Let it snow…
It’s winter, the days are short, the temperatures are freezing, and the trails are buried under metres of snow. Hiking season is over… right? Wrong.
The callout template can be used for far more than fair-weather hiking. Our ability to tackle tougher trips in the summer depends partly on keeping our physical conditioning up and the momentum of the list going year-round. Winter offers a whole alternate world of great adventures you may never have imagined. Here are some winter Call-out suggestions:
- Low-altitude hikes (of course)
- Cross-country (XC) skiing
- Avalanche training courses
- Winter camping/survival courses
- Indoor navigation courses
Allow Wanderung to open your eyes to the blinding white of BC’s winter wonderland! Click on a heading below to see more details.
Snowshoe Routes & Trails
With the recent increased interest in snowshoeing, renting gear can be a challenge. Usually renting at the mountain itself is most convenient, but you pay a premium, are subject to their hours, and often have to wait in line. Here are some other rental options:
Valhalla Pure Outfitters
222 West Broadway / 604-872-8872
$12/day $20/2 days
get on Sat after 4pm, return on Mon before noon.
MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop)
130 West Broadway / 604.872.7858
$12/day $20/2 days
Pick-up on Sat after 3pm, return Mon before 1pm, can reserve a week ahead
Altus Mountain Gear
137 West Broadway / 604.876.5255
$8/day or $12/day (depending on the quality) Pick up on Sat after 4pm, return Mon at 10am (opening time)
Sigge’s Sport Villa Ltd.
2077 West 4th Avenue /604-731-8818
$12/day $20/2 days $28/3 days $8/day after that
No reservations, pick up on Sat after 3pm, return Mon
Working hours for all Sigge’s Sport Villa shops:
Monday – Wednesday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday – Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Of course, the alternative to renting is to buy your own. Prices start at around $130–150. Don’t bother with anything cheaper than that as they will lack good bindings and will have poor grip (vital for icy conditions). Popular snowshoes are made by Atlas and MSR. MEC rents MSRs (which have good traction), while many other places rent Atlas (or similar). Try out different makes by renting a few times, or ask your friends to see which they prefer.
Remember, every snowshoe trip (even a short easy one) can be hazardous, dangerous or potentially fatal if appropriate precautions are not taken. We strongly suggest checking the avalanche conditions before going out: CAC bulletins
We also highly recommend taking an avalanche training course and carrying the requisite rescue gear and safety equipment (beacon, probe, shovel, iceaxe, crampons, lots of warm clothing, etc.) on backcountry routes. Canada West Mountain School also offers an excellent and fun introduction to Winter Snow Camping. You will learn the skills needed for overnight winter camping, including igloo and snow cave construction, basic survival techniques for winter travel and avalanche safety skills training.
Hiking below the snowline
For those of us that are less enthusiastic about hiking on snow in winter, the question of where to hike can be somewhat vexing. There are several hikes below 1,000 m worth considering, although even some of these may have snow in winter:
- Lynn Valley (North Vancouver) – 100 m
- Minnekhada Lake (Port Coquitlam) – 100 m
- Teapot Hill (Chilliwack) –
- West Canyon Trail, Gold Creek Falls (Golden Ears) –
- Crocker Lookout (Buntzen Lake) – 440m
- Crooked Falls (Sigurd Creek, Squamish) – 490m
- Diez Vistas (Buntzen Lake) – 500m
- Mount Lincoln/Spirit Caves (just north of Hope) – 655m
- Mount Gardner (Bowen Island) – 720m
For XC Skiers
For those of you into cross-country skiing, we only allow “Wanderung initiated” Call-outs through the mail system but if you are interested in lessons and a bus trip, Sigge’s offer bus rides and lessons in Manning Park and the Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley throughout the winter.
More Useful Winter Links
Disclaimer: The information provided in these pages should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. You should check this information yourself. The reader is warned that it is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information contained in these pages. By providing this information, Wanderung does not assume any liability for the use of this information by our readers. Terms & Conditions