Myths and Facts about Canada

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Myths 

  • Canada is close to the Arctic so penguins are the only animals living there

Facts

  • There are more than 10 animals native to Canada: bear : grizzly and black, cougar, moose, lynx, wolf, canadian goose, wales, marmot, wolverine, american pika, bison.. See HERE for photos and more on each of them. Yes one gets to see them when wandering in our Canadian Rockies.. mostly the small ones like pikas, marmots.. and we keep bear and other bigger animals at bay with a bear spray we carry with us in the summer.

Myths

  • In Canada, it’s winter most of the year, the land is covered with snow and never gets green.

Facts

  • It’s is winter for a long time in Canada But we do have 4 seasons like anywhere else (ok plus or minus wink wink!) with spring coming in May, Summer in July and Fall in September. For us outdoor lovers, a long winter is never lost! We have such an amazing mountain backyard where we can entertain so many activities – yes even in the winter! – that when spring comes, we sometimes feel we’ve barely skied all the powder slopes nor ice climbed all the beautiful icicles we had in mind we would!

  

Photos credit Google images.

Happy Feet, Happy People!

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We thought we’d give you our opinion on which boots – winter and summer – are best for the activities we offer our guests.. maybe not in terms of brands specifically but more what to look for. Yes feet are finicky and everyone of us have very different feet in terms of length, width, arch, no arch, toes long or not, some long some not, you get the idea!! So here is what we think:

WINTER

Ski Touring: 

  • Alpine touring boots, compatible with touring binding, preferably a pair that you have used before. No leather, nor cross-country ski boots. Choose them light, flexible, snug fitted and comfortable! Remember you will have them on your feet for 6 hours or more a day..
  • Note that some brands make their ski boots narrower  and some wider than others. Ask a professional at your local sports store, try them there and at home and enquire about the return policy in case of having issue fitting your pair.

 

SUMMER

Trekking, Via Ferratas:

  • Sturdy, waterproof leather trekking / hiking boots with vibram sole and suitable for crampons if having to walk on frozen snow (like early season).

 

 

Glacier Trek – like our Haute Route or Wapta:

  • Leather mountaineering boots* with rigid soles or sturdy, waterproof trekking boots – usable with strap-on crampons

Pictures credit MEC.ca, The Atlanta Internists and OnTop’s photo library.

 

What’s cooking?

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We often have guests ask us what we serve on our Wapta Ski Traverses here in Canada. Unlike Europe, most of the Canadian huts do not have custodians serving meals so what we do is we bring in dehydrated food as we try to minimize weight everyone has to carry on their backs.

You should know that these meals are home-made from scratch by Jorg’s wife Heather who is a true working bee comes Ski Traverses time! I asked her if she was willing to share a couple recipes with us so here they are!

Super Yummy Bolognese :

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Mexican Enchilada:

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PIC OF HEATHER COOKING AT HOME

The result: happy skiers eating delicious and nutrient full home-made meals!!

New Trips on our website!

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We keep having ideas for new trips we like to offer our guests so here is a summary of the ones we added to our website the last few months!

Silvretta Ski Traverse

Here is what the Silvretta has going for itself: Lifts out of the Austrian village of Ischgl bring us quickly to the edge of the backcountry. Straightforward travel with light packs takes us up and across passes and to the tops of relatively easy ski mountaineering summits over 3,000 m. Moderate ski descents, normally with great snow, are extra-enjoyable because of the terrific scenery and lastly the backcountry huts are more like luxurious mountain lodges – some of the best in the Alps featuring excellent Austrian cuisine, beer on tap, sunny terraces, showers, comfortable beds, and even a climbing wall and ice tower!

 

Northern Dolomites Ski Traverse

Northern Italy’s Dolomites have UNESCO World Heritage Site status for good reason – it is simply one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes on the planet. Because of its excellent snow and terrain, the Dolomites are home to one of the largest collections of downhill ski areas in Europe. But it is a big mountain range, and one need not travel far to get off the beaten path and into the backcountry. Amongst the famous, stunning dolomitic rock towers and pinnacles are ski-able summits, steep couloirs, glades, and mellow alpine terrain.

   

 

Spitsbergen / Svalbard Ski and Sail

This is a truly exploratory ski touring expedition in the rugged mountains of Spitsbergen, the only (barely) populated Island in the Svalbard Island group of about 60 islands in the Arctic Ocean north of Norway at a Latitude of 79º. Few spots in this world are as remote and wild as Spitsbergen, not to mention all the wildlife and glaciated peaks that offer world class skiing.