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TOP TRAILS Our favourite spots for cross-country skiing in Ontario and Quebec

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™I]ZLViX]bZc/ Five sporty gadgets to make you tick ™<ZiHbVgi6WdjiL^ciZg/ Clothes and accessories to keep you out and about

WINTER 2009 _ VOL. 1, NO. 4 _ www.adventuramag.ca

FREE


THE ALL-NEW 2010 OUTBACK HAS ARRIVED

Watch out winter!

You’ll want to get out more – behind the wheel of a 2010 Outback. Adventurous and bold, it has what it takes to brave the rain, slush and black ice. Even the most challenging road and weather conditions are no match for its powerful SUBARU BOXER engine, combined with the legendary Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system. With the 2010 Outback, winter is finally all chills – and thrills.

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JAPANESE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE!


Contents // Winter 2009 // No. 4

10

12

14

20

26

28

[04] EDITOR’S NOTE [06] FIELD REPORT • Lance Mackey’s winter coat • Activities and events this winter • Canadian outdoor line Guats • Crossing the Atlantic in a rowboat • The history of hiking shoes • Reading material on travel and food • Pro photo tips

[10] DAYTRIPPER • Ice canyoning in Mont Sainte-Anne • Snowshoeing at Crawford Lake • Ice-climbing at Lac du Poisson Blanc

[12] WEEKEND GETAWAY (Un)Happy Camper

Winter camping can be an amazing experience – if you come prepared

[22] GEAR

The Watchmen Five sporty gadgets to make you tick

Clothes and accessories for cold weather

[14] LIVING LARGE

• Haliburton • Ancaster • le d’Orléans

[26] POWER TRIP

Red Rock Treatment

[18] FEATURE

A writer’s quest for positive energy in Sedona, Arizona

Ten Top Trails Adventura’s favourite spots for crosscountry skiing in Ontario and Quebec

[28] Mind & Body

A Postcard of Good Health

[20] GLOBETROTTER Island Hopping

Six Caribbean islands and the best activities to do there

G  et Smart (About Winter)

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

[30] LAST CALL

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 3


EDITORâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NOTE

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StĂŠphane Corbeil (stephane.corbeil@adventuramag.ca)

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Christian LĂŠvesque (christian.levesque@adventuramag.ca)

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Patricia Gajo (patricia.gajo@adventuramag.ca)



9EDJH?8KJEHI0 Susan Campbell, Luc Camilleri, Mark Cardwell, Donna Carter, Liette Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Amours, Bryen Dunn, Mark Edward Harris, Julie Harrison, Jimmy Im, Alexander Joo, Ilona Kauremszky, Sarah Kelsey, Christine Laroche, Alison Lawler-Dean, Maureen Littlejohn, Austin Macdonald, Susie Strachan, Jennifer Weatherhead

CDL

TWe all know how fragile life is. One day youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re healthy, the next day youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re sick. Walking today. Wheelchair tomorrow. At any given moment, something can happen, even something seemingly meaningless, and your life changes like that.

FHEE<H;7:;H0 Christopher Korchin JH7DIB7JEH0 Christine Laroche 9EL;HF>EJE0 A woman runs with snowshoes in a winter scene in the Canadian Rockies near Canmore Alberta Canada. Š Woods Wheatcroft / Aurora Photos

:;I?=D0 Sève CrÊation, seve.ca M;8I?J;0 www.adventuramag.ca ;:?JEH?7B:;F7HJC;DJ0 514-277-3477 | info@adventuramag.ca 7:L;HJ?I?D=0

Marie-Christine HallĂŠ, Sales Consultant mc.halle@adventuramag.ca / 514-277-3477, ext. 27

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Isamie Dufour, isamie.dufour@adventuramag.ca / 514-277-3477, ext. 30

IK8I9H?FJ?ED0info@adventuramag.ca / 514-277-3477, ext. 21 IK8I9H?FJ?ED%>EC;:;B?L;HOH7J;I0 9%!2)335%3s9%!23)335%3 (taxes, handling and mailing costs included) Please make cheque payable to Groupe Espaces Inc and send to the address listed below.

C7?B?D=7::H;II0 Groupe Espaces Inc 911 Jean Talon St. E., Suite 205 Montreal (Quebec) | H2R 1V5

During a conference at Montrealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Travel & Adventure Film Festival (festiva.ca) last October, climber Timmy Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill reminded us of the At any life stage, the mountain of responsibility can seem insurmountable and we can end up asking ourselves, Is this importance of living life to the fullest. After LIFE WONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T REVEAL really the life that I want? Surely, the team a reckless jump from a bridge, his brother here at Adventura cannot answer this question ITSELF TO YOU WHILE was paralyzed from the waist down. Despite for you, but our main goal is to inspire you his condition, Sean Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill is an extremely SITTING ON THE COUCH. to be active outdoors and to maximize your energetic athlete and even completed the YOU HAVE TO GO OUT pleasure in doing so. We invite you to let ascent of El Capitan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a 1,000-metre vertiAND FIND IT. nature be your guide and the backdrop for all cal rock formation in the Yosemite Valley. In my mind, if such an accident were to happen to me, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how the decisions you must make. Life wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reveal itself to you while sitting optimistic Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be, let alone active. Sean is a ďŹ ne example of the old on the couch. You have to go out and ďŹ nd it. adage: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not how you fall, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how you land. Christian LĂŠvesque, Editor christian.levesque@adventuramag.ca So how, then, do we live our lives to the fullest without pushing the boundaries too far? One way is to embark on an adventure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; big

IN MY BAG

9?H9KB7J?ED060,000 copies distributed to outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. ADVENTURA is published four times a year by Groupe Espaces Inc.

7HJ?9B; IK8C?II?EDI ADVENTURA welcomes editorial and photo submissions, which must be sent by e-mail only. Contact the Editor to discuss. ADVENTURA is not responsible for articles, photographs or any other material sent to its attention. If you do not keep a copy of ADVENTURA magazine for your personal archives, please give it to a friend or recycle it.The opinions expressed are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by Groupe Espaces Inc. Some of the activities reported on in ADVENTURA could entail injury risks for anyone engaging in them. ADVENTURA and its reporters, contributors, photographers and other staff members do not recommend the practice of these activities by anyone who does not have the required skills and technique. ADVENTURA is not responsible for the information contained in advertisements. Any reproduction of material published in ADVENTURA is prohibited without the expressed consent of Groupe Espaces Inc.

or small. This is the quickest way to break out of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons. Whether you travel to a new place and experience a culture different than your own, dare to start a new profession or simply take up a new sport, the question to really ask yourself is this: If I never do this, will I live to regret it?

PERFECT PACK Love backcountry skiing? The Kode 30 is the ideal pack to scale even the most abrupt hills. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipped with a handy system of loops and straps to easily carry skis, a board or ice tools, has an accessible avalanche gear compartment and a stowable helmet carry panel. Ospreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest also gets bonus points for the ďŹ&#x201A;eece-lined top goggle pocket, its separate storage sections (one for dry gear, the other for wet), the insulated hydration sleeve on the strap and the fact that it ďŹ ts the wearerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back as comfortably on the way up as on the way down. All in all, a must-buy for your next adventure. OSPREY, KODE 30 | $175 | OSPREYPACKS.COM

SEXY SECOND SKIN This Pro Zero base layer is ideal for intense activities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ones that make you break a sweat! With a second-skin ďŹ t, its construction allows body heat to escape before it even has a chance to transform into sweat, so you stay dry for a long time. Comfortable, stretchy and even a little bit sexy, it will quickly become your favourite base layer for all activities. You might even wonder why you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy two the ďŹ rst time. CRAFT, PRO ZERO | $69 | CRAFT-USA.COM

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AGENDA By Jennifer Weatherhead

NOVEMBER

JANUARY

// ALPINE OFFICIALS LEVEL I Milton, Ontario

// RESOLUTION RUN Various locations, Ontario

NOV. 21

JAN. 1

This entry-level course shows you the ropes of officiating an alpine race, from gate-judging to timekeeping. alpine.ca

Make this event the starting point of your New Year’s resolution to get fit and prep for this 5K run through the Running Room. events.runningroom.com

DECEMBER

JAN. 18 TO 22

DEC. 12

// MADTRAPPER SNOWSHOE RACE NO. 1 Wakefield, Quebec Pick between a 5K and 10K snowshoeing race through the Quebec countryside. Then warm up with a feast of chili, hot soup and requisite hot chocolate. synergyark.com

DEC. 13

// EGGNOG JOG Georgetown, Ontario Run a healthy 10.8K course in and around Georgetown for local charities and enjoy a little eggnog after the race. georgetownrunners.ca/georgetown/

DEC. 19

// National Learn to Ski & Snowboard Week Barrie, Ontario Let the pros teach you the basics of skiing and snowboarding. www.skisnowvalley.com

JAN. 20 TO 24

// SNOWBOARD JAMBOREE Stoneham, Quebec Check out the fifth annual snowboard lifestyle festival. Discover new products, take lessons and watch the Snowboard World Cup competitions. snowjamboree.com

JAN. 23 AND 24

// DEMO DAY Mont Tremblant, Quebec

// 2010 CANADIAN SKI ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS & WINTER ADVENTURE RACE Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, Ontario

Join the pros for a demo day at Mont Tremblant and try out the latest high-tech gear, plus get special promotional deals on gear and snow toys. tremblant.ca

This is a two-person team event that includes snowshoeing, skiing and orienteering. Beginners can try their hand at the Try-a-Ski-O novice course. stars.kw.net/events

DEC. 26

JAN. 29 TO 31

This 89th annual running event is a Hamilton tradition. It draws participants and spectators despite the cool temperatures and the post-holiday sales. boxingdayrun.ca

With nearly 600 competitors every day, this is a ski event that is not to be missed if you enjoy cross-country skiing. The event also features the Quebec Cup and University Championships competitions. nakkertok.ca

// BOXING DAY 10-MILER Hamilton, Ontario

// EASTERN CANADA XC SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS Ottawa, Ontario

FEBRUARY FEB. 6

// GET OUT THERE NORDICFEST Collingwood, Ontario Enjoy the trails around Collingwood and the scenic caves either by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing your way through the course. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner – the course isn’t too challenging. getouttheremag.com

FEB. 13 AND 14

// CANADIAN SKI MARATHON Gatineau and Lachute, Quebec Take part in North America’s longest and oldest Nordic ski tour. The two-day cross-country event spans over 160 kilometres, but don’t fret, you can pick your race distance. csm-mcs.com

FEB. 14

// THE SWITCHBACK CHALLENGE Collingwood, Ontario Challenge yourself on either a 5K or 10K snowshoe course that takes you through marked trails. Or go at a more relaxed pace and enjoy the views. craigleith.com

FEB. 15

// ÎLE BIZARD BLIZZARD RUN Montreal, Quebec Run on courses ranging form 1K to 10K, depending on your athletic level and resistance to the cold. circuitendurance.ca

BE A PART OF ADVENTURA’S AGENDA

Are you organizing a special outdoor activity or event next spring or summer? Tell us about it and you may see yourself in our next issue. info@adventuramag.ca

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READ By Alexander Joo From the basic (Best Beaches) to the scandalous (Top 10 Places to Go Skinny-Dipping) to the just plain weird (Best Cities for a James Bond Foot Chase), Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Experiences lights a fire under your butt if it’s been frequenting the tourist-beaten paths of the world. Though mostly written from an Australian contributor’s perspective – there’s a sporadic crikey or two peppering the copy – they’ve managed to include 27 entries from Canada. They weigh heavily to the beauty of our coastal and mountainous provinces, but they made sure to insert what could be our most prized Ultimate Experience: poutine!

Rather than jumping for that all-inclusive package, start travelling responsibly with Clean Breaks: 500 Ways to See the World. These 500 trip suggestions are socially responsible and environmentally friendly. Whether you fancy riding with cowboys in Venezuela, camel trekking in Egypt, sleeping on a houseboat in Kerala or couch-surfing your way through the Mediterranean, these adventures focus on the uniqueness of the destination while letting your tourism dollars benefit the locals instead of the multinational hoteliers. The book also includes 16 trips in Canada, from dogsledding in the Rockies to visiting Montreal’s Biodome.

