Eco-powered adventure

Wildsight event this Tuesday, September 18th brings in world-renowned mountaineer Greg Hill

Weighed down by painkillers, Greg Hill speaks from his Revelstoke home about his upcoming presentation in Invermere.

He’s prepping to head into surgery for a broken collarbone, Mr. Hill tells the Pioneer, earned on “the flattest trail ever”, during a sadly-rare bike trip this summer. This is not the first, nor likely, the last injury for the professional athlete and outdoor adventurer, who is bringing a film about electric car-powered adventures to a Wildsight event this Tuesday, September 18th.

Mr. Hill created a short film that follows him and a friend on mountain adventures using an electric car, interspersing the outdoor pursuits with their reasoning behind it, climate change forecasts, images of glaciers rapidly receding over the past 100 years, and ways the pair are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

“On one hand, I’m seeking solace in the mountains. On the other hand, I’m killing it,” he said of his lifestyle of jet-setting, diesel truck-driving, snowmobile-ripping professional and personal life.

“I started looking at my lifestyle a few years ago,” Mr. Hill told the Pioneer. As a sponsored skier, he would travel the world for his work/pleasure, calling his carbon footprint “ridiculously large.”

“Yet I’m one of those that appreciates and loves nature the most,” says Mr. Hill. “The person who loves it the most shouldn’t be the one also destroying it.”

So he made a drastic change: he sold his giant diesel truck, bought an electric car (a Chevrolet Bolt), and started recording his battery-powered adventures.

He openly admits there are setbacks in owning an electric car, but he is willing to make the small sacrifices for the larger gain. Road trips take longer, but he has also discovered unique coffeeshops, secondhand bookstores, and quirky communities along the way he might never have stopped in otherwise.

While an electric car owner certainly does not need to be an extreme sports addict, it takes people willing to push boundaries, to take those first steps, before something becomes mainstream, he speculates.

“An adventurer is used to sacrificing certain things to reach goals, knowing that the goal is worth the sacrifice” says Mr. Hill. “Yes, it will take longer to reach Vancouver, but the change is worthwhile.”

In the film, The Curve of Time, Mr. Hill and his friend do a 4,000 km road trip in an electric car, climbing six major volcanic mountains along the way.

In the film, Mr. Hill concludes, “The forecast is bad, and the challenge seems really daunting,” to change the trajectory of the earth’s bleak future. “But I never start off thinking I can’t climb the mountain. So far, all these little small changes I’ve done, they feel good.”

The evening event will include a screening of the film (25 minutes long), followed by a talk with Mr. Hill about electric vehicles and an open question and answer time about the use of these vehicles in and around rural B.C.

Wildsight Invermere is working towards an electric vehicle share program, anticipating a launch in 2019. Cam Gillies, Wildsight Invermere’s vice president, says work on securing funding for the initiative is continuing; attendees can learn more about where the project is at and ask questions related to the program.

The event takes place at the Invermere Lions Hall Tuesday, September 18th from 7-8:30 p.m. Entrance is by donation.

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