Category: Outdoor

Riding the Hulahula

If you are looking for some inspiration for a great adventure trip, then check out Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler, by Don Mankin and Shannon Stowell (National Geographic). It covers some great destinations, making you want to quit your job and start travelling (although one needs the paycheque to pay for it all).

Thompson Brigade 2008

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the return of David Thompson (the greatest HBC explorer of his time) to Ontario, a fleet of canoes – the Thompson Brigade – will make its way from Rocky Mountain House to old Fort William (Thunder Bay , Ontario) this summer. This would be an amazing experience, covering more than 3,600km! I wish I had the time to go. It’s only a two month paddle.

Next step in protection of Nahanni watershed

Last year I reported on the planned expansion of Nahanni National Park, one of Canada’s great national parks, and a World Heritage site. Recently, the federal government took one more step, temporarily protecting the headwaters of the Nahanni for the creation of a new national park, to be called Nááts’ihch’oh [pronounced naah-tseen-CHO]. The last outstanding (but very important) step is finalizing the borders of the park. Without final borders, park protection is not yet guaranteed. Visit the CPAWS website for additional information.

Is the North Coast Trail or West Coast Trail better?

That is the question that the authors of a recent article on the new North Coast Trail (NCT; you saw the abbreviation here first!) asked. Their conclusion? It’s a close call, but they feel the scenery along the NCT is slightly better, and it’s more rugged. Think the WCT 20-30 years ago. This seems to be a truly hot trail. Combined with all the other attractions in the area (Cape Scott, Johnson Strait whalewatching, Sointula area) it will help put northern Vancouver Island on the map.

New outdoor magazine for Vancouver Island

A new magazine just hit the shelf: the Wild Coast Magazine, described as Vancouver Island’s only outdoor, adventure and recreation magazine catering to the island’s eco-tourism industry. Its first issue was Free, and the contents are published on their website. It has some great articles about trips to take there. There is just too much to see and do in this province!

The Yeti Snowshoe race

What can be more Canadian than people enjoying a leisurly snowshoe stroll on a weekend? Well, try getting in with a group of 100 people eager runners, strapping on special running snowshoes (small and extra light), and running a tough 5-10km trail course through the mountains! That’s what the Yeti snowshoe race series is. Now in its seventh year, it is an ever growing event around Vancouver, attracting over 100 racers for each race. They even run a Yeti Snowshoe acadamy, where people can take snowshoe running clinics each week.

Highly recommended.

Winnepeg beats out Ottawa for longest skating rink

Ottawa may boast that it has the world’s longest skating rink on the Rideau Canal, but this year Winnipeg has beat them with their new nine km long rink. They’re expecting 20,000 skaters this weekend, while Ottawa has only been able to open a short 1km stretch, due to the warm weather.

It’s great to see that Canada has the two longest skating rinks. Of course, if ever it would freeze again in the Netherlands, they could easily beat either city. When there is ice, half the country is turned into one massive skating rink! Just a shame that they haven’t had much decent ice in the past few years.

Radio tracking wildlife

The BBC has put together Love Earth, a great website on wildlife. The site includes a section on tracking, in which the tracks of various radiotagged wildlife are recorded. Very cool for kids. If only technology had been this far along when I was tracking willow ptarmigan up at Chilkat Pass in NW BC nearly 20 years ago. Of course, willow ptarmigan aren’t as cool as bears and elephants, but still would have been neat to follow them in Google earth, instead of the DOS-based program I had!

Extreme snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a blast, and it can get you out into some great mountains around Vancouver. But some guys take the sport to the extreme. Watch the YouTube video.

Protection for Canada’s boreal forest

Canada’s government just announced that it will protect 10.8 million ha of boreal forest in the NWT. That is 2.5 x the size of Holland or Vancouver island:
– 1.5 million hectares designated for a future national wildlife area
along the Mackenzie River near the town of Fort Good Hope under the
Northwest Territories Protected Area Strategy;

– 3.3 million hectares identified for a new national park (2.6 million
acres of new protection) on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake; and

– 6 million hectares of priority lands between the new park and an
existing wildlife refuge to be managed for conservation and
appropriate development by the Akaitcho First Nations under a pending
treaty agreement.

Great news for conservation in Canada.