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winter issue

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Ottawa • Gatineau • Ontario • Quebec • US & Beyond

Travel Magazine


Winter picnics and recipes

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse this winter

Beginner’s tips to Alpine skiing

p 48


Across 160kms

Calendar of Events & Outdoor Clubs

of Algonquin Park Towing Sleds

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Watch for the warning signs and don’t snowmobile, walk or cross-country ski near dams and hydroelectric stations. The ice nearby can be thin and dangerous. 02 I ottawaoutdoors


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winter issue

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse this winter p 48

to 28 Addicted the Arctic:

62 days across Ellesmere Island



Across 160kms of Algonquin Park Towing Sleds

Publisher’s letter Snow is enough fun for a picnic 14 Alpine skiing for beginners 19 Hit the slopes with kids in tow 20 Ski hill spotlights 21 Alpine ski tips 22 Polar bear dip for cancer 24 Snow toys add a twist to the fluffy stuff 33 Geocaching family fun 35 Put your best foot forward 38 Travel Spotlight: New York City 42 Cool Gear Hot Clothing 45 Ontario Outdoors Adventure Calendar 46 Outdoor clubs 51 Upcoming events 52 Energy co-op plans another solar rooftop

Cover Photo provided by Grouse Mountain.

enter the wakefield mill inn contest! Getaway Prize

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It’s TOTALLY FREE too! There’s loads of info, videos and more about the local outdoor adventure scene, all delivered in this extremely cool animated version. Just go to to signup at the top right of the homepage and we’ll send you monthly digital issues of the magazine. ottawaoutdoors I 03


The wonder of snowy adventures


wonder how many Ottawa outdoor enthusiasts participate in multiple winter pursuits like xc-skiing, snowshoeing, alpine, etc? Maybe some of you do these and more? Thankfully, now that the snow has arrived you have options to snowshoe everywhere, skate on rinks or the canal and ski on alpine hills or Nordic trails in-city or in Gatineau Park. Nice eh? What better way to enjoy the winter than to just thrust yourself into the snow. All we need are our one-piece snowsuits we wore as children and then we’d be completely uninhibited. Speaking of uninhibited, what do you think of our new magazine design? We threw caution to the wind and decided it needed a new refreshing look to the pages. We hope you like it. We do. Not only does the magazine have this new look we’ve also added additional writers joining the team, a new designer and more tweaks on the horizon. But even with these new changes we’ll be providing the same thorough articles we publish each season, you can count on that. Be sure to like us on our Facebook Page and stay tuned for some great contest prizes — beginning with this issue. Head over to p 41 and see how to enter to win a great prize from the Wakefield Mill Inn! As well, when you picked up this copy of Ottawa Outdoors & Travel you received the Ontario Outdoor adventure calendar. More than just a calendar, it’s a guide to dozens of winter adventures you can book with their staff organizing your entire trip! You can book by activity, city, dates and more. Check it out on p 45. As for this winter issue, there is lots to read. Remember, in addition to the articles the advertisements have an editorial value to you as well. It’s the outdoor community telling you what’s new in product and gear; or giving you tips on where to go for your next winter getaway. So head over to p 9 or p 28 to read about two different but epic winter adventures. It’ll make you feel you were there, and who knows, perhaps you’ll be inspired to do the same journey? We’ve added our largest Cool Gear & Hot Clothing section ever, highlighting a wide variety of products we think you’ll want to know about. There are articles for the family; how to get started in the alpine ski world; how to geocache in winter (I’ve done it); and as always a spotlight on upcoming events and outdoor clubs. The snow has arrived. Time to go play in it.

mail me your comments:

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the team


outdoors &Travel Magazine




Dave Brown, Leslie Foster, Mark Williamson, Chris Lennon, Sheila Ascroft, Kathleen Wilker, ThinkStock/Olga Danylenko, Bruce Watts DESIGN



Gillian Morgan, cuu508, akeg, ThinkStock/ Wojciech Gajda, Keith Milne, Gord Coulthart ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Dave Brown, Publisher | Ottawa Outdoors & Travel Magazine is an independent publication published seasonally every four months and distributed FREE at sports stores and a hundred other locations around the region.

E-mail: Tel: 613-860-8687 or 888-228-2918 Fax: 613-482-4997 HOW TO GET PUBLISHED Ottawa Outdoors & Travel welcomes story and photo contributions. Publisher may publish any and all communications with Ottawa Outdoors & Travel, and may edit for clarity and style. Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index ISSN No. 1204-69556. © Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any materialspublished in Ottawa Outdoors & Travel Magazine is expressly forbidden without consent of the publisher. Printed in Canada

Snow is enough fun for a picnic

A winter picnic is a great cure for cabin fever and a happy contrast to last summer’s beach outings and backyard barbecues. It’s easier than you think – just as easy as a summer picnic – and super fun. Leslie Foster

All it takes is a little planning

You need to know the weather and what’s available as a picnic site locally. If the weather forecast is iffy, pick somewhere close to home (too much snow, sleet or wind can be miserable or dangerous). Otherwise any park, farm,

Photo: thinkstock


Stuff to bring Fixings for lunch in a backpack A camera to capture your gang’s adventurous spirit A large sheet of heavy plastic covered by a blanket to keep bums warm A flashlight for early nightfall Tissue for sniffles and drips

orchard, hiking trail or beach will do. When in doubt, the backyard is a good plan B. If you are bringing a stove or building a fire, make sure it’s legal at your destination.

The key to enjoying – rather than

enduring – a winter picnic is staying warm. Dress in layers so you can add them on or peel them off the kids as the weather dictates. Outer layers need to be breathable, waterproof, and wind-breaking. (Use sunscreen to protect from snow-sun glare.)

Matches or a lighter Trash bags so you leave no trace Collapsible shovel for digging in the snow

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camping The grub

Just eating outside in the snow makes a winter picnic exciting, so keep the food simple. It’s OK to pack what you would take on a summer picnic, but for little kids it’s more difficult to eat some summer fare in full winter armor. Sandwiches and wraps are non-messy and easy to eat. Winter-themed food like snowman-shaped fruit kebabs or Rice Crispies can add a touch of whimsy. Stick-to-your-ribs hot food like chili or soup are a hit, and everyone loves hot apple cider or cocoa. If you build a campfire (or bring a portable stove), hot dogs and s’mores are a winning combination. But if your first outing features show stoppers like these, the kids will likely expect them every time you head outdoors! Contenders for parent-of-theyear awards can try snow cones or maple taffy on snow. Recipes are across the page. Outside action

Plan activities ahead of time so

everyone keeps moving and stays warm. Here are some starters.  Build a snow fort.  Then have an epic snowball fight in and around it.  If the group is big enough, play “frozen” tag (regular tag with a cooler name) or grab the snowman’s nose (same as regular capture the flag, with a wintry twist).  Build a snowman family. Bring markers to ink in the details and create masterpieces.  Make snow angels and fill them in with twigs, leaves, pine cones. Then take pictures – they look really cool framed.  Snowshoe, cross-country ski, hike, find the perfect sliding hill.  Geocache.  Make a table and chairs out of snow. Wow the kids with a tablecloth on the snow at lunch – weird and wonderful. Challenge the kids themselves to come up with ideas for food and fun because planning is part of the excitement. And remind them of the big winter picnic bonus – no bug spray needed.

Snowtime Specials Snow cones

Adapted from


3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1 packet Kool Aid Clean snow (you’re going to eat it!)


1. Combine sugar and water in a medium pot, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 2. Reduce heat and let simmer 3 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. 3. Remove from heat and sprinkle Kool Aid over top. 4. Stir for 1–2 minutes to combine completely. 5. Pour into a glass container and place in fridge to chill. 6. Place a good scoop of clean snow in a cup or mug. 7. Drizzle syrup overtop (1–2 tbsp) and enjoy.

Maple taffy on snow Adapted from


Pure maple syrup


1. Fill a large baking sheet with a lip, lasagna pan, etc. with lightly compacted snow. Put it outside or in the freezer while you boil the maple syrup in a saucepan. 2. Boil syrup for about 10 minutes. A candy thermometer should read 115 °C (238 °F) for perfect taffy. 3. Remove from heat and test it on snow. If it’s too hard, add a little water and stir to combine. If it’s too liquid, boil it some more. 4. Transfer to a Pyrex measuring cup or use a metal spoon to pour the boiling syrup over the snow in long strips. 5. Wait 30 seconds (this is the hardest part). 6. Give everyone a wooden Popsicle stick and start rolling. 7. These won’t keep, so get licking!

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The Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa invites you to come and experience more than 200 km of cross country ski trails offered throughout the Gatineau Park. Choose one of our 4 cross country ski package starting at 229 $ per couple. With our new “Fireplace Package” you will get to experience the Gatineau Park, the Mill’s food and comfortable accommodation. To get full advantage of your “après-ski” try our outdoor hot tub! Other packages offers you a combination of accommodation between the Mill and Gatineau Park. Ski from the Mill into the Park is a unique feature for our property! The Wakefield Mill surely has everything you need for a great cross-country ski getaway.

Experience thrilling moments in the treetops and feel like “Tarzan” while fl ying 168 meters over a lake on a giant zip line! Discover the depths of the earth in the famous Laflèche Cave, the most popular cave on the Canadian Shield. Once again this year, add magic to your holiday season with the Laflèche Cave medieval choir concert. Pastry, hot chocolate and a unique Christmas experience for everyone! Your kids will become a forest hero on trails especially designed for youth. A GPS Rally will challenge the “Indiana Jones” in you and scenic snowshoeing trails will let you explore the forest from a whole new angle. Arbraska Laflèche is your perfect destination for a winter adventure where you can build life long memories with family and friends!

