To celebrate the holiday season with a special flavour of mountain love, Callaghan Country has prepared twelve one-day-only specials at Journeyman Lodge for the twelve days of Christmas leading up to December 24th. We are so pleased to unveil our one-of-a-kind countdown to Christmas...
It's hit local social media chatter...WINTER IS COMING and it's time to shift gears. There's a bit of an art to #WinterStoke...fuelling that winterlust fire without impulsive decisions that are only going to burn you down the road. Hopefully you've collected your gear, tuned it, waxed it...that's the snow-ready element. Well executed preparation is a mind-body-soul operation (excuse the airy sound of that statement; if you can run with it, a very logical format awaits).
Check in with yourself and pause for a clear head. Take this cozy season to reflect on where you were at last winter...where do you want to push yourself? New terrain, finessed technique, new tricks, more time committed, bigger stories...here's where you create your goals or 'bucket list' if you so prefer. Set your sights so another season doesn't pass within the blurs of tedium and mediocracy. Without hesitation, add the trek to Journeyman Lodge to that list ;)
Build the knowledge base. Scour the internet for relevant insights and tips. There's a plethora of good information out there that can really help you boost your game...for instance, if you were struggling with the initial goal-setting suggestion mentioned earlier you might find this Winter Goals article helpful. If you're planning any backcountry adventures it's always a good idea to eat up as much avalanche safety, risk assessment, and pre-planning content as possible...ground yourself in reality. The Wayne Flann Avalanche blog sits as a top read for Sea to Sky adventurers. Be sure to supplement the reading with tactical education and sign yourself up for some early season refresher ski lessons and targeted clinics such as Wilderness First Aid or Avalanche Skills Training.
Develop a dryland training regime and settle into it with some sense of humility. Local blog Doglotion comically illustrates that falling out of step is pretty much par for the course with recent post The Logical Fallacies of Preseason Training...rest assured, you're not alone.
Locally there are some specific pre-season programs to get you out of the house to focus on readying those ski legs before it really starts snowing...check out: Meadow Park, Helly Hansen's Circuit Training, and The Core's Mountain fit classes. Of course, you can always pick and choose from some of the top recommended regimes online like: the Whistler Procrastinator’s Guide to Ski Season Fitness or WildSnow's Pre-season fitness training for mountaineering
Finally, if the training has done you well and you're feel top of your game with plenty pep-in-your-step, PLEASE use restraint. No pushing too hard, too soon...we all know, or have already been, 'that skier' who just couldn't wait and ended up stumbling on some surprise roots, rocks, or stumps that you just can't see under a tantalizing layer of fresh snow. This is not kind to your gear or body...early season terrain surprises tend to have a tight relationship with season-debilitating injuries.
This is the fun part...it's about building the passion and participating in community. Why are you stoked? Who's stoked with you? Where are you planning to be this winter? Whether it's Nordic Skiing, Snowshoeing, or Backcountry Touring... if you reside in the Sea to Sky region, there's resonance. Here at Callaghan Country, we'll be getting our #Winterstoke on with our Season Kick-off event the Praise Ullr Party. It's a bonfire, people who love snow, the mountains, and good vibes...all are welcome!
While Ullr has been flirting with our local mountains offering dustings of snowfall in the high elevations, many of us are sluggishly slipping into autumn...it only really feels like autumn in the mornings anyway. For the wise, tis' the season of #WinterStoke...time of tantalizing video premiers, season pass decisions, and gear assessment. Whether you're into Nordic or Alpine, chances are you're diggin the hype and weighing the deals. Where to look? For starters...the internet browsing experience is a direct clash with the spirit of the season, so we'd like to encourage you to get out there in the community and bask in the social glory of winter anticipation in the mountains. Here's some ideas...
TURKEY SALE & SKI SWAPS
These events are drenched in stoke amplified by a host of helpful and connected industry members. Not only will you find deals on gear, this is typically a great opportunity for local clubs to feature their programs and courses.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Unfortunately our trail side Ski Shop, Access Callaghan, isn't scheduled to open until Mid-November so we'll offer up a couple go-to's for your pre-winter needs. Typically a specialty shop is going to offer a greater depth of niche product stock than regular outdoor retail stores, and their staff possess a wealth of high value product knowledge that goes beyond basic sizing assistance...these guys ooze winter excitement.
