Saturday, February 25, 2012

Um, excuse me, it is still winter up here!

If you are living in some snow-less zone and are pining for a little winter activity, don't forget that things change as you drive north. Muskoka and Algonquin Park received an unexpected blast of fresh snow yesterday and I would say that is is now officially "full-on winter" up here. Come on up and snowshoe, ski, go for a walk, build an igloo, whatever floats your boat!

The flag is flying and we are open for snow business!
Our open-top igloos from Winter Fun Day are looking very creamy.

The backwoods snow-depth-o-meter was off the scale this morning.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Winter Fun Day is coming up on Feb. 11: don't miss it! UPDATED, Feb 9, 2012

Important Winter Fun Day Update! 

Our original mushers had to cancel due to circumstances beyond their control. The good news is that our old friends from Winterdance are coming up with THREE teams of happy huskies. Dog sled rides will available from 10 am till 12:45 pm only. Get here early if you want to mush! Cost is $35 per sled.

Modified original post:
Yes, there is snow in the north! Utah the wonder dog is very pleased:
Happy dog on a snowbank this week.
If you still don't believe me, check out this picture of my ski tracks from two days ago. I can't reveal the location of this backcountry powder paradise but trust me, it is in Muskoka:
Learn to telemark and you too can make turns like this in the middle of nowhere.
And because we love snow, Algonquin Outfitters is celebrating, for the 18th year in a row! Winter fun in the great outdoors is the theme of Winter Fun Day, hosted by Algonquin Outfitters, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. As you can see above, we've got lots of snow up here and are looking forward to another great event. This free, family-oriented, event takes place at the Oxtongue Lake location, just west of Algonquin Park, on Hwy. 60, about 30 km east of Huntsville. Winter Fun Day is designed to introduce people to self-propelled (or at least non-motorized) winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, winter camping and dog sledding, as well as provide a host of opportunities to simply have fun in the snow.

This year’s event will pack a host of activities into a single day. You could drive a dog team, learn how to build a snow shelter, try skate skiing, go on a snowshoe hike, learn about winter camping, enter a snowshoe race (and hopefully finish!), play snow games and more! Representatives from Atlas and Tubbs snowshoes will be here to show off ( and let you try out) their newest new winter products. Lunch is always a highlight of any winter activity and barbeque fare will be available (sorry, no vegetarian options).

This year, we have several igloo builders attending to demonstrate their skills using the amazing Ice Box igloo tool. With any luck we will have an igloo village at the end of the day! Don't be afraid to grab a shovel and pitch in.
Last year's igloo taking shape.
Equipment for all activities will be provided free of charge for Winter Fun Day participants and a heap of door prizes will be given away throughout the event.

For more information, please call Algonquin Outfitters, 1-800-469-4948 (705-635-2243).

A scene of the snowshoe demo tents from last year. 
 For more pictures of last year's Winter Fun Day, please click here.

Please note that there is a charge for dog sled rides and a family rate is available. Dog sled rides are booked that day on a first-come first-served basis, so sign up early and avoid disappointment. Sign up first at the dog truck, then pay inside.

Here is a general overview of the event:

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012:

9 am: Algonquin Outfitters opens

10 - 12:45 pm: dog sled rides - please sign up to make sure you get a ride!

10 -12: morning program (x-c ski lessons, ski and snowshoes demos, snowshoe hike, igloo building, dog sled rides, etc.).

Formal XC ski lessons are scheduled for 11 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm. Lessons are geared towards to both new skiers and experienced skiers wishing to improve their technique. Skate and classic techniques will be covered and the lesson will be tailored to the needs of the group. Informal lessons and tips are available in between scheduled lesson times.

12 - 2: BBQ lunch available

1 - 5: afternoon program (ski lessons, ski and snowshoe demos, more igloo building, snow games).

Sunday, Feb. 12:

10 - noon: 18th annual Ragged Falls Snowshoe Adventure Hike (show up at Oxtongue Lake store by 9:30 if you need snowshoes).

Advance registration is not required - simply show up! All events take place in the immediate area of our Oxtongue Lake store (except the Ragged Falls hike - car pooling req'd).

Dog sled rides are provided by Winterdance. For more information on their programs and Iditarod race team, visit their web site.

Ski lessons are provided by Ski for Life. For more information on their programs visit their web site.