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Across 160 kilometres of Algonquin Park towing sleds Warming temps pile up challenges in winter trek Mark Williamson


omeone once said it’s not an expedition until something goes wrong, and going wrong happened early for us. Planning our JanuaryFebruary winter sled-hauling trek across Algonquin Park, we expected frostbite, wind chill and whiteouts. But for a lot of our time in the wilderness, it was rain, slush and thin ice. We had watched our friends disappear back down the trail in the gathering dusk of a January night, leaving the two of us on the western edge of the park with three sleds, 120 kilograms of supplies and a lot of doubts. As backcountry silence descended around us, I was aware that my friend Jeff Harvey, a field biologist and traveller like me – both in our 50s – had never actually been winter camping before. As for me, I had done some winter weekends, but nothing like this. We had come to Algonquin looking to combine our passion for nature with a test of our own limitations, and some science. Environment Canada data for Algonquin Park since the 1940s shows a two-degree rise in January and February temperatures, a trend that was hammered home to us – hammered so hard that we started to think that winter experiences like this could disappear, with unknown effects on the Canadian psyche. As a biologist and teacher, I wanted to show students that real experience of nature trumps everything. It was a familiar idea to Jeff, a Canadian research scientist teaching nature conservation and climate change in the Netherlands at Amsterdam University. Trekking alone across the 160 kilometres of lakes, trails and bush between us and the eastern gate of the park for 23 days meant learning Algonquin’s lessons. Starting with the slush lesson

Winter lakes often harbor an insulated layer

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Trekking alone across the 160 kilometres of lakes, trails and bush between us and the eastern gate of the park for 23 days meant learning Algonquin’s lessons of unfrozen slush under the snow, so sled bottoms thicken with tightly bound ice converting them into snowplows until they grind to a halt. So our first days were slow-paced and demoralizing as we tried to accept this slowmotion plodding mostly across lakes. Trails and summer portages, where they existed and where we could use them, were so deep in powder snow that the best we could manage was 40 steps of leg-burning effort between panting rests. Next came the rain lesson. It started as soon as we left the tent on the third day, as lake surfaces turned into a deep slurry that seeped into our boots. In planning, we’d expected some rain, but hadn’t appreciated the threat it represented. That threat was revealed by the packing lesson. Making camp on Jubilee Lake, we had to dump litres of rain water out of our sled bags.

The food was dry inside plastic carrier boxes, but now we knew the sleeping bags had to be protected at all costs. Soaked clothing – even gloves – would take more than a week to dry. When temps plummeted over the next week and anything wet froze solid, we awoke to the reality of Ontario winter in a 21st-century climate. In steady snow and biting wind we faced unbroken trails thigh-deep in snow with substantial uphill pitches. After a few attempts dragging upslope through the deep stuff, we learned to break trail first and haul sleds up one by one. Our former comfortable world gave way to unwashed hair, a frugal diet, the stink of our bodies and the expedition’s rhythm and personality. Reaching Misty Lake at dusk after a crystalline winter day we breathed in its backcountry feel and added our snowshoe prints to the wolf tracks crisscrossing the surface. Snowshoe hare and moose tracks were


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Sledhauling with heavy loads is like doing a 10 K run every day – overheating is as bad as freezing.

everywhere. Moose seemed to follow portages, their large pads compacting the snow, but their lumpy frozen tracks hobbled our feet and wobbled the sleds. We had achieved our short-term goal of reaching central Algonquin’s big lakes area, with a chance to make better time if the surface co-operated. After navigating through McIntosh Creek, a large wetland that never solidly freezes, we traded snowshoes for skis for the first time. A happy trade: The snowshoes had broken through the creek’s mounded air pockets, turning them into weighted diving boots. But now, with glide wax glopped over sled bottoms, we ski-hauled 10 kilometres, our best day yet. In the narrow channel connecting White and Big Trout lakes, we tested ice thickness a lot – life here depended on a few centimetres of solidified water. Iced-over sleds meant stopping to scrape or bash the ice off, a chore which turned sled hauling into something like dragging the corpse of Sam McGee.


Getting out of a warm sleeping bag on a midwinter morning requires a major act of will.

Our tent was a welcome refuge for up to 16 hours during long January nights.

After 12 days we reached Merchant and Happy Isle Lakes and a long portage into Opeongo, the large lake at the centre of Algonquin Park and midpoint of the trek. We turned south in a killer blend of rain and very cold days, with shoreline landmarks seeming to be stubbornly fixed as we plodded down the western arm of Opeongo, alone with our thoughts – and you can do a lot of thinking in 23 days. Songs, phrases, images would arise, linger and fade as the hours went past. I found myself repeating an uncharacteristically biblical mantra: “Sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof.” Rain, the former enemy, provided the turning point of the expedition. We had agreed to a rest if heavy rain started and I was secretly looking forward to it. During the night on Opeongo the wind picked up, rain fell, and melting snow dropped off the trees and pounded onto the tent. By morning the temperature had risen to +4 degrees and we looked out on a changed world. The rain was gone and so was the snow except for a thin layer over still-solid ice on the lake. We lashed the snowshoes to sleds and set off on foot up the east arm of the lake to the exit portage, a good eight kilometres on a day where we expected a tough slog and maybe another soaking. In two weeks we’d learned a lot about sleds, but bushwhacking cross-country through tangled undergrowth on the five kilometre portage out of Opeongo revealed our shortcomings. We plugged along – this tree, that patch of slush, 200 steps to the next rest break – no longer breaking trail before hauling sleds, because neither of us could face retracing our steps to go back for them. Heavy? Not even the food sled had lost weight. Even so, we kept three kilograms of moose antlers lashed ottawaoutdoors I 11


The education of a new adventure junkie – slush break on the trail

aboard; the weight was a burden and the tines caught on everything, but every expedition needs a mascot and “Al” was ours. The portages east of Opeongo had deadfalls, blowdowns and splintered trees, tops twisted off violently. One portage trail was a train wreck of downed trees piled together. After climbing over, under and around them (including time out for a full body plunge off a teetering log) we stumbled out onto Sundassa Lake just at sunset. Besides scrapes and bruises, the last few days had cost us a broken ski pole, a lost glove torn from under bungee cords, an almost-lost ski boot spotted at the last minute in the snow, and a sled-hauling rope, all victims of the branches and slash we’d been battling. We had talked about reaching the Achray logging road and storming down it to the park’s eastern gate, but it seemed a long way off. The alternative was 30 kilometres of old rail line, but deep snow on these open trails crossed off that idea. So Achray road it was. Part way there, we reached White Partridge Lake and figured the worst was over. A nice ski across flat, open terrain and then a snowshoe march up an 18-kilometre cart trail – a leftover from the days of logging with horse power – to Achray Road and the east gate, perhaps three days of steady hauling. But at the northern end of the lake we confronted a confusing maze of tracks instead of the clearly marked cart trail. We followed what looked like the best of these, but within 100 metres it petered out. A trail network radiated out from our location and I painstakingly followed each through several GPS map pages until I had one going in almost the right direction. But it too quickly narrowed and ended like the last one. A minor side trail was the most promising. 12 I ottawaoutdoors

It was choked with fallen trees, slowing us to a crawl through a giant game of pick-up sticks. As day 20 ended, Jeff dubbed one stretch “the corridor of death.” Nothing on the map looked like it, but we were out of options. After half a kilometre I felt a trickle of worry as it too began to narrow, but I pushed through yet more overhanging branches and … we were finally in the open! Stretching ahead were two parallel tracks, the cart trail were looking for. It was choked with fallen trees, slowing us to a crawl through a giant game of pick-up sticks. As day 20 ended, Jeff dubbed one stretch “the corridor of death.” There wasn’t even room to pitch the tent on the track, but he wasn’t fazed. It was hard to believe that three weeks ago the grizzled adventurer beside me had never seen a sled or used a pee bottle. We looked more like a refugee column than an expedition. We had added a pair of liner gloves, bungee cords and our treasured thermometer to the list of losses on the trail. I’d forgotten a roll of toilet paper at a previous camp and we both eyed the remaining stock possessively. We had no dry socks in a race between trench foot and frostbite, we’d each lost 15 to 20 pounds, and our cold resistance was down. Achray Road turned out to be slick-packed, a joy to haul on. We marched a euphoric eight kilometres in two hours, and watched a logging truck barreling through to remind us that we were back in civilization. Sand and gravel on the road and chewed our sleds into strips of orange plastic, holes worn right through them

in places. A logger in a pickup truck stopped to talk, the first person we’d seen in three weeks. He had seen our tracks 20 kilometres back, “but you never see anyone on this road,” he told us. Hearing our story of the cart trail, he showed us a large dent in the hood of his truck. “An ice storm last November brought down thousands of trees. I came to pull my crew out of the bush and in 20 minutes 40 or 50 trees came down over the road including the one that did this.” We were the first to complete this route in winter, which turned out to be one of the warmest in Algonquin since 1940, with all the instability and fluctuations that are top of mind for climate change researchers. We wondered if this kind of trip would even be possible in the future. On our last leg, with Jeff trailing, we heard the now-familiar sound of a logging truck. The huge rig rounded a corner, slowed down and came to a hissing stop beside Jeff, who laughed and reached for something behind the cab. The driver started up, waving to me as he went past. “What was that about? Did he know we were out here?” “Yeah,” Jeff said, handing me my ski boots. “He found these in the middle of the road about five kilometres back. Thought you might want them.” 

Mark Williamson, PhD, teaches at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ont. He is to take students to Iceland in April for a glacier traverse and to climb that country’s highest peak.

