into the public eye.

Henderson is the host of a new live interview series called Mountain Story, a program that delves into the lives of prominent mountain people, the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them.

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“We’re looking for the human story behind the accomplishment, the adrenaline and the accolades,” she said.

The series became a reality around nine months ago after Henderson’s long-time friend Beth Freeman approached her about a new project. Freeman had recently visited the north shore of Oahau in Hawaii and had wandered into a bar where a video interview program called Talk Story was taking place. Every week the host talked to a legendary surfer. Not being a surfer herself, Freeman was amazed at how interesting the stories were and how she was able to connect with the surfing culture.

“It was inspired by this indigenous (Hawaiian) culture of telling stories, around surfing in that case,” said Freeman, the producer and director of Mountain Story. “Over time, we recognized that that was something that would bring huge value to the mountain community, in particular the one that Naheed and I are connected to, which is Whistler.”

Mountain Story intends to take a similar approach with a series of live interviews this winter at the GLC, hosted by Henderson and inviting guests such as snowboard innovator Chuck Barfoot, professional freeskier Lynsey Dyer and sit-ski Olympian Josh Dueck on stage. The first live interview on Jan. 23 will feature Ken Wylie, the assistant guide who survived the tragic La Traviata avalanche in 2003 that killed seven people. Wylie recently published his memoir Buried, which revisits the tragedy he experienced while working at Selkirk Mountain Experience.

“The story we’ve really gone after with Ken is beyond the avalanche, the process of reconciliation and transformation since the avalanche and how it’s changed his relationships with the mountains and mountain guiding,” said Henderson.  

Mountain Story is rolling out content for the 2015 winter season, but Henderson and Freeman are hoping to make it into a year-round production and eventually be able to travel to other mountain destinations for interviews. The project is currently both unbranded and unfunded and only able to work with the support of several partners in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor.

“It’s a very passion-driven project at this time,” said Henderson. “Everybody who is involved donating time and resources is involved in it because they’re passionate about mountain life and mountain culture.”

The first Mountain Story live interview series with Ken Wylie will take place on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the GLC. Tickets are $10.

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