Saturday, 31 December 2016

Winter at Grouse Mountain offers snowshoeing, ice skating and much more!

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Keith and Kristie at the start of the Light Trail
    On Wednesday, December 29 we headed to Grouse Mountain with our daughter Kristie and her boyfriend Eric to try out the snowshoeing on their Light trail. We were not sure about what kind of crowds we might encounter so thought if we arrived around 6:00 pm we would arrive while many people would be having dinner. It proved to be a good plan and we arrived to light rain at the base but we were soon being whisked into to the snow by the large Grouse Mountain gondola. We arrived on top to falling snow and a winter wonderland. There were people skating on the outdoor pond, many people skiing and snowboarding in powdery snow and lots of people trying out the lighted snowshoe trail.

It was snowing heavily while we snowshoed along the Light Trail
      Although we had snowshoes many people were simply walking in hiking shoes or snowboots and the trail was delightful with the hanging lights and Christmas music playing along the route.  With the heavily falling snow we found snowshoes to be the preferred choice but we certainly saw many people who weren’t using them. The trail is just 500 meters long so is attainable by a wide variety of people. We finished the Light trail at the start of a sleigh ride so we opted to do that while Kristie and Eric tried the 1 km Blue Grouse snowshoe trail. The large sleigh is pulled by a snowcat and winds for 10-15 minutes across some of the flatter terrain near the Peak Lodge. In the lodge you can have a quick snack or elaborate dinner and it is a perfect place to come inside and warm up.  We warmed up with a hot chocolate while Kristie and Eric finished their showshoe jaunt. Grouse Mountain is much more than skiing and we fully recommend heading there to try the snowshoeing, take a sleigh ride and go ice skating.  Kids can also enjoy sliding on their dedicated sliding hill. It is all included in the cost of the Alpine Experience pass (except skiing and riding). Next time we head up we are planning a day time visit so we can check out more of their 12 km of snowshoe trails and we would like to explore their ski runs as well.  For more information see:

The Peak Lodge is a perfect place to warm up, meet friends or have a meal

Monday, 5 December 2016

Supercamps are an ideal way to start the cross country ski season.


By Keith and Heather Nicol
At Silver Star you can ski down Main street
      We just returned from a great Supercamp experience at Canada’s largest cross country ski trail network at the Sovereign Lake-Silver Star Nordic facility located near Vernon, B.C. The main Supercamps ran from November 21 to December 4, 2016 and they included 2 weekend camps and two 5 day mid week camps. These camps are worth looking at for many reasons including: early season snow, well qualified CANSI instructors and coaches and a 105 km long trail system that is well groomed for both classic and skate technique. Add to this, presentations by waxing experts, access to a well -equipped weight room, optional yoga and core workout sessions.... what more could you ask for? And did I mention that many cross country ski teams use this area for their early season training camps so you are sharing the trails with some of the continent’s best cross country skiers. Shane Landreville who organizes the Supercamps told us that the number of skiers taking part keeps increasing and many skiers come back year after year. This year there were over 300 skiers who took part and they came from all over North America and even several from England and even Australia!! 
A Supercamp group enjoying the snowy trails
    These camps are geared to everyone from first timers to advanced skiers wanting to improve their technique and get in cross country skiing on a huge variety of trails. If you want a mid season tune up on your skiing you can still take in 2 more weekend camps which are scheduled for January 13-15, 2017 and February 17-19, 2017. For more information see:

At Supercamps skiers get to try the trails at both Silver Star and Sovereign Lake (shown above)