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D O N ’ T H I B E R N AT E. R U N. N E V E R




1. Pick a month 2. Choose an adventure 3. Book it and go Choose from countless adventures all organized for you.

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to choose adventures by experience, season, length of stay or city.

calabogie peaks resort •

• •

Completed its fourth consecutive annual snowmaking expansion extending snowmaking to 100% of its trails. They installed over 4km of water pipeline increasing the uphill water delivery capacity more than 100% to over 7500 litres of water per minute. Installed more than 30 additional SMI (Snow Making International) patented fan and tower guns Now are using a state of the art snow making system freeing The Peaks from relying on diesel powered compressors, saving the environment from 125,000 liters of diesel exhaust each year. This eliminates over 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions or an offset of 28,000 trees.

register at frost & fire race • • •

in its first year this Triathlon and 10k run will take place in Wakefield January 26, 2014 The Winter Triathlon is 2.5km snowshoe run, 9.5km xc-ski and a 5km run of farmland Sign-up at

enter to win the fireplace pkg at the wakefield mill inn •

imagine snowshoeing or xc-skiing all day in Gatineau Park and then heading to the Inn for a complimentary night’s stay, use of their outdoor hot tubs, $35 towards your bar and breakfast the next day! Sounds nice eh? Send an email to and your name goes in for the January draw.



5607 Hazeldean Road 613-831-3604 203 Richmond Road 613-792-1170 shop online at

Protect what matters. Be smart and prepare a Legal Will before your trips and adventures. Call for a quote today!

because anything can happen in the outdoors.

New snowshoe race •

• •

Are you ready for a great challenge of snowshoe races? The team from the Gatineau Loppet have developed three courses of 2.5 km, 5 km and 10 km race during the Gatineau Loppet weekend. And don’t forget the popular Mad Trapper Races which take place throughout the winter months Sign up for both these snowshoe races at either The Mad Trapper ( or Gatineau Loppet ( For your WILLs, POWER of ATTORNEY and assistance with other LEGAL MATTERS. Tel: 613-731-2453 Fax: 613-249-7060 | ottawaoutdoors I 13


Mom and dad teaching their young one to ski.

Alpine skiing for beginners The ski hills in the region have all programs where you can sign up and get started. Choose a single or group learn-toski package to learn the basics of turning and stopping.

Dave Brown


ith winter before us, many are thinking of getting their children (or themselves) onto alpine skis for the first time. It’s understandable of course, because alpine skiing (downhill skiing) oozes fun at every turn. It’s probably the culmination of shopping for the right winter clothing, riding the chair 14 I ottawaoutdoors

lift up, up and up, skiing on trails among the trees, and finishing the day with an après lifestyle of food and drink by a toasty fire in a cosy ski lodge. Need I go on? It’s an incredible way to enjoy the sun and slopes with family or friends, and in this town, the hills are everywhere! LESSONS

If you or the kids are skiing for the first time, you’ll want to take lessons. For me, it was

lessons on Mooney’s Bay Hill with coloured tape stuck to the top of my poles to identify one’s skill level. I can’t recall how we got back up the hill, but I do remember learning with fondness. Today, the ski hills in the region have all sorts of programs where you can sign up and get started. Choose a single or group learn-toski package to learn the basics of turning and stopping. You’ll have the options to rent skis, boots, helmet and poles or you can come with your own. The ski hill staff members know exactly what to do to get you set up. For you or the kids, they’ll ensure you’re in the appropriate age and skill level. You’ll most likely learn on the bunny hills (smaller elevation), so you can work on the fundamentals. {turn to p 17}

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alpine Decide whether you’re more comfortable with private or group lessons. Some choose private lessons just to get started and then move to the more affordable group lessons. In the beginning, it’s about getting comfortable and then later it becomes more about practising and less about learning. Instructors may vary, as every personality is different. So if you find you and the instructor are not gelling properly, consider signing with another male or female coach to get you ready for the sport. With many ski hills nearby from which to choose (Calabogie Peaks, Camp Fortune etc.), and with lessons filling up quickly, book online or phone the hills directly and reserve early. OTHER TIPS

Once you’re confident enough to ski from the top, you’ll need to know some of the basics. This includes getting a lift ticket, how to get off the chair lift, etc. Look for specials as ticket prices vary before and during the season. Obviously, you’ll pay regular price for weekends and holidays, but often mid-week day or night skiing, and spring skiing prior to the season


It’s an incredible way to enjoy the sun and slopes with family or friends, and in this town, the hills are everywhere

ending will afford better rates. Also children and seniors reap the rewards with better prices as well. Staying safe is a big part of alpine skiing as well. Not only should you not stray from the groomed trails and always wear your helmet, but also you’ll have to be safe getting on and off the chair lift. Yes, you read that correctly. More than once a person has been too scared or got caught getting on or off the lift, bringing embarrassment as you get rescued. For your safety and honour, here’s what you need to know: As you wait to board the chairlift, firstly remove the ski poll straps from around your wrist and hold them like you would normally when skiing.

Wait for the previous chair lift to pass and then follow the instructions of the staff. Obviously, while standing in line, you’ll have seen what others in front of you have done. When it’s clear, use your poles to propel you forward as you wait a few seconds for the lift to come behind you. As the chair taps your leg, sit back and then reach up to lower the bar. Rest your skis on the small T-bar step, enjoy the ride up and take in the view. Now for the trickier part. As you approach the top of the hill, raise the bar and position your skis so you can ski down the tiny ramp as the lift pushes you off. Keep your balance and use your poles and perhaps come to a stop to adjust your gear before heading down a run. Alpine skiing is blast. And with the early snowfall we’ve just had, the base is solid. There is much winter ahead and what could better than heading to the hills with family or friends and enjoying all the activities. You couldn’t have picked a better time to hit the slopes.  Originally published in Dave’s Ottawa Citizen bi-weekly column.

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Hit the slopes with kids in tow Planning ensures a hassle-free ski day

Leslie Foster


f you’re nervous about skiing with your children, get over it. A little ski-forethought goes a long way toward a good day on the slopes for everyone. Start by picking a familyfriendly hill or resort – most of them are – and bring along a sitter if you can. If you can’t bring a sitter, go with another family, so parents can take turns watching the kids in the chalet while the

rest get more ski-time. Before you leave, check your gear. Starting with the idea that one-piece snowsuits are bad news for trips to the bathroom. That said, if your gear is in good working order and fits properly – especially boots – there won’t be any bad surprises. Did we say especially boots? Yes! Too big, and socks bunch up, boots rub, and blisters will

signal a quick end to a ski day. Too tight, and feet will get cold or hurt. Once you’re on the road, don’t travel in the car with those boots on. Feet will sweat and wet feet get cold. Helmets are required for kids, to protect them from falls and collisions. And they’re warmer than hats. For keeping children – or anybody – warm, a waterproof outer

layer is essential. The goal is to stay warm riding the chairlift but not sweaty while bombing down the hill, so an insulated breathable fabric is best. If it has a hood, be sure that it fits over your child’s helmet to avoid heat loss around the neck. A child needs a hip-length jacket with a built-in snow barrier. Layers of thermal clothes will wick sweat away and keep kids warm. And layers allow you to take clothes on or off as the weather dictates. Bring hand and toe warmers. Once the skiing is under way, put the kids in a group lesson at some point for uninterrupted grownup ski time. Some hills offer childcare; take up the offer. Children ride between adults on ski lifts to help them on and off and keep them warmer for the long ride up. Hungry kids are miserable, so pack lots of food – finger food and hot cocoa are favourites – but make sugary treats just a small part of your meal. You don’t want kids bouncing off the walls on a sugar high and then come crashing down. Because kids grow fast, think about renting equipment or buying gently used gear at ski swaps or consignment stores like Play It Again Sports. When the day is done, ensure a happy ride home with cozy blankets and stuffies for the young passengers. You might get lucky and have sleeping kids before you hit the highway. Once you’re home, put a checklist in your ski bag, so next trip you’re not caught at the hill missing snow pants or ski boots 

Ski trip checklist  Lift passes or tickets purchased on-line  Ski/boards/poles  Ski boots (left and right!)  Ski jacket  Ski pants  Helmets

 Goggles or sunglasses  Ski locks  Snow boots  Hand/toe warmers  Hats/balaclavas  Neck warmers/ scarves  Extra socks

 Gloves and mitts aplenty  A change of clothes for accidents (puddles or other)  Slippers for in-thechalet wear  Snacks and drinks

(lots of them)  Toys (electronics, books and board games are good bets)  Health card  Any medication you might need (for you or the kids)

 First aid kit (BandAids work miracles)  Sunscreen and lip balm  Disinfectant wipes for hands and tables  Lots of tissue for runny noses

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ready, set, attack!

There is often a tendency to over-analyze ski technique, but at its core, all good, effective skiing is done while in balance


and attack the obstacles in my way as I move down the slope

Chris Lennon | Photos: Gillian Morgan


Of course there’s a bit more that goes into the mix, but when we’re out on the hill exploring new terrain and negotiating uneven or freshly blanketed and thus hidden obstacles, we don’t have time to think about all the finer details. We can, however, use certain tactics to help us stay in balance, and one that I regularly use is to envision myself attacking the slop as I would an opponent in football or an opponent’s serve in tennis. Rather than resting on my heels on the baseline, I picture myself on the balls of my feet ready to pounce on


As I clear each obstacle and continue to move forward and down the hill, I recoil and get ready to respond to the next feature that will keep me on my toes and wanting to come back for more

ottawaoutdoors I 21


When the Unexpected happens . . .

Sears Great Canadian Chill: Getting into the real cold at Britannia Beach on Jan. 1, 2013.