For the backcountry skiers and boarders, we're going to point to you to Whistler Village Sports - Excess Backcountry. Located in the Crystal Lodge at the base of Whistler & Blackcomb Gondolas, pop in and say hello to Jamie or any of the other experienced backcountry enthusiasts and experts they staff. They don’t just oversee the day- to-day activities in the shop; they inspire. They educate. They welcome questions, provide informative assistance, and love what they do. And deals? Of course! Here's the current hot list:
So now to Nordic. We're proud that Callaghan Country has been around since 1981, but these guys have 10 yrs on us! Sigges Sport Villa is a family owned and operated specialty cross-country ski store originally founded in 1971. Delivering services with passion, talent, and oodles of knowledge this team set the bar in the Nordic ski industry. Right now they're running a store-wide pre-season sale with up to 50% off. If you've got questions about your current gear, be sure to check out their full menu of Nordic services. If you have the pleasure of meeting Anders or Sigge himself, be sure to give them a hello from Callaghan Country ;)
Bear activity in the Callaghan valley is expected to increase during the rest of September and into October, due to a poor berry crop at higher elevations.
Callaghan Country believes that given these unique conditions, it is a best practice to cancel our Huckleberry Event to ensure non-competition for the scarcely remaining food source of this precious asset. By doing so, we are also hopeful in mitigating unnecessary human - bear interactions through the implementation of wildlife avoidance response protocols (W.A.R.P.).
With a recovering grizzly bear population and the combination of both a lower than average berry crop and poor salmon returns in some South Coast drainages, it would be wise for all outdoor enthusiasts to exercise increased caution when travelling in bear habitat this Fall. Keep your pets leashed when hiking, make lots and lots of noise, carry bear spray and really understand how and when to use it.
Watch this video clip and understand how quickly an encounter ensues. A grizzly bear stressed for adequate nutrition at this time of year will most certainly protect food sources that the bear believes is theirs. In all likelihood, if you surprise a bear or come across a recent kill or cache it has made (usually black bear cubs and sows or fawns) you will not have the time or conditioning to react appropriately unless you have practiced.
This is a good year to focus on learning more about grizzly habitat and ways to mitigate your exposure. Think of it in the same way as you would assess avalanche terrain and the decision making process you would use in those situations. Play it safe, err on the side of caution and come home for dinner! For more about bear safety visit https://wildsafebc.com
We call it the Tailor-made 3 Full Day Ski Touring Escape…
A backcountry escape wrapped up with a fancy bow (and sure makes a great gift! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink to the partners of backcountry enthusiasts)...It's gonna include: ● A Sunday morning transfer into the Lodge (8:30am departure from base facilities/parking area); ● 2 nights accommodation; ● All meals: packed lunch ready for you to pick up at lodge on arrival, followed by après-ski appetizers and a 4-course dinner on Sunday evening, Continental breakfast, bagged lunch, après-ski appetizers and a 4-course dinner on Monday, along with a continental breakfast and bagged lunch for your ski out on Tuesday, Non-alcoholic beverages (coffee, tea, milk, juice & hot chocolate – please note we do not serve alcoholic or soda beverages but you are welcome to bring your own); ● Return luggage drop (9:30am from Callaghan Country base to the lodge; 10:00 – 11:00am from the lodge back to the base); ● Tuesday afternoon transfer back to base facilities/parking area (3:00pm departure from Lodge) ● The use of our lodge snowshoes, toboggans, and our wood-fired sauna that sits at the foot of solitude on a rushing alpine creek.
From $438pp (that's only $146 a day!)…Go ahead, pamper yourself, it'll be ok. Click here >> to run dates and rates (don't forget, it's a Sun-Tues trip only) or just give us a call directly for more details: 1.877.938.0616
This is a great recipe that I found in my Grandma’s cook book!
Block of wax
Plexi-scraper 5mm or 3 mm
This is the most difficult part of the recipe! Find a good spot for your skis with the best position to work on them, and an easy spot to clean up!
You will need a work bench with ski vise or a waxing profile to stabilize the ski.
Avoid the carpet, the parent’s bed or the sister’s yoga mat!
Pre heat the waxing iron to the recommended temperature (Check the packaging on the wax!)
Ready in 30min
The choice of wax must be according with the air temperature range.
Generally, you can check it on the package of wax!
Each brand has a different “window of temperature” to rank the wax.
Overall the ranking is color-coded :
Yellow : 0 /+10 Air Temperature
Red : +5 / -5 Air Temperature
Blue : -5 / -15 Air temperature
Green : -15 / -25 Air Temperature
** EXTRA TIP - Coat your skis with a nice thick coat of wax at the end of the ski season. When the ski season returns, follow steps 5 to 7 and you're ready to ski!
