As the mercury drops and the winter months approach, you may be tempted to crawl into a blanket cocoon, flick on the TV, hibernate and wait to re-emerge with the blooming flowers come spring.
But that’s no way to take advantage of winter, according to the president of the Burnaby Outdoor Club, David Cater. He says you should head out to the mountains, strap on some snowshoes and go for an adventure.
“It’s like a winter wonderland out there,” Cater says. “It’s something that you don’t need to train to be able to do.”
Cater has been a club member for 26 years. He started hiking with the group and added snowshoeing to the list of activities soon after.
In that time he has seen the sport grow from a niche hobby to a popular pastime, especially on the North Shore mountains.
Now, his club goes on trips most weekends and hopes to begin snowshoeing soon, once there’s enough snow on the ground.
While almost anyone who’s able to hike can snowshoe, Cater said there are some dangers beginners may not be aware of. Snow cornices (an overhanging shelf of snow on a ridge that can look like solid ground from above) and tree wells (hollow spaces in the snow around tree bases) can pose serious threats, he said.
He recommends beginners stick to well-travelled and marked trails or – better yet – they tag along with the Burnaby Outdoor Club.
Newcomers are welcome to join the group for one trip to try it out and if they want to become members afterwards, the club charges a $30 annual membership fee. For more information, visit burnabyoutdoor.com.