Fall forward. Do something that moves you this winter. How you look at winter may shape your spirit. Do you see it as being cooped up, cold-punched by a street fighter like wind, or hey, now it’s time to break free, play, enjoying nature’s fresh kiss?
It’s time to follow the rhythm of the seasons, try something different, develop a new habit that will have you doing your best impersonation of a walking penguin but instead of icy barrens, follow trails through the green sticks of a wild valley, with glimpses above to pickaxe carved crags of the extreme topography that our Canadian Rockies region is famous for. Stop hibernating, develop a new habit for winter and head out on your own snowshoe adventure.
How to get something new going this winter
The good news is that starting a new habit is much easier than kicking a bad one out the door. From my research for my book The Adventurer’s Guide to Living a Happy Life I found the following simple recipe for picking up a new habit.
Make time for it. Put your activity in your outlook or iPhone reminders. You have a better chance of doing it if you schedule it. Don’t forget to celebrate each time you do it as this goodness will give you an extra boost to continue.
Take a learn to snowshoe workshop at your local outdoor shop, MEC or your university outdoor recreation program (like the U of C Outdoor Centre), many of which offer programs on how to snowshoe and provide day trips for first timers. You don’t normally skip obligations so get this confirmed now and you are on your way to learning a new winter sport.
Where to go for stomping snow in the woods in and around the Canadian Rockies
Easy access: Kananaskis Country offers a bounty of first-timer trails. Easy starts begin with the 2.5 kilometre Village Loops trail around Kananaskis Village or for more adventure, but still short and sweet, head to the Chester Sawmill area, enjoy a flat valley walk, Hogarth Lakes Loop Trail, a 3.9 km loop departing from Burstall Pass Day Use Area. Apres snowshoe, stop in or stay at one of Canada’s Top Ten Hidden Gems by Trip Advisor, Mount Engadine Lodge, a car accessible backcountry lodge experience.
Quickie weekend: A higher place is calling. Stay mountainside here, at one of the few places in Canada where you can rent a million dollar home in the mountains and when you put your crew of eight to 10 together it works out to a better deal than that hotel stay. Lush Mountain Accommodations, offers a variety of trailside alpine homes where you can step into your snowshoes, visit the Morning Glory or Ridgeline loops at the Golden Nordic Club without getting into your car and after your snowy stroll, step into your own private outdoor hot tub. Now that’s bliss.
Visit one of Canada’s largest city parks on snowshoes. Kimberley’s Nature Park beckons. Pick a trailhead, immerse yourself in winter under the forested canopy, and be back in time for a tasty sample from the Powder Highway’s newest craft brewery, Over Time Beer Works, at The Shed.
Nestled close to Radium and at the edge of Kootenay National Park, get your own cabin in the woods, snowshoe until your heart’s content, at Nipika Mountain Resort.
Get Out There Magazine just picked Fernie as Canada’s best outdoor town, for good reason. Trails abound here. A tasty pick, leaving from Mount Fernie Provincial Park, is the Lazy Lizard trail. It will give you an up and down challenge for an out and back, in the big woods.
Long weekend: Escape to a different pace. Journey across the mountains to the lakeside community of Nelson, B.C. Experience history, meet good ghosts and enjoy great food at the Hume Hotel. Explore the streets, let the art and culture in, step into a new frame of mind here. Get snow time at Whitewater Nordic Centre to enjoy 10 kilometres of designated snowshoe trails. (Fido friendly.)
Be safe. Stay in the flat, forested area, avoid terrain with potential avalanche danger, wear appropriate winter clothing, bring extra water and energy foods. Check Avalanche Canada updates at Avalanche.ca, and pre-departure view weather updates from the Weather Network or your favourite source.
Be community aware. Heed signage at all trailheads. Please stay off the track set cross-country trails, use designated snowshoe trails if available and if not then head out on un-tracked area and enjoy.
Matt (Powder Matt) Mosteller is VP sales and marketing with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. He writes regularly on outdoor pursuits for the Herald.
Article Source: Calgary Herald