Polar bear dip at Britannia a New Year’s treat . . . we'll be expecting you! Our Services include: • manual orthopaedic therapy • vodder lymphatic therapy • personal fitness training • vestibular rehabilitation • pelvic floor program • sports therapy • osteopathy • orthopaedics • acupuncture; and • massage therapy

A cool attack on children’s cancer to raise money for 17 Canadian oncology centres. Leslie Foster

On New Year’s Day, “Chillers” are scheduled to plunge into the icy Ottawa River at Britannia Beach to raise money for 17 Canadian children’s oncology centres. The Sears Great Canadian Chill; Stopping Kids Cancer Cold is a traditional “polar bear dip.” Donations are to support the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and 16 other cancer centres for children. The money goes for all the hospitals’ needs – research, treatment, equipment, programming, family support and the like. Anyone can register as an individual or a team and get a fundraising account with

rewards for reaching levels of $150, $300, $500, and $1,000 in donations. A costume contest is scheduled for participants to dress up their Chiller spirit. Prizes will go to the top fundraisers and best costumes. Britannia Beach is at 2805 Carling Ave., and you can get there by public transportation or park on site. Registration opens at 10 a.m. and the first wave of chillers is to hit the water at 12:45 noon. Minimum age is 12, with a signed consent from a parent or guardian. Organizers recommend a visit to the doctor before you participate. You can donate, and find out more about this anti-cancer plunge at

130 Albert St., Suite 610 613-594-8512

22 I ottawaoutdoors



Come be a part of Canada’s celebration of winter running — The Winterman Marathon and Winterman Relays at the Canadian War Museum Something for everyone. . . From start to finish

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Snow toys add a twist to the fluffy stuff

The Yardboard is a super cool slider that lets you go booting down hills with no other special equipment required. It works on dirt, grass or snow and is virtually indestructible. Recommended for ages six and up.


Leslie Foster


In snow time, some people are hunkering down, looking for the rock salt, and lighting a fire. Others can’t wait to get outside to enjoy the fresh, white, cold blanket over our part of the world. For this happy group, fun is everywhere, including the back yard, so we’ve looked up some “tools” to make bombing down the hill, fort-building, and snowball fights even better. Think safety: Wear a helmet for downhill fun, stay away from roads or snowmobile trails, and pick hills with no trees or rocks.

If you’re under attack, there’s nothing like speed to replenish your pile of snowballs. The Snowball Maker is durable plastic, and easy enough to use for little kids and cool enough for the biggest kids. It makes perfect, soft, round snowballs … great for throwing, an essential snowball war tool.

x The lightweight Snow Block Maker makes building forts more fun than ever. Its uniform bricks

24 I ottawaoutdoors

For anyone with artistic urges, snow can be a marvelous canvas. Crayola Washable Markers are great for decorating snowmen. Spray bottles filled with KoolAid easily add colour to larger surfaces.


make stacking a breeze. Just pack with snow and dump. With the right snow conditions, you’ll be surrounded by walls in no time.

Hand-crafted, vintage-style toboggans made by Mountain Boggans feature steam-bent, knot-free basswood planks and handcarved willow crosspieces. Gorgeous and functional, the sleds curl at the front large enough for adult feet. Each model has an extra-long rope for easy towing. This one will last for generations. Available in four-foot (1.2 m), sixfoot (1.8m) and eight-foot (2.4 m) lengths. If you have wee ones, check out their vintage-style baby sleds too.



the great outdoors and more!

this year... eliminate the cabin fever blues SNOW, it’s our favorite four letter word. Every Year we get piles of it. How many inches you ask? Actually we measure our snow in feet, and most winter’s it’s so high we prefer to share it rather than shovel it. We also like to make things with it, like trails and tracks and moguls. We’ve discovered that it’s even good for holding up your ice- fishing rod just right. You might even spot the odd igloo, although we recommend one of our more comfortable hotel rooms, or cozy resorts. Don’t look to the Farmer’s Almanac for ideal snow destinations this winter, just head north to Timmins because here we know snow and the conditions are usually perfect for all your winter outdoor recreational pursuits. Here you can actually feel the warmth of our Northern Ontario winter. At the end of a beautiful, crisp, winter day we’ll warm your heart and soul as you warm your toes. For a true taste of wilderness hospitality, there are well appointed rustic resorts and lodges, full service hotels and motels and well appointed B&B’s at your service. Making your stay even more pleasant is a wide variety of dining options, from casual, to fine dining. With regular service by Porter Airlines, Air Canada and Bear Skin Air getting here has never been easier.

Winter Experiences:

The residents of the City of Timmins enjoy the best of all worlds. Our great outdoors combined with a lifestyle and quality of life often the envy of many other jurisdictions, makes this city a perfect place to be all year round. Timmins is home to hundreds of lakes and rivers that are just waiting to be discovered, even in winter. We are passionate about the great outdoors and the many adventures and activities that are never more than a stones throw away. With the clean, crisp air and the glistening snow of winter, it’s no wonder that so many families living here have discovered the joys of ice fishing on the many frozen lakes and waterways usually teeming with perch, whitefish, trout, northern pike and of course, the tasty, succulent pickerel. The sight of many multi colored fishing huts popping up on many of our area lakes is testament to our love of the great outdoors. Located only 3 km from downtown Timmins, the Porcupine Ski Runners is one of the largest cross country ski clubs in Canada. Boasting a new $1.7 million dollar Xstrata Copper

Chalet and approximately 30 kilometers of scenic and groomed trails, some fully illuminated for night skiing, you can enjoy an incredible experience while sharing the great outdoors with lynx, moose, weasels, snow hares, partridge, and a snowy owl. For the avid hiker the Porcupine Ski Runners is truly a paradise with a fully signed snowshoe trail system designed to challenge anyone from experienced to novice while providing all ages with the ultimate workout. For your convenience, locker rentals and snowshoe rentals are available The Porcupine Ski Runners is truly a world class facility! For more information, on rates or upcoming activities visit The Kamiskotia Ski Resort has been a part of this community for over 40 years and has become an important winter attraction for the City of Timmins. Its northerly location gives it a nearly six-month season with an average snowfall of 340 cm (134 in.). Located on Mt. Jameson, an extinct volcano, Kamiskotia provides a 122-metre vertical, proving to be the 3rd highest vertical out of 8 resorts in Northern Ontario. With 12 runs over 68 acres of land ranging from easy to extremely difficult, this resort can be challenging for any level of skiing and snowboarding. Kamiskotia has a piece of winter for everyone and anyone with any level of capability. The Venture Center Tube Park, equipped with night lights and a rope lift is a great way to hit the hill with the whole family. With 2 cross country skiing loops, a state of the art chalet and bar, changing area with lockers and much more this makes our resort one of the top resorts in Ontario. To learn more about their facilities and activities please visit Timmins is the ultimate destination for a snowmobile vacation. Here you will enjoy spectacular scenery, where you will log hundreds of kilometers on our network of uncongested, perfectly groomed trails. With an average annual snowfall of close to 10 feet, this snowmobile destination is “best in class”. Access our many shops, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and local attractions such as the Cedar Meadows Wilderness Park, (where you will be up close and personal with the Majestic Canadian Moose), from the comfort of your sled via our snowmobile friendly network of routes. For more information, contact us at 1-800-387-8466 or visit

warm up to winter We will be at the following outdoor adventure shows: Toronto | February 21-23 Ottawa | March 15-16

For your free colour travel guide call 1-800-387-8466 or download a copy at


Addicted to the Arctic Hugh Dale-Harris skijoring with dog Larry and pulling a two pulks on Ellesmere Island.

Four men, four dogs, 62 days across Ellesmere Island Sheila Ascroft


dventure comes in all sizes, but Ottawa resident Hugh DaleHarris prefers the really big ones. Especially big Arctic ones. “I’ve definitely caught the ‘Arctic Bug’,” he says. He caught the bug’s “skijoring” version, the kind where an adventurer on cross-country skis teams up with a trusted and very hardworking dog to haul 100 kilograms-plus of gear across snow and ice. In March, with his canine partner and three other man-dog teams, Dale-Harris traversed 985 kilometres of Ellesmere Island on skis. “Ellesmere is a magical place,” said DaleHarris, 42. “It’s a precious land and not many people know about it or visit there because it’s so isolated.” With American John Huston, Norwegian Tobias Thorleifsson, and South African filmmaker Kyle O’Donoghue, they retraced the century-old route of Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup. They called it the New Land Expedition.

28 I ottawaoutdoors

When I first met him last winter, this tall, lean 42-year-old with an easy-going manner was wearing a harness like a donkey and pulling tires along bare pavement in Ottawa East. First, it was two tires. Then three, sometimes with one of his children sitting on the rims. He maxed out at five after months of “land” training, some of it actually on snow and ice. Ironically, the weather up north was mostly warmer than expected and made for great skijoring. It wasn’t all work. The explorers walked the land, filming and seeing (and being seen) by wildlife: more than 60 wolf sightings (one stole food from their unoccupied tent), 96 muskox, 116 Arctic hares (three from a nearby den came within spitting distance), two polar bears, 16 seals and five Arctic fox. Dale-Harris is no newcomer to this kind of thing. He co-led the North Pole 2005 worldrecord dogsled expedition (36 days, 750 kilometres) and was part of a 4,000-kilometre dogsled project from Yellowknife to Pond Inlet in 2004. “If you are passionate about something,” he says, you end up in “some of the most stun-

Awesome close-up of a muskox herd of about 12 animals spotted up

ning and awe-inspiring places in this amazing country.” The team’s Ellesmere route celebrated an expedition that mapped over 200,000 square kilometres of Canada’s high Arctic more than 100 years ago. Norwegian Otto Sverdrup led a trek that overwintered on Ellesmere Island in 1898–1902. He came home with thousands of plant samples, 2,000 glass containers of smaller animals, quantities of plankton, rock and fossils, and data on ice, local temperatures, and the Earth’s magnetism that took years to process and be published in


Expeditioners: (from left): Hugh Dale-Harris (Canada), Tobias Thorleifsson (Norway), John Huston (USA), and Kyle O’Donoghue (South Africa), expedition videographer. | Map of the route.

