Whistler Lodge Hostel, Whistler’s Best Hostel

 

 

Our friends at the iconic Whistler Lodge have just announced an amazing deal,  stay 2 nights and get your 3rd for free.

The Whistler Lodge was built in 1965 by students from UBC’s outdoors club and is a truly one of a kind Whistler experience. You can learn more about  Whistler’s best hostel (according to tripadvisor) and check availability on their website https://whistlerlodgehostel.com/

 

All Star Kim Eijdenberg gets featured by Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb are featuring a profile on everyone’s favorite multi talented Canadian Wilderness Adventures team member Kim Eijdenberg cat driver for the Mountain Top Fondue and trail groomer and chef for our Sproatt Steak Night and Yukon Breakfast tours at our backcountry cabin on Mount Sproatt in the Callaghan Valley and incredibly talented photographer.

Winter Survival Skills In The Wild

There’s nothing better than being out in the wilderness where you get to see nature in all its glory.  It’s also lots of fun to be in nature and participate in an adventure such as a snowmobile tour.  When doing an organized activity such as a snowmobile tour, you know you’re safe because you have experts with you with all the right equipment, knowledge and experience, they’ve checked the weather including the avalanche forecast and won’t go out if conditions aren’t suitable, they’ve taken precautions such as people back at the lodge know the route they’ve taken and when they would be expecting you back.

If you’ve enjoyed your time out in the wilderness so much that you decide to start taking some adventures in the wild by yourself and not with a guided tour you should really have a basic understanding of surviving in cold conditions just in case something goes wrong like you sprain an ankle and can’t walk far or you get lost and have to wait a few hours or even overnight to be rescued.

Winter Survival Skills in the Wild

The basic rules of survival are you can last 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water but only 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment.  Surviving in the snow is a lot harder than surviving in a temperate environment. For one, you have to contend with frostbite and dehydration, not to mention hypothermia during snow. Another thing is that winter will have more challenges for you to deal with such as wet wood, slippery ground and poor visibility.  With that in mind, here are a few tips to get you ready for the wild in winter so that you can stay safe on your adventures:

1.     Let people know your plans

The first skill isn’t really a skill at all, its common sense.  Let people know your plans, where you’ll be going, what path you’ll be taking and how long you expect to be out.

2.     Carry the right gear

A satellite radio for contacting civilization would be ideal but not everyone has one and even if you do, it could break or for whatever reason just not get signal.  Even if you can contact emergency services, it still might take them hours to reach you, even longer if conditions are poor.  For that reason you should always carry some emergency gear in your survival back pack.

The most essential equipment to carry with you are those that will keep you warm once you are in the snow.  One of those things is a fire starter. This could be matchsticks, fluid lighters or even magnesium strips. The next thing to remember is tinder to get your fire going. Coating things like cotton balls in wax or Vaseline make them suitable for tinder, especially since they are less likely to become water-logged after the coat is applied. Other must carry items are something to process wood like a hatchet or foldable saw and a whistle to attract attention.  There are more things you should carry but that is the topic of another post.

3.     Find Shelter

Quinzee

Any person exposed to the elements during winter could be in a perilous position due to exposure or hypothermia therefore shelter should be the first thing you build in the wild. Look for flat, high-altitude areas that are below treelines and have little snow. Trees are windbreakers, and they will provide fuel. If possible, look for a place with a nearby water source. Water is necessary to prevent dehydration, frostbite, and hypothermia.

You could set up a camp and use the trees for cover, or dig a snow fort (trench or pit) which would provide more insulation.

4. Start a Fire

 

Having a fire is essential to survival during winter. Fire, after all, is used in everything from melting snow for drinking water to cooking to keeping warm. For the fire gather dry wood, or if you don’t find any, gather wet wood then remove the wet outer layer using a knife or hatchet and use the smaller kindling. Dig a pit in the snow about two feet deep and line it with wood at the bottom so that your wood fuel will not be waterlogged. Put tinder over this layer, then put the smaller kindling in and light the fire. Add the larger pieces over time to make your fire last longer. Another way to conserve wood is to use the pyramid arrangement so that as the wood at the bottom burns the one at the top dries.

