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7 Ideas for Winter Fun in the Mountains

Dec. 10, 2015
By Afton Aikens

We talked to local extreme sports athlete Will Gadd in our winter feature Big Mountain Adventure about some of his favourite places to ice climb and backcountry ski. But if the suggestions in that article are a little too adventurous for you, Gadd has more ideas for fun:

Grotto Mountain Ice Walk, Canmore Kananaskis

Grotto Mountain Ice Walk, Canmore Kananaskis

  1. Kids love being outside, and behave better there. I get one km per cookie out of my four-year-old. I bring spare clothes and get rid of goals. For kids it’s all about exploring, not getting anywhere specific.
  2. Go skating on natural ice. I like ‘The Pond’ in Canmore. It’s a local scene, everyone is friendly, and it’s great for all ages. Or skate at Gap Lake before the snow gets too deep.
  3. Hire a guide and go ice climbing for a half day. No experience required; if you can climb stairs you can climb ice!
  4. Ice walk up Johnston Canyon. I think it’s wilder in winter, and it’s a lot of fun in an hour or two. Kids love the catwalks and waterfalls.
  5. Take a ski lesson at the Canmore Nordic Centre. For the price of a small bar tab, have a blast where Olympians fought for medals, including locals Sara Renner and Beckie Scott.
  6. Walk into Grotto Canyon or Maligne Canyon where you’ll often get the chance to watch ice climbers.
  7. Hire my dad, Handbook of the Canadian Rockies author Ben Gadd, for a nature walk. See animals and learn how they survive the winter, plus geology and fun local information. Price of one big bar tab, but worth it!

Check out our Banff and Jasper activities listings for tour operator information.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

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