Earlier this month, a couple from Utah made a trip to the mountains near Nakusp to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and to re-enact their unique proposal which was the first-of-its-kind in the Kootenays.
In 1996, Paul and Denise Fejtek were dropped off at the top of a mountain near Nakusp for a day of skiing. The couple from Los Angeles was about to carve down the mountain on their first-ever heli-skiing trip. Little did Denise, then Lencki, know, Paul had something special planned.
Paul took a ring out from in his goggles, got down on one knee, and popped the question.
The story made the front page of the Arrow Lakes News. Tad Derbyshire, the owner of Kootenay Heli Skiing at the time, said it was the first heli-skiing proposal in the Kootenays.
Two years later, they were married.
In March of this year, they returned to the ‘special place where it all began’ to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Paul re-enacted the wedding proposal. “She did say yes,” he laughed.
Their relationship has been linked to skiing from the start. Paul taught Denise how to ski when they first started dating, and the couple were both ski instructors at the time of the proposal. “It became our sport together,” said Denise.
Now, they live near Powder Mountain Ski Resort near Eden, Utah, where they continue to be avid skiers and teach disabled kids and adults the sport through Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports.
“Those who ski together, stay together,” said Paul.
They were thrilled that the staff at CMH Kootenay, formerly Kootenay Heli Skiing, were able to help them celebrate their anniversary, and got to spend some time with the same guide who was with them on their original trip.
They have ‘cherished’ their clipping of the Arrow Lakes News article, which was published on March 20, 1996, documenting their engagement. A copy of the article is framed on a wall in their house.