Who are we?

your Local Guides

Who better to explore your backyard with than your neighbours. Brendan and I live and play in the interior mountains of BC and call Kaslo our home. 

As passionate skiers and educators, we are thrilled to share our love and knowledge of the mountains with you. Safety is our number one priority with FUN as a close second. 

mel and Brendan

Vitamin Ski was created by myself, Melissa Saarinen with support of my main partner in powder Brendan Cosgrove. Vitamin Ski aims to educate and get more folks out for backcountry adventures. Our priority is always safety but followed closely by having fun and enjoying the many benefits one receives by spending time in the mountains. Vitamin ski wants to make this sport more accessible to everyone and build community and culture around it. Backcountry skiing is what we love most but we support all forms of skiing from cross-country, backcountry nordic, ski touring, telemarking, lift accessed, boot accessed, snowboarding and mono skiing… It’s all sliding on snow! 

Melissa and Brendan decided to call Kaslo home in 2017 and although it took a while for them to align their lives to be here full time, they are now so grateful to be here and running our ski guiding and avalanche education business. Our goal is to keep our team small, our prices affordable and get as many turns in a winter season as possible. 

The roots

Melissa’s family lineage has been full of passionate ski bums for generations. On one side she has Finish heritage with 3 generations of ski jumpers with her father a tele mark racer, heli ski photographer and and is considered “Lord of the Ski Bums” by many in Whistler. On the other side Melissa’s grandparents started their own family run ski hill in Vernon known as Tillicum. It originated with a hemp rope tow running off a tractor engine, a row of hay bales to stop you at the bottom and mulled wine sold out of the barn. In this culture of skiing anyone with a pair of jeans and borrowed leather boots could give skiing a try. Much of this accessibility of skiing has been lost in gear that costs an arm and a leg, expensive french fries and pricey lift tickets. Vitamin Ski aims to change that and help remove barriers for people to go skiing.  As Melissa’s mother Sue and siblings grew up on this family run ski hill it’s no surprise many of them were competitive skiers. Her Uncle Rob Boyd won his fair share of world cups and her mom competed in many aspects of the sport on the Canadian team including ariels, moguls, ballet and powder 8’s. Most of Sue’s life has been dedicated to working in the ski industry as a ski patroller and director, ski guide and avalanche educator. In turn, Melissa grew up on the slopes of the Fernie ski hill, with yearly trips to visit her dad in Whistler. She started skiing at age 2, this explains Melissa’s deeply rooted passion for all things skiing and snow.