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Embracing Winter in Calgary

This year winter officially begins on December 22nd at 12:30 am EST.

"Mountains in Kananaskis Country"

Mountains in Kananaskis Country

And as a Canadian living in a cold city I know I need to embrace winter.

I don’t think it’s the cold that’s so hard to deal with but the very short days. On December 22nd, we in Calgary will be getting 7 hours and 53 minutes of daylight. Thank God I don’t live in Yellowknife where they only get 4 hours and 57 minutes of daylight.

"Only the top of the tree is showing"

At least it’s pretty

How does one go about embracing winter? How do you stop ticking off the days in the calendar until spring arrives?

The obvious answer is to leave. Embrace winter in a warmer climate.

But to do that for more than a week or two you need to be old, with time – and let’s face it, money on your hands, rich so you can do anything you want, wherever you want or you need to become an itinerant traveler, landing wherever the wind blows you.

I am none of those.

I can afford to go to Arizona for a week and I will. But the rest of the winter I’ll be in Calgary and here’s what I plan to do to make the winter an interesting one. I want to enjoy it – not just endure it.

  • Ski – downhill when it’s not too bloody cold and cross country when it is.
"The ski hill at Lake Louise"

The ski hill at Lake Louise

  • Snowshoe – in Calgary when the driving is bad; otherwise I’ll head out on some of the amazing trails in Banff National Park or in Kananaskis Country.
"Snowshoeing to Chester Lake, Kananaskis Country"

Snowshoeing to Chester Lake, Kananaskis Country

  • Read – I have a long list of books I’ll be happy to curl up with for a day at a time when it’s rotten outside.
  • Dog sledding – I haven’t tried it yet but I’d love to and it looks like several outfits in nearby Canmore offer tours.

Embracing Winter in CalgaryDogsledding in the Rockies

  •  Do the Maligne Canyon Icewalk near Jasper.
  • Skate – indoors at the Calgary Olympic Oval and outdoors on one of the seasonal rinks.
  • And some of the time I’ll just cocoon – sleep longer and be lazier. It’s not often we have the excuse to slow down – but a cold, snowy day is certainly one of them for me.

How do you embrace winter – wherever you live??

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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