The other benefit of having a fire is that if you are in need of rescuing, you can burn green wood or leaves over the fire to give a smoke signal which will allow rescuers to find you easier.

5.     Keep warm

Staying warm is important when you are in snow. You could do this by drinking hot liquids, wearing winter clothes, staying close to your fire, sleeping in an insulated snow fort or sleeping bag, sleeping on dry ground and avoiding exertion. Exertion leads to sweating which in turn leads to dehydration, not to mention cooling when the sweat freezes.

This article was generously contributed by Steve the Survivor from www.topsurvivalweapons.com

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Whistler Showshoe Tours

Have you ever wanted to walk on water? Snowshoes let you do that!

I have never strapped tennis racquets to my shoes and walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways. But one winter in Alaska, I had a job to do outdoors, and the ATV was in the shop.

I spent eight hours walking outside, in three feet of snow. Snowshoes saved my life.

The next morning, my calf muscles had some very choice words for me.

But by the time the ATV had been returned to me the next week I was a snowshoeing pro, gliding over the snow and enjoying my walks.

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Whistler Showshoe Tours

What is Snowshoeing?

Have you ever wanted to walk on water? You can! Frozen water, that is.

Long ago, people without access to snowmobiles and grocery stores had a problem. They would get hungry in winter, but a hunt through knee-high snow would more likely result in frustration instead of food.

 

Their solution was to follow the example of the snow hare and float on top of the snow. To do that, they took wood, made a circular or triangular frame, created a lattice of hide, and strapped the lattice inside the frame.

Such a contraption spread their weight over the snow, compacting the fluff enough to let the person “float” on top of the snow.

Modern snowshoes use the same concept, but with lighter materials that do not need to be waterproofed constantly.

Why You Should Snowshoe?

If you have ever tried to shove your legs through a foot of snow, snowshoeing may be for you. I have used snowshoes while on the job, but for most people, snowshoeing can be a good hobby.

Do you like to run? How about hike? Do you have to abandon these activities when winter dumps a foot of snow on the ground? Not if you know how to snowshoe!

Whether you like relaxation, exploration, or exercising, you should try snowshoeing!

Types of Snowshoes

Broadly, snowshoes fall under two categories, traditional and modern. Traditional snowshoes are made of wood and hide, while modern snowshoes are made of anything else.

Modern materials require less upkeep, are lighter (and so cause less fatigue), and can handle more abuse. Unless you want to reenact history, a modern snowshoe is recommended.

Whether modern or traditional, there are three types of snowshoes: Recreational, aerobic, and mountaineering.

Recreational snowshoes are the most common; they are moderately sized and are comfortable to use for about the length of a normal walk.

Aerobic snowshoes are small, light, and maneuverable. This makes them good for running (or as close to running in snowshoes can be), but a poor choice for the woods.

Mountaineering snowshoes are the largest so they can handle the most varieties of snow, are good for long trips, and often incorporate cleats or other fancy bits to aid in traction.

Wear the Right Gear/Clothing

Snowshoeing is physical exertion! This means that you not only have to dress for the outside cold, but also for the sweating and warmth that results from physical activity.

Select clothes that protect from the wind and are breathable, so your sweat evaporates. The inner layers should also be of the type of fabric that insulates while wet, such as wool and synthetics.

Avoid cotton! It holds water and loses insulation when wet.

As for the snowshoes themselves, they are available in many different sizes. Typically, the bigger they are, the more weight they can handle.

Most snowshoes are sized in inches. A good rule of thumb is to choose snowshoes that have one square inch of snowshoe surface for every pound you and your gear weight.

If snowshoeing on loose powder, an even larger snowshoe than normal is required.

Techniques

Trodding around in snowshoes is a wee bit different from walking down a sidewalk. Your soles are much wider than usual, and snowshoes bind to your foot only at the ball, not the heel.

Walking

The optimal way to walk is to lift your foot and move it straightforward, sliding the inside edge of that snowshoe over the stationary snowshoe.

