Category: Outdoor

Glamping

CNN just posted an article on “glamping” – glamorous camping. I.e., sleeping in a tent without roughing it. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort near Tofino is used as the primary example of a glamping experience.

Snowshoeing in Vancouver

When people think of winter on the west coast, they think skiing at Whistler, and possibly at the three local mountains. But what about snowshoeing on Vancouver’s north shore? This sport is gaining popularity, as it is a perfect family sport, costs relatively little, requires little or no training, and is a great workout. Mt. Seymour and Cypress both rent snowshoes. Both mountains also offer some great snowshoe tours: Cypress | Seymour.

If you have your own, you can snowshoe for free in the provincial parks around Cypress and Seymour. If you get up early, the sunrises on Seymour are stunning. You’ll be alone, looking down on a city of 2 million people, wondering why no-one takes the time to come up.

If you want to take snowshoeing a step further, why not sign up for a Yeti snowshoe race? Running on snowshoes is not as hard as it seems, and it’s a great workout!

Hiking the Sunshine Coast

While the West Coast Trail is still THE great trail of the west coast, BC’s sunshine coast now has its own long-distance trail: the Sunshine Coast Trail. The trail stretches 180 km from the Saltery Bay ferry terminal in the south to Sarah Point in Desolation Sound Marine Park in the north. While not as spectacular as the WCT, it does appear to have some great views and pass through some old-growth forest.

Other trails to consider on the west coast:

  • The Nootka Trail, a wilder and more rugged version of the WCT.
  • Coming soon: Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail. This trail is still being built, but promised to be pretty amazing when completed.

Outside’s 30 best trips

Evrey month another magazine comes up THE definitive best 30 (or 25 or 10) trips of a lifetime. This month is Outside’s turn. I always check if Bhutan, Mongolia and west Papua (Indonesia) are featured, but now of course I have to check how Canada fares. Canada does tend to get at least one trip, and this list was no exception.  I was a bit surprised by the choice, though: surfing in Tofino made it to the new, new places. It’s been on lists before; I would have expected Labrador, or a place in the north.

There were some other interesting trips, though: a 27-day thrip through Patagonia, Houaphan province in Laos and a trek to the source of the Tsangpo in Tibet. Indonesia made the list with a great trip to Mt. Rinjani on the island of Lombok, climbing it via a new route from the south. No matter how you approach the mountain (I climbed it from the north), it offers stunning views.

My favourite, though, is a 31 day ski trek across Greenland – propelled by kites. Very cool. And if it can be done in Greenland, then why not on Ellesmere Island or Baffin? It would make for a great new experience (although admittedly for a niche market!).  And sure enough, they offer a week of kite-skiing around Iqaluit. Count me in!

Bhutan and Mongolia didn’t make the cut in this list. But I’m sure they will in the myriad of other lists that come out every year.

Dogsledding in the Rockies

Dogsledding is not only for the professionals racing in the Yukon Quest – why not try it yourself? The folks at Cold Fire Creek Dog Sledding in Jasper ofer some fun dogsledding tours, from a quick 1 hour trip to a half day or even a moonlight tour.

Racing the dogs

Many people have heard of the Iditarod dogsled race (“Alaska, where men are men and women win the Iditarod”), but the lesser-known Yukon Quest, from Whitehorse to Fairbanks, Alaska, is actually quite a bit tougher, because of the terrain and the cold. The trail follows the historic Gold Rush and Mail Delivery routes from the turn of the 20th Century, leading from Whitehorse north to Dawson city, and then west across the Alaska border to Fairbanks.