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Welcome to the first issue of the Columbia Valley Adventures newsletter! Geoff Hill and I started a Facebook page with the same name

in early summer 2010. We want our own place where we post photos, events, and links about adventure in the Columbia Valley. Also, we want to connect with other people in the Valley we might not meet in our day-to-day lives and as you may know, Facebook is brilliant at connecting strangers with common interests. Furthermore, we want organizations and companies that organize adventures to post their events and photos on the page as well.

Brought to you by: Geoff Hill Producer/Writer

Jess de Groot Creative/Editor columbiavalleyadventures

We really want the Facebook page to be a place where everyone participates. Everyone posts photos, everyone posts events, everyone shares ideas and links. Our hope and plan for the page is to become much larger and independent, much in the way functions. This newsletter is more of a formal aspect of our adventure project. We want to write articles about ideas, places, and activities focused around the spirit of adventure. We hope that the newsletter over time will grow with more content and contributors. For this first edition, we have an article by Geoff about the new night skiing at Panorama Mountain Village this winter. It’s going to be seven nights a week off the Mile 1 quad chair. Contributor Jocelyn MacGregor works for B.C. Rockies Adventures Centre, a group that helps individuals plan out their adventures. She’s written a piece about snowshoeing at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. There’s also a few submitted photos. I have written an editorial piece about my personal sense of adventure and its origin. We hope you’ll enjoy reading our newsletter. Whether you live here or play here, look us up on Facebook! Just search “Columbia Valley Adventures”. Stay tuned in the spring for the next issue! ~Jess de Groot

Strap in and go snow shoeing Get moving this winter in Fairmont! by Jocelyn MacGregor

Snowshoeing has exploded in popularity and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is bursting with opportunity! Whether you are a first-timer or a snowshoeing veteran, North America’s fastest growing winter sport is plentiful among Fairmont Hot Springs community trails. From a leisurely stroll to a vigorous trek, there’s a snowy exploration out there for everyone. Snowshoeing is one of the easiest and least expensive winter sports to take up. As far as equipment goes, all you need is a pair of snowshoes, poles if you like, and a warm pair of boots. Dressing in layers is always a good idea, as you can take them off and put them back on to suit the weather and your level of physical exertion. Bring the kids and the dog, as this is a sport that the whole family can do together. If you don’t own your own pair of snowshoes, want to try it for the first time, or are seeking a unique snowshoeing experience; BC Rockies Adventures at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort can help. We offer rentals, a new trail map, tips and advice, and guided tours. New this

year is our bird feeding stations, which offer the chance to hand feed local birds and get up-close photos. Guided tours are a great way to get started. You can learn all about snowshoeing and about the local area and wildlife. BC Rockies Adventures offers an afternoon “Snowshoe and Chocolate Fondue” tour and an evening “Snowshoe N’ Chilli” star-lit exploration. On Saturdays, bring the kids for the family-friendly “Chickadee Snowshoe”. If you want to experience the local trails on your own time, bring your own snowshoes or rent a pair. Drop by the B.C. Rockies Adventures Centre located in the Lodge for trail advice, bird seed, and rentals. Keep track of the wildlife and birds that you see on the trails as we always love to hear what you’ve seen during your adventure. The future of our trails is very exciting! Money granted through the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) to the Fairmont Area Recreational & Trails Society will be used to create new trails and manage existing trails within the local community. In association with Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and the local community, the Trails Society will be working to develop better trail signage and maps, promote safe walking trails that will link the

From a leisurely stroll to a vigorous trek, there’s a snowy exploration out there for everyone. community, and increase recreational trails. The future is bright! So far the winter season looks ideal for snowy sports. Get out there and find your snowshoe adventure! Contact the B.C. Rockies Adventures Centre at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for more information at: 250.315.6049

Adventure out into the back country In both our region and all over the world avalanche deaths are avoidable. The people risking their lives to get the challenges and rewards of backcountry follow their passions, looking for something only an untouched snow covered mountain can offer. It’s an admirable feat for the prepared, but for the unprepared often tragic. Snow science is a constantly evolving discipline with new techniques and equipment becoming available every year. If you’ve taken a course before it’s quite likely that you’re going to learn something new at the next one. You can start learning about how to safely access the backcountry by taking a basic recreational avalanche course available in every ski town. It puts you into backcountry terrain safely with experienced guides and possible new backcountry buddies. Even for those that stay in-bounds, the course is extremely rewarding and gives you the basic avalanche knowledge to legitimately increase your confidence and ability to ride radical terrain in a safer way. hosts many resources includ-

Winter 2010

ing weather bulletins, a free online training course and a list of required equipment and instructors you can contact to learn more about course dates. The instructors are pros, often guides for local cat or helicopter skiing businesses. They might be part of the volunteer search and rescue team or ski patrol, and will offer you their years of training and real life experience. Part of the mountain culture in the Columbia Valley is enjoying the backcountry. We push ourselves constantly as we strive to overcome new challenges. With the right knowledge our commitment to the mountain way of life will be respectful to us, others and our surroundings. Learn more about avalanche safety and help pass that knowledge on to others so that we continue to be smart and respectful mountain folk! Additional resources and more information on courses are available on the Canadian Avalanche Centre website at Also visit the BC Search and Rescue Adventure Smart website at www.

