Category: Food or Wine

8 Resolutions for 2017 (and How to Make Them Happen in BC)

With 2016 behind us, it’s time to make plans for the year ahead.  Here are my eight New Year’s resolutions that will take me to all corners of the province.

Spend quality time with friends.

Wine tasting at Skimmerhorn Winery in Creston, BC.

Girls’ Weekend at Skimmerhorn Winery. Photo: @Justinecelina via instagram

Remember when you’d spend all day, every day, with your friends, laughing until your face hurt? I resolve to do more than a quick coffee catch-up with friends, and there’s nothing better than an extended weekend wine-touring trip to re-connect.

Do something that scares me.

In 2017, I’ll face my fear of heights in a big way on the Sea to Sky Gondola’s Via Ferrata. The view from the top is a motivational bonus. Who knows, I might be inspired to take it a step further on Mt. Nimbus, North America’s longest Via Ferrata.   

Break a world record.

Snow angels on a sightseeing tour with Compass Heli.

Not quite a snow angel world record. This sightseeing tour with Compass Heli Tours found the perfect untouched snow for two angels. Photo: Nicolas Drader

I’ve attempted to break a few records (no luck so far). This year, I pledge to join others at Panorama Mountain Resort in an effort to shatter the Guinness Book of World Records’ cross-Canada simultaneous snow angels record. The winged action will take place Feb. 6th, in celebration of Canadian Ski Patrol Day.

Try something new.

Tyee Fishing in Campbell River.

Traditional Tyee fishing in wooden rowboats. Photo: Derek Ford.

In 2016, I caught my first fish, and snorkeled for the first time in the Campbell River among salmon. I’m hooked. These new fishing experiences are on my “try” list: fly fishingice fishing, and maybe joining the Tyee Club of BC by catching a 30-pound or larger salmon in a rowboat.

Go outside–be in nature.

Tin Hat Cabin on the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Tin Hat Cabin on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Photo: @Billharding via instagram

A quick reconnect in nature is never far from reach when you live in Vancouver.  This year, I plan to take a longer break, and the Sunshine Coast Trail is ideal. The 180-kilometre (112-mile) route stretches through old-growth forests, towering mountaintops, and coastal shorelines. The trail also has 13 huts, making it the longest hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada.

Take the ultimate road trip.

Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in Northern BC, Alaska Highway.

Liard Valley on the Alaska Highway. Photo: Emanuel Smedbol

The Alaska Highway celebrates its 75th anniversary next year, and that means one thing: road trip. The diversity of wildlife, the scenery, and Liard River Hot Springs make this on-the-road adventure a “must” 2017 resolution. 

Meditate more.

This year, I resolve to attend a meditation retreat. A weekend of solitude in the mountains of southeastern BC at Yasodhara Ashram offers both the meditation and yoga needed to rejuvenate and prepare for 2017. 

Run a marathon.

This is the resolution I’m least likely to accomplish, but the Nakusp half-marathon has the added incentive of being near Nakusp Hot Springs for a soothing mineral soak post-run. If I fall short on my training, there’s also a 5K or a 10K option.

What’s on your 2017 resolution list?

Featured Image: Heli-hiking Mt. Nimbus Via Ferrata in Glacier National Park. Photo: Ryan Creary.

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10 Exciting BC Moments From 2016

As the new year approaches, it’s time to look back at significant moments from 2016. From #1 spots on “Top 10” lists, to a Royal visit, it’s been a memorable year in BC.

10. The BC Government reached a historic deal with First Nations, environmentalists, and logging companies, and announced that 85% of the 6.4-million-hectare (15.8-million-acre) Great Bear Rainforest will be permanently protected from logging.

Grizzly crossing a river in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Grizzly crossing a river in the Great Bear Rainforest. Photo: Pete Ryan

9. Local businessman and philanthropist Michael Audain opened the hotly anticipated Audain Art Museum in Whistler. His personal collection includes one of the world’s finest collections of First Nations masks, and pieces by renowned BC artist Emily Carr.

Entrance to the Audain Art Museum in Whistler.

Entrance to the Audain Art Museum. Photo: Caley Vanular

8. Chinatown’s Kissa Tanto, a delightful marriage of Japanese and Italian cuisine, was named Canada’s Best New Restaurant in Air Canada enRoute magazine’s annual best-of list.

7. Mount Revelstoke Resort opened the Pipe Mountain Coaster, an exhilarating ride that lets you control your own speed down a 1.4-kilometre (0.9-mile) track.

Pipe Mountain Coaster at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Cruising down the mountain on The Pipe Mountain Coaster. Photo: Ian Houghton

6. The BC Craft Brewers Guild launched the BC Ale Trail, a collection of seven craft beer routes around the province. Cheers!