Skijoring down the smooth ice of a river on another beautiful day int he Arctic.

on a hill

five volumes. Dale-Harris says that despite that expedition’s scientific importance, it’s not well known. His group wanted “to shed light on this incredible expedition of humble, loyal, highly skilled people who quietly went about their ways, living and thriving in sometimes truly harsh conditions.” Dale-Harris shrugs off the weather. “I love the cold. I grew up in Ottawa, but I’ve learned that it is about the farthest place south that I would live.” Sleeping in the cold was

Pulling tires (loaded with concrete chunks) as a dryland training method for the expedition.

not much of a problem either because soon enough the group had 24-hour sunlight. “With the sun always hitting the tent, and no tree shade, the tent can warm up quite a bit. In the last few weeks, we actually tried to beat the heat by sleeping in the day and travelling at “night.” The cooler option was better for the dogs too. (The four well-furred powerhouses were Larry, Elle, Napu and Axel). “Travelling at night with the sun low and at our backs was some of the most beautiful skijoring I’ve done. The light illuminated the landscape and

ice around us in a way that I will never forget.” Dale-Harris was primed for a trip such as this. For years he ran dog teams at Outward Bound, north of Thunder Bay and then had his own team. He says the dogs added much to the expedition besides muscle power. Teammate John Huston says the dogs “were our teammates and they knew it. They signaled this with their boisterous hooting and howling sessions (led by bandleader Elle who has a very impressive vocal range) that sounded off every morning when we started packing the sleds. They were our eager sled ottawaoutdoors I 29

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Enjoying a quiet moment with some fearless Arctic hares.

pulling partners, snack break companions, endless sources of conversation, subjects of our silly songs and sillier banter, wildlife warning signals, and an endearing, hilarious social presence.” And their muscle was impressive. “Each man-dog combo pulled pulks (sleds) with

about 250 pounds (just over 100 kg) of equipment at least 20 kilometres per day,” Dale-Harris says. So men and dogs needed a lot of food. Dale-Harris was especially fond of en-route snacks of deep-fried bacon. Breakfast ‘soup’ was whole milk powder,

butter, olive oil, and sugar mixed with a freeze-dried packaged breakfast cereal. “We also made our own 630-calorie energy bars with donated Camino chocolate, almond butter, butter, ground mixed nuts, coconut oil, and flavouring. We ate at least two per day and never tired of them! Dinner was usually a freeze-dried entree with extra olive oil, butter, and hot chocolate and potato chips.” With two Norwegian clothing sponsors they stayed comfortable, warm and relatively non-stinky. “When we got to the Eureka weather station, after 30 days of trekking, the people said we were the best smelling expedition to arrive!” Dale-Harris says with a laugh. Despite ice travel being relatively fast and easy, “it was more interesting to go overland … little hikes and skis onto the land after we pitched the tent or on our days off.” Was there danger? Well, to hear him tell it, there was no worry about polar bears or wolves, but a fire from spilled stove fuel in the tent “would have been horrendous.” It didn’t happen. The team travelled through the dense polar bear populations on Bjorn (Norwegian for “bear”) Peninsula, and had two encounters

ottawaoutdoors I 31


You can get it if you really want

There are ways to handle the money side of adventuring

R Sixty-two days of travelling on skis in a pristine land where the weather only turned stormy once.

with the locals. Both times, the bears walked around downwind, sniffing and standing on hind legs for a better look, but then “decided there were better meal options” and left to hunt seals. A pack of eight wolves also checked out the camp one day – from about 200 metres away. “They looked like ice chunks!” says Dale-Harris. “They just seemed to appear out of nowhere, howled and our dogs responded. They sniffed around a little bit but stayed their distance. Then they vanished into the Arctic again. They’re amazingly camouflaged.” While delights abounded there was one disappointment. The men believe they located a Sverdrup cairn on Ellesmere’s north coast (working from details in Sverdrup’s account of the trip in a book titled New Land, and his diary), but nothing at the site proved it was his. Robert Peary left a note in this cairn around 1905, but did he build it?

“Connecting our expedition to Sverdrup’s was a really big deal,” says Dale-Harris, keenly aware of the comparison of “reading about an area or an experience in his books, and then seeing it for ourselves. We could so easily imagine what it would have been like for them.” The fossilized forest on Axle Heiberg Island is high on his delight list – remnants of a forest 40 million years old. “For days before reaching it, we were finding fossilized wood in the river.” At the site itself, “there were still also large chunks of stumps and branches in decent condition. Pretty amazing!” Asked about the future, Dale Harris mentioned Nunavut’s Skraeling Point with its tent rings and food caches thousands of years old. “There are so many magical places not far from Eureka, and Grise Fiord would be interesting….” But for now, he looks back to “the magical kingdom of Ellesmere. Stunning beauty every day, and changing too.” 

The expeditioners at a cairn they thought was built by Otto Sverdrup but there is no proof. Robert Peary left a note there in1905.

32 I ottawaoutdoors

eaders who enjoy yarns like the trek across Ellesmere Island might still end up thinking, “some guys have all the luck; I could never afford that kind of adventure.” Well, we’re here to tell you that Hugh Dale-Harris and his family are no millionaires. They live frugally – bike everywhere, few restaurant meals, that kind of thing – and still go adventuring to the ends of the Earth. As he says, “Financially we can pull this off partly because our family lives in a way that we don’t have a tonne of expenses. My current work is flexible, I’m an educational researcher with Lakehead University, and I work from home.” But there’s more to it than that. You have to go looking for money, and Dale-Harris has done a lot of that, successfully. It means finding sponsors. “Bergan’s of Norway and Devold saw something of value in this expedition, and without their financial and in-kind support, it would not happen,” Dale-Harris says. “There were also a slew of sponsors providing free or at-cost gear including Oakley, Asnes, DeLorme, Brunton, Victorinox, MSR, Thermarest, Steger Mukluks, Granite Gear, GoPro, etc. who are interested in being involved in this kind of expedition.” They get publicity, gear-testing and testimonials in return. The biggest expense is travel, Dale-Harris says. “We shared flights in and out with other expeditions, we looked at timing of shipments, methods of travel, every angle to save a buck. We opted for skijoring instead of dog teams partly because it meant using one Twin Otter charter instead of two, cutting that portion of air travel in half … [and] we accepted from the outset that none of us would be making any money directly from being on this expedition.” How can readers do this themselves? “Do what you do, but do it a bit bigger. Email me and I would be happy to consult … I am looking to advise people on going on bigger trips, to take that next step. Whether locally, or on trip like up to the Arctic. “Start small, dream big.” 


Treasure hunt with technology Geocaching can be contagious family fun

Leslie Foster


ust because it’s cold outside is no excuse to sit around and play video games all day. Geocaching can link kids to the joys of old-fashioned treasure-hunting through the technology they’re already hooked on. Geocaching uses GPS co-ordinates to find treasure called a “cache.” All you need is a GPS unit and co-ordinates to a hidden cache. If you don’t have a GPS, a smartphone will do, plus a geocaching app download (free ones are available). A couple of cautions. Using a phone’s GPS will drain the battery fast, visibility is poor in bright light and a phone may not be as accurate as a real GPS. A rugged, waterproof case is a good idea, or at least put the phone in a Ziploc bag in case you drop it. If you end up in love with geocaching you’ll probably want to invest in a dedicated GPS like a Garmin or Magellan. Caches are hidden by other geocachers. The cache owner uploads its GPS co-ordinates to the Internet. With more than 30,000 caches listed on in

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Photo by akeg

Photo by cuu508


When searching for a cache, a little help never hurts.

the Ottawa-Gatineau region, you’ll find lots within a few kilometres of home. You register to access the co-ordinates, and using the site is free, so it’s inexpensive, family entertainment. Once you find the cache, it will probably be a container with a log book. You log the find. Sometimes the container will have items to trade. Take and item and replace it with one of equal or greater value. You never know what you will find, and the mys-

Checking cache description for difficulty level.

tery adds to the excitement. Winter tips

Check the “Last Found” date of a cache before you head out. Unless you’re up for big digging, stay away from caches that haven’t been found for several weeks – they’re probably buried in snow. You’ll have better luck if someone has logged a recent find. Check the attributes to see if the cache is

listed as winter-friendly. Many such caches will be flagged with a snowflake. Since you can snowshoe, ski, skate or toboggan to a geocache, tracks might lead you right to it. Take a picture. Caches can freeze into their hiding place, be frozen shut or damaged by storms – so you might not be able to sign in. Many cache owners accept a picture instead. Head outside to join the hunt. It’s fun, it’s out there, it’s a winter treasure hunt! 

Playing safe Don’t go out alone, and let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. It gets dark early, so allow lots of time. Dress in layers. Weather can change unexpectedly. Bring extra batteries for your GPS. They drain faster in the cold. When it’s not in use, keep your phone or GPS inside your coat for warmth. Wear warm, waterproof boots and carry water. You can get dehydrated, even in winter.

34 I ottawaoutdoors

Bring a pencil to log your find. Pens freeze. Be cautious on hills, around ledges and near water. Stay off ice unless you know it is at least seven or eight centimetres thick, enough to support your weight. When in doubt, take a different route. Bring a few emergency supplies in case you get injured or lost: dry socks, matches or lighter, a flashlight, map and compass, snacks, a thermal blanket.


Put your best foot forward Photo by ThinkStock:Wojciech Gajda

Kathleen Wilker

Tackling deep powder in snowshoes.


ost of us know how to buy shoes that fit. You choose a pair you like and ask for your size. Put them on and walk around the store to make sure your toes have wiggle room and the heels aren’t slopping up and down. We’re comfortable enough with this process so we use it for more specialized footwear, and it doesn’t always work. Ottawa Outdoors went looking for advice from local cycling, rock climbing, cross-country ski and snowshoe departments – how do you get the right fit for footwear that isn’t designed for walking? These tips are guidelines. Combine them with talking to a sales expert and walk out with footwear that will encourage – not squelch – passion for your sport. Start by telling that sales pro your level of experience and expertise, whatever the sport.

