Here are some of the best from the West. Click on the event name below the location to link to the event site. 2012 has been a warm one, please check event sites before piling the family in the minivan, there may be cancelations.|
Rossland Winter Carnival Jan 27-29
Canada's longest-running winter carnival is more than quilt-offs and bake sales. Rossland is a little alpine city with a huge spirit, and these folks know how to throw a party. Several town streets and alleyways are taken over by trick parks and bobsled runs. Watch the rail jam from the ice bar in the middle of town. Grab 3 friends and throw together a bobsled that'll go screaming down the steep backstreets to the cowbells and cheers of adoring fans. There are also multi-talent races (3 discipline downhill, golf & ski), a kid's carnival, and plenty of great food and atmosphere. Blizzard Music Fest comes to town the same weekend, so your fun-filled days can spill over into rockin' nights.
Bootleg Sleddog Races Feb 4 & 5
Sleddog Races aren't just for the frozen tundras of the Arctic anymore! The East Kootenays is Canada's newest venue for canine-powered adventure, and it's all for a good cause. The Bootleg is a fundraiser for the East Kootenay Friends of Families charity and brings together the spirits of adventure and selflessness. Junior racers run 2 miles of the Bootleg Gap Golf Course, while 4-dog sleds run a 4-mile course, as do skijour racers. More experienced mushers race along a 6-dog, 6 mile loop that challenges their speed and agility. There is a purse for high-ranking finishers, meaning the competition may get fierce. Kimberley is a great winter destination on its own, this unique event is just one more reason to visit.
Yukon Arctic Ultra Feb 4-12
Think you're tough? Come and marvel as warm-blooded superhumans compete in the world's coldest Ultra race. Mountain bikers, xc skiers and runners tackle distances from marathon sprints (ha ha) to 300 miles in the unforgiving climate. Racers follow the historic Yukon Quest sled dog trail from Whitehorse to Pelly Crossing, to as far as Dawson City (for the 430-mile option years - 2013, 2015)
Prince George Iceman Feb 12
Prince George, BC
This year is the Iceman's 25th Anniversary. Competitors swim, run, ski and skate in an outdoor-indoor flurry of favourite winter activities. The Iceman is challenging enough to make you feel like a genuine quadrathlete, but mellow enough to be attainable to those weekend warriors that want to experience the lung-burning intensity of a multi-sport race. Ski 8km, run 10, skate 5, run 5 more and finish off by thawing in 800m worth of heated pool laps. All racers celebrate with a hot meal at the post-race ceremonies.
Winterpride Feb 5 - 12
The Whistler party scene kicks it up a notch for the week of Winterpride. Gay Whistler hosts this on-the-snow celebration of self featuring adventurous winter activities by day, and themed parties every night. Guides will be available for ski and snowboard touring, snowmobile trips, dog-sledding through the Callahan Valley, and back-country ventures. Participants will also be able to enjoy the tube park, zip trekking, and snowshoe adventures. As for the nightlife... drag shows, lap-dance clinics, costume parties and fetish celebrations will keep the 'dance til you die' crowd busy, while wine-tastings, fine dining and comedy shows will allow for some much-needed recuperation. Go hard or go home!
Ice Donkey Feb 12
Join in the fun and adventure of a truly memorable winter experience!
The Ice Donkey Winter Adventure is back! Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing wants you... To join in the fun at the Third annual fantastic frosty event!
Participate as a solo or team of 2 in this 2-3 hr winter multi-sport style event that will test your mettle in snowshoeing, Ice-biking, running and skating. Compete against others and challenge yourself for ultimate abominable domination. Special winter challenges may include: tobogganing, snowman building, Inuksuk making or whatever Mother Nature may throw at us! We are Winnipegger's after all and this kind of adventure is what we were made for!
Why wait for spring to get out and get moving when winter is here! Come support The MS Society of Manitoba and celebrate the snow and ice. We'll see you there on February 12, 2012 ...come blizzard, slush or shine!
Silver Skate Feb 17-20
The Silver Skate Festival & Winter Celebration is a free event for all of Edmonton to enjoy. Entering its twenty-second year, the Silver Skate Festival is the longest running winter festival in the City of Edmonton. The festival is rooted in the Dutch tradition of a love of the outdoors and the pleasure of experiencing the cultural and aesthetic beauty of winter but in recent years the festival has exploded into an extravaganza of art, culture, recreation and sports programming.
The Festival will include a wide variety of free events and activities: our epic ice slide, family snow sculpting, figure skating demonstrations, roving performers, horse drawn sleigh rides, the Cessco Snow Sculpture Garden, and Night Works in the Park.
This year's sporting and recreation events will include the Edmonton Winter Triathlon, long blade skate races and the Kortebaan, a traditional Dutch long blade sprint race.
Marmot Women's Ski Camp March 9-13
Wapta Ice Field
Are men and women really that different - perhaps a question better answered in a philosophy class? But there are certain undeniable differences that affect how we, as women, enjoy the backcountry.
Designed and offered for women exclusively, this unique ski camp provides an opportunity to work on winter skills and gain ski-mountaineering experience in an “all female” setting – all participants and staff will be female.
With the unparalleled Wapta Icefield as a backdrop for this year’s camp, we’ll spend the week together exploring peaks and glaciated terrain. Evenings will be spent in the comforts of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Bow and Balfour huts.
First Summits Mar 22-26
Wapta Ice Field, AB
When you don’t have a lot of time, but want a complete winter mountaineering experience, our First Summits Ski Mountaineering camp is your best bet! We pack plenty of adventure into this 4-day weekend camp up on the world-renowned and camera-worthy Wapta Icefields.
Beginning at Bow Lake, we’ll make our way onto the Wapta Icefield staying first at the Alpine Club of Canada’s Bow Hut and then moving to Peyto Hut. During the traverse and en route to summits (such as Rhondda North, Rhondda South, Gordon, and Olive), emphasis will be placed on snow safety instruction and terrain evaluation, route selection, decision-making in avalanche terrain, glacier skiing and navigation, crevasse rescue systems and more. You will spend the evenings eating great food and sleeping in the warmth of our ACC huts and. A great adventure!
The First Summits Ski Mountaineering camp is one of our more popular camps and fills consistently every year. Register early to avoid disappointment!
Pacific Rim Whale Fest March 17 - 25
On Canada’s Pacific Rim, the month of March means a farewell to winter storms and a welcome back to the Pacific Rim Whale Festival – the official kickoff to the beginning of the whale watching season.
The shores of coastal Tofino and Ucluelet witness the annual migration of over 20 000 Gray Whales on their 13 000km journey from the waters of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to the Bering Sea – the longest migration of any mammal. In its 26th year of celebrating this migration, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival educates the young and young at heart about these mystical creatures, and coastal life with over sixty events in our spring festival to enjoy!
Many of the events are free of charge – with the purchase of an PRWF Events Button. The featured events range from children’s fairs to culinary competitions, First Nations culture to hands-on coastal wildlife education