Words by Morgan Dinsdale | Posted March 21, 2017
Most of us commute to work. Steve Chambers takes it to an extreme. Every two weeks he travels between British Columbia and Colorado. At 2,156kms (1340mi) it’s, well, not short. But it’s one he gladly undertakes. It’s part of a fairy tale life that sees Steve, Area Manager of CMH Revelstoke, guiding in some of British Columbia’s most remarkable, snowy mountains and embracing his family in the Mile High City. It’s a life he never saw coming, and one he’s grateful for each and every day.
So what makes one travel such great distance for work? Fortunately, perhaps no one understands better than his wife, Megan, who’s worth every mile. She’s the woman he fell in love with 17 years ago at CMH Revelstoke when, in the winter of 1999 Megan came to ski at CMH Revelstoke with her mother, Maeve McGrath, a long-term heli-skier herself, having skied with CMH since 1981. As fate would have it, a young Steve was to be their guide for part of the week.
After a few days of skiing together and a few nights around the dinner table talking about their lives and goals, it was clear there were sparks in the air between Megan and Steve. The following summer he would visit her at her home in Venice Beach, California where she would teach him one of her greatest passions, surfing, and he would share one of his, rock climbing. The rest, as they say, is history. They’ve been together ever since. And so began the journey, and the commute.
Steve began spending as much time off from ski guiding with Megan as he could. In 2001 he gained US residency and the pair moved in together in Venice Beach. In 2003 they tied the knot on El Pescador Beach and soon moved to Malibu to start their family. “We had a cool loft in Venice, but it was pretty much a terrifying place to raise kids. Cement floors, open stairways; the potential to kill our children was a bit too high so we thought, why not raise our kids by the ocean?” he says of their reasons to relocate to the oceanside town of Malibu. “Malibu was this beautiful, tranquil, outdoor haven, perfect to begin raising our family in.”
All the while Steve continued at CMH. Last year he celebrated 21 years of guiding with CMH, every single one in Revelstoke. Although he’s spent time guiding at every other CMH lodge, there’s something special about Revelstoke that’s always held him there. “Revy has been my home base since Day 1. I’ve enjoyed my time at other lodges, but I couldn’t work anywhere else,” he says of his home in interior British Columbia, “The little community of Revelstoke is special. Seeing all these young, outdoorsy families reminds me of my own back home. And as a ski guide, the terrain we have access to is epic! I think we have some of the best tree skiing in the world. I still wake up at 5am every morning stoked to go to work. After 21 years, I think that’s pretty lucky!”
Today Steve, Megan and their family, daughter, Devon (10) and son, Dexter (6), call Denver, Colorado home. They relocated from California for family reasons, Denver is Megan’s hometown and where her parents still reside, and for its lifestyle and impressive education system. “Colorado is just this incredible place for my family. The kids have their grandparents next door, I’m watching them become these ripping little skiers and I’ve started fly fishing because it’s in my backyard,” he says of his new home. “In Denver you are so close to the mountains. I can be climbing in Eldorado Canyon, which is some of the best rock climbing in America, within 30 minutes of my front door or skiing at Vail or Winter Park or mountain biking until dinnertime. Watching my kids grow up in the mountains with my beautiful wife, what more could I ask for?”
Steve’s grateful for technology too, as apps like FaceTime and Skype have allowed him to feel connected to his family while he’s up working in Revelstoke. “My wife and kids are so supportive. They’ve been up to Revy and out with me in the mountains and they get it. But without being able to see their faces each morning I’m not sure I could do it.”
“People ask me all the time – how long are you going to do this commute?” he adds. “And I look at them, like what are you talking about? To me it’s super easy and CMH has been incredibly supportive. There’s no reason I would ever stop doing it. I am the luckiest guy in the world being able to live were I do and work where I do. After more than 20 years of guiding and over 10 years as Revelstoke’s Area Manager I still feel on top of the world.”