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Excerpted from the popular book More Backcountry Cooking, Backcountry Cooking Cards: 50 Recipes for Camp and Trail is a deck of cards even more useful than the one you use to win your friends’ money. When you tire of instant soup, cups of ramen noodles and cans of baked beans, dip into this box for on-the-go gourmet recipes. Start the day with Breakfast Tofu Scramble or Heavenly Hash Browns. At midday, try Snow Pea & Red Pepper Salad with Ginger-Soy Dressing. Then end the day with Shepherd’s Pie and, for dessert, serve Backcountry Fruit Tart. You’ll do Jamie Oliver proud.

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Field Report

ROWING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC By Christine Laroche

This December, Montrealers Alok Chowdhury, Robert Idsinga and Alex Nicholson will partake in the 2009 edition of the Woodvale Atlantic Challenge, a journey that will take them across the Atlantic Ocean by rowing. Yes, the old-fashioned way – that is, using nothing but arms and oars. Raising money for the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Wish Foundation, the trio expects to face 2,900 nautical miles, 10-metre waves, ocean liners and sharks. Adventura chatted with Alok Chowdhury as the group prepared for both the dangers and the thrills of their forthcoming quest.

We are rowing in two- to three-hour shifts and will probably have one person doing the rowing for a few hours at night. So we will all have some sleep – at the most for seven hours.

How have you prepared physically and mentally?

What kind of dangers will you encounter in the Atlantic?

Physically, I’ve been going to the gym, boxing, rowing, running and lifting weights. During the summer, I tried to spend as much time on the water as possible. But for an event like this, it’s the mental training that matters most. It’s long. We’ll spend about 50  days at sea. So, attitude, perseverance, staying mentally sharp and handling frustrations and emergencies with a calm mind are what matter most. I’ve been doing lots of meditation, visualization and skills training.

Dangers can arise from not having the right equipment, having a desalinator breakdown (which means no access to fresh water), having no communication systems through storms or running over floating junk in the ocean, such as a damaged boat. Dangers can be just about anything. You can’t really expect one or the other. What is most important is preparing yourself to handle each emergency. There is also the factor of sharks, especially when we go into the water to clean the boat of barnacles. Sharks have been known to bump into boats to check to see if it’s a dead whale or not. Sharks are what scare me the most.

Concordia University students have been working on your boat. What are its coolest features? They have been great in offering their expertise and providing the electrical engineering design for communication systems and solar power management. What’s cool? That our entire boat can be run using solar power and human power in any situation. What will you eat? Mostly dried foods, powders with high fat content and a lot of fish – definitely sushi!

What's the first thing you’re going to do when you reach land? Be just like a pirate when they come to shore: go crazy on food and wine! For more information or to make a donation, visit atlanticrace.com

6 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

www.adventuramag.ca

45

days at sea

2

2,550

nautical miles to cross the Atlantic

hours rest only each day

calories burned each day for every crew member

© Photos : woodvale-challenge.com

The boredom that comes with long days of rowing. We’ll try to alleviate that by making it fun and doing things like going swimming or underwater diving.

10,000

Will you get to sleep at all?

What are the biggest challenges you face?


STEP UP A history of shoes that were made for hiking. By Luc Camilleri

1910 Laced alpine boots

1925 Mount Logan

Made from fabric or leather, these boots cover the foot and lower part of the leg and feature crampons and reinforcement for extra stability. For more casual hiking, leather walking shoes are also worn.

The McCarthy expedition was outfitted with boots that had rubber soles, a leather upper and brut leather laces. Two pairs of socks were normally worn. Once higher altitudes were reached, the boots were swapped for moccasins big enough to accommodate four or five layers of socks.

1953

1918 Aviator boots

1937 Vibram soles

1980 Asolo’s AFS

The upper part of these boots reaches all the way to the knee. They are first and foremost a military shoe but are also worn by civilians, especially for outdoor excursions.

Poor footwear caused six of his mountaineer friends to perish in 1935, inciting Vitale Bramani to perfect an extremely versatile and resilient rubber sole. Today, over 1,000 hikingshoe manufacturers use these durable soles in their products.

The first professional-calibre hiking boot with a thermoplastic injected hard shell and moulded base arrives, resulting in a product that is rigid, virtually indestructible and lightweight.

AGENDA  8dci^cjZY[gdbeV\Z*

FEB. 19 TO 28

// PENTATHLON DES NEIGES Plains of Abraham, Quebec A winter relay competition for five-person teams, with each member doing a leg in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, skating and running. pentathlondesneiges.com

FEB. 20

// TUBBS ROMP TO STOMP OUT BREAST CANCER Blue Mountains, Ontario Thousands participate every year to help raise money for cancer research in this fun snowshoe or hiking event. tubbsromptostomp.ca

FEB. 20

// SALOMON DONTGETLOST.CA SNOWSHOE RAID | Barrie, Ontario Grab your snowshoes and compasses for this fun twohour team-based race. Navigate your way through the challenging course made up of hills, valleys and riversides. dontgetlost.ca

FEB. 27

1981 KS-B shoe

Following in Sir Edmund Hillary’s footsteps, the trend toward leather hiking boots continues, and styles made of leather and other fabrics appear. The resulting shoe is much more lightweight than before, albeit less durable and less hardy.

FEB. 28

// TIM HORTONS GRIMSBY HALF MARATHON AND 5K Grimsby, Ontario The official training race for the Around the Bay Race is a great way to get ready for spring marathons. With a course that winds through downtown Grimsby and picturesque Niagara orchards, this is a favourite among marathoners. instride.ca

MARCH MAR. 7

// CHILLY HALF MARATHON AND FROSTY 5K | Burlington, Ontario A half marathon, walk or a 5K run through Burlington will warm you up during the cold month of March. Then fill up on pasta at the Pasta Party after the race. events.runningroom.com

MAR. 29

// LASALLE RUN AND WALK LaSalle, Montreal Walk or run courses of 1, 2, 5 or 10 K in this neighbourhood event in its 30th year. circuitendurance.ca

// DOG SLED RAC | Apsley, Ontario This classic winter race mixes the athleticism of both man and man’s best friend. A hot drink and some warm food are served at the end. ofss.ca/schedule.htm 7:L;DJKH7TL>CI:G'%%.Tlll#VYkZcijgVbV\#XVT7

These are the first hiking shoes made from fabric. Weighing 870 grams, they were the first footwear with revolutionary soles that did not imitate traditional styles and set a precedent for future designs.

2009 There is an increasing selection of ultra-lightweight shoes that are also versatile, robust and aesthetically pleasing. The current trend is toward a product that is both high-performance and good-looking. The latest innovation on record: Styles from the Hi-Tec brand employ the Ion Mask process, a nanotechnology that keeps boots waterproof in all conditions, even the most extreme.


Dog Days of Winter An inside look at musher Lance Mackey’s cold-weather gear By Alison Lawler-Dean Racing dogs since before he was born (literally – his mother competed in the Women’s North American when she was eight months pregnant), Lance Mackey certainly has mushing in his blood. He’s swept the last three Iditarods (a race founded by his father, Dick Mackey) in a row. It’s an especially amazing feat for someone who only completed his first professional race in 2001 and had to take time out to battle throat cancer. (He’s since recovered and is partnering with that other Lance on cancer awareness.)

4 Customized name flap on back he likes to flash when passing a

This year, Mackey finished the 1,850-kilometre race with an eighthour lead in an amazing nine days, 21 hours, 38 minutes and 46 seconds, but the accolade that he is most proud of is winning the Humanitarian Award for outstanding dog care, which is voted for by the race veterinarians. Next up, he’s challenging himself to be the first five-time champion back to back and cross the 2010 finish line in Nome with the full pack of 16 “best friends” he started with.

On super-chilly days, Mackey throws the Canada Goose Anorak Parka overtop the Constable Parka. “When it really gets cold I layer. I can take the anorak off or put it on as need be when going over hills and when the temperature changes. It’s easy to get in and out of.”

The 2009 race was the coldest, most extreme race in the Iditarod’s 37-year history. “I’ve never been so warm!” exclaims Mackey. Here’s a look at the Canada Goose Constable Parka that he wore to survive the sub-zero weather:

© Courtesy Lance Mackey

The parka was modified with a thick layer of wired real fur (because faux is known to freeze) around the hood to protect Mackey’s face from wind and frostbite. “Fur is absolutely necessary to keep your face from falling off.”

certain competitor. “When I pass him, I flap that down!”

5 Super-durable, high-quality Arctic-Tech poly-blend fabric. “After

more than a full year of wear there is only one little tear. Usually I thrash my gear.”

6 Sleek design. “I don’t care what I look like as long as I’m warm. But this stuff is fashionable, too. That’s a bonus.”

Underneath, he wears the Canada Goose Freestyle Vest and customized Rocky Mountain Overalls. And a base layer of Icebreaker wool long underwear underneath. “As the temperature drops, I gotta throw more layers on.” Mackey also sports a fur hat, Canada Goose gloves under beaver mitts and real caribou skin socks inside Neo overboots all tucked in and sealed up. “Any little crack in the gear and the wind will find it.” Canada Goose Constable Parka | $450 canada-goose.com

Mackey stows a Snickers bar in the top pocket for snack attacks. (inner pocket #1) Headlights stashed for the hours of complete darkness each night. “Building up to the race, I have to train myself to stay awake in the dark.”

4

(inner pocket #2) iPod tucked inside with upbeat music to keep Mackey awake over the no-sleep, 10-day course. “I like classic rock like ZZ Top, but I let my boy program mine this year and I’m not sure what I was listening to! But it was the kind of music that kept me awake, and now I’m pretty fond of Snoop Dogg.”

5 2

Extra inside pockets are key for protecting spare batteries from the cold, holding Mackey’s medications and the dogs’ foot gel and keeping water bottles thawed. “Pockets close to the body are SO necessary.”

MULTI-DAY TRIPS

6

1 Covered zipper to keep wind out. “It’s not the cold but the wind I hate.”

2 Super-tough Velcro closures. “I’m very impressed with the Velcro holding up at 50 below and full of dog hair. It sticks like glue.”

1

3 Side zippers with large pulls for quick access to the inside layers

without having to remove his beaver-fur mittens. “Easy access so I don’t have to expose my hands to 50 below. That would be brutal.”

3

trips depart in August from Sept Iles, Quebec

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8 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

www.adventuramag.ca

In 2006, childhood buddies Brad Rudin and Adrian Kraizel from Toronto launched Guats, an outdoor apparel collection for guys and gals. Their green-conscious tees and hoodies are made from an organic blend of bamboo materials. Coveted by eco-sensitive, active-minded people who appreciate bamboo’s moisture-wicking properties (a natural alternative to synthetic polyester and nylon blends) and the softer-than-cotton feel (think cashmere), the line is also antibacterial and biodegradable to boot. To complete the look, check out Guats’ rugged style pants made of equally eco hemp. guats.com


Banff mountain

film festival world tour

2010

9 CITIES IN QUEBEC! MONTREAL ST-JEROME © Mark Edward Harris

JANUARY 23-21 JANUARY 28 Salle Marie-Gérin-Lajoie , UQAM Andre-Prevost Hall

ST-JEROME

DRUMMONDVILLE CHICOUTIMI JANUARY 24 JANUARY 30 George D’or Hall UQAC

UQAC

TROIS-RIVIERES QUEBEC TROIS-RIVIERES

SHERBROOKE RIMOUSKI

How to photograph a fleeting moment.

