December 23, 2018
Best Outdoor Winter Activities in the Columbia Valley
When the snow flies and ice forms in the Columbia Valley, it’s time to head outdoors. Shush down the hills at Panorama Mountain Resort and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, both offer lessons for snowboarding and downhill skiing.
If Nordic skiing is more your speed, try the trails near Edgewater (access is off Hewitt Road) or the 20-kilometer Panorama Nordic network. The 12-kilometer loop to Hale Hut warming cabin makes a great day trip.
Skaters can tour the world’s longest skating path on the Invermere Whiteway across Lake Windermere or try a smaller venue at Lillian Lake. The Whiteway is also a great place to cross-country ski and there are bonspiels near Kinsmen Beach if you want to warm up or watch from the sidelines.
Snowshoeing can be done wherever there’s enough snow but be sure to check on avalanche conditions before heading backcountry. Panorama has four kilometers of snowshoe trails for people without avalanche skills.
Lovers of Canada’s favorite game will enjoy the pond hockey tournament held on Lake Windermere each winter. This season’s battle takes place January 25-27, 2019.
Cold weather fishers like Lake Windermere for ice fishing. Even if you don’t fish you will enjoy the festival atmosphere among the huts on the lake’s west side.
Curlers gather at the Bonspiel on the Lake January 18 to 20 for one of the region’s largest outdoors curling events. The need to stay warm on cold days can give new urgency to ‘hurry hard’!