Nordic skates

These skates are the cat’s meow for going out onto natural ice. They consists of a skate blade with a skate-ski binding. Click in your skate-ski or classic ski boots and off you go. These are bar-none the most comfortable skates I have ever used, because the boots are so comfy, and provide lots of support. The blades are curved up at the front so they handle bumpy ice and snow better than regular speedskates. You can supposedly skate through several inches of snow.

For added speed and stability, add some nordic skate poles. And best of all, you can put on the boots in the comfort of your home, and just clip on the blades once you get to the ice. If you are skating in Holland, they are also great for klûnen. Once you have tried a pair of these, you’ll never go back to regular speedskates again. There is an importer in Vermont, nordicskater.com, who sells all the equipment, or if you are in the Canadian Rockies, Wild Mountain in Jasper sells them as well!

Can I recycle paper and plastic packaging?

Recycle messageHow often have you wondered if you can recycle one of those paper packages with a plastic “window” and some other bits of plastic in it? The plastic usually doesn’t have a recycling symbol. I recently found this excellent recycling messaging on a package for an iPod cover made by Griffin. Simple, clear, and direct. If only all recycling messages on packaging were this clear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The quest for adventure

“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts” – Yvon Chouinard.

Scott Gilbertson describes very eloquently why most people no longer experience real adventures when they travel. We plan everything, and we know what we are getting into because we’ve researched all details of our trip on Tripadvisor and guidebooks, or have asked a travel agent to arrange all details of our trips. Yet we call our trips to faraway places an “adventure”.

180 Degrees South is a great movie that follows Jeff Johnson on a trip to Patagonia. Along the way, lots goes wrong, but it doesn’t matter; the trip is a a great adventure. Along the way we are introduced to Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins (co-founder of the Northface), and the ways they use their fortunes to save the environment.

My greatest adventures have been when things went wrong, like getting stuck in a river in Mongolia, running out of gas in the Gobi desert, or walking through the rainforest of New Guinea without water for 30 hours, or even getting stuck in snow storms in the far northwest of BC. None were planned, but they were all epic adventures in places that are not listed in the guidebooks or on Tripadvisor.

As Mark Twain said: “… throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Oh, and go places where there is no cell phone coverage or Internet, and which are not in the guidebook.

Sacred Headwaters in northern BC

Sacred Headwaters in northern BC

Sacred Headwaters in northern BC

Check out the slideshow of the Sacred Headwaters in northern BC.

In northern British Columbia, three of the province’s greatest salmon-bearing rivers are formed in the subalpine basin known as the Sacred Headwaters. The land has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America, earning it the nickname, “Serengeti of the North,” and is the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation.

The Headwaters is at the centre of a dispute between the Tahltan, resource industries, government and environmental groups. Competing interests concerning land use, mining and hunting have created divides and put the future health of the Sacred Headwaters at risk.

Stunning photos of an amazing landscape. They are worthy of support through The Big Wild’s Big Wild Bucks campaign.

Banff Film Festival World Tour trailer

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour trailer for 2010/11 has been posted. As usual, it is action-packed and inspiring. The eagle at 0:12 was shot in Mongolia’s Bayan Olgii region in a segment on Mongolia’s eagle hunters as part of a film on mountain peoples. Jasper National Park’s Maligne Lake made it into the clip as well, at 2:05.

Canada ranked #1 country brand in the world

In 2006, Canada languished at 12th place in Future Brand’s country brand rankings. But four years later, it has grabbed the coveted #1 Country Brand from the US. The rise to the top spot was aided in part by the legacy from the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and the strong Keep. Exploring brand. Congratulations CTC! It’s an honour to have been part of their Brand team.