CANMORE – Self-propelled outdoor activities are healthy and relatively cheap – once you pay for the gear, they cost you nothing more than transportation to the trailhead.
And, said Steve Fedyna, co-organizer of Welcome to Winter, outdoor activities are a great way to stock up on vitamin D in winter.
Geared toward newcomers to the Bow Valley – but open to everyone – the free Welcome to Winter event happening at artsPlace next Thursday (Dec. 12) and offers a smorgasbord of information on fun, safe and affordable winter outdoor activities available in and around the Bow Valley.
Activities being featured include winter hiking, snowshoeing, fat biking, classic style cross-country skiing, skate skiing, big lake skating, backcountry skiing, ice climbing and winter mountaineering.
“Lots of young folks are here working seasonally. Better to get them out of the bars and into the backcountry,” he joked. “But, the presentation isn't just meant for young folk – it is not age specific, so retirees and people of any age should get some benefit.”
The event is planned to let newcomers to the Bow Valley know about the many different outdoor self-propelled recreation opportunities that are available, and to ensure that new users have at least a basic understanding of safety concerns.
“And," Fedyna added, “I also hope to instill some sense of the etiquette of the backcountry – for example, trying to keep hiking, fat biking, snowshoeing, classic skiing and backcountry ski tracks separate on the trails.”
Classic cross-country skis, in particular, require a narrow machine-set tracks to work properly. Once those tracks are squashed by fat bike tires, snowshoes or fatter alpine touring skis, they become useless to the skiers they were created for.
Attendees will also learn valuable tips on how to stay warm in cold temperatures, where to go for which activities and when to expect the best conditions.
“For each of the sports, we'll discuss why you might want to try it out, what the hazards are, the best places to go, the required equipment, how to dress, and where to go to find like-minded individuals doing the same thing,” Fedyna said.
There will be a booth set up by outdoor retailer Vertical Addiction, and plenty of gear and demonstrations.
The organizers, which include Alpine Club of Canada members with experience in a wide range of outdoor winter activities, will speak briefly about the major winter sports with someone dressed and all geared up for that activity.
“We'll start with an overall presentation, particularly on identifying avalanche hazards,” Fedyna said. “Then each individual will talk about their sport. There will be plenty of time for individual questions at the end.”
Welcome to Winter is organized by the ACC Rocky Mountain Section, the Canmore Young Adults Network and artsPlace. To register for the free event, visit artsplacecanmore.com/whats-on/details/welcome-to-winter.