FREEZE FRAME

SHERBROOKE

By Mark Edward Harris

At St. Martin, I explored the island’s jungle canopy by zip line in the Flyzone on Loterie Farm. Perched on a tree, I photographed fellow adventurers coming toward me. Since they were not travelling at Olympian speeds, 1/500th of a second was sufficient to freeze the action. To convey the feeling of movement, you can also try a technique known as “panning,” where you stand to the side and follow the subject (a racing car, a zooming bicycle, a rollerblader, etc.) with your camera as they move past you. In this situation, a slower shutter speed (1/30th or 1/60th of a second) works well. This produces a photo where your subject is relatively sharp, but the background looks as though it is moving. Both techniques when applied successfully create and preserve dynamic frozen moments in time that otherwise would be gone in the blink of an eye. Mark Edward Harris is an award-winning photographer based in Los Angeles. He recently released a new book, The Way of the Japanese Bath. markedwardharris.com

JANUARY 27 FEBRUARY 2 Maurice O’Bready Hall Desjardins-Telus Hall

RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP

The faster the action you are photographing, the faster you need your camera’s shutter to open and close in order to capture your subject without being blurry. If you are using a point-and-shoot or a consumer-level DSLR (digital single-lens reflex), chances are your camera will have a “frozen runner” icon setting that when selected will adjust its shutter to a high speed automatically. But if you would like to have more control over your photos, here are some basic tips. Photographers covering high-speed competitions such as downhill skiing events often switch from auto to manual focus, then pre-focus on a specific area (e.g. a mogul or a slalom gate). They wait for the skier to near their camera’s frame, and then fire off a burst of motor-driven shots using a fast shutter speed. In this case I recommend at least 1/2,000th of a second. A high-speed motor drive is vital for this type of coverage, as you only have a split second of action passing through the frame. Capturing sprinters in a race requires the same approach. A photographer will manually focus on the finishing line and start shooting just before the runner enters the frame and continue until he exits.

January 26 JANUARY 31 Salle J.A. Thompson Albert-Rousseau Hall

FEBRUARY 3 Bon-Pasteur Hall

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DAYTRIPPER

G:H>HII=:I:BEI6I>DCIDHI6N>C9DDGH9JG>C<I=:8=>AANBDCI=H#EJINDJGL6GB:HI;DDI;DGL6G96C9 =:69DJI9DDGH;DGHJCH=>C:!;G:H=6>G6C9C:L:ME:G>:C8:H#=:G:6G:I=G:::6HN96NIG>EHI=6IB6N =6K:NDJH>C<>C<LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!6AAL>CI:GADC<#

OTTAWA

?9;KF7JB79:K FE?IIED 8B7D9 ACTIVITY: ICE-CLIMBING By Julie Harrison

If your stomach starts to grumble on your drive home to Ottawa, pull into WakeďŹ eldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Black Sheep Inn (theblacksheepinn.com) and chow down on its selfproclaimed Kick-Ass Poutine. For a more relaxing add-on to your day trip, stop in Old Chelsea at Le Nordik (lenordik. com) and unwind in their Finnish hot baths.

until it ends at a T-section. Turn left onto Chemin du Poisson Blanc and drive for 12.2 km. About 500 m before the road ends, park at the barrier for the Base de Plein Air. Other activities: Excellent off-trail snowshoeing Season: Winter Cost: Free Gear: Bring crampons, ice axes, helmet, ropes and snowshoes, the latter because the approach is not always plowed. Mountain Equipment Co-op (613-729-2700 Ĺ&#x201D;NFDDB SFOUTBMMPGUIFBCPWFFYDFQU ropes.

Distance: Just over an hour from downtown Ottawa

Lessons: Beginners should contact the Ottawa and Outaouais chapters of the Alpine Club of Canada (alpineclubottawa. DBĹ&#x201D;DBDPVUBPVBJTPSH 5IFTFGSJFOEMZGPMLT happily take newcomers on outings and show them the ropes.

Getting there: From Ottawa, take the 307 North toward Saint-Pierre-de-WakeďŹ eld. Take a left onto Chemin des Voyageurs. Follow Chemin des Voyageurs for 5.8 km

For more: Christiaan Burchell has compiled an unofficial guide to ice DMJNCJOHBSPVOE0UUBXBĹ&#x201D;SFEQPJOUHBNFT com/doc/icearoundottawa.pdf

Level: Moderate to very difficult

Š iStockphoto

TFill that thermos with hot chocolate. Excellent ice awaits you just north of WakeďŹ eld at Lac du Poisson Blanc, where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something for everyone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from friendly climbs for beginners to strenuous and technical routes for the more experienced. Thick ice is usually available and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good protection and anchors. The bonus? Because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a north-facing wall, Poisson Blanc tends to be climbable earlier in the season than most other areas.

TORONTO

M7BA?DMED:;H7J9H7M<EH:B7A; ACTIVITY: SNOWSHOEING By Maureen Littlejohn

TNear the town of Milton, around 40 kilometres west of Toronto, is a surprising winter wonderland with lush forest, a canyon and a rare glacial lake. Crawford Lake Conservation Area was formed in 1969 and is part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The 468-hectare park, which is open year-round, is laced with 19 kilometres of multi-use trails. Marked snowshoe paths are generally ďŹ&#x201A;at and easy, great for a relaxed afternoon outing. Modern recreational snowshoes can be rented in the visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centre, which also has an eating area, gift shop and washrooms. The three main snowshoeing trails are the 3.4-km Snowshoe Trail, 3.6-km Pine Ridge Trail and the 1.5-km Woodland Trail. There are also paths that connect to the Bruce Trail, dotted with white markers. For more advanced exploring, take the 7.2-km Nassagaweya Trail, which has a footbridge over the Nassagaweya Canyon and ends at Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area. Steep, rocky inclines on this path require mountaineering snowshoes. This

trail isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a loop â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you have to double back and it takes around four hours in total. History buffs will enjoy the reconstructed 15th-century First Nations village. The site was once home to Wendat and Attiwandaron peoples, and visitors can take tours of the longhouse on weekends in the winter. A modern building called the Wolf Clan Learning Centre features exhibits, displays and video presentations. Pre-register in January and February for guided snowshoe hikes, including an evening jaunt that ends with hot chocolate. Forging through the ďŹ&#x201A;uffy white stuff, you might catch a glimpse of whitetailed deer, fox, coyotes, rabbits, chickadees, blue jays and cardinals. A bit of trivia: Prince William and Prince Harry toured the park in 1995 with their parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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Level: Beginner to advanced Other activities: Cross-country skiing. In spring, summer and fall there is also hiking. Season: Winter Cost: Adult $6.50, seniors $5.50, children $4.50, under 4 years old are free Gear: BYO mountaineering snowshoes or rent modern recreational ones for $10 per day plus refundable deposit. Getting there: Located at Conservation Road (this is a small TUSFUDIPG4UFFMFT"WFOVFUIBUXBTSFDFOUMZSFOBNFE BOE Guelph Line, ďŹ ve km south of Highway 401 and 15 km north of the Q.E.W. Take Guelph Line south from Highway 401 or north from the Q.E.W. and turn east at Conservation Road to Crawford Lake parking lot. Lessons: Snowshoe mini-lessons offered through the visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; centre on pre-registered, guided hikes. Call for fee and times. Other: Open seven days a week, all year long, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; centre open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with information desk, gift shop, eating area and washrooms. Tip: The rental desk can equip you with cross-country ski poles on request. For more:DPOTFSWBUJPOIBMUPOPODBĹ&#x201D;


QUEBEC CITY

Activity: Ice canyoning By Bryen Dunn

_While most people gather their skis and poles for one of the many downward spirals at Mont Sainte-Anne, why not lace up your crampons for a descent of a different sort – a much steeper one? Ice canyoning involves descending the ice formations of a frozen waterfall, a modified version of the regular canyoning that is offered during the warmer seasons. It’s important to note that this is not ice climbing, but a vertical descent on ice – all the while giving you the same adrenaline rush. After a peaceful 20-minute forested hike to reach Jean-Larose Falls, beginners do two trial runs before attempting a final descent. The views of the surrounding snowcovered peaks are a nice distraction from the open-running river waters below and to the side. Do take note that the climb back up can actually be more challenging than the descent, as climbing the 400-plus snow-covered stairs is a workout in itself.

Level: Moderate. No experience required, although the minimum age is 14. Fully guided by certified operator, but not recommended for those who fear heights or are prone to vertigo. Access: 30-minute trek from Mont Sainte-Anne Ski Resort Other activities: Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding Season: December to April. Tours leave early morning and are back by lunch. Cost: Starts at $69 for a half-day excursion including gear, lessons and guide Gear: Warm winter clothing. All climbing gear is provided. Getting there: From Toronto, take Highway 401 East to Montreal, then continue on Highway 20 or 40 East to Quebec City. From here take Route 138 to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, and turn onto Route 360 toward Mont Sainte-Anne Ski Resort. The ice canyoning office is located within the resort adjacent to ski rentals. For more: canyoning-quebec.com

© canyoning-quebec.com

Break the ice at Mont Sainte-Anne

This winter, experience

parc national d’Aiguebelle Situated in the heart of nature, 12 magnificient rustic camps to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the park. More than 30 km of snowshoer trails and nordic skiing. Parc national d’Aiguebelle, Mathieu Dupuis, Sépaq • Cyclopes photo

Reservation or information 1 800 665-6527 ParksQuebec.com

Abitibi-temiscAmingue-tourism.org

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 11


WEEKEND GETAWAY

HAPPY CAMPER

(Un)

Just because you’re an expert camper in summer doesn’t mean your outdoor savvy will work for you come winter. Our writer tells her story of a mid-winter night’s dread and how being prepared is the most important thing she forgot.

© Timothy Epp

By Sarah Kelsey

I’ve been camping every summer for about 28 years, so I kind of consider myself a pro. I mean, really, what’s there to know? You get to your site, set up a tent, build a fire, stash your food from bears, then kick back and enjoy the weekend. The most stressful things you have to think about include peeing in the woods, poison ivy, ants and sand getting in your sleeping bag. So when my boyfriend asked me to go winter camping, I thought, Sure, no problem. Our adventure started on a cold Saturday afternoon at Silent Lake in Bancroft near the Kawarthas. The campground is one of 25 Ontario parks that operate in the winter. The

majestic lake is completely landlocked, so it’s safe for snowshoeing, ice fishing and skating, and there are more than 40 kilometres of groomed cross-country skiing trails in the area. As soon as we pulled up in our car, I felt as if I had died and gone to heaven. A park ranger saw me fiddling with my camping gear – I had a tent, sleeping bag and some other necessities. “You’re not renting a yurt?” he wondered as he tugged at his toque. “Yurt?” I said. “What the heck is a yurt?” “You know. One of those buildings that keep you warm in the winter. It comes with a heater and bunk beds. You should get one,” he said. In retrospect, this should have been the moment

when I ran into the park office begging to rent one. But I didn’t. Instead, I politely declined and told him we were planning on “roughing it.” With that, we picked up our gear and headed off to our campsite. (Mistake no. 1.) Covered in about two inches of snow, the site was large enough for three or four singleperson tents and was encircled by pine trees and evergreens – a perfect shelter from the winter wind (We’ll be so cozy! I thought.) We immediately started to set up the site, which, to put it mildly, was labour intensive. First, we had to shovel the snow so we could see the ground to pitch the tents. The only problem was that someone forgot a shovel (okay, I admit, it had never crossed my mind), so we had to wade our

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way through waist-deep snow to find a long flat log that could do the job. Then there was the not-so-small matter of attempting to light a fire on partially frozen, wet ground with no dry wood to speak of. Let’s just say we used a lot cooking fuel (not recommended) meant for our stove and one too many matches to get the fire going. And then, we had to find a way to hide our food so it didn’t freeze or find its way into the mouths of lurking animals. We ended up burying our cooler in the snow, then weighting it down with rocks. There was also the matter of finding a spot to, ahem, go to the washroom. Being a woman, the


What to bring (if you’re staying in a tent) Big tools Tree saw (to saw down trees if there is no firewood) Axe (to chop firewood) Shovels (to clear snow from the site) Little tools Repair kit (should contain elastic bands, paper clips, safety pins, tape, wire, needles, thread, buttons) First aid kit Flashlight Lantern Rope (to secure your food items) Swiss Army knife or a sharp blade (to whittle wood) Tent Large tarp (to place under your tent as an extra layer between you and the wet ground) Sleeping bag (preferably one that’s multi-season), sleeping bag liner and sleeping pad (to add a layer of insulation between you and the ground) Tent heater task was much harder for me than my male counterpart. My solution? Lie on my back, pull down my pants, lift up my legs and pray my “stream” didn’t hit any clothing. That’s all I’ll say about that. It took us about four hours to completely set up our campsite. Before night fell, we decided to go on a short winter hike to the lake for a little round of skating. To our surprise, it was packed with families from the area playing ice hockey and teaching their children how to skate. (They all looked like relaxed, yurtstaying folk.) I could have stayed there all night, but we had forgotten our flashlights back at the site (I swear I did remind the boyfriend), so we had to head back before darkness set in. We spent the rest of the evening cuddling around a fire, drinking spiked hot chocolate and laughing about who forgot what. It was around 2 a.m. when I finally decided to roll into my slightly damp, frozen sleeping bag. (Wouldn’t you know it, my dog ate my tent heater.) I spent the next few hours shivering, asking Mother Nature to spare me from hypothermia and praying for the sun to come up.

Cooking Large pot and lid Grill top Stirring spoon/stick Aluminum cups Water bottle Tinfoil (to cook food in) Waterproof matches Dry newspaper (to light a fire) Clothing Extra hats, gloves and socks Insulated winter boots Garbage bags (to keep your clothes dry) Layers Sunglasses/goggles (going snow-blind does not enhance the winter experience) Helpful Extras Biodegradable toilet paper Hand sanitizer Compass

The Good: Experiencing winter in a brand new way. The Bad: Being cold and cursing myself because I wasn’t prepared. The Weird: Not flushing after doing you-know-what.

PLAN AHEAD Season  Twenty-five of Ontario’s 330 provincial parks are operational for winter camping from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31. That means there are park rangers, and roadways are groomed to improve car access. Winter passes are about $60. Where to sleep  You have two options. A tent can be pitched, like you would pitch a tent in the summer, on an assigned lot in one of the provincial parks. If, however, you’d rather not suffer as I did, you can stay in a yurt. The wooden structures are about 16 feet in diameter and have electric heat as well as insulated flooring. Most yurts accommodate six people and have bunk beds (each of which is vinyl-covered). Six of Ontario’s provincial parks (Algonquin, MacGregor Point, Pinery, Quetico, Killarney and Silent Lake) have yurts already set up on their grounds. Where to eat  Because you’re camping in the winter, it’s always easiest to stick with one-dish meal suggestions. For example, soup is great because all you need is a pot, a can of soup and some water. We cooked a pot of chili before we left the city, then warmed it up over the fire. We also brought hot dogs and roasted them over the fire with branches we found lying on the site’s ground. Other easy-to-cook suggestions include pasta, fruits or vegetables, potatoes and fish (wrap them together in tin foil, then throw them on the grill) and eggs. What to do  Most provincial parks in operation over the winter offer crosscounty skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and ice skating. There are over 40 km of groomed cross-country ski trails at Silent Lake (they start and finish at the parking lot). There are four colour-coded loops graded from novice to beginner (one loop, for beginners, is only 2.5 km, while another is 19 km and is meant for experienced skiers). They also have an 8-km trail, which is groomed for skate skiing. All of the activities are free for people staying in the park.

This winter, experience Parc national d’Aiguebelle

backcountry rustic campsites. Complete the L’Évasion circuit while enjoying moments of relaxation in the cozy comfort of the Gouverneur Hotel Le Noranda.

By the time dawn finally broke, it was fair to say that I had had enough of winter camping. I was cold and dreading my next trip to the “ladies’ room.” But that was also when I stepped outside of my tent. In front of me was one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. Overnight another two inches of snow had fallen. The tents had gone from hues of yellow, blue and red to a shimmering coat of white, and the trees, weighed down from the newly fallen snow, were glistening in the sun. It was a moment so calm and energizing that it reminded me of a scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie wakes up on Christmas Day full of hope that he’s actually going to get his Red Ryder BB Gun.

Package includes : • A 1- to 3-night stay in a rustic campsite, luggage transportation included. • One night at the Gouverneur Hotel Le Noranda including a four-course supper, a full breakfast at the Cellier restaurant, and a one-hour massage session.

L’Évasion Package From

198,50$

As I basked in the new day, the crisp cold air quickly filled my lungs and warmed my heart. I laughed a little – at myself. I had survived, despite my frozen toes and makeshift toilet. Nature can be humbling, and rough on those who don’t come prepared. But a sunny day in the woods at the peak of winter can also be heaven on earth. That mental snapshot is forever etched in my mind. As for whether I would actually go winter camping again... certainly not without a yurt.

pers./stay/double occ. (Taxes and park access fees not included)

This winter, experience... Information and reservations : 819 637-7322

Sarah Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Toronto.

For more ontarioparks.com parkreports.com/events/events.php

Put on your cross-country skis or snowshoes for a getaway at one of our

Photos : Mathieu Dupuis, Valérie Guertin

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 13


Š Fisher

Š iStockphoto

Š Stephen Strathdee

Mjwjoh!Mbshf In the midst of a Canadian winter, carve out at least one weekend for yourself and your better half and enjoy a cosy tĂŞte-Ă -tĂŞte with bodypampering, gastronomic pleasures and lots of fresh-air fun. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve selected three eclectic hideouts to serve as your home base for outdoor recreation and indoor relaxation, as well as the best nearby activities that will keep you inspired and energized throughout the season.



Ă&#x17D;LE Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ORLĂ&#x2030;ANS By Austin Macdonald

(BMMJD(FUBXBZ Just 10 kilometres northeast of Quebec Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fortiďŹ cations and cliffs where the river narrows dramatically, long (34 km) and thin (8 km) Ă&#x17D;le dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;OrlĂŠans is considered the cradle of French civilization in North America â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the place where early 17th-century settlements sustained New Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst inhabitants. Today, the region provides prized terroir ingredients, such as strawberries, apples, potatoes, maple syrup and game, to the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ ner restaurants. Winter snowfalls transform the dense quilt of land parcels into a uniform blanket of white, dotted with stone farmhouses with steep-pitched red roofs and smoking chimneys.



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A 1943 bridge connects Ă&#x17D;le dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;OrlĂŠans to the mainland near Montmorency Falls. On the far side of the island, near the burg of St-Jean, the guesthouse Dans les Bras de MorphĂŠe (ROOMSFROMs  sDANSLESBRASDEMORPHEECOM) sits riverside on a large plot of land cloistered by maple trees. Just beyond, the mighty St. Lawrence River ďŹ&#x201A;ows by. There are hardwood ďŹ&#x201A;oors throughout and private ensuite bathrooms. Each of the four guest rooms features a unique dĂŠcor, all variations on cute and cozy. A two-storey stone chimney anchors the farmhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large main room, rising into a cathedral ceiling above the sitting area in front of a roaring hearth. At the opposite end, exposed wooden beams cross the dining area and two white chandeliers hang above the long harvest table with white, high-backed wooden chairs. The breakfast menu changes daily but is always an opportunity to taste some delicacies made with local ingredients, including homemade jams and cretons â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a spreadable pork pâtĂŠ unique to LABELLEPROVINCE. Weary weekenders looking for a little pampering should head to Izba Spa (MASSAGES STARTATFORMINs  sIZBASPAQCCA), a quick jaunt into Quebec City. It has a traditional Russian steam bath, a salon, massages and a bevy of body treatments including reďŹ&#x201A;exology, facials, scrubs and wraps.

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The chef-proprietor of the Canard HuppĂŠ (TABLEDHĂ&#x2122;TEFROMs   s CANARD HUPPECOM), a destination restaurant, is a magnanimous host and his food is the toast of the island. The quaint ďŹ&#x201A;oral-print wallpaper and wood panelling belie the kitchenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sophistication. The crisp white table linens, ďŹ ne stemware and maĂŽtre dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hint at the formal tone of the ensuing ďŹ ve-course fusion set menu. Spectacular presentations and knowledgeable service are on par with the execution of the dishes.



1MBZ

ICE CLIMBING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; During winter, the spray and mist from the 84-metre-tall Montmorency Falls collects and freezes, creating spectacular, otherworldly formations along the nearby bluffs, which are ideal for ice climbing. A RocGyms instructor leads a seven-hour course for novices, starting at the base of the falls, leading to a full day of climbing. ­fÂ&#x2122;Â&#x2122;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;VÂ?Ă&#x2022;`iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x160;iÂľĂ&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;ÂŤÂ&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;>Â?Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160; nääÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x201C;Â&#x2021;{Â&#x2122;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;V}Ă&#x17E;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;ÂŽ SNOWKITING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large, interior, windswept plane is where skiers and snowboarders can learn to snowkite (kitesurďŹ ng in winter) during a three-hour outing with ExpĂŠdition Mi-Loup ­fnÂ&#x2122;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;{ÂŁnÂ&#x2021;nĂ&#x201C;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;xnnĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Â?iÂŤĂ&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;LÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;° ÂľV°V>Ă&#x2030;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x2030;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2021;>VĂ&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;iĂ&#x192;ÂŽ. After an initial brieďŹ ng and some individual instruction in the ďŹ rst hour, snowkiters are set loose to test their new wings. A snowmobile acts as a support vehicle to rescue any wayward individuals stranded downwind. Mi-Loup also rents sails to more experienced kitesurfers ­fĂ&#x201C;äĂ&#x160; vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160; wĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;fÂŁxĂ&#x160;i>VÂ&#x2026;Ă&#x160;>``Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;>Â?Ă&#x160;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;ÂŽ. s3NOWSHOEINGn4REKKERSWISHINGTOFOLLOWINTHEEARLY&RENCHEXPLORERSFOOTSTEPS will enjoy a 3.5-kilometre excursion through dense glades in a 15-metre-deep river gorge ­fÂŁxĂ&#x160;vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;>Ă&#x160;Â&#x2026;>Â?vÂ&#x2021;`>Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;iĂ&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;>Â?Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;fĂ&#x201C;xĂ&#x160;vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Â?iĂ&#x160;`>Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160; {ÂŁnÂ&#x2021;nĂ&#x201C;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;xnnĂ&#x160; UĂ&#x160; Â?iÂŤĂ&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;LÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;°¾V°V>Ă&#x2030;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x2030;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2021;>VĂ&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;iĂ&#x192;ÂŽ. The unspoiled wooded area is a change of scenery from the otherwise largely ďŹ&#x201A;at and open surroundings.

14T7:L;DJKH7TL>CI:G'%%.Tlll#VYkZcijgVbV\#XV

HALIBURTON By Donna Carter

)JHIMBOET3FUSFBU Surrounded by pristine lakes, rivers and virgin forest, Haliburton Village lies on the edge of Head Lake in the heart of the Haliburton Highlands, a region named for the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physical resemblance to the Scottish Highlands. Just over two hours northeast of Toronto, the village and surrounding area have a long-standing reputation for some of the best outdoor recreation in Ontario. Winter activities include snowshoeing, dogsledding and downhill and crosscountry skiing. Come spring, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kayaking, canoeing, hiking and biking. nääÂ&#x2021;{Ă&#x2C6;ÂŁÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Â&#x2026;>Â?Â&#x2C6;LĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;VÂ&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x17E;°V>



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The Domain of Killien (ROOMSFROMs  sDOMAINOFKILLIEN COM) is named after a 13th-century estate in France, and descendants of the family who owned it now own and operate the Haliburton property. Located 10 minutes west of the village on a 5,000-acre private wooded estate, it has ďŹ ve rooms in the main lodge and seven lakeside chalets. All rooms are cozy pine-lined retreats with featherbeds and duvets; some feature wood-burning ďŹ replaces and whirlpool tubs. This is a place that offers quiet comfort and European reďŹ nement in a pleasant pine and log setting. An extensive menu of spa and wellness treatments is available at The Wind in the Willows (MASSAGES START AT  FOR  MIN s    s HALIBURTON SPACOM), just 10 minutes west of the village.



&BU

Specializing in French cuisine as well as lighter fare, the Domain of Killien is widely known for its outstanding cuisine (FULLDINNERMENU ). Duck and salmon are smoked on site and pan-seared pickerel and roasted rack of lamb are often on the menu. Full breakfasts are served and picnic lunches are made to order. For casual fare, McKeckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Place (MAINSFROMs  ) is a popular eatery in downtown Haliburton. Owned by former NHL player Walt McKechnie, the


restaurant features hockey-inspired dĂŠcor and, in keeping with the hockey theme, menu items include Great Gretzky Garlic Bread and Potvinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Potato Skins.

1MBZ SNOWSHOEING AND CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Domain of Killienâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private estate has 32 km of groomed trails, with a heated cabin in the woods to enjoy a picnic lunch. Haliburton Highlands has a 100-km Nordic ski trail system considered among the best in the province. DOWNHILL SKIING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ten minutes north of the village, Sir Samâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ski Area ­Ă&#x2021;äxÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;x{Â&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x201C;Â&#x2122;nĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;>Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;ÂŽ has 12 groomed runs with 100 metres of elevation. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rental shop, ski school, pub and large chalet with four ďŹ replaces.

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DOGSLEDDING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A half-hour north of Haliburton village, Winterdance Dogsled Tours ­Ă&#x2021;äxÂ&#x2021;{xĂ&#x2021;Â&#x2021;xĂ&#x201C;nÂŁĂ&#x160; UĂ&#x160; Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;`>Â&#x2DC;Vi°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;ÂŽ operates half-day, full-day and moonlight trips over 50 km of trails using purebred Siberian huskies. Twenty minutes north of the village, the 60,000-acre Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve ­Ă&#x2021;äxÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;x{Â&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;ÂŁÂ&#x2122;nĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Â&#x2026;>Â?Â&#x2C6;LĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;ÂŽ also offers half- and full-day tours over 300 km of groomed trails. The Reserve boasts a world-renowned Wolf Centre where visitors can observe wolves living in a contained natural environment.

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ANCASTER By Ilona Kauremszky

#JH'JOE/FYU%PPS



For years, Ancaster â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a bedroom community of Steeltown Hamilton â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was a sleepy hollow. But since a big chunk of land (over 1,200 hectares) was declared in 1990 as a UNESCO World Biosphere, this green space has turned into a popular winter getaway for ďŹ&#x201A;eeing Toronto urbanites. New and seasoned ice climbers, cross-country skiers and hikers who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind overnighting in smaller establishments ďŹ nd the area a refreshing diversion.

  

33

Book your fun-in-thesun destinations now!

Feel a vibe at the Meadows B&B (ROOMSFROMs  ) akin to a faux-Tudor dream when you walk through the quaint three-bedroom private home that comes with your choice of a four-poster wooden double-, queen- or kingsized bed. All rooms are furnished in muted natural tones. After battling the frigid elements, indulge at The Spa at Ancaster (  sANCASTERSPACOM), a restored heritage home in the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hub. The family-run business has an eclectic spa treatment menu that includes hot-stone massages, Reiki and their signature package, called the Hammam Experience ( FOR  MIN), which offers an old-world treatment ideal for the mind, body and soul. Picture lots of steam, oliveoil soap and exfoliation.

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&BU After a day frolicking in the snow piles, spice it up a notch with hot cuisine. The townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only Indian establishment, India Village Restaurant (MAINS FROM s  slNEINDIANCUISINECA) is a popular foodie hangout, so reservations are recommended. The intimate 22-seater venue serves generous portions at affordable prices and has amazing chicken tikka masala. For folks who crave a big steak with a chubby glass of red, Faloneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Ancaster (MAINS FROM  s    s FALONEYSOFANCASTERCOM) is a must. Furnished in stone, mahogany and white-linen-topped tables, it is named after the late Hamilton Tiger-Cat quarterback Bernie Faloney and is run by his son, Wally. All the steaks are triple-A Alberta sterling silver aged less than 28 days.

ICE CLIMBING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Prepare to ascend 21-metre-high Tiffany Falls with Guelphbased outďŹ tting company One Axe Pursuits (oneaxepursuits.com). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headed by Frederick Schuett, whose claim to fame was climbing Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest peak, Mount Logan. The bon vivant now wrangles groups of up to 15 for this eyeopening six-hour session that starts halfway up the Niagara Escarpment. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Surrounded by over 3,000 km of Carolinian forests and countless frozen creeks, the Dundas Valley Conservation Area ($6 per vehicle s  sCONSERVATIONHAMILTONCA ISPARTOFTHE.IAGARA%SCARPMENT UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The more popular easy-to-moderate trails around these parts are the 3.5-km main loop and the 20-km Rail Trail. HIKING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; For a wow factor, hike into the Spencer Gorge/Websterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Falls Conservation !REAPERVEHICLEs  sCONSERVATIONHAMILTONCA WHICHISHOMETO two beautiful waterfalls. Marked trails lead to Tews Falls; only 10 metres lower than .IAGARA&ALLS ITLOOMSMETRESHIGHANDHASITSOWNINTERESTINGICEFORMATIONS while Websterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boasts magniďŹ cent tiered waterfalls.

photos: Yvan Monette

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Route, reservations, baggage transportation, meal planning, mechanical assistance: we take care of all that so you can remain as free as the air!

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Globetrotter

Island HOPPING Looking for an island retreat? Here are Adventura’s top six Caribbean picks – and each destination’s must-do activity. By Jimmy Im

1

T

ARUBA

Best for: Rock climbing // Because: Great cliffs and routes // Home base: Renaissance Resort (marriott.com) // Insider tip: Head out in early morning or late afternoon to avoid the sun.

he island lifestyle is more than sitting pretty on a white-sand beach with a fruity cocktail in hand and palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. With miles of stunning sea, lush mountains and a tropical climate to boot, the Caribbean islands provide some of the best places in the world for adventurous outdoor activities. Whether you like to skim the water’s edge, explore mountains chock full of native flora and fauna or take a plunge in the deep blue, a myriad of new experiences await.

Aruba hails as the spot for rock climbing – it’s also one of only three islands that offer the sport. Twelve years ago, a rock climbing aficionado, Igor Monzon, created routes in Grapefield, home to 20-metre-high craggy cliffs formed thousands of years ago. A group of expert rock climbers then enhanced the routes in 1998, completing them all and serving up more than 22 routes (from beginners to advanced) for those who like the rush of climbing. Relatively unknown but gaining international recognition, rock climbing in Aruba is not yet the most sought-after activity, thus there are no climbing organizations. It is, however, available to anyone (amateurs to experts) by contacting Karel Vanden Burg (karelvandenenburg@hotmail.com), the fitness instructor for the Dutch Marines. He and his climbing buddy, restaurateur Hoi Yim Ho (297-588-2629), hit the rocks early Sunday mornings, and all are welcome to join them (they love company). They offer instructions and tutorials, gear, equipment, beverages and snacks all for FREE. It does pay to have friends in high places.

2

CURAÇAO

Best for: Diving // Because: Great waters, wrecks and reefs // Home base: Lodge Kura Hulanda (kurahulanda.com) // Insider tip: The salt concentration near the shores is high, great for a buoyant and detoxifying swim!

© iStockphoto

Although Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean offers amazing attractions on land, a large number of guests like to spend their time underwater – and with good reason! Curaçao is ranked number five on the PADI Network’s favourite scuba spots and offers more than 60 dive sites teeming with coral, sponges, parrotfish and more. Most hotels and resorts offer courses, but guests make a beeline to Lodge Kura Hulanda, owned by legendary philanthropist Jacob Gelt Dekker, offering a full range of services (from PADI certifications to dive packages). For instance, Alice in Wonderland, just a short dive away, features magnificent reefs with green moray eels, lobsters and mushroom-shaped star coral formations; the visibility averages 30 metres. Curaçao is also world-famous for its shipwreck dives, and one of the best in all of the Caribbean is the Superior Producer, a cargo freighter that sunk in 1977, now surrounded by barracudas and beautifully covered in colourful corals and sponges.

16 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

www.adventuramag.ca


3

4

EXUMA, BAHAMAS

Best for: Kitesurfing // Because: Shallow and clear waters // Home base: Club Peace & Plenty (peaceandplenty.com) // Insider tip: Iva Bowe’s is the favourite hangout for the local kitesurfers

Best for: Catamaran sailing // Because: Great trade winds // Home base: Guanahani Resort & Spa (leguanahani.com) // Insider Tip: The best time to sail is during the dry season, December to April, when the trade winds are exceptional.

Shallow waters. No crowds. Exuma, or, more specifically, Runaway Bay, is the model setting for kitesurfing. The sublime, crystal-clear, sandy-bottom water of the beaches is knee to waist deep, and the current of air coming down from North America (along with breezy trade winds) makes it the idealspottostrapintogearandskirtthesea’ssurface.Beginnersandadvancedkitesurfersalikehead to Exuma Kitesurfing (242-524-0523), the only kiteboarding operation on the island and one of only wo kiteboarding schools in the Bahamas. Owner Gary Sweeting is International Kiteboarding Organization-certified (along with the other instructors) and offers personable guidance and hands-on lessons so your time on the water is an absolute thrill.

5

SAINT BARTHÉLEMY

The harbours may be lined with million-dollar yachts, but there’s always room for catamarans in glamorous St. Barts in the French West Indies. This island is best known for its chic allure, stylish hotels and gorgeous, unspoiled beaches. Thanks to its prime location, the island is also a favourite destination for sailing. Set up sail on any of the tiny harbours, though the best one is at St. Jean, the most popular beach with some great shallow waters that form into perfect bays. The beachfront Carib Waterplay (06-90-61-80-81) offers a variety of sailing activities, from beginner’s to advanced. Guide and owner Jean Christophe is the perfect chaperone, considering he made a 13-day sailing journey across the Atlantic to set up shop on the island back in 1983. Once you get past the hills and outer bay on a good launch, speed naturally picks up with the trade winds, giving you the thrill of working the main sail, rudder and jib. Go north along the island and park at the Guanahani Resort’s popular beachside restaurant for lunch (a magical setting viewed from the water) before you brave the sea again.

NEVIS

Best for: Hiking // Because: Nevis Peak, a dormant volcano, provides amazing views // Home base: Hermitage Plantation Inn (hermitagenevis.com) // Insider tip: The volcanic rock of Nevis Peak is still hot enough to get the natural mineral pools – at the base of the mountain – sizzling for those who want to give those worked-up legs a relief! Nevis is one of the Caribbean’s most distinctive islands: All the popular activities are more inland rather than sea-based. Nevis is a destination for those who want to spend more of their time exploring its lush forestry and hiking trails. At Nevis Peak, a dormant volcano that stands majestically in the middle of the island, an adventurous hike can be experienced by beginners and advanced alike (the latter make it up to the rewarding woodland summit peak, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea). It is worth the trek to see the variety of flora and fauna that abound – and we’re not talking squirrels and grass. The entire island is chock full of wild vervet monkeys, plenty of which will be swinging to and fro among the trees.

6

CANOUAN

Best for: Kayaking // Because: Seclusion and scenery // Home base: Raffles Canouan (raffles.com) // Insider tip: While you can’t kayak there, nearby Tobago Cays is one of the only places you can swim with sea turtles. Kayaking in the Caribbean? Been there, done that. Kayaking in Canouan? A new adventure. Canouan Island in the Grenadines of the West Indies is a mere 5.6 by 6.8 kilometres, but it’s one of the Caribbean’s best spots to jump into a kayak and paddle away. Though the region is far from sea kayaking, it’s great for advanced beginners and intermediate levels that want to gain speed on flat waters, as the reefs are quite far from shore. The island’s lush landscape and secluded coves pop out deliciously like a storybook. Begin the journey at Raffles Canouan, a private estate surrounded by some of the world’s largest coral reefs. They offer traditional and pedal, single or double kayaks. Godhal Beach is the perfect place to spot diverse fish and other sea creatures. More active kayakers head over to Twin Bay for the sublime beach “coves” that are well worth the effort.

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 17


FEATURE

Adventura’s favourite spots for cross-country skiing in Ontario and Quebec

© Fischer

By Susan Campbell, Mark Cardwell, Ilona Kauremszky, Sarah Kelsey, Maureen Littlejohn and Susie Strachan

1. Elora-Cataract Trailway Overview: Originally the route of the Credit Valley Railway, this 47-kilometre trail is the best way to explore the history and natural landscape of the area. The trail winds its way through some of Ontario’s quaintest towns (like Elora, Fergus, Erin, Hillsburgh, Orton and Cataract) and offers some great opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat – the area is packed with birds, deer and other small mammals. Hidden gems along the route include the gorge near the Credit River and the falls at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park.

Insider tip: Start your trip at one of the route’s entry lots (locations are available online at trailway.org) and grab a trail map. It will help you stay on track even if you can’t see the trail markers.

Cost: None

Don’t miss: A must-stop spot is the small town of Erin. The area is home to some great antique shopping, as well as Minerva’s, a great day spa. For an overnight stay, check out the Devonshire Guest House.