But that can be a tricky technique to master. When starting out, separate your legs a bit so you are bow-legged. This is more tiring but will keep your snowshoes from hitting each other until you can practice sliding them over each other.

Turning Around

Do not walk backward; snowshoes often are curved up in the front but not the back, so walking backward will dig into the snow.

Turn around by walking in a circle or execute a kick turn. Keep one snowshoe stationary while lifting the other than plopping it down at a ninety-degree angle, then alternate until you’re facing the direction you need.

Uphill

Without cleats or crampons, snowshoes do not have good traction on hills. Be careful.

When walking uphill, treat the hill as if it were a stairway instead of a slope. Lean forward and kick the snowshoes into the snow to make your own steps.

Downhill

Going down is even more difficult. Keep your weight on your heels and make short strides.

Turning sideways and descending that way may work as well, but more slowly. Or you can slide downhill, on snowshoes, your bottom, or your face. I recommend the first two.

Traversing

When walking alongside rather than up or down a slope, you need to pay attention to your balance. Lean slightly uphill.

Also, twist the uphill edge of the snowshoe into the snow a little bit with each step, swinging your heel into the hill.

With Poles

Poles are not just for skis. You can go for a simple walk on snowshoes without poles, but if you are going to be traveling a hilly or mountainous trail, poles are very helpful.

Use them much like how you would use them for skiing. Balance is their number one benefit, but you can also push with them to get a little bit more propulsion.

Safety Tips

Go slow while learning, and do not commit to a long excursion until your calf muscles have adapted!

Keep an eye out for avalanche warnings, know the weather (an ABC watch can alert you to upcoming storms), and do not go out alone.

Stick to existing trails unless you are very skilled at mountaineering!

Trail Etiquette

Snowshoeing etiquette is very similar to normal hiking etiquette (leave no trace, yield to uphill snowshoers), except for one important difference.

Do not snowshoe on ski tracks! Snowshoes create bumps and divots that make skiing on the same trail less pleasant and more dangerous.

Conclusion

If you want to enjoy the cold outdoors, but more than eight inches of snow is blocking your way, try snowshoeing! It is a fun, healthy way to explore nature.

Author Bio

Evan Michaels is the chief editor at Know Prepare Survive. When he’s not rambling about survival skills and bug out bags, he can be found hiking, fishing, and just generally being a cool dude.

Whistler Electric Snowmobile Tour

The movement towards Electric Snowmobiles

The electric snowmobile is not something that is going to be available tomorrow, but it is coming and Canadian Wilderness Adventures is committed to help lead the charge. In December 2008 Canadian previewed and tested a prototype electric snowmobile that was assembled by the McGill University Electric Snowmobile Team, with roughly $24,000 in research funding from Canadian and a donated snowmobile chassis.

This weekend Canadian got to test the first production electric snowmobile designed by Taiga Motors.  This electric snowmobile has zero emissions, is odorless, silent as a whisper (we couldn’t even believe it was turned on), and the only thing the electric snowmobile disturbed was the snow it was gliding on.

Samuel Bruneau, Paul Achard, and Gabriel Bernatchez started Taiga Motors in the fall of 2015 after graduating from McGill University. The project originated from a mashup of technologies that they had developed when they were building electric racecars and snowmobiles as part of their student project.  They have overcome many technical challenges to get the design to where it is today, some of which include designing an electric propulsion system that can operate smoothly in harsh environments while still remaining lightweight enough to compete with traditional snowmobiles as well as convincing investors that three recent engineer graduates have what it takes to build a company that competes with the big guys, such as Ski-Doo, Polaris, Yamaha, and Arctic Cat to name a few.

The snowmobile is currently in the first phase of development and the sled we got to test was the prototype. The next step of the project is to customize the design and build 10 units from the ground up that will be distributed to Taiga Motor’s testing partners across Canada next winter.