Bottom Line... Visiting the Journeyman Lodge felt like visiting a good friend with a house that just happened to be nestled in the snowy mountains of the Callaghan Valley where we could ski right from the front door. This is a place where you are not just a customer, you are a guest in their home and are warmly invited by the hosts to enjoy the space as your own. A beautiful place to enjoy the backcountry without having to give up the little comforts like indoor plumbing and a warm place to sleep. Read More>>
It’s that time of year...winter. The kids are retreating to the comforts and warmth of the indoors but you want them all to go outdoors! If you are searching for a way for your family to connect with nature, have fun and burn off some energy; why not try snowshoeing? It is probably the easiest and cheapest way to have some family winter fun! Here are four things to consider when to introducing your family to the sport:
1) Clothing and Packs
You will want to dress everyone in layers. A good long underwear base coupled with snow pants and a nice shell is great for starters. Little ones will generate a lot of heat walking around, maybe even more than you since they will be putting in more effort. Finish the outfit with toques, mittens and snow boots. Remember that mittens will keep your little one’s hands warmer than gloves and they may need something more waterproof than you do as they are more susceptible to falling and may not be able to resist the urge to make snowballs. Everyone should carry a small backpack with a mid-layer such as a down jacket or a polar fleece for added warmth just in case anyone cools off or if you plan to stop for a winter picnic. Even small children can carry their own small nap-sack, be sure that the straps are padded in the shoulders and that the packs are nice and light. You can also include a spare pair of gloves, socks and a neck warmer in your day packs in case anyone gets too wet or cold. Also pack, sun glasses, sun screen, a snack and some water, especially if you plan to be out for an extended period.
2) Snowshoes and Poles
The big question with new sports is always: Should I buy or rent the gear? For the first time you may want to try snowshoe rentals which you can pick up at the Access Callaghan Ski Shop for $12. Children’s snowshoes are relatively inexpensive considering how long they last. They are also fairly small and easy to store and can be handed down from child to child. See brands such as GV, Atlas, MSR for snowshoes in kids sizes. Snowshoes in this class are often rated for 30-80 pounds, after that, your child will move to adult sizes. Shoes should support your child’s weight while donning winter clothes and carrying a small pack. They should have an easy to use strap-in-system and have crampons underfoot, to help provide grip on hills and ice. Alpine poles are not necessary, especially for smaller children, however if you are going for longer distances with older children, poles are recommended. They provide extra stability on ungroomed trails, up-hill and when carrying heaver packs. For preteens and teenagers, try adjustable poles that can grow with them.
3) Getting Started
As the saying goes... If you can walk, you can snowshoe. This is especially true for older children and adults, but for smaller children you may want to start off by playing a few games to set them up for success. Try waddling like a penguin, or making dinosaur tracks to get them walking in a wider stance. Also practice making U-turns, snowshoes are great for going forwards and sideways, but they can never go backwards. Other fun games to play include classics like Simon Says and Red-Light-Green-Light. Or you can get really creative and try playing Charades, instead of drawing with paper and pencil; you can have your child draw out different shapes with their tracks. Try easy shapes like circles, hearts and houses to start and have someone else guess what the shape is. Another popular activity with children is a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. For a pre-made printable winter scavenger hunt list click here.
4) Where and When
Location and timing are two of the most important decisions you will make to dictate the level of enjoyment had by all. Try to avoid any bad weather; no one likes being exposed to wind, sleet or rain and this goes double for children. Here on the West Coast one of the most popular reasons to participate in snow sports is to take a break from the rainy city and recharge up in the frosted alpine. You will also want to choose easy hikes to start. A nice introductory snowshoe trail is the Wetland Wanderer which starts right at Callaghan Country's Alexander Falls Base Touring Centre. Its a short green (easy) trail and stays close to the base, so you can rest assure that you won’t be very far from your vehicle if things go awry. Once everyone is comfortable with their skills, you can embark on a more challenging winter family adventures! For kids ages 10 and older, get them excited by visiting Alexander Falls! This is a truly spectacular trail with a tall frozen waterfall and the end.
A stay at Journeyman Lodge is one where you are able to just relax and enjoy yourself. Everything is all-inclusive meaning that the only thing that you need to worry about is what to do next. There is so much terrain that you will be spoiled for choice. To top it all off, you can dine on fantastic meals that are cooked to perfection.
It is your holiday and you can truly do what you want to. If you want to relax and not do anything, you are more than welcome to remain in and around the lodge and are able to enjoy the many features that are available. You may choose to have a holiday where there is a mixture of relaxing and activities. Whatever you choose, you can decide on what you want out of your stay. Read More >>
There's at least one of those friends in every group. If you've seen that Portlandia episode "Gotta get the gear", you'll know EXACTLY what we're referring to. Gear heads, gear junkies, outdoor gear nerds... we're not sure which title they prefer more. If one of these individuals is on your Christmas list and you haven't already braved the crowds to seek out the most perfect gift, we have you covered!
#1 - SPOT Connect
The passionate staff at Callaghan Country that not only want you to enjoy the snow, but want you to love the history and the stories that make Callaghan Country so special. ENJOY OUR BLOG!