Go Outside

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
I used to be one of those people.I sat inside and cowered when the temperature dipped below minus ten, using it as an excuse to engage with my inner sloth. A pile of blankets, movie marathons, and cuddly kitties beat an outdoor excursion on any chilly winter day.

I escaped south as often as I could, even vowing that one day I would only live where palm trees grow. I tried that, and soon realized I was too Canadian to enjoy that kind of ceaseless heat.

And so the age-old story goes: I didn’t realize how good I had it until I left.

So on this return to a snowy Alberta, our first Canadian winter in five years, we wanted to embrace it. Ma Nature accommodated nicely, not threatening us with temperatures that were too untenable, and we had more fun than we ever expected to. We finally learned how to ski, took to snow-shoes and segways, and Pete even showed off his skills on skates.

Alberta is a veritable playground year-round, and this trip helped us realize one very important thing: that winter is much more fun when you go outside and play in it.

Winter is much more fun when you go outside and play in it

If you are having trouble seeing this video, click thru to see us exploring Alberta in winter. Make sure to watch it in HD!

Here’s Where We Were

  • We skied (on the sunny day!) at Marmot Basin in Jasper.
  • We also skied (on the snowy day!) at Mount Norquay just outside of Banff. Norquay also had the super cool tubing hill that is good fun for everyone!
  • We almost peed our pants bobsledding in Calgary.
  • Our segway and snowshoeing tour in the beautiful river valley of Edmonton was courtesy of River Valley Adventure.
  • Pete showed off his skating prowess at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
  • We hiked in the Maligne Canyon near Jasper with Maligne Adventures and watched the ice climbers who were much braver than us.
  • We attempted cross-country skiing at the Canmore Nordic Center (Pete is good at it, Dalene, pitiful).
  • The post-activity soak was in the gorgeous Upper Hot Springs in Banff.

Many thanks to Travel Alberta and the respective tourism boards in Jasper, Banff, Canmore, Edmonton and Calgary for their assistance during our winter adventures. As always, all opinions are our own.

15 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • February 10 2014

    someone once told me there’s not bad weather, just bad clothes – I couldn’t agree more! actually I prefer travelling in winter over summer, everything is so beautiful then!
    kami recently posted..Sunday with Pictures: Caesarea, Israel

    • February 12 2014

      I’m not sure I prefer it, but I definitely do appreciate it! More than ever.

  • February 10 2014

    Great video! I completely agree. As long as you keep moving and dress properly, the outdoors has tons of activities to offer.

    • February 12 2014

      Thanks Angela! And, I agree. Winter is (mostly) all good with the right clothes. 🙂

  • What a beautiful video! I’m from southern California so this seems like a whole different world to me, ha. I’d especially love to try snowshoeing and inner tubing!

    Happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren recently posted..My Top Places to Eat and Drink in Solvang! #Take12trips

    • February 12 2014

      Thanks Lauren! The inner tubing was SUPER fun. And easy. 🙂

  • February 11 2014

    I am just like you Dalene, I am terrified of extreme cold weather. This post will perhaps help me overcome my fear! Great video that!
    Arti recently posted..Souvenir Shopping in Queen Victoria Market: Melbourne, Australia

    • February 12 2014

      There are still temps that will make me huddle inside, but overall, we had so much fun this winter!

  • February 11 2014

    I’m moving to Europe this summer and have started mentally preparing myself for my first winter there. I’m actually super excited to try things like snowshoeing and dog sledding, especially if there’s mulled wine afterwards 😉
    Heather recently posted..New York City Revisited: A Fanciful Retreat

    • February 12 2014

      Mulled wine helps every situation!

  • February 22 2014

    Awesome video. Did you have a GoPro strapped on your wrist for the sledding video? You got some great shots. What a trip!

    • March 10 2014

      Hi Nancy, for the bobsledding, we had the GoPro strapped to my helmet! 🙂

  • February 23 2014

    You guys look like you’ve been enjoying winter immensely! 🙂

    Some of my friends have called me crazy for some of my “cold travels” back in Dec and Jan but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

    It’s very nice to get outside, even in winter.

  • February 24 2014

    I’m glad to hear you decided to embrace the cold! I loved the video. It looks like you really enjoyed yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  • February 25 2014

    haha this is awesome, you actually went bobsledding! I am jealous and you have just made me add that to the bucket list 🙂 When I moved to Canada for a season back in 2009 I thought ok i will board every day and then go home and watch movies. However little did I know, just like you guys that there is so much awesomeness to be had during winters, as long as you give it a go and actually participate. Since then I am on my 3rd winter season and in Japan right now and LOVE it! Cheers guys, stoked you could go outside and learn to love it

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