Bryn, Living Life as an Outdoor Leadership Grad

Categories: Student Stories

Bryn on ski patrol at Mount Washington


Bryn completed his Diploma in Outdoor Leadership at Columbia in 2017. He’s a lover of adventure and being outside. Here’s his take on his experience at CBC.

What drew you to the Outdoor Leadership Program?

I knew for a long time that i wanted to have a career in the mountains. The idea of having a regular 9-5 office job did not appeal to me in any way. I also knew i wanted to be in a community of like-minded people of God who wanted to be in the mountains.

What were some highlights for you?

This might be a cliche, but it was the community. I made the closest friendships i have ever made while attending CBC. From the fun times goofing around on campus to the rather extreme trips me and my friends would go on, we all became incredibly close. Two other big highlights were my Avalanche Safety Training level two course and our Squamish rock climbing trip. The Avalanche course took place over 8 days at a backcountry hut. We would spend entire days hiking around the snowy landscape and skiing really fun lines. We would then end the day around the wood stove in the hut, making food and enjoying each others company. The Squamish trip was spent living in my van as well as my friend Sam’s van. between the two vehicles, we camped with the rest of our class on a logging road. Everyday was spent climbing pristine granite, then ending the day with roadside campfires and stargazing. Experiences like this stay with you forever.

What are some of the key skills you have taken away from the OL program?

Confidence, confidence, confidence. I learned that without being confident in yourself; in the everyday and in the outdoors, you are going to struggle. Knowing technical skills in guiding, rope rescue, avalanche precautions is all good and well. But being confident in decision making and in who you are is the foundation to any leader and follower of God.

How has OL (and your time at Columbia) shaped you spiritually? Your character?

I think at the base of God’s calling we are to live in community. With him, with each other, in his creation. My time at CBC has given me a refined vision of what that looks like and how to live it out. I have also learned to be more diligent with relationships and my quiet time spent with God.

How has the OL program helped equip you for a career after Columbia?

OL gave me a repertoire of outdoor skills, knowledge and experience. As well as a good background in first aid. It also connected me into a network of outdoor professionals. Between these two things i have been able to begin a career as a ski patroller on Vancouver island at Mount Washington. OL also set me up with friends who love going into the mountains on our own time. Between work and play I spend most of my time in the mountains, climbing and skiing. Before OL my life was not like this.

Learn more about the Outdoor Leadership diploma