News Bytes: September 28, 2006

Here are a few stories to keep you reading while the snow is beginning to accumulate:

–Winter Trails, an annual international event that introduces newcomers to snow sports, will take place on Saturday, January 6, 2007 at more than 100 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Winter Trails offers free snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing for children and adults new to snow sports. Last year, events took place in 25 states, four Canadian provinces and 12,000+ children and adults participated. A second Winter Trails is scheduled for February 17, 2006 at Estes Park, Colorado.

“During the cold months, we slow down and hibernate, adding pounds to the waistline. Winter Trails is a great way to learn winter outdoor activities that are fun and create new accomplishments,” said David Ingemie, president of SIA. ”Winter sports even burns many calories – about 500 per hour. Participating in sports, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, keeps one fit and active.”

–Baobab Expeditions announces the launch of its unique mobile ski holidays in the European Alps, Italian Dolomites, and American Rocky Mountains. These exploratory ventures are designed to satisfy travellers craving more diversity and excitement from their annual ski holiday. Embrace the opportunity to ski multiple world renowned ski resorts within the space of just a week or two.

Combine the thrill of traversing Vail’s powdery slopes with romantic night skiing in Keystone; or the craze of heliskiing in the Italian Dolomites with snowshoeing and the distinctive apres-ski culture of Austria’s St Anton. Mixing and matching destinations within relatively close proximity adds the excitement of new terrain, fascinating cultures, and a wide variety of activities.

Choose from idyllic Rocky Mountain destinations such as Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail. Or explore the European flair of Italy’s Alta Badia, Austria’s St Anton am Arlberg, and Switzerland’s St Moritz. Additional destinations in France, the USA, and Canada will soon be added to this elite portfolio.

–Inviting adventurous travellers to get up close and personal with arctic wildlife in its natural habitat, VIA Rail Canada’s
Hudson Bay service ushers passengers from the southern prairies of Manitoba to its remote northern tundra. The two-night, well off the beaten path journey brings outdoor enthusiasts to Churchill, a town of 800 inhabitants that, despite offering premier snowshoeing, snow-mobiling and dog-sledding excursions, is known primarily for one thing: the majestic polar bear.

Churchill hosts one of the world’s largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. High-season for viewing these immense, impressive creatures is mid-October through mid-November, and VIA’s Hudson Bay service brings passengers to the bears in very comfortable fashion.

VIA’s Hudson Bay service departs three times per week, year-round, in each direction. This two-night trip offers both Sleeper Class and Comfort Class (economy) accommodations. Sleeping car passengers can choose from a variety of accommodations, from the economical lower and/or upper berth to the enclosed single, double and triple bedrooms. All sleeping car accommodations include convenient amenities such as shower access and shower kits.

About the author

Ryan Alford