So how does it actually work you may ask. Well…. From the riders perspective the snowmobile works very similarly to a regular one, just with better handling, less noise and no emissions. On the technology side, it is comparable to electric cars, but there is more of an emphasis on keeping everything lightweight. The only drawback for some if the restricted range, but as battery technology keeps improving, Taiga Motors is able to offer an even greater range than combustion sleds. For now though you just plug it into your standard outlet or connect to a standard electric car charger and wait 50 minutes and then you can travel up to 100 km.

When asked what the future of this project will be Taiga Motors said “The Ultimate goal is to give any snowmobile rider the option for an affordable high performance electric snowmobiles with a minimal environmental impact.”

All photos by Calling Mountain Productions.  

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Whistler Snowmobile Tours

Flight Network’s “48 Hours in Vancouver and Whistler” features Canadian Wilderness Adventures’ Whistler Snowmobile Tour.

The travel experts at FlightNetwork.com recently traveled to Vancouver and Whistler in search of the best ways to spend 48 hours in these iconic cities. The Canada-based global travel agency found our Canadian Wilderness Adventures Blackcomb Mountain Safari as one of the top ways to spend a limited amount of time in the region.

The Blackcomb Mountain Safari is one of the most scenic and adventurous ways to explore the grandeur of the mountains and rugged wilderness that lie just outside of the city of Whistler. Read about why Flight Network chose this adventure as one of the top ways to experience Whistler in their post, “48 Hours in Whistler and Vancouver” here: http://www.flightnetwork.com/blog/48-hours-in-vancouver-whistler/

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Whistler Yukon Breakfast

Yukon Breakfast Snowmobile Tour Named Top Canadian Winter Experience

There’s nothing more Canadian than snowmobiling through the backcountry of British Columbia, then chowing down on an old-fashioned Yukon-style mountain feast. Those of us at Canadian Wilderness Adventures aren’t surprised our Yukon Breakfast snowmobile tour was named one of the Top 50 Signature Winter Experiences in Canada by the travel experts at FlightNetwork.com. However, if you haven’t embarked on one of our Yukon Breakfast tours yet, you may be wondering why, with so much competition, our tour made spot No. 35 on the list.

Flight Network is a popular Toronto-based online travel agency, and their team of intrepid travelers set out to find the most distinctly Canadian winter experiences across the country. While some adventures, like visiting Quebec City’s Hotel de Glace Ice hotel and skiing the steeps at Revelstoke, made the list for obvious reasons, our Yukon Breakfast snowmobile tour was selected for its impressive combination of winter adventure, unrivaled natural beauty, and authentic Canadian eats.

About the Tour

The Yukon Breakfast snowmobile tour is one of our favorites, because it brings the best of one of our country’s most rugged territories to beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. Visitors can spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the ski resorts and discover the picture-perfect backcountry of the Callaghan Valley. Those who choose this experience will snowmobile throughout the wilderness to Sproatt Mountain, where our rustic cabin and a traditional Canadian Yukon breakfast await.

Cooked in a skillet on an old-fashioned wood stove, your meal will include Canadian favorites, like Yukon gold potatoes, Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, local veggies, cheddar cheese, and of course, pancakes with authentic Canadian maple syrup. There’s no better way to fuel yourself for speeding across a frozen lake or touring the snow-covered alpine terrain surrounding the cabin. This 4-hour-long excursion comes to a close with an enjoyable cruise back to our homebase in Whistler.

Yukon Breakfast from Canadian Wilderness Adventures on Vimeo.

Other Authentic Canadian Adventures

Our Yukon Breakfast snowmobile tour may be the only tour featured on Flight Network’s list, but our Canadian Wilderness Adventures guides are eager to help you discover the beauty and thrills of a Canadian winter in a number of other ways. Try the three-hour Blackcomb Mountain snowmobile safari, a snowshoeing trip along the Medicine Trail, dogsledding on open, winding trails, or an exclusive fondue dining experience at 6,000 feet.

Every excursion we offer at Canadian Wilderness Adventures is one that is unique to Canada and our fascinating slice of the Great White North. To us, all of them are signature Canadian winter experiences.

 

Whistler Hemloft

The Iconic Whistler Hemloft lives on

Wondering what happened to the Hemloft? Mountain Life did a feature on this mysterious acorn-shaped treehouse and Canadian Wilderness Adventure’s plans for it’s future.  Read about how Whistler’s favourite treehouse, The Hemloft, will be repurposed.

