MONTREAL - Earlier this month, Carey Price shared the spectacular natural beauty of his home province with his followers on Instagram.
On August 7, the Canadiens' starter posted a special photograph featuring himself and his father, Jerry, hiking on a picture-perfect British Columbia day.
"That's near Miner Lake, which is about an hour away from our home in Anahim Lake," revealed Mr. Price, who posed for the selfie during a three-day camping trip with his son that also included a stop at nearby Perkins Peak. "It was just a chance to spend some time together, scout around and see some things that we hadn't seen before."
Jerry and Carey were committed to exploring their surroundings this summer, and a trip like this one was an important first step in that process.
"You live somewhere and you never visit all the sights that lots of other people appreciate, so we just made the determination that we were going to do that," explained Mr. Price. "We wanted to go to some off-road wilderness kind of places and just spend more time hiking and camping."
Of course it was a prime opportunity to enjoy some quality father-son time, but Jerry believes excursions like these are also beneficial for the 12-year NHL veteran hockey-wise as well heading into a brand new campaign.
"For Carey, at least it's a way to get away from the hustle and bustle, just get away from it all and just let his mind relax. All you need to think about is catching fish," mentioned Mr. Price, a former goaltender who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1978. "For him, he's always been like me, always loved the outdoors and there's just no more peaceful place than being out in places like that. It's a way to reset your thinking and realize that the world is a lot bigger than what we experience every day."
On August 11, Price posted another remarkable photograph from atop renowned Anahim Peak that caught his followers' attention again.
Even former teammate Josh Gorges was jealous that he wasn't there alongside his good buddy for the nearly 2,000-metre ascent to the top, commenting: "You gotta bring me with you next year bud that looks unreal!"
The climb up Anahim Peak was rather significant. It was a community event organized in conjunction with the Ulkatcho First Nation.
Price's mother, Lynda, was re-elected chief of the First Nations group in June after previously occupying the role from 2005 to 2009.
"There were about 17 of us that started out, but probably about eight that made it the whole way. It was pretty steep going in some places, climbing rocks on your hands and knees. Anahim Peak is a real landmark around Anahim Lake. It's actually an old volcano," said Mr. Price. "We wanted to do the climb, but we never had the chance. You see it every day that you're out there, and you always think it would be nice to climb up and have a look around. It was something the community had been talking about and planning."
As the first climber to reach the summit, Price was charged with fulfilling a longstanding tradition.
"Carey had gone up first to say a prayer. That's part of the culture of the aboriginal peoples in the area, that one person will go up and say a prayer for the community. Then, the rest of us went up. When we got there, nobody could see where Carey was. I almost started to worry a little bit, but we found him," joked Mr. Price. "He was kind of up on a point there where you can just look over the edge and see nothing but air for a long, lone lean."
As far as Carey's climbing skills go, Jerry was impressed.
"He's good. He's in good shape. Anything that's outside, he's more than enthusiastic to do it. He had no trouble," evaluated Mr. Price. "It wasn't like climbing a set of stairs, though. It was kind of tough in some spots, but it was a good starter anyway. You look at people that climb big mountains like Everest and places like that, and it gives you a whole new appreciation for the altitude. But it's nice, there's good scenery, and the camaraderie of it all is what makes it worth it."
With that in mind, will there be similar outings on the horizon in 2020?
"There are quite a few mountains around we've talked about already," concluded Mr. Price. "There's all this nature around you, mountains and rivers, and it seems like you get so busy that you never go anywhere to enjoy it. We're planning to do more of it next summer."
Some additional summer scenes...
Price also enjoyed some hiking near his offseason home in Kelowna, BC this summer.
On June 26, he shared a picture alongside former NHLer Keaton Ellerby, who just happens to be his cousin.
In mid-July, the winningest goaltender in franchise history also spent some downtime in the outdoors with his nephew, Tristan.
"That was up around Turtle Lake in Kelowna," said Mr. Price. "Tristan just had the time of his life up there with Carey."