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Hokkaido Skiing: The Fabulous Kiroro Resort Experience

Did you know that skiing in Japan is some of the best on the planet, especially on the island of Hokkaido? Try to picture what 21 metres or 69 feet of snow looks like. That's the yearly average Kiroro Ski Resort receives! While I didn't catch a powder day, I did get the next best thing - spring skiing weather in early March on great snow with hardly a soul in sight. On a Sunday.…

Why It’s Important to Clean, Drain and Dry Your Boats

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know I'm passionate about kayaking, nature and the outdoors. I'm also fully on-board (as it relates to these themes) in trying to keep invasive aquatic species (AIS) out of our waters. Invasive species are nasty - displacing native fish and wildlife through rapid growth and competition for food and habitat. Many are probably familiar with the devastating zebra mussel problem in the Great Lakes, but…

Way Out There: Cycling Northern Vancouver Island

The North Island has a hold on me, and I keep going back. Northern Vancouver Island is vast, sparsely populated, and you’re more likely to meet a bear than a tourism spot. A super destination if you like the great outdoors. This article shares three favourite spots. Two are rough and remote (don’t expect pavement!), while the third is a mellower cluster of tourist gems. I’m a cycle tourist and bikepacker (a rare breed up…

Drift Ice Walking in Hokkaido, Japan

Excitement mounts on my bus filled with fellow outdoor adventurers from around the globe as we follow the Shiretoko National Highway north to the Shiretoko Peninsula on the eastern shore of Hokkaido, Japan’s most northerