Calling All Snowbirds (Plus Others Who Dread Winter)

Calling All Snowbirds (Plus Others Who Dread Winter)

I Want to Make Snow LOVERS Out of You!

I will confess right from the outset:  I am a snow lover!  As soon as the snow arrives, I can barely control my excitement about getting outside!  On any given day, I find it is quite stressful trying to decide which activity to choose and what beautiful part of Canmore or Kananaskis Country to experience.

Despite my enthusiasm for the beauty and brilliance of a winter’s day, I truly can empathize with the snow birds and others who dread winter.  I know there are many of you who are disappointed and even depressed about giving up your winter get-away to someplace warm. 

But all is not lost. We can choose to make the most of what COVID-19 has dealt us and change our mindset to embrace the Canadian winter, like we never have before.  Or as I have heard people say too often recently, we can stay inside, cooped up and miserable for many long months. 

  • Winter Sunbathing

I am inviting you to “wake up to winter” this season and experience the magnificent mountain scenery by being active, in nature.  By far the easiest way to do that is to engage in Canada’s favourite form of physical activity: walking.  Did you know Canmore has over 75 km of maintained trails within town limits, in addition to approximately 85 km of provincial trails ideal for winter walking?

Join me in Canmore for a Winter Walking Tour.  Click HERE for details.

TIPS To Get The Best Winter Experience:

  • Purchase winter boots with excellent traction in addition to their ability to keep your feet warm and comfortable.  My personal choice are my ICEBUG brand boots. They have superior traction and several models come with built in carbide studs on the soles.  
  • If you are not ready to invest in new winter boots and have a pair that are warm and comfy, then a must-have piece of equipment is a pair of icers, which you can pull on over your boots to improve their grip on snow and ice. I have a pair of studded icers for use around town as well as a pair of ice crampons with spikes that I used on hard packed or icy hiking trails. 
  • Don't overdress, but dress in layers that can be adjusted as you warm up and cool down throughout the day.

  • Winter Walking Tour

  • Winter Walking Tour

  • Another important piece of winter walking equipment is a pair of walking poles. While your good winter footwear is akin to studded winter tires on your vehicle, adding a pair of walking poles is like four-wheel drive for humans, giving you exceptional stability on whatever winter surfaces you encounter. I recommend Nordic walking poles, because they transform a simple walk into a total body workout. While simply walking uses primarily your leg muscles, by Nordic walking with specialized Nordic walking poles and by using good Nordic walking technique, you use all your core muscles and the muscles of your arms and shoulders as well. Indeed, you use approximately 90% of your body’s muscles. Do you know what this does to your bodies internal furnace? It jacks it up by about 20%. This means that even on the coldest winter days, with a severe windchill, when the weather forecasters are warning you to stay indoors, you will be toasty, toasty warm from head to toe!

Join me in Canmore for a Winter Nordic Walking Tour.  Click HERE for details.

  • Nordic Walking Tour

  • Nordic Walking Tour

  • Nordic Walking Tour

This summer, record numbers of people got out to experience the beauty of Canmore and Kananaskis Country on hiking trails.  But in my opinion, that beauty is magnified when a heavy blanket of snow covers everything.  Added to the visual beauty is the soft “whumpf, whumpf” of snowshoeing on fresh snow.  This does come with a warning however.  Many of the hiking trails we use in summer are dangerous in winter because of avalanche risk.  Unless you have done your research on avalanche safety and have taken avalanche training, avoid hiking trails in winter and explore the many designated (thus, safe) snowshoe trails in Canmore-Kananaskis or go with a guide.

Join me in Canmore or Kananaskis Country for a guided snowshoe hike.

Snowshoeing can give you a challenging aerobic workout, especially when combined with Nordic walking poles.  Unlike other winter pursuits such as alpine skiing or Nordic/cross-country skiing, there is a very short and simple learning curve with snowshoeing,  It is simply walking with bigger feet!  There is a much lower risk of injury.  This makes snowshoeing an ideal winter activity for snowbirds looking for something new to try this winter. 

To recap, whether snow walking, Nordic walking or snowshoeing, you can be:

  • warm and comfortable
  • engaged in a social activity with good physical distancing, in a low risk setting for COVID-19
  • engaged in aerobic activity at a level that suits you
  • strenthening virtually every muscle in your body, including your important core muscles

But the benefits of being immersed in nature continue:

  • Just being out and experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of nature trigger the release of our body’s natural “happy hormones”
  • Exposure to nature reduces stress
  • Exposure to nature boosts our immune system

When so many activities are likely to be curtailed this winter, walking outdoors, in its various forms, will not be one of them. We may once again face some restrictions on where we can walk, but walking will be one activity we can always look forward to. 

Let's book a time together soon when I can make a Snow Lover out of you!

What to wear & bring (Spring, Summer, Fall):

  1. Wear comfy casual clothes.
  2. Bring a warm extra layer & rain jacket, just in case.
  3. Running shoes are fine while light trail or hiking shoes provide even more support and are ideal.
  4. Please no flip-flops or sandals.
  5. Leave purses at home. A small backpack is a great bring-along.
  6. Don't forget your water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, insect repellent and your camera.

What to wear & bring (Winter):

  1. Wear a long sleeve t-shirt/thermal underwear top plus 1 or 2 layers (i.e.: light fleece top, heavier fleece top) & a wind/waterproof shell. Heavy winter parkas and snow pants are usually too warm.
  2. Wear winter boots or lined hiking boots. Icers, which go over your footwear to prevent slipping, are provided when necessary.
  3. Leave purses at home. A small backpack is a great bring-along.
  4. Bring water, gloves/mitts, a hat/headband, scarf/buff/neck warmer, tissues/handkerchief, sunglasses and don't forget your camera!

Reserve OnLine:

It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Simply click the "Book Now" button, select your preferred date to check availability, fill in your personal details and then make a secure payment via credit card. The system will automatically send you a confirmation of your session with the relevant details.

Liability Waiver:

Liability waivers are a necessary part of any commercial activity experience. I recommend that you take the time now to review this legal document that you will be required to sign before we start our clinic or walk together:

View the Waiver

Your Health & Physical Activity Readiness:

We ask guests who are experiencing cold symptoms and symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and practice self-isolation under the direction of the appropriate governing body. For almost everyone, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks. For some individuals, special advice from a Qualified Exercise or health care provider is advisable before becoming more active. This questionnaire is intended for all ages – to help move you along the path to becoming more physically active.

Please review this Questionnaire if you have concerns about your health or fitness level for participating in Nordic walking.

Cancellation Policy:

Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 24 hours or more prior to the clinic or tour date. No refunds are given with less than 24 hours notice. Clinics/tours go rain or shine. If the weather is extreme, then it may be cancelled with a full refund given.

Malcolm Hotel

Canmore Public Parking

Parking:

Parking is available on-street or in public lots throughout Canmore. It is a good idea to arrive early on busy days to locate suitable parking.

Malcolm Hotel - Onsite

Restrooms:

Restrooms are available at the Malcolm hotel in the lobby.

Canmore Public Restrooms

Restrooms:

Public restrooms are available within a short walk:

Canmore Public Restrooms - Trailheads

Restrooms:

Public pit toilets are available at all trailheads.

Canmore Various

Where to meet:

Starting locations will vary seasonally with instructions included in your booking confirmation.

Parking:

Parking options will vary by location with details included in your booking confirmation.

Tour Canmore

Various Canmore Trailheads

Canmore Walking Tour 1.5 Hour

Canmore Walking Tour 3 Sisters

Hikes Cognito Form

Winter Hikes Cognito Form

Chat Modal