The Hemloft in its original home in the Whistler woods. Photo: Kyle Graham

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Whistler Snowmobile Tours

What to Bring With You When Snowmobiling in the Backcountry

Backcountry Snowmobiling in Whistler

Any experienced or professional snowmobiler will tell you that when you are in the backcountry, your safety and survival teeters on two things; your raw instincts and the backpack. While you can’t do much about the former, you can control how good or complete the latter is. If you are wondering how this is possible, well, here’s a quick primer on what to bring with you when snowmobiling in the backcountry.

1. A First Aid Kit

This one is almost obvious. As long as you are heading out to the wild, whether for a simple hike or serious snowmobiling, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave your first-aid kit behind. After all, anything can happen out there, and the last thing you would want is to be injured in the middle of nowhere without the necessary supplies to dress even a simple wound.

That being said, your first aid kit should contain at the very minimum; a couple of antiseptic wipes, band aids, compress dressings, gauze, splints, triangular bandages, latex gloves etcetera. And that’s not all. Remember to have all of this (the kit) in a water resistant bag.

Whistler Backcountry beacon shovel probe

 

2.  Avalanche equipment

Always make sure to check the avalanche forecasts before heading out into the backcountry.  Make sure to carry avalanche safety gear, and ensure you have the knowledge and skills to use it.  A transceiver, probe and shovel are the most important pieces of equipment to have. Transceivers (beacons) help a rescuer quickly find a buried victim. Once you have used your beacon to narrow in on a buried person use you probe to pinpoint their location. Probes can also be used for checking snowpack depth and testing crevasse bridges. After locating the buried victim use your shovel to dig them up. Sometimes digging through avalanche debris can feel like digging through rocks so the shovel needs to be strong.  If you go on any of Canadian Wilderness Adventure’s advanced snowmobile tours you will be supplied with avalanche safety gear, as well as receive a tutorial on how to use this equipment properly.

3. Snowmobiling Tools

On a snowmobiling expedition, you will want to have the right tools for the job. This includes; screwdrivers, zip ties, wrenches, a shock pump, screwdrivers, a spare break lever and, of course, not forgetting hose clamps.

4. Your Ultimate Snowmobiling Survival Kit

Sometimes the unexpected will happen. Well, not just sometimes, but most often than not. If by any chance it happens, you will have to spend a night or two in the backcountry. For most campers and survival enthusiasts, this is usually their ultimate test of preparedness.

Don’t be the person who ends up shivering the whole night by themselves as they frantically call for help. Sway the odds to your favor by having a bunch of extra warm clothes in your backpack, water-resistant matches, flint, a bottle of clean water, headlamp, compass, sharp knife, flare, whistle, bivvy sack and high energy food, such as granola bars or jerky. Once again, all these should be in a water resistant bag.

5. Two Way Radios

Well, your iPhone will be pretty much useless out there in the backcountry where there is little to no signal coverage at all. If you find yourself stranded deep in the trees or under an escarpment and can’t see your mates, then the walkie-talkie will be more useful than your smart phone. If you can’t get your hands on these, then invest in a satellite phone and strap it securely inside your backpack.

About the Author

Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.

Canadian's backcountry Cabin on Sproatt Mountain

Thank You for Your Support

The Canadian family would like to extend a deeply heartfelt Thank You to everyone who supported in our permanent zoning of the Callaghan Valley. We are proud to announce that the zoning has been approved and we will be breaking ground in the near future.  Thank you to the 70 people who attended the public hearing for the Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1478-2016, and to the 43 people who submitted supportive written submissions.

We are truly touched and overwhelmed by the amount of support we received on this journey. Canadian’s vision for a sustainable backcountry adventure operation built using reclaimed materials, and proudly showcasing green building strategies and technologies, is becoming a reality because of you.  We look forward to welcoming visitors and locals alike to come enjoy our quintessential Canadian Experience.

Canadian's backcountry Cabin on Sproatt Mountain