Persephone Brewing Company in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast.

Persephone Brewing Company in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. Photo: BC Ale Trail

5. A media frenzy descended in September when Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrived for a week-long Royal Tour.

The Duke and Duchess sample food and wine in Kelowna.

The Duke and Duchess sampled some of the best food and wine BC has to offer while in Kelowna. Photo: @canadian.heritage

4. BC Parks announced an investment of more than $20 million over the next five years. Plans include 1900 new campsites for locals and visitors alike to spend time in the great outdoors.

Nairn Falls Provincial Park near Pemberton.

Setting up camp at Nairn Falls Provincial Park near Pemberton. Photo: Julian Apse

3. Baldy Mountain Resort, near Oliver in BC’s Okanagan Valley, found new life with new ownership. The resort re-opened this winter—much to the delight of locals.

Baldy Mountain Resort near Oliver.

Glade skiing at Baldy. Photo: @apreswheeler via Instagram

2. The world’s largest Christmas light maze put on a display near Vancouver‘s Olympic Village. Enchant boasts more than 5,000 square metres (55,000 square feet) of illuminated sculptures, as well as a Christmas Market featuring 40+ local vendors and a dozen food trucks.

Enchant Christmas Maze in Vancouver.

Enchanted by Enchant. Photo: @wendy.shep via Instagram

1. In October, Lonely Planet released their annual Best in Travel list for 2017. Number one on their Top Countries list? You guessed it: Canada. Aw, shucks.

Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park.

Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park. Photo: @goldiehawn_ via Instagram

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Mountain Towns: Golden

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, in the Rocky Mountains near Golden.

Amazing powder at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Photo: RCR-Trent Bona

There was a time when Golden was barely on the ski map. Up until the end of 2000, the mountainous terrain around this railroad town was served exclusively by a small, weekend-only ski area named Whitetooth. It operated since 1986, and people had been backcountry skiing here for decades, but the name “Golden” was not on many skiers tongues outside the immediate area. Not until the Kicking Horse busted the town’s reputation wide open.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden.

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant boasts an amazing view. Photo: RCR-Dave Best

When Kicking Horse Mountain Resort opened in 2000, the ski and snowboard world noticed. They had to. With some of the steepest sustained fall lines, gnarly chutes, and some good old-fashioned powder bowl skiing, Kicking Horse came on like a wild animal. People now flock to the resort for serene panoramic vistas followed by rowdy, leg-burning descents. Of course, it’s not all hardcore. As with any ski resort in North America, there are options for families with kids, especially in the lower terrain grandfathered in from Whitetooth. And there’s also an easy, 10-kilometre (6 mile) run that goes all the way from the peak to base, so beginners aren’t restricted to the lower sections. In short, everyone’s welcome, but experts will fall in love a whole lot faster.

The resort is made up of 1,133 hectares (2,800 acres), four bowls, countless chutes, and a bunch of ridgelines. The big three ridges for skiing cool lines are named CPR, Terminator, and Redemption. There are only four lifts, so getting around is easy. It’s an explorer’s mountain. Get up there and root around. Everyone finds something.

Backcountry Skiing in Golden

Beautiful skies over Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden.

Beautiful skies over Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Photo: RCR

One of the qualities that makes Golden’s mountain town status shine so bright is its access to backcountry. Arguably, it’s the nexus of cat, heli and human-powered backcountry skiing and riding. With three heliskiing companies and one catskiing operation, the area knows how to make good use of the numerous ranges that come together here. Indeed, the first heli-skiing in the world went down in the nearby Bugaboo Range. Rogers Pass, an easy drive from town, also offers world-class backcountry.

Food and Drink

Dogs at the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Enjoying some mountain-top downtime. Photo: RCR

When the shredding’s done, the celebration begins. The Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at the top of the gondola is worth spending extra cash. Enjoy a drawn-out cocktail complete with as-far-as-the-eye-can-see mountain views, or splurge on a dinner. It’s an experience mostly found in European ski destinations. The town of Golden has a recent influx of great spots to stop for a drink and a bite to eat after a day of testing what you thought were strong legs.

In the morning, Purcell Coffee in town or the Double Black Café on the mountain are your best choices to get caffeinated. For lunch or dinner, the Cedar House is known for upscale urban fare, and Eleven22 is a relatively affordable local’s favourite that does dinner right. Don’t miss it. As for après, the Riverhouse Tavern is a pub that some might call a dive bar, and others might call perfect. The Golden Taps is another simple, cozy pub with good beer. Drink the local stuff. It’s better. Also, be sure to open up to the locals. They love their little ski town and are proud to talk about it. They should be.

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