Guest Blogger Bio: I was born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta where I spent my childhood playing in the woods or on my grandparents ranch. As a teen my family moved to Seattle and I experienced city living for eleven years. I now reside in Southern Alberta where I am obsessed with the Rocky Mountains only an hour away. I spent my first year in Canada living and working in Waterton Lakes National Park (including in the winter) and I discovered how fun (and cheap) mountain adventures are. I now get out to Waterton every chance I get between my studies as a Physical Education student, work, and life.
Winter. It’s almost like a curse word to so many people living up here in Canada. People complain about the road conditions, the dark days, the cold, and in Southern Alberta- the wind! Oh man that wind!
But there is a small percentage of us that cheer when the snow starts to hit the ground. We’re the ones who have a sport or activity that gets us outside and/or moving in the winter; skiers, snowboarders, hockey players, cross country skiers, ice climbers, curlers, snow shoe enthusiasts, etc. Or in my case, winter babies who associate the snow and cold with presents!
There is so much to do outdoors that you shouldn’t bust out the Netflix and blankets every day, but rather grab some gear (borrowed, rented, or purchased) and head out to the mountains!
I do have to put out a disclaimer that if you are going on trails that aren’t maintained to always do your homework to be avalanche aware.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is my favourite winter sport. It’s cheaper than downhill skiing (lift tickets are expensive) and it’s super easy that almost anyone can do it. My grandmother has a friend who is 96 and still goes on a cross country ski trip every year. Trust me- you can do it!
For newbies it’s best to find groomed trails until you’re comfortable taking the path less travelled.
This is another winter activity for anyone. All you are doing is walking! Mind you, you have to really lift your legs to get those big feet of yours going which results in a sore bum when you’re done.
With snowshoeing you don’t have to follow a groomed trail, you can head off in any direction.
I LOVE snowboarding but only go once a year. The reason being that it’s so darn expensive! When I was in university (the first time) I worked at a ski hill for a season which meant a free pass. But now, I have to put aside a chunk of cash for the lift ticket, gas money, and après ski food and drinks. But there is nothing better than gliding down a mountain side, especially when it’s snowing and the powder splashes you in the face.
Do you know what the best part of all these activities is? When you fall, you land in snow- POOF! I just love that.
If you’ve never done these activities before but want to and are afraid to go it alone, find a buddy who has done it before or even a tour guide. Once you have a winter activity you’ll find yourself getting excited when the snow flies instead of crabby.
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