“Smaller snowshoes are more appropriate for on-trail where the snow is already packed down.” Whether you tackle steep trails in Gatineau Park or cross flat frozen rivers and lakes determines how whether you want aggressive crampons underneath your snowshoe. As to price, more dollars equals less weight. Cheapies weigh a lot. Dubyk recommended a gender-specific fit as women’s snowshoes are designed for a women’s typically narrower stride, which means less snow being kicked up. Dubyk had an optimistic note for snowlovers. Ottawa-Gatineau is good for snowshoeing because the region’s snow consistency tends to be dense and wet so you won’t sink as deeply as you would in the fluffier stuff further afield.


Cross-country ski boots

Snowshoes are sized based on the height and weight of the snowshoer as well as the intended terrain – on or off trail, steep or flat. Ryan Dubyk at SAIL started with this advice: Think about what you’re going to weigh when you are actually snowshoeing – after all that holiday food, and after you pile on jacket, snow pants, outer wear, boots, and a backpack if you use one. “If you are mostly planning to go off-trail, you’ll want larger snowshoes,” says Dubyk.

At Greg Christie’s ski and bike shop, the Nordic and skate-skiing guru himself shed some light on choosing the perfect ski boot. His most emphatic point was to decide on a boot that fits your foot – not one that fits your bindings – to get the most out of skiing: “Your boot is the most important part of your ski system.” For skate-skiing, Christie said put the boot on, have your toes touch the end, and be able to slip an index finger in behind your heel.

This winter choose the Madawaska Valley

ottawaoutdoors I 35

Photo by ThinkStock:Olga Danylenko


Backcountry winter expedition with friends.

Instead of walking around the store – which could mean asking for a smaller size because the heel might move – Christie said just mimic skating movements to find out whether your feet are held in securely. Nordic ski boots need to be more flexible to allow the foot to bend through the kick and glide. Christie had the standard socks-warning for cold feet. “Skiing is a high-energy sport,” he said. So layering too many socks or too thick socks will hamper circulation and make your feet colder. If boots fit well, feet stay warm. He also said that formerly expensive heatfitting foam insoles – they mold to the foot through body heat – are now more common and cheaper. Climbing shoes

Zach Robert in MEC’s climbing department points to two kinds of climbing shoes – leath-

36 I ottawaoutdoors

er and synthetic. Because leather stretches, choose a form fitting pair, with no dead space, likely down one shoe size from street shoes, “but don’t get carried away with a fit that’s too tight. If you’re crying because your shoes are too tight, you won’t see your hold.” Synthetic shoes have grown in popularity along with bouldering, but they don’t stretch the way leather does. “The fit is more precise,” Robert said., so climbers should try on different brands to find a pair that fits their foot width. And for synthetics, climbers can stick with a size the same as their shoe. The next question is Velcro or laces. Velcro is a better choice for bouldering because climbers usually take shoes off when they are finished an attempt and “laces are too much of a hassle.” But with a leather shoe, laces are better because the material stretches. And if one foot is larger than the other, leather shoes stretch for a better fit. Try climbing shoes on both feet

if this is the case. And you don’t have to try them on and walk around the store or jump in them. In fact, walking around in them anywhere, even an indoor gym, needlessly wears out the soft rubber sole which beginners especially need for climbing. Cycling shoes

There are three kinds of this popular footwear – road, mountain and touring. Because cycling shoes clip into the pedals, they boost pedal stroke efficiency by maximizing the pull-up and well as the push-down. Cycling shoes for road riding have a smooth sole to maximize pedaling efficiency, mountain bike shoes have grippy treads to help you walk your bike over rough patches, and touring shoes have a recessed cleat so you can walk easily in them when you are off your bike (stylish touring shoes that look more like a dress shoe are coming, for cyclists who care about appearance). Lucas Wiseman at Bushtukah said almost every company that makes bike shoes sizes them in European measures, which are more accurate than the North American version, so start by measuring your foot to determine its European size. “Cycling shoes are designed to be snug, not tight,” Wiseman said, so tell the sales rep if your feet are particularly wide or narrow – different brands handle these extremes differently. “At the entry level, you are going for comfort rather than tightness,” he said, noting that the heel shouldn’t lift from the back of the shoe. If you’re looking for a cycling shoe for a spin class, touring shoes are likely best, Wiseman said, and it’s important that pedals, cleats and shoes are all compatible. 

860 Bank St. (613) 231-6331 for the places you’ll go


New York bound!

Memories await for a luxurious getaway adventure

Dave Brown


his December I graduate(d) to the young age of 50. And as a father of a six-year-old son and a wonderful wife and best friend, we plan to go with another couple to New York City in the summer. But as you read through and enjoy this season’s issue, I’m happy to include a winter feature on New York’s Manhattan and a group of prestigious hotels and restaurants you’ll want to visit should you make your way there this winter. Certainly, if you’ve never been, then New York was probably only seen through such warm, romantic comedy movie classics like An Affair to Remember, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Annie Hall, Manhattan, and my all-time favourite, When Harry Met Sally. I don’t know what it is about New York. It could be the jazz, Broadway, the incredible res- DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Library Hotel Collection taurants, the breathtaking hotels or just CenRanked Top four hotels in NYC by TripAdvisor tral Park and the endless blocks of incredible buildings and museums to enjoy. Whatever it members! Always in New York’s top 10! is, it’s calling and we often answer. As Ottawans, we’ve seen live concerts of Oscar Peterson, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., and countless musicals and other New York talents. In short, Ottawans are no strangers to travelling the world and all sorts of adventures. So as this is a feature on New York, with a profile on some hotels and establishments highly recommended from the community experts from tripadvisor, read on. And if you go this winter or upcoming spring, remember there is much to see and enjoy.




While scouring the internet and tripadvisor, we focused on a popular steak house and Italian restaurant. The two that stood out with great reviews were:

38 I ottawaoutdoors


Sitting in the top two per cent of NYC restaurants is this popular steak house which gets tripadvisor words like, “The best way to start a night,” or “Great service, great food,” and “Steak dinner melted in your mouth.” Check them out on your visit to Manhattan, and enjoy the ambiance!


If it’s an Italian meal you’re seeking, look no further. This TripAdvisor top one per cent restaurant in Manhattan raves the following customer quotations: “Stomach busting portions,” and “Excellent vibe, excellent food, excellent service!” If it’s pasta you prefer, then this is the Italian restaurant for you. See you there!

147 West 43rd Street Between Sixth Avenue and Broadway New York, NY 10036 Phone: 212-869-1212 Fax: 212-391-7585


Celebrated as one of New York City’s most popular hotels, the Casablanca Hotel is a hidden gem, just steps away from vibrant Times Square. Inspired by the romance of the movie “Casablanca,” this oasis of luminous Moroccan glamour and hospitality is only outshined by the talented and eager to please staff. Rick’s Café, a relaxing upstairs club room, serves complimentary refreshments 24 hours a day, including deluxe Continental style breakfast each morning and wine & cheese receptions every evening from 5-8 p.m. Winner TripAdvisor 2011 Travelers’ Choice Awards Best Hotels US and Top 10 Hotels Best Service US, and recipient of the Certificate of Excellence Award 2013. Trip Advisor quote

“If you’re visiting New York City for the first time and want a prime location with great ambience, then the Hotel Casablanca on 43rd Street is your place.”

365 Park Avenue South at 26th Street, New York, New York 10016 PHONE (212) 685-7700 FAX (212) 685-7771


Designed to celebrate the architecture of the Art Moderne period which has distinguished this vibrant Manhattan Eastside neighbourhood since the 1920s and ‘30s, Hotel Giraffe embodies the gentle power, grace and beauty found in nature’s most beloved animal. Hotel Giraffe’s inspired spaces and award winning guest rooms create an immediate sense of effortless luxury and unparalleled comfort. In the Grande Lobby, guests enjoy complimentary refreshments, including deluxe European-style breakfast and wine & cheese receptions. Voted “Best Boutique Hotel” in Best of Citysearch 2007 and “Best Family Friendly Hotel” in Best of Citysearch 2010. Trip Advisor quote

“We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Hotel Giraffe, from the comfortable beds and beautiful rooms, to the delicious breakfast and wine/cheese every evening. Great location for access throughout the city, and very helpful/pleasant staff”.


299 Madison Avenue at 41st Street,New York, NY 10017 PHONE (212) 983-4500 FAX (212) 499-9099

An oasis of modern elegance, the Library Hotel and its attentive staff provide a thought-provoking experience to sophisticated travelers with a passion for culture and individual expression. Each of the 10 guestroom floors is dedicated to one of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal System: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion. “The Library Hotel has been selected as a Fodor’s Choice Gold Awards 2010 winner in the category of ‘Most Romantic Hotels.’

Trip Advisor quote

“The Library Hotel is fabulous in every aspect. The rooms were a hidden treasure ... comfortable and updated.” “We were made to feel really welcome as soon as we arrived but it had started in the days before that with emails. The staff

were unfailingly polite and helpful.” “I just completed a five day stay at the Library Hotel. The room was very comfortable, well furnished and the space well organized. The breakfast was a highlight. The staff super helpful. The location is perfect!” ottawaoutdoors I 39


When you visit New York, visit us for a night of Italian food! 60 East 54th Street between Park and Madison Avenues, New York, NY 10022 Phone 212-753-1066, fax 212-980-9278


The timeless style of classic “Old New York” sets the stage for an unforgettable experience in one of Manhattan’s most desirable neighbourhoods. With the romantic ambiance and gracious service of a private country inn, the Hotel Elysée is consistently acclaimed as one of the city’s best loved hotels. As the home of the world famous Monkey Bar, Hotel Elysée was once a playground for the rich and eccentric and has been the permanent NYC address of many movie stars, artists, writers and intellectuals over the years. Hotel Elysée was twice voted the most romantic hotel in New York by Citysearch and was named “Best Small New York Hotel” by Travel & Leisure magazine. Recipient of the Certificate of Excellence Award 2013. Trip Advisor quote

“Hotel Elysée is a gem in NYC! After walking into Hotel Elysée you are surrounded by a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. My husband and I loved the feeling of a smaller boutique hotel instead of one of the many chain hotels.”