Number: One long trail

Be careful: Trail markers disappear in Fergus, which means you’ll be forced to ski your way through the small town’s city centre.

Rentals: None TRAILS Most challenging: Elora–Fergus will test your endurance. It also has some challenging hills and turns. Great for beginners: Erin–Cataract is a quick run with scenic stops to take a rest break. Longest: Elora–Fergus, 10 km Shortest: Orton, 3 km

Levels: Beginner to intermediate. Since it’s not groomed, it might not be suited to younger or novice skiers. 18 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

Lessons: None

For more: trailway.org (trail map online) www.adventuramag.ca


2. Quetico Provincial Park Overview: Quetico is a protected and pristine 475,000-plus-hectare wilderness retreat located 160 kilometres west of Thunder Bay on the Canada-US border. Quetico’s many interconnecting waterways were the highway system travelled by Ojibway and fur traders, and upon which explorers sought the passage to the West. Your base camp for adventure is the town of Atikokan, which has 70 kilometres of skate and classic ski trails maintained by the Beaten Path Nordic Ski Club. The trails are spread out, following canoe portages and long lakes that truly give the feeling of being out in the wild – making it well worth the quick flight to get there. Levels: Jackrabbit to difficult Insider tip: The best time to come is when the Beaten Path is hosting an event. The trails are free for event participants and their families for the weekend. Don’t miss: The Beaten Path’s ninth annual Cross Quetico Lakes Ski tour, held in March, 2010.

3. Hardwood Ski and Bike Overview: Nestled in the rolling hills between Barrie and Orillia and 10 kilometres from the hamlet of Craighurst, Hardwood Ski and Bike is located on the Oro Moraine. The site has 80 kilometres of newly redesigned trail options that track through pine and hardwood forest past babbling brooks and over snow-covered mounds left in the wake of ancient glaciers. In winter, this is an easily accessible, dedicated cross-country operation that offers a variety of beautifully groomed trails. Levels: Novice recreationalists to hardcore skiers Insider tip: Try the mid-week night skiing that is open until 8 pm. The 2-km trail twinkles under a brand new lighting system. Don’t miss: Sochi (all trails are named after winter Olympic cities) is a 12-km favourite for recreationalists, with enough variety to be challenging but no terrifying surprises. Be careful: If you are not a seasoned skier, the Vancouver and Salt Lake trails are filled with lots of “oh my gosh” moments.

Be careful: There are a couple of sections of trails that are connected by frozen water. These are easy to recognize and should be avoided during the fringe seasons. Cost: Day pass, $20/family, $10/person, $5/student. Available at the Atikokan Pharmacy, 807-597-4582. Lessons: Taught by the Beaten Path Nordic Ski Club Rentals: None Flight time to Thunder Bay From Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa: 1.75 hrs. From Thunder Bay, the drive is three hours to Atikokan. TRAILS Number: 8 Most challenging: Beaver Lake Loop (6 km) has many steep hills. Great for beginners: Jackrabbit Loop (6.5 km) is an old roadbed with gradual hills and long flat sections. Longest trail: Nordic Loop, 10.5 km Shortest trail: Rabid Fox Run, 2.3 km For more: atikokancanoe.tripod.com/beatenpath

4. Algonquin Park Overview: The Canadian Shield’s majesty anchors the landscape of Ontario’s oldest provincial park. Ever since its opening in the 1890s, urbanites and eco-warriors in search of unabashed wilderness have been attracted to the myriad of streams and rivers and 2,400 lakes. And the powder here is unlike any other. There are three ski trail systems of which two are groomed and track-set. The everpopular skate skiing is notably picking up speed here. Most trails are geared for classic skiing, with about 25 percent of the trails now suitable for skating, such as the Leaf Lake Trail system. Levels: Full spectrum, including wilderness backcountry trails

Cost: A valid permit is required to use the park, $15/vehicle. Lessons: None Rentals: Algonquin Outfitters (algonquinoutfitters.com) located in Dwight and Trips and Trails (tripsandtrails.ca) in Bancroft both rent and sell cross-country skis. TRAILS Number: Three trail systems Most challenging: Considered the crème de la crème of loops, the 15-km Pinetree Loop of the 46-km Leaf Lake Ski Trail offers uphill climbs that finish off with a Nirvana-like downhill run. Great for beginners: The Clarke Lake Loop (3 km), part of Leaf Lake Trail, is groomed, track-set and relatively flat.

Insider tip: Along the Leaf Lake Trail, be sure to stop inside one of three heated huts, where hungry skiers love to eat their packed lunches.

Longest: Leaf Lake, 51 km

Don’t miss: The Pinetree Loop on Leaf Lake Trail (15 km) has vigorous uphill climbs, downhill runs and scenic lookouts.

Contact for fact checking Algonquin Park Skiers Association, 613-756-6740 Ian Doyle

Be careful: The Minnesing Wilderness Trail (28 km) is backcountry wilderness skiing territory.

Shortest: Fen Lake Trail, 1.23 km  For more: algonquinpark.on.ca

Contact for photos: Ontario Tourism image gallery (registration required) imageontario.com/

Cost: $21.50/full day, $19/half day Lessons: $20/group, $50/private (must be pre-booked)

5. Collingwood

Rentals: Ski package, $27/full day, $22/half day. Skating package, $38/full day, $33/half day. A rent-to-buy program is also available.

Overview: Ontario’s winter wonderland playground on the southern shores of Georgian Bay is famous for Blue Mountain, the 541-metre alpine ski resort. The former shipping town is also a short drive away from the world’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga Beach, which in cold months turns into a crosscountry skier’s dream. In the immediate Collingwood area there are three Nordic ski areas: Scenic Caves Nordic Centre, Wasaga Nordic and Highlands Nordic. All facilities offer a range of groomed trails and each has something special to offer.

TRAILS Number: 6 (1 racing, 5 recreational) Most challenging: Vancouver is a 10-km racing trail for experts with varied elevation and a multitude of punishing hairpin turns. Great for beginners: Torino (5 km) is a gentle, short run with long, flat, open stretches and gradual hills. Longest trail: Salt Lake City, 22 km Shortest trail: Torino, 5 km For more: hardwoodskiandbike.ca

Levels: Beginner to advanced Insider tip: A one-day tri-pass, which gives you admission to all three locations, only costs $30 (800-263-5017). Don’t miss: The Scenic Cave Nordic has a 22-km groomed trail winding through a 200-year-old forest rich with wildlife. Be careful: Highlands Nordic can get busy. To bypass the crowds, head for the quiet oasis of the Blueberry Plains Trail in Wasaga. The 4-km trail is pegged beginner, but moderates will enjoy skiing the surrounds.

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 19

Cost: Weekends, $13/half day or $15/full day. Weekdays, $11. Lessons: At Highlands, experienced skiers, $25/45 min.; beginners, $40/30 min., includes equipment and trail pass. Rentals: The Highlands Nordic Centre has trail and rental packages, $34/full day. TRAILS Number: Scenic Caves, 12; Wasaga Nordic, 8; Highlands, 5 Most challenging: The High Dunes Trail at Wasaga Nordic (5.8 km) is physically demanding and has steep uphill and downhill grades. Great for beginners: Highlands Nordic owner Larry Sinclair, one of Canada’s top Nordic ski coaches, has a special 2.5-km Green trail perfect for novices. Longest: Red Trail (at Highlands), 15 km Shortest: Green Trail (at Highlands), 2.5 km For more: sceniccaves.com wasagabeachpark.com highlandsnordic.on.ca


7. Mont Grand Fonds

Overview: Located on the southern edge of the Laurentian Mountains and the boreal forest, Mont SainteAnne boasts a whopping 208 km of trails, making it the biggest crosscountry ski centre in Canada and the second-biggest in North America, after Colorado’s Royal Gorge. Size, of course, isn’t everything. Wildlife abounds along the trails, from curious pine or grey jays to unmoving moose.

Overview: Samuel de Champlain discovered nearby La Malbaie en route to founding Quebec City. This part of Charlevoix is home to some of the highest peaks in the Laurentian Shield. Thanks to the resort’s high amount of natural snowfall annually, Mont Grand Fonds is now a popular alpine ski hub, with snowboarders and snowshoers all sharing in the fun. It’s all about the white powder at this network of groomed cross-country trails, which boasts 50 kilometres of skate trails and 110 kilometres of cross-country ski trails.

Levels: From easy to very difficult Insider tip: Pack a lunch and eat in one of the six, split-log heated cabins along the trail network. Some are even equipped for overnight visitors, provided you reserve in advance and are properly equipped for roughing it in the woods. Don’ t miss: The most popular trail by far is No. 32, an intermediate trail that winds for roughly 10 km over an everchanging topography. Be careful: If you’re not an expert, avoid all the black-rated trails in the western sector of the park. Cost: Classic, 1-day, $21/adult; 2-day, $38; 3-day, $54. Skating, 1-day, $26/ adult, 2-day, $48; 3-day, $60. Senior, student and family rates available, too.

Levels: Intermediate Insider tip: Choose from four hot spots to chill: Chalet George, Chalet les Aventuriers, Chalets les Lions and Le Chalet de Promenade. Don’t miss: No. 8 Trail (14.3 km) has a string of four lake views and takes you through picture-perfect scenery. Be careful: Altitude rises along No. 8, so pace yourself and prepare for a 150-m vertical drop for 6 km. Cost: Full-day pass $13.25/adult, children under five are free Lessons: None

Lessons: Private lessons are available for both classic and skating techniques, $36/person. Reservations required. 

Rentals: $22 at the on-site Intersport Boutique

Rentals: 1 day, $21/adult; 2 days, $38; 3 days, $45.

Number: 15

TRAILS Number: 12 double-tracked, 14 skating, 1 single-tracked, 1 backcountry Most challenging: A half-dozen of the most challenging – and hardest – trails on the continent are here. So it’s no surprise to see Olympians training here. Great for beginners: The Loop is a flat, green-coded trail that circles through the summertime campground.

Most challenging: Les Lions (8 km) winds up and down the middle of the mountain. Great for beginners: La Promenade, a 4-km flat groomed trail, sits at the mountain base and feels like a walk in the park. Shortest: No. 1, 1.1 km For more: montgrandfonds.com

Longest: No. 24, 22 km Shortest trail: The Loop (No. 37), 3 km For more: mont-sainte-anne.com

20 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

8. La Station Touristique Duchesnay

Don’t miss: Try some of the area’s other winter activities, like snowshoeing, tubing and skating.

Overview: Bordering Lac SaintJoseph, La Station Touristique Duchesnay is a sprawling wooded area about 20 minutes outside of Quebec City. It shares land with the famed Hôtel de Glace (which celebrates its 10th anniversary Jan. 4 to Apr. 4, 2010). Known for its hiking and cycling paths in the summer, Duchesnay draws tourists to the region in the winter for its 50 kilometres of marked and groomed cross-country skiing paths. There are five warming huts scattered along the recently updated trails, and skiers have access to all sorts of amenities including a waxing room, ski shop, first-aid services and rentals.

Be careful: Most of the trails at La Station Touristique Duchesnay are easy to navigate, but if you’re not an expert, start slowly and avoid the longer trails.

Levels: Mostly beginner to intermediate

TRAILS

Longest: No. 13, 22.7 km

© Sepaq, Station Duchesnay, Steve Deschenes

6. Mont Sainte-Anne

Insider tip: After a long day of skiing, the ultimate indulgence is a massage and skincare treatment at Tyst Trädgård, a Scandinavian spa located on the park’s grounds.

