Ice cold activities

03 Jan 2013

Everybody has heard of the Canadian Winter. In Canada, everybody “knows” about the “Winnipeg Winter”, apparently the coldest of all places on earth in winter. So what does the

The Forks

world expect we are doing during this icy period? Are we supposed to stay inside, huddled around the fire inside our homes and never go outside? If that is your idea of the Winnipeg Winter, you may want to read on…

First off, one cannot stay inside for months on end. You have to get your groceries, nobody is going to bring them to you. Next, winter here takes easily 5 months of the year, you still have to work, play, live.

Ice fishing for young and oldIce fishing for young and old

No way we are staying inside all the time. So what do we do outside? Definitely not freezing up thinking that inside it would have been better Smile.

Requesting the fish to jump through the holeRequesting the fish to jump through the hole

No, we start activities in the snow and on the ice. In some cases ice fishing can even give us a free meal.

Boring a hole through the 3-4 foot thick ice (that is about 1.20m) is done with a tool called an auger. I knew about those tools when I was a kid; only my auger was about 30cm long, these are 1.50m and way wider too.

Ice shacks for fishingIce shacks for fishing

Once you have a hole, set up a place to sit comfortably and there you go. Your meal is on its way. Obviously, over the ice, the wind can howl like nothing you have ever experienced. When the temperatures are around –25C, the wind chill can lower that temp to something like –40C. Enough to put up a small ice shack and stay warm inside.

The Forks HarbourThe Forks Harbour

Other people have no interest in fishing and prefer to stay warm doing exercise and sport. Myself, I prefer to take some pictures and buy my fish in a supermarket. All you get from me are pictures of others Smile.

The Forks, sports complexThe Forks, sports complex

Every winter the Forks Harbour is converted to one or more skating rinks. All for the pleasure of curlers or hockeyers.

Skating at The ForksSkating at The Forks

Young and old are playing hockey on the ice, and not just to stay warm, but for the pleasure of being outside in the cold and getting some exercise.

Repetitive snowshoes at FWARepetitive snowshoes at FWA

But what if you don’t like skating or fishing? If you still want to go outside, you can go snow-shoeing. In many places you can rent or use snowshoes and go out in the wilderness. Fort Whyte Alive always has a good collection of snowshoes at your disposal.

Yours truly on rented skisYours truly on rented skis

Not in for walking on deep snow? You can try skiing as well. I have tried it a few times, every first time of the season gets me in a mixed mood with this. At first I get frustrated that my feet cannot go where I want them to. Then those skis seem to have a life of their own and slide whenever I am not ready… You name it.

But after a while I get the hang of it and ski happily through the countryside.

Until next time…