A newly formed pharmaceutical sales team was meeting to develop trust, build rapport and strategize for the coming year. The sales manager wanted an undisturbed retreat in a remote location. He wanted a "wow" experience to kick off the retreat. I chose a remote mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies and took them on a spectacular heli-hiking adventure.

I then facilitated the business portion of their retreat.

From the airport, we drove them ever deeper into the mountains, arriving at Mt. Engadine Lodge near the continental divide of the Canadian Rockies.

Our professional mountain guides arrived in the evening and prepared the participants for the adventure next day. We provided all the equipment. wizard5Crampons to walk on the ice, harnesses, and ropes for safety and appropriate boots for the terrain. The anticipation was mounting.

An early morning start got us to the helipad where the helicopter settled in beside the waiting group, blasting them with a downdraft of crisp mountain air. The view from the helicopter is spectacular. wizardwaterfallA couple of heli-shuttles later and everyone was at our gathering point in the high alpine of the continental divide.

Walking across limestone tablelands and past picturesque waterfalls towards the "Wizard's Hat" in the distance brought us to where one of the guides was waiting with our lunch.

After lunch, the main challenge of the day began; walking up the glacier behind our lunch spot. We started by walking across the glacial rubble at the toe of the glacier.

At the glacier everyone was outfitted and roped for the ascent. glaciercrevasseOnce on the glacier, it suddenly hit everyone how tiny they were in this vast landscape. The glacial landscape and the obstacles it contained provided a lot of metaphors for the new territory the company was exploring in its business.

After an exhilarating and challenging day, the helicopter was waiting to shuttle us back to the lodge.

In the evening we debriefed the day and distilled the learning in a Capture The Learning session.

Then the true work of the retreat was about to begin. The group spent the next 3 days in facilitated meetings in their exclusive mountain paradise. Sessions on the veranda in the mountain sun, discussions over gourmet meals and relaxation in the hot tub under the stars all contributed to the success of the retreat. The local wildlife even participated when a moose and her calf decided to show up.

On the final night, we planned a surprise with the chef, a "Corporate Kitchen Party". interactivedinnerThe group donned chef's hats and aprons and helped the chef in creating a delicious appetizer while learning new cooking techniques and recipes.

Using of authentic local produce and cuisine is one of our hallmarks. Air dried buffalo, Alberta corn, locally grown herbs and vegetables in season and Alberta beef all contributed to the authenticity of the meal.

At the end of their retreat they were energized, happy, motivated and ready to work together as a cohesive team.