Cost: Day pass, $11.30/adult Lessons: Contact site for prices. Rentals: Contact site for prices. TRAILS Number: 10 Most challenging: Trail 10, a.k.a. La Vallonnée. At 17 km, the length is what will get you. Great for beginners: The shortest loop is an easy combination of trails 1, 2 and part of 7. Longest: La Vallonnée, 17 km Shortest: Short loop, 7 km For more: sepaq.com/duchesnay

9. Morin Heights Overview: Five minutes north of Saint-Sauveur stands the Municipality of Morin Heights sign boasting “CrossCountry Ski Capital!” It’s a valid claim, as the tiny town offers a whopping 162 linear kilometres of well-marked trails, 60 kilometres of which are track-set. Originally a thriving little lumber town skirting the Simon River, Morin Heights began its love affair with cross-country skiing back in the ’30s thanks to its many German and Swiss settlers, and once the P’tit Train du Nord connected city folk to the Laurentians, it became very popular as a picturesque winter wonderland retreat.

www.adventuramag.ca

Levels: Novice to expert Insider tip: Trails marked by black diamonds are not for beginners! Home of the annual Viking Loppet (Scandinavian for “race”), attracting hundreds of participants. Don’t miss: Lover’s Leap has an incredibly scenic vista. Be careful: The signage along the Western trail can be confusing, and it is easy to become lost in the backcountry.


montageFINAL:Layout 1 10/2/09 3:20 PM Page 1

10. La Traversée de Charlevoix Overview: This rugged, mountainous hinterland in the Charlevoix region has inspired artists and writers for centuries. Quebec’s oldest (30 years old) and first backcountry ski trail is situated in the heart of this UNESCO World Biosphere. People looking for a big challenge can overnight in cottages located along the 105-km trek and spread out their journey over seven days, carrying in food and being self-sufficient the whole time. Those who wish to have a “softer” experience can request food and luggage delivery to the cottage.

Winter belongs to us !

Levels: Moderate to advanced Insider tip: The folks at La Traversée de Charlevoix can bring your car to the finish. Don’t miss: Mont La Noyée boasts spectacular views of the region. Be careful: Since the trek is long, come prepared for all types of weather conditions. Cost: Varies depending on group size and package. For the “deluxe” package, a group of four will cost each person $740 for six nights. Price includes food and luggage deliveries, transfer of vehicles, and lodging. Lessons: None Rentals: None TRAILS Number: There is only one, which is part of the pedestrian-only Trans Canada trail and also part of the pedestrian-only Sentier National au Québec. Most challenging: While the trail on Day One is only 4 km long, it goes down a steep, narrow, ungroomed stretch; advanced ski levels are highly recommended. Great for beginners: Between Days Two and Three, the trail is quite linear and there is an emergency exit to the village of Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, a popular stop. Longest: The complete trail is 105 km. Shortest trail: You can opt to do only the first three days and get off at Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs. For more: traverseedecharlevoix.qc.ca

Cost: $8/weekday, $10/weekend Lessons: Contact site for info and rates. Rentals: Simon River Sports ($18/4 hrs. • $22/full day • simonriversports.com) or Ski Morin Heights, skimorinheights.com ($21/4 hrs. • $25/full day • skimorinheights.com) TRAILS Number: 55 Most challenging: Rapide Blanc is 5 km long with many difficult turns. Great for beginners: The Aerobic Corridor (9 km) is routed along an old railway bed, which is straight and flat.

With plenty of destinations to choose from, you are sure to have lots of fun. For the practice of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, national parks offer 800 km of trails. In addition, the cabins, yurts and huts of the Parcs Québec network allow visitors to discover firsthand enchanting sites and to appreciate their beauty and tranquillity.

Longest: Triangle, 12 km (also the most popular) Shortest: Basler, 2.5 km For more: morinheights.com (map available online)

1 800 665-6527 • ParcsQuebec.com


GEAR

THE WATCHMEN

So many sports, so little time. These gadgets are as informative as they are design-savvy. Buy one for yourself – or for someone on your gift list who may be wristful thinking.

By Alexander Joo Triathlon This watch is a triple threat, making it a formidable ally in all three triathlon arenas: swimming, cycling and running. Waterproof to a depth of 50 metres and with a quick release to seamlessly jump from your wrist to your handlebars, it also has the bonus of GPS that tracks your pace and distance – and reveals shortcuts if you’re a bold cheater. Once you’ve finished the race, upload your stats wirelessly to the Garmin Training Center software for a breakdown. Because of its robust features, it’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery instead of the average Casio variety. GARMIN Forerunner 310XT | US$380 | garmin.com

Running From the company that gave us the first heart rate monitor comes the most comprehensive training watch built for runners. Alongside the optional S3 Stride Sensor W.I.N.D. ($140) attachment for your shoe, this system analyzes every aspect of your run, from heart rate, running speed and distance to more nitpicky numbers like your cadence and average stride length. Once it collects the data, it spits out suggestions on how to run more efficiently, even critiquing whether your stride length is too long or short and if your shorts match your pants. (Latter part was a joke.) POLAR RS800CX run | $640 | polarca.com

Swimming As cheap as a fake version of any other watch on this list, this lap counter and timer makes the perfect companion for swimming. Instead of on your wrist, slap it around your index finger and hit the button with your thumb to count laps without interrupting the flow of your swim. Recall up to 100 lap times as well as the fastest, slowest, average and total times. This innovative, simple and utilitarian design prompts a why-didn’t-someone-think-of-thisbefore? reaction, since in the swimming pool, anything that reduces drag shaves crucial milliseconds. SPORTCOUNT Chrono 100 | US$40 | sportcount.com Expedition With a clear digital face that morphs depending on which mode you set it to, it includes the three basic tenets of an essential outdoor watch: altitude, barometer and compass. Input one of 400 pre-installed worldwide locations and it’ll display when the sun will rise and set, integral for multi-day hiking, mountain climbing, skiing expeditions and vampire hunting. The sensitive Weather Trend Indicator will set off when there is a rapid drop in air pressure over a three-hour period, which means that a storm’s a-brewin’ and you should head for – or start building – shelter. SUUNTO Core | $640 | suunto.com

Tough Born in 1989, Luminox is an infant in an industry of centuries-old watchmakers. But because they’ve innovated and mastered the self-powered illumination of the hands, hour markers and bezels of their watches, theirs quickly became the go-to timepiece for the U.S. Armed Forces, and in particular the Navy SEALs. The newest in the Evo series features a 45-mm stainless steel, waterresistant case and a highly scratch-resistant sapphire glass crystal face, making it ideal when trying to steal an innocent nation’s oil, and therefore indestructible in everyday situations back home. LUMINOX Evo F-117 Night Hawk 6401 | US$600 | usnavysealstore.com

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Marmot shells: Featuring cutting-edge ® GORE - TEX technology across our line. Find the latest ® GORE - TEX PRO SHELL , PERFORMANCE SHELL and ® PACLITE SHELL fabrics on marmot.com.

Troll Wall Jacket

P E O P L E / P R O D U C T / P L A N E T™ Marmot Athlete: Fabrizio Zangrilli Location: Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, Pakistan Photo: Fabrizio Zangrilli Collection


GEAR

GET (ABOUT SMART WINTER)

When the mercury hits sub-zero, it’s no laughing matter. But investing in high-tech clothes and accessories such as these can guarantee you the last guffaw. By Alexander Joo

SOCKS Sure, you could grab a 12-pack of socks from Winners for $5 – but saving some coin isn’t worth losing a toe to frostbite. These high-performance socks are the ultimate foot rags for hardcore skiers, with denser areas of cushioning for icecold conditions. Rather than a one-layer-fits-all mindset, these have a plethora of features such as Achilles, ankle and instep support, variable cushioning, distinctive leftand right-foot designs (for max comfort), breathable mesh zones, merino layer and shaped cushioning for a snug fit that won’t slip down into your ski boot. ICEBREAKER SKIER+ MID OVER THE CALF | $32 | ICEBREAKER.COM

JACKET + BATTERY A great winter coat will trap your own body heat and recycle it right back at you to keep you warm – not so different than a caveman with some pelt of a woolly mammoth around his neck. Get with the times with this high-tech jacket that generates its own heat for 8 hours using an Ardica battery ($160, ardica.com) within its lining, and hit the tab on the chest to adjust to three levels of warmth. Add the optional USB Tech Connector ($60) to seep juice from the jacket’s battery to charge your gadgets, forcing you to make that ultimate decision: hypothermia or iPod? MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR REFUGIUM | $270 (JACKET ONLY) | MOUNTAINHARDWEAR.CA

GLOVES Touch screens are ubiquitous features on just about every new gadget, from music players to cellular phones to digital cameras. Since they’re responsive only to textured human skin, the makers have obviously never intended them to be used with gloves or mittens. With ingenious plastic dots embedded into the fingertips of these gloves, you can touch, tap, pinch and scroll through navigation menus without taking them off and subjecting your digits to the freezing cold. The gloves also offer sub-zero protection, nylon shell, fleece lining and microfibre grip palm, so your iPhone doesn’t take a spill when you do. DOTS D200 | US$25 | DOTSGLOVES.COM

BOOTS Mother Nature was selfish and unkind this summer, so kick winter in the face with these self-heating boots. Recharge them from any electrical socket and keep both your underfoot and toes warm for up to eight hours on three different temperatures, from lukewarm to (almost) scorching hot. They’re also outfitted with Omni-Tech fabric for breathable, waterproof protection, Omni-Grip for ice-hugging traction and Techlite to absorb shocks and support your ankles. Think twice about wearing them through airport security on your ski trip to Whistler or you may have some explaining – and stripping – to do. COLUMBIA BUGATHERMO | $329 | COLUMBIA.COM

SNOWSHOES Made specifically for backcountry trekkers, these snowshoes will last longer than you do on uncharted peaks. The Active Lift heel helps you on ascents, while the ergonomic tail softens steep declines, reducing stress on your joints and body. The Torsion Deck design enhances traction on uneven terrain, with gender-specific models to even further raise the comfort bar. Whether you’re stamping through deep powder, heavy wet snow or on ice, the ALP is a hardworking all-purpose snowshoe with comfort that matches the pair of kicks in your gym locker. TUBBS FLEX ALP | $284 | TUBSSNOWSHOES.COM

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GOGGLES From the Olympics to the X Games, Gretchen Bleilerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s won more half-pipe competitions than any other female snowboarder. In tandem with Oakley, her line of snowboarding and lifestyle gear is focused on quality performance gear with style and comfort, and made with recycled, eco-friendly materials to boot. These goggles, exclusively made for women, are engineered for a precise ďŹ t on the female face and feature High-DeďŹ nition Optics for unbeatable clarity, a vented dual-lens design, F3 anti-fog technology and moisture-wicking triple-layer foam â&#x20AC;&#x201C; everything you need to beat the boys down the hill without looking like one. OAKLEY GRETCHEN BLEILER STOCKHOLM | STARTS AT US$175 | OAKLEY.COM

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SURVIVAL BACKPACK The tremendous feeling of strapping on a pair of skis and bolting down a hill of super-fresh powder is only tempered by the thought that said super-fresh powder can bury you in an avalanche at any time. This backpack packs a 150-litre airbag that protects your head, neck and upper body from trauma when deployed, while ďŹ&#x201A;oating you on top of the wave of snow and preventing burial and asphyxiation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the number-one killer during avalanches. Also equipped with a 30-litre hydration bladder to keep your thirst at bay for a day. BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS FLOAT 30 | $569 | BACKCOUNTRYACCESS.COM

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POWER TRIP

RED ROCK TREATMENT

When one writer realized she needed a spiritual reboot, she turned to the majestic scenery of Sedona’s Red Rock for its celebrated “energy.” Amid the natural wonders of this Arizona playground, she discovered that Mother Nature holds a new-age antidote for old-fashioned blues.