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Columbia Valley Adventures

“Here are some photos of my family in our back yard in the wetlands near Parson. My husband, Mark, is the sherpa and our Alaskan Malamute puppy is named Timber.  I love living here for the quality of life that we can offer our children.  Our son, Sage, is three and our daughter, Summer, is one.  I grew up in a city and dreamed of wide open spaces and now that I’m here I delight in knowing that my children will only know the valley lifestyle and that this way of life will be ingrained in their beings.  I can’t imagine a better place to grow up.” ~ Dee, Columbia Valley Adventure Facebook group member

Every night lights by Geoff Hill

This year our beautiful valley has a new and fantastic service to offer our locals and visitors – night skiing! Not just a little bit of night skiing but 1,200 vertical feet of night skiing. This is a fantastic asset to improving the offering of our entire valley. Urban areas like Vancouver and Calgary offer night skiing because their guests demand it and without it they may not even run a profitable business but destination resorts like Panorama operate a little differently. Being that most guests are from out of town and dedicated to skiing during the day they can close the lifts at 4 p.m. having appeased the demand and turned a profit. Even though that may be a reality at our largest resort, this year the commitment of Panorama to offer 7 nights a week, all winter long night skiing is certainly going to be a loss leader of their business model and one that I am happy to tell you about. Panorama installed lights all the way up one side of Showoff,

Columbia Valley Adventures

which is one of their largest green circle runs. The lights, running along the lift line, provide enough light to safely enjoy the ski hill until 9 p.m. The resort confirmed that they are still working to aim the lights in the best way and are working to install the last couple sets of lights in the next few weeks. The surrounding mountains reflect moonlight, the lone run shinning with artificial sunshine and the view of the village at night, creates a truly impressive scene. This genuine night skiing experience is bigger than the resort that offers it; it’s something we can all be a part of and enjoy. It can help working families enjoy the hill together for the first time in years or allow a dad to teach his son to ski after work and school, considering all that homework is done of course! Here the skinny on what it costs and some other services available. Make sure and double check the bus and buffet schedule with the guest services desk at 250-341-3044. Note that night skiing is automatically included with any full day or afternoon ski pass.

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• Lift ticket prices (4 – 9) Adults (19+) $19 Youth/Seniors (13-19/65+) $16 Kids (6-12) $9 5 and Under / Super Senior 75+ FREE • Ski ‘n Dine: $25 for your lift ticket and a voucher worth $10 towards food at Panorama food and beverage outlets • All-You-Can-Eat Buffet in the Great Hall 5:30 to 8:30 every night Adults/Youth: $16.95 Kids: $10.95 4 and under FREE • The Valley Shuttle FREE for everyone Departs Dairy Queen (Invermere) at 4:35 and 5:40 then drives by Sobeys, J.A. Laird, CIBC/Invermere Inn and AG Valley Foods before heading up the hill. Departs Ski Tip Lodge (Panorama) at 6:20 and 9:45 then goes back to Invermere. The shuttle has limited runs in and out of Radium Hot Springs as well so please confirm the schedule with Guest Services. Hats off to you Panorama and thanks for the night skiing!

Winter 2010

Define adventure... My take on adventure by Jess de Groot

When I was a kid, the only sense of adventure I had was delving into a book, letting my imagination take me somewhere; however, there were some sparks of adventure in my later childhood and teenage years. Around age 14 I began to really love water skiing. Once I’d learned to ski slalom and streak across the smooth water, cutting it with my ski, I felt something new. A sort of exhilaration I’d never felt before. Then I began wakeboarding and the excitement grew more with the new sport I was learning. There was something about being pulled along water, on a board or ski, learning something physical, pushing my body, and figuring out what it could do. It was exhilarating. It took a few more years for winter activities to come along. Once November 1 hit, I would be happy to never be outside. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I started venturing outside in the winter. At the probing of friends I had agreed to go downhill skiing. It took awhile, but once I started to ski regularly and began to gain control over my movements and my skis, I began to look forward to ski days! What I really enjoyed was working with my body, learning, falling and learning more. There was a great sense of accomplishment when I pushed myself, while fearful, and succeeded. Since dedicating myself to skiing, I’ve tried my hand at some other sports I never thought I would. Kite boarding is one. A bit of downhill biking, cross-country biking, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.

I feel my sense of adventure really stems from the desire to learn, rather than thrill-seek. I have always loved learning; however, for most of my life it’s been reading and studying books, essays and journals. Even though it can be terrifying, it’s also exciting to stand at the top of a challenging ski run, or a downhill bike trail, or on the beach, board in hand, and go for it. It’s about being in my body, figuring out how to move my muscles and my weight, learning new movements. When I come out the other side, I’m stoked because I’ve learned something new about what I can do physically. Everyone’s sense of adventure is different, and what people find adventurous is equally varied. It doesn’t always mean hucking oneself off a cliff, or skiing vert in Alaska. Sometimes it’s a new food from a foreign land, or driving through a new town. In the end, all I know, and all that really matters, is what sparks my own individual adventurous spirit.

Your Columbia Valley realtor®

MaxWell Realty Invermere Winter 2010

Cell: 250.341.7600 Email: Web: Stay cool

Columbia Valley Adventures

Newsletter Winter 2010/2011  

Our first newletter