40 I ottawaoutdoors

“Next to the popular Casablanca Hotel, come in for a night of Old New York Italian favourites since I first opened in 1959. My cooking comes from Southern Neopolitan traditions, and are served up in huge family style platters for 2 to 3 people. My recipes have been handed down to my children who have continued to bring our traditions to you. We have watched thousands of New York families grow up with us at our dinner table, and we invite you to come and see us anytime!”

Voted #1 Italian Restaurant in New York by TRIPADVISOR

In Times Square On 43rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenue T. 212.221.0100 |

Where steak meets style . . . New York City’s premiere steakhouse! . . . just steps from Times Square and the TheatrE District!

in the Heart of Manhattan 513 7th Avenue at 38th Street 212-391-6900

FOR après-ski atmosphere, the outdoor enthusiast can choose from 70 kms of cross-country ski trails; dogsledding; snowshoeing or skating with the family. Afterwards, cozy-up by the famous towering six-side stone fireplace where you can relax with a nice book or conversation. Only 45min away, you can visit their website at:

YOU’RE AN EMAIL FROM Your next skia trip. ENTERING contest to WIN! Your dream vacation.

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Chateau Montebello

overnight stay at the wakefield mill inn + $35 heron wine bar + breakfast

(613) 723-7200 madelyn.cochrane@ 2 Gurdwara road Suite 500 nepean, on K2e 1a2

*Cannot be combined with other promotions (subject to avail.)

+ Access to gatineau park trails outdoor Stuart Log+Cottage Traditional cabin for rent hot in the Ottawa tubsValley • spacious living room with large(stone fireplace pkg) fireplace • large loft bedroom suitable for family

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• 4 piece bath with tubin and shower draw held • full kitchen with fridge, stove january! (613) 628-3311 • private dock on Mink Lake email to: w w w. S t u a r t L o g C o t t a g e . c o m

Come indoors for a night of golf!

Indoor Golf Club

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• play some of the best courses in the world • great Tuesday night indoor golf league • come for stags, office functions or just a night with your friends • real golf clubs with real photographic images. Many customers who’ve played Pebble Beach etc, say it’s unbelievable! • totally different from cartoon courses • take golf lessons with CPGA pro Joe Dubinski • 7 state of the art simulators • fully licensed, pool table, big screen tv



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54 ottawa Your dream vacation. Your next ski trip.

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your next move. Are You Ready? We can help. Ask about THE PLAN

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(613) 723-7200 madelyn.cochrane@ 2 Gurdwara road Suite 500 nepean, on K2e 1a2

(™)Trademarks owned by iGm Financial inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations.

All depend on one thing.

Stuart Log Cottage

Traditional cabin for rent in the Ottawa Valley

• spacious living room with large stone fireplace • large loft bedroom suitable for family For more inFo • 4 piece bath with tub and shower pLeaSe CaLL • full kitchen with fridge, stove (613) 628-3311 • private dock on Mink Lake

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ottawaoutdoors I 41


1 w



Cool Gear & Hot Clothing Chariot Cougar 1&2

$649–$749 For the active outdoor enthusiast who wants to take the kids along, a balance of features and value make this stroller a popular choice for many families. ∑Aerodynamic design enhances multisport capabilities ∑Adjustable suspension for a smooth and stable ride ∑HeightRight™ adjustable handlebar for parents comfort ∑Partial window venting for temperature control ∑Accessory cross bar to mount accessories ∑Click n’ Store™ for on-board storage of conversion kits There is also a ski kit attachment ($299) which is perfect to get you in and around Gatineau Park. Look for it wherever Thule products are sold and check out the Autoracks store and their winter specials.

Park Accessories designed by Ottawa’s own Anne-Marie Olson was born in Ottawa Canada, where she spent her formative years as a competitive swimmer, skier and triathlete. After attending design school, Anne-Marie moved to New York City to work designing accessories for such important brands as Ralph Lauren and Kenneth Cole. Two decades later, she merged her passion for the sporting life with her experience in fashion to create PARK. Garnet Golf Bag with cover

Guilfoyle Tennis Bag



PARK Accessories Garnet Golf Bag is created in Italian coated canvas and leather trim with solid treated cotton lining. The Signature PARK crest shape nickel hardware is placed on the exterior sides of the bag. Also on the exterior of the bag is five pockets with metal zippers and PARK plaid treated linings. The golf bag includes a detachable/ adjustable-padded shoulder strap with leather luggage tag. The bag is thirty-two inches high with a top opening diameter of seven and a half inches. The golf bag includes a PARK plaid nylon dust bag.

PARK Accessories Guilfolye Tennis Bag is created in an Italian coated canvas and leather trim with a solid treated cotton lining. In all the pockets are the PARK plaid treated linings. The Signature PARK crest shape nickel hardware is placed on the exterior sides of the bag. Also, on the exterior of the tennis bag is a back zipper pocket. On the inside of the bag is a padded interior racket divider and PARK signature multiple pocket detail.

42 I ottawaoutdoors


$45 These warm insulated booties are a real treat for your feet after a day of shredding the slopes or cranking frozen falls. Featuring warm Hyperloft insulation and grippy soles. Comes in a variety of colours.

Maui Jim Switchbacks

$319US Maui Jim launched a completely new frame technology that allows sunglass wearers to switch out their lenses for various light conditions during outdoor activities. The new Switchbacks have a proprietary quick-release lens mechanism and five options for lens colours. By pressing a button at the top of the frame, the one-piece lens is released from its hold and can be easily swapped for a lens of a different colour. The replacement lens then snaps into the frame with the push of a button that securely locks the lens into place. Look for it at or wherever their products are sold.

MEC Patagonia Brodeo Beanie

$39 Wood N’ Stream Endeavour Boot

$159 Built to last, the Endeavor 12” boots offer 2400 grams of 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation as part of Wood N’ Stream’s Cold Weather Series. They are waterproof, made with a breathable construction and feature a feature a rubber sole which provides excellent multi-directional traction. Think of them as “all-terrain vehicles for your feet. Look for it at

Lancaster Folding Chair Look for her full collection at www. – but here are just a few of her designs

$595 PARK Accessories Lancaster Folding Chair is created in Italian coated canvas and leather trim with PARK plaid treated lining. The chair is finished with an oak wood frame with marine spar varnish and solid brass hardware. It is thirtythree inches high with a width of eighteen inches and depth of nineteen inches. The folding chair includes a PARK plaid nylon dust bag.

An everyday hat for the steeps, in a warm blend of luxurious 80% chlorine-free Shetland wool and 20% nylon. It feels luxurious against skin, sheds moisture and insulates even when wet. A rib-knit cuff fits snugly around the ears for a good bond in windy weather. One size. ATLAS 1223 ELEKTRA (WOMEN’S)

$280 The aggressive traction on these women›s all-mountain snowshoes gives you secure footing in technical terrain. Serrated traction points at the back of your foot bite in when your weight shifts. Their spring-loaded suspension system allows your foot to move naturally and to flex side to side. The suspension also keeps the snowshoes close underfoot and gives you good stability as you traverse hills, descend, and climb steep slopes. For comfort, the bindings are left and right foot-specific, with foam padding to retain warmth. MEC Trek Vest

$35 For price conscious members, this garment represents exceptional value. The Polartec® Classic 200 fleece is a time-tested fabric that performs well as a layering piece under a shell jacket and works well as outwear on cool, dry, and calm days. An arms-free layer is a welcome addition to outdoor wardrobes, no matter which activity you choose. ottawaoutdoors I 43



$220 Achieving phenomenal warmth in cold and wet weather, this hoodie features ThermoBall™, powered by PrimaLoft®— their new synthetic alternative to down. As compressible as down, the clusters of round synthetic ThermoBall™ trap and retain heat within small air pockets to provide effective insulation, even when wet. Wear or pack this highly compressible, ultralight zip-front layer for reliable thermal insulation in a variety of winter conditions.





Double your protection in cool temperatures with a reversible vest that can be worn with either wind-resistant nylon facing the exterior, or Polartec® microfleece. The nylon exterior features an angled zippered chest pocket and two hand pockets for added utility.

Their new ThermoBall™ jacket offers ultralight, highly packable synthetic insulation to keep you warm in a variety of winter conditions. This insulation technology features round Thermoball™ clusters that trap and retain heat to achieve phenomenal warmth in cold and wet weather. Wear or pack this highly compressible, ultralight jacket for reliable thermal insulation while winter camping in the backcountry. MEN’S & WOMEN’S FREEDOM INSULATED PANT



$299 Designed for maximum waterproof protection on the mountain without compromising breathability, this fully featured three-inone jacket will keep you dry and warm in a variety of conditions. The abrasion-resistant, waterproof shell eliminates the need for a lining and features a FlashDry™ laminate for enhanced moisture management. 44 I ottawaoutdoors

Take one last run to perfect your technique on the moguls, even on colder days, with 60 g Heatseeker™ to warm your lower half. These all-mountain pants are constructed with fully sealed seams and a durable HyVent® exterior for reliable all-day waterproofing when the storms roll through with fresh snow. The moisture managing Chimney Venting™ system allows air to rise through the stretch mesh gaiter and escape through the upper thigh vents to create continuous airflow. A relaxed fit at the waist and more room throughout the thigh, knee and cuff maintain your freedom of movement while carving up the mountain. Look for it wherever North Face items are sold.


$290 Fully featured, three-in-one snowsports jacket with a relaxed fit will keep you on the mountain from the dead of winter through spring skiing conditions. Constructed from waterproof, breathable, fully seam sealed HyVent® 2L shell with an interior jacket that features ample 100 g Heatseeker™ insulation. Wear these high-performance jackets together, or as separates, as weather permits. Two-colour exterior shell and solid interior jacket. Premier, rider-specific features throughout.