© CenterFocus Experiences

By Maureen Littlejohn

26 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

www.adventuramag.ca


© Alexey Stiop

After a year and a half glued to the computer,

I was ready for a break. My master’s in journalism had not come easy and the gruelling workload left me drained. I was worried about the job market in a sea of media bankruptcies and closures: It was time to stretch my legs, shake out the nasty tension knots in my back and think about my next career step in a field that was undergoing seismic and scary changes. A friend had suggested a trip to Sedona, Arizona, with promises that its spectacular scenery and big open sky would help clear my head, calm my nerves and get the blood moving again. What did I have to lose? My first glimpse of Sedona’s celebrated red rock giants left me speechless. Rising out of the rusty soil, these massive sentries commanded respect of an almost religious nature – more so than the man-made monoliths I’d seen in Europe, including the glorious Notre Dame in Paris. No wonder they sported names such as Cathedral, Courthouse and Capitol. Other rocks, though, had labels that cut them down to human size. Who wouldn’t giggle at names like Snoopy, Coffee Pot, Sugar Loaf and Chimney? I guess it depended on who was doing the naming that day. Sedona, population 12,600, is a two-hour drive north of Phoenix and lies at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon. Getting out of the car, I inhaled the cool, pinescented air, decidedly fresher than the atmosphere in Phoenix. High above town was the Mogollon Rim, a 2,000-foot (610-metre) escarpment of limestone and sandstone and the southwestern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. Surrounding the community was the 1.8-million acre Coconino National Forest. Gazing about, I couldn’t help but recall classic cowboy movies that were shot here. More than 150 vintage shoot-’em-ups featured Sedona’s signature rocks, including Tall in the Saddle with John Wayne and Johnny Guitar with Joan Crawford. Mission one was to buy a Red Rock Pass at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centre. The cost is $15 for the week (there’s also a $5 day pass) to park anywhere on Coconino National Forest land. The funds went toward preserving the forest, so I forked over my money happily to the ponytailed ranger. Studying the map he handed back to me, I found the canyons, creeks and trails were easy to figure out, but I was unsure about a smattering of black triangles with swirls coming out their tops. “Those are vortexes,” he explained. “Vortexes?” “Well, some folks believe they are energy centres,” he said with a smile. “They say it’s good for spiritual healing.”

THE GOOD: Spectacular sunrises and sunsets. A great place to see the sunset is Airport Mesa. The sun reflects off the red rocks and they take on a rosy glow. THE BAD: A plethora of tacky souvenir stores on Main Street. THE WEIRD: Painted sculptures of Javelinas, wild little cactus-eating pigs, scattered throughout town.

The next couple of days I spent exploring Oak Creek Canyon, about 16 kilometres from downtown. Nearby was West Fork trail, a 10-kilometre loop recommended by the ranger. The trail, off Arizona 89A, was the perfect choice for a warm May day, since it followed the creek through a shady, forested canyon. Picking my way through the brush, I came to a clearing and stopped to look at the red-brick ruins of Mayhew Lodge. A young woman in jeans and a T-shirt was sitting on a rock near the remains of an old fireplace. I said “hello” and asked her what she knew of the place. “Movie stars like Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart used to stay here. It burned down in 1980,” she responded, and introduced herself as Alisha. She explained how she had driven to Sedona from Phoenix the night before. “I jumped in the car after dancing all night and came to watch the sun come up. I love the energy here.” Was she talking about the vortexes, or just the fresh air? “Oh, I dunno,” she shrugged. “I feel more alive here, that’s all.” I was starting to feel more alive, too. It felt good to be out in nature, and next to all those big slabs of stone, my worries seemed puny. The kinks in my back were easing, and my job market worries had abated. I was calmer than I had been in months. A few hours later I was five kilometres south of the West Fork trail at Slide Rock State Park and had no time to contemplate anything but the moment. Once an apple farm, the 43-acre park famous for its natural waterslide was crowded with families splashing about in pools and chutes carved into the rock. The water, which was melted snow runoff from the mountains, was nippy and invigorating. Bouncing along in the current over slippery rocks, I found myself in the middle of squealing youngsters. Shouting along with them, I scrambled out at the end of the 10-metre run. I didn’t care if I looked silly: I was having more fun than I’d had in a year. I hopped back in again and again. The last half of my trip was spent in Boynton Canyon, a few clicks northwest of downtown. I splurged and stayed at Enchantment Resort, where among the many activities, which included mountain biking, yoga, tennis and qigong, my favourite was the early-morning guided meditation. The session was held in a small round room called the Crystal Grotto in the resort’s spa, Mii Amo (meaning “one’s path or journey” in the Yuman language spoken by nearby native tribes). Sitting on a padded bench in front of a huge quartz crystal, I followed the instructor’s gentle voice, closing my eyes and breathing deeply. Her words were about connecting with the earth, honouring the life force and giving thanks. At the end, she asked us to set our intentions for the day. I vowed to quit sabotaging myself with negative thoughts. Later that day, I rented a mountain bike at the resort and struck out for nearby Vista Trail. The map the ranger had given me said it was home to one of Sedona’s main vortexes. When I arrived, I stood up with my face toward the sky and closed my eyes. Hoping for a surge of heat, or at least some tingling, nothing seemed to be happening. I was disappointed. I took a deep breath and waited. And then waited some more. And then something finally happened. It was nothing as overwhelming as Alisha’s “energy,” but instead, a quiet, personal epiphany. The mere act of coming to this place had put me in control of my destiny. I couldn’t change a turbulent economy, but I could take charge of my life. It was then that I opened my eyes and came face to face once again with the impassive rock formations. They seemed to be telling me to have faith. I would be okay.

Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 27

PLAN AHEAD Sleep * I had a creekside unit, complete with fireplace, kitchen and outdoor deck at Junipine Resort (rooms from $200 • 8351 N. Hwy 89A, Sedona • 800-742-7463 • junipine.com). It was rustic yet equipped with every luxury.

* T he Enchantment Resort (rooms from $300 • 525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona • 800-826-4180 • enchantmentresort.com) was voted one of the world’s best resorts by Travel & Leisure magazine.

Eat * T he Cowboy Club (mains from $20 • 241 Hwy 89A, Uptown Sedona • 928-284-4200 • cowboyclub.com) was built in 1946. My waiter told me he’d seen celebs such as Madonna and Nicolas Cage. Try the buffalo tenderloin with sweet potato mash and brandy peppercorn cream sauce.

* B arking Frog Grille (mains from $16 • 2620 W. Hwy 89A, West Sedona • 928-204-2000 • barkingfroggrille.com)

* S edona Airport Restaurant (mains from $17 • 1185 Airport Rd., Sedona • 928-282-3576 • sedonaairportrestaurant.com)

Season * Summer can be wickedly hot at 40oC and winter can get down to almost freezing. Best bets are spring and fall. • Spring (Mar. to May): High 20-27oC, Low 5oC • Fall (Oct. to Nov.): High 21oC, Low 16oC Play * Sedona gets a dry heat. Is this better for exercising? Yes and no. When we exercise, it’s the evaporation of perspiration that keeps us cool. In humid climates, sweat doesn’t evaporate and the body stays hot and clammy, making exercise unbearable. In a dry heat you sweat a lot, but it dries quickly and you can continue exerting yourself. But watch out. You can get dehydrated fast (without even knowing it) and suffer heatstroke. Drink plenty of water, and if it’s very hot, opt for a cool swim. • Mountain biking • Swimming • Canyoneering • Rock climbing Getting there * There are direct flights from Toronto to Phoenix on Air Canada and US Airways. From Montreal, there are connecting flights from Chicago and Philadelphia to Phoenix on US Airways and American Airlines. Once in Phoenix, rent a car and drive 158 km north on Interstate 17 toward Flagstaff. Exit at State Route 179 (exit 298), turn left (west) onto SR 179 and drive 23 km to Sedona. Travel time from the airport is about two hours. • aa.com • aircanada.com • usairways.com

For more Arizona Office of Tourism 888-275-5816 • arizonaguide.com


Mind & BODY

A POSTCARD OF

GOOD HEALTH

© Fanelie Rosier

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Today, there is no excuse for recklessness in regard to one’s health – especially if you’re more interested in sightseeing than visiting the emergency room. Whenever you’re away from home, be wary of the following five problem areas. By Liette D’Amours 1. Water

2. Food

• It can be infected with disease-carrying micro-organisms that range from simple diarrhea and hepatitis A to giardia and cholera.

• Meals should always be eaten hot and well cooked to avoid contracting parasites like salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli, listeria or others. “If you don’t have the choice, opt for boiled or fried foods. Not many bacteria can survive deep-frying,” says Dr. Dominique Tessier, medical director of the Medisys Travel Health Clinic.

• Only drink bottled water where the seal has not been broken. If this isn’t possible, boil water prior to consumption – just one minute renders it safe for drinking (five minutes at high altitudes). • Never take ice in your drinks, even at a five-star hotel. • While there is no risk involved with bathing in contaminated water, sterilized water must be used for brushing teeth. • In tropical areas, avoid swimming in pools of stagnant fresh water, where conditions are ideal for the proliferation of micro-organisms.

• Avoid raw vegetables, non-pasteurized dairy products, fruit you cannot peel yourself and large fish (they eat smaller ones and can therefore contain toxins). • Steer clear of street food, which is often prepared under doubtful hygiene conditions. • If you’re in a country where there is a bird flu outbreak, never eat pink poultry or runny egg yolks and stay away from live chickens at markets.

28 _ Adventura _ Winter 2009 _

www.adventuramag.ca

3. Insects • Several diseases, including malaria, yellow fever and dengue are spread by insect bites. In at-risk areas, use 30% DEETbased repellent on exposed skin and reapply every four to six hours. Some of the most effective brands to look for are Ungava and Watkins. • When staying in hotels or hostels without screens, spread permethrin or deltamethrin on a net and hang it around your bed to keep bugs away. If you’re planning an extended stay in an infected zone, it is a good idea to treat your clothing with these products (their effect lasts for up to six washings). • Wear closed shoes and long, light-coloured clothing (never red or orange). • If you’re wearing sunscreen, apply it before repellent. 4. Animals • In case of a bite or contact with an animal’s saliva, wash the area with soap and water and consult a doctor as soon as possible. • If you are planning an extended stay in another country, consider taking an anti-rabies vaccination before you leave.


MOST DREADED DISEASES FROM FOOD AND WATER Traveller’s diarrhea (turista) Generally more embarrassing than it is serious, this disease can be prevented by an oral vaccine that can be taken three weeks before leaving. It is 30% effective for three months, and recommended for people who have chronic illness or intestinal sensitivity. Most of the gastric troubles contracted while on a trip are of bacterial nature, so bringing along a prescription antibiotic like ciprofloxacin is a wise idea. Hepatitis A Common in almost every under-developed country, this disease has an incubation period of 10 to 50 days. It is recognized by the jaundice it causes and by nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Taking a vaccine can prevent it, as can following safety tips about food and water.

FROM MOSQUITOES Dengue fever It may not be well known, but dengue fever afflicts over 50 million people in 100 countries around the world. The virus is transmitted by a mosquito that bites during the day and is especially common in urban areas. Symptoms include two to seven days of fever, aches, joint pain and headaches. Convalescence can take between two to three weeks, and there is no vaccine or medication to prevent dengue fever. Malaria There are four strands of malaria. The most worrisome and debilitating is caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which attacks the liver, brain, kidneys and lungs, sometimes causing death within 48 to 72 hours. Once the bloodstream is infected, the parasite multiplies in the liver and returns into blood slow to attack red blood cells. Two other malaria-causing parasites – Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale – can lie dormant in the liver for months or years before developing. When travelling, consult a doctor within 24 hours if your temperature reaches higher than 38.5oC, especially if you’re in a malaria zone. A simple blood test can detect its presence. If identified in time, there is medication to cure all forms of malaria. Yellow fever Present in African and South American countries, yellow fever can cause severe toxicity in the liver and brain or even death. The disease can incubate for several days before the first symptoms – which include muscle pain, fever and yellowed eyes – arise. A simple vaccine can prevent it and is often a requisite to be granted admission into certain countries.

FROM OTHER PEOPLE Meningitis Particularly present in densely populated areas, this disease is transmitted via respiratory secretions (saliva, sneezing, cough, etc.) and has a high mortality rate. Healing depends on how quickly the diagnosis is made and the availability of antibiotics, which can be a problem in some countries. Avoid it by staying away from large groups of people or, better yet, getting vaccinated: There is a vaccine that protects against four strands of meningitis.

5. Sand, dirt and blood • Bacteria that live in sand and dirt can also cause infection when they come into contact with irritated skin, which is why it’s recommended to wear closed shoes. • As for diseases transmitted by blood, it only takes a microscopic quantity to get infected. Avoid unsanitary razors and manicure or pedicure instruments. • Think again before getting a tattoo in foreign countries. They are often done with fish bones or coral, and the ink that is used can be toxic.

For more Medisys Travel Health Clinic (medisys.ca) • Toronto: 416-730-5700 • Montreal: 514-499-2772 Adventura _ Winter 2009 _ www.adventuramag.ca _ 29


© Paul Villecourt / outdoor-reporter.com

LAST CALL

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Adventura - Winter 2009