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013 Choosing Snowshoes, Summer Crowds, and Super Moons

This week we’ll offer some basic tips on picking your first set of snowshoes. We’ll also look at some of the challenges facing the mountain parks as we look ahead to 2017 and free park passes for all Canadian National Parks. Finally, we’ll look at a few astronomical events happening this week.

Story 1 – Buying Your First Pair of Snowshoes

What should you look for when buying your first pair of snowshoes. First, you’ll need to answer these fundamental questions:

  • Where do you want to go?
  • How steep will the terrain be?
  • How deep with the snow be?
  • Will it be powder or packed?
  • Are you looking to walk or run?

Answering these questions will make it easier for store clerks to match you with the right snowshoe for the types of outings that you are most often going to be undertaking. Like cross-country skis, there are snowshoes designed for a wide variety of terrains and activities so finding the right match is critical. In time, you may find that you want a pair for tracked conditions, another for deep powder and maybe even a third pair for steep ascents. For now, though focus on your main goals when buying your first pair.

If this all sounds confusing, there is a pretty good way to test the waters without investing in the purchase of new equipment – you can choose to take a guided snowshoe program, or you can rent some snowshoes and try them out on your own. Most guided snowshoe tours will provide the snowshoes for the day so you can get an introduction into the sport while at the same time testing some snowshoes. Here at Ward Cameron Enterprises, we would love to take you out into Kananaskis Country or Banff and help you get a feel for this incredible sport. We have all the gear you need as long as you have good winter clothing and a sturdy pair of snow boots. Drop us a line a if you’d like to learn more about our early season packages.

Story 2 – The Crowds…they are a Comin’

2017 represents Canada’s 150th birthday. In celebration, the federal government has decided to make entry into all Canadian national parks completely free of charge for the entire year. This is a bad decision that should be reversed immediately. Banff and Jasper National Parks are already operating way beyond capacity. Adding another several hundred thousand visitors into the mix is simply poor management of our parks. Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen slammed parks for making decisions that affect the town without offering any consultation or assistance to deal with the huge influx of vehicles that the town will need to accommodate next year.

Story 3 – Super Duper Moon

This month has a number of astronomical delights for those of us that like to watch the night sky. Topping the list is tomorrow’s Super Duper Moon. A supermoon is defined as a full moon that takes place during those months where the moon is at its closest approach to the Earth. We’ve had several of the ‘super’ moons this year. Last month’s full moon was a super moon and so will Decembers, but no moon in the past 68 years will be as large or as bright as the one on November 14, 2016. I know this is short notice, but if you listen to this be sure to check out the sky tomorrow for a spectacular show, weather permitting. The next time you’ll be able to see a similarly dramatic supermoon will be November of 2034, so don’t forget to mark your calendar.

This week also marks the peak of the annual Leonid Meteor Shower so if you’re up in the early hours of November 17 and have a clear view to the east and can wait for the moon to dip behind the horizon, you may have an opportunity to see between 10-20 meteors each hour.