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pick a month


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YOUR ‘‘APRÈS-SKI’’ STEPS AWAY FROM GATINEAU PARK 16 Nordik Road, Chelsea (Québec) J9B 2P7

819.827.1111 / 1 866.575.3700

ottawaoutdoors I 45

clubs Outdoor, winter, nordic ski & Adventure Clubs Ottawa Orienteering Club

We organize and take part in orienteering events in the Ottawa area.

Ottawa Outdoor Club

A rec club with hiking, cycling, canoeing, skiing, and snowshoeing.


A Gatineau-based outdoors club.

Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Assoc.

The largest Ultimate (Frisbee) league in the world.

Natural Fitness Lab

The largest trail running, and adult nordic skiing club in Canada.

Ottawa Sport and Social Club

A co-ed, rec sport league, with tourneys and social events for adults.

Ottawa Alpine Club

The local section of Canada’s national mountaineering organization.

Camp Fortune Ski Club

New ski club for family ski enthusiasts.

Chelsea Nordiq Club

A community cross-country and biathlon club in Gatineau Park.

Kanata XC-ski Club

Introducing the sport to families since 1979. Competitive programs too.

Nakkertok XC-Ski Club

The largest cross-country ski club in the national capital region.

West Carleton Nordic Ski Club

An outdoor ski club in the Fitzroy Provincial Park area.

RA Ski and Snowboard Club

Active club offering DH and XC skiing, pub nights and socials.

Snowhawks Ski School

Ontario’s premier ski and snowboard school for children and adults.

XC Ottawa

Great club and resource for xc ski information.

Cross Country Canada

Develops and delivers programs to achieve international excellence.

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ottawaoutdoors I 47


Facing up to zombies in winter Protection from the undead, or just plain winter Bruce Watts


have camped in far-away places, in harsh climates with the strangest of camping partners, but there’s no greater challenge than winter camping during a zombie apocalypse! And there are benefits as well to camping during nordic zomboid-apocalyptic times. While city slicker co-workers are becoming fast food for hungry hordes of mindless zombies, you can quietly dine on dehydrated cuisine in the great outdoors without the uninvited undead. Camping during the next undead human buffet is one of the safest things to be doing, even safer during the deep freeze of Canada’s winter. Though the zomboid virus effectively kills the human host, zombies still have blood flowing in their rotting veins, and it freezes rock solid when the mercury dips. So, like frogs, the undead freeze during winter and reanimate with the spring thaw. These stiff stiffs – zom-cicles if you prefer – are rendered benign and easy to avoid. So winter is a joyous time. But a caution: Not all zombies become zom-cicles. If they become infected while wearing winter survival gear, quality ski clothing or are trapped in a warm structure such as a Gatineau Park yurt, they may not freeze and will remain a threat. Remain vigilant.

So during the next zombie infestation, load up your snow-tired Subaru with all the granola you can carry and head for the backwoods winter wonderland. These tips will help you survive. There is nothing that says “I love you” more than a Zombie Survival Kit. Make one for your loved ones and for your zomboid escape vehicle – it’s fun for the whole family and can help out even in non-zomboid emergencies. Include these items:   road flares - three should be enough   lighter, and/or matches in a waterproof  container   drinking water   purification tabs – for the long haul   fire-starters, home-made or commercial cubes like Wetfire or Esbit   chemical hand- and foot-warmers   a knife or multitool   a candle to warm hands, heat a drink or light a space   small flashlight with fresh batteries   first aid kit   two large orange garbage bags for shelter and rescue visibility   one space blanket for each person   a sleeping bag for every two people   whistle   chocolate, canned nuts, or freeze-proof food in a mouse-proof container

jumper cables small collapsible snow shovel   road salt   extra tuques, gloves, socks and boots   gas line anti-freeze   maps, compass and/or GPS to get you home   gas in a tank kept at least half full, plus a jerry can extra   cellphone and radio   solar battery pack and charger for electronics This way you can stay safe and warm, prepared for a zombie pandemic or any winter emergency in your car. (Bruce Watts has never met a zombie, but he runs and knows all about staying safe outdoors. See his ad on p 51) 

To reduce the likelihood of an unpleasant encounter with a zombie: Go camping. Wear a red rubber clown nose. Zombies will assume you taste funny.  Wear aftershave. It smells much like the un-dead. If cornered, slather it on and zombies will assume you are one of them, and leave.  Bring a slow-moving friend. In a foot

48 I ottawaoutdoors

chase, the un-dead will catch the hindmost.  Wear light hiking boots so you can outrun zombies or at least your slow-moving friend.  Buy an armoured RV. This takes planning and money, but could save your life!  Camp above the tree line. A functioning

  

zombie has never been found above the tree line.  Take snowshoes. If zombies approach, strap them on and head for deep snow. Zombies can’t handle it.  Take trekking poles as defence weapons.  Never sleep.  Prepare ahead of time


Identifying a Zombie Exercise extreme caution if you suspect zombism. There are tell-tale signs, like violent rages. Zombies are in a fury to feed and will eat all and any living flesh – animals, people, even lawyers. They also suffer loss of memory, speech and IQ and cannot communicate beyond basic moans, groans and grunts. They appear not to recognize people, places, and things formerly familiar. The memory loss and IQ reduction is profound and absolute, similar to that of a newly elected politician. People with zombism may appear to be a drug users, drunks, dazed or Charlie Sheen. They lose co-ordination, bowel and bladder control. But despite this, they are still capable of sudden, quick movements. Never underestimate a zombie.

ottawaoutdoors I 49

Revive the heart of your home!

60A Colonnade Road, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 7J6 Phone: (613) 288-1449 Fax: (613) 288-1451

upcoming events December 5 – January 7 Christmas Lights across Canada christmas-lights December 7 The Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series (Presented by Ottawa Outdoors Magazine) – The “Flatter” Course January 4 The Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series (Presented by Ottawa Outdoors Magazine) – The Hilly Course January 25 The Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series (Presented by Ottawa Outdoors Magazine) – BUSHTUKAH NIGHT RACE: 6:30PM START


February 23 The Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series (Presented by Ottawa Outdoors Magazine) – The Champs December 15 Ottawa Christmas on the Farm


January 1 4th Annual Sears Great Canadian Chill, Polar Bear dip

We’re skiers, explorers, freeriders, freethinkers, trail blazers, star gazers, storytellers, travellers, good citizens, way finders, members – we’re Mountain Equipment Co-op.

January 11 14th Annual Old Snowmobile Show

January 31 – February 17 Winterlude February 8–9 Canadian Ski Marathon February 14–16 Gatineau Loppet February 17-18 Funatorium Explorium February 16 Winterman Marathon

Andrew Querner

January 26 1st Annual Frost and Fire Winter Tri & 10 k run

Visit MEC Ottawa at 366 Richmond Road 613.729.2700 @mec_ottawa

Ottawa Outdoor PROOF




13_CM_0084 Mag ad C+M, Allison Brownlie 14 Nov 2013


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ottawaoutdoors I 51


Energy co-op plans another solar rooftop project at high school


he Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op has is looking for $1.25 million from investors for two solar rooftop projects. The co-op’s latest project, its seventh in Ottawa, is a 75 kilowatt installation on the roof of Samuel Genest high school in Overbrook. OREC plans to increase ownership shares in an existing project on a warehouse roof in West Carleton. OREC’s first share offering raised nearly $1 million in under three months last summer. “Last time we did a handful of smaller projects for around $1 million, but this time we decided to focus on larger projects that produce more power and tend to have a greater profit margin,” Janice

Ashworth, the group’s operations manager, said in a news release. “We think the project at Samuel

Genest is an especially great opportunity to engage with teachers, students, and parents about

for all your renovation needs!

sustainable energy.” Investment is open to all Ottawa residents. OREC shares have 20 year terms, are RRSPeligible, and target a five per cent dividend annually plus return of capital over time. Compared to a mutual fund where individual investors have little control, a co-op means every investor becomes a member and has a vote in decisions that affect operations and investments. “Co-ops put peoples’ values first,” Ashworth said, because they “benefit the wider community as well as our members. They merge environmental sustainability and community strength – two key challenges of our time. Our members appreciate knowing that they have a say in their long-term investments.” Information on the share offering can be found at or by contacting Ashworth at 613-748-3001 x.240, or at Janice.ashworth@ C: 613.799.8598

25 years experience additions & renovations kitchens & bath windows & doors hardwood flooring +


SKILLed & ready

* Carpentry & Contracting * Drywall, Installations, Repairs


* finished basements * kitchens/baths * windows/doors “We hired Greg to build our deck, gazebo and fences. His attention to detail was unmatched with any other renovators we’ve used.” Cathy & Ian Stauffer

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The Stone Co. Ottawa | C 613.983.ROCK(7625) | W 613.574.ROCK(7625) | Stone PRODUCTS & INSTALLATION

“Building warm designs one stone at a time.”  The Stone Co. is a supplier and installer of one of the industries leaders of stone products.  Check out our website THESTONECO.CA to see the vast interior and exterior applications of thin stone veneer including feature walls, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and YES, we can even replace that tired looking siding with stone with NO NEED of a Brick Ledge.

Turn this

Into this!

 THE STONE CO. Is Ottawa’s exclusive dealer of all Rinox Products for Ottawa and surrounding areas.  OUR SERVICES INCLUDE Sales and installation of Manufactured & Natural Stone Veneer Products, Interlock, Brick & Stone.  Our “ONE STOP SHOP” relieves the stress and pressure from the home owners or project managers of scheduling both trades and suppliers. We also guarantee each unique installation the stone is correctly installed.


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@adventureottawa #adventureottawa

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More than 50 winter camping items in-store


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Profile for Ottawa Outdoors Magazine

Ottawa Outdoors - Winter 2013  

Ottawa Outdoors - Winter 2013