A Utah couple visited the mountains near Nakusp this month to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, but it was no ordinary winter getaway: The two re-enacted their unique proposal that was the first-of-its-kind in the Kootenays.
In 1996, Paul Fejtek and Denise Lencki were dropped off on a mountaintop near Nakusp for a day of skiing. The couple – then from Los Angeles – was about to carve down the mountain on their first-ever heli-skiing trip. Little did Denise know, Paul had something special planned.
Paul removed a ring from his goggles, got down on one knee and popped the question.
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The story made the front page of the Arrow Lakes News. Tad Derbyshire, owner of Kootenay Heli Skiing at the time, said it was the first heli-skiing proposal in the Kootenays.
Two years later, the two were married.
Earlier this month, they returned to the “special place where it all began” to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Paul re-enacted the wedding proposal, and “she did say yes,” he laughs.
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,” Denise says.
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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,” Paul says.
The two were thrilled that the staff at CMH Kootenay, formerly Kootenay Heli Skiing, were able to help them celebrate their anniversary and that they could spend time with the same guide who was with them on their original trip.
They have cherished their clipping of the Arrow Lakes News article documenting their engagement: a copy of the article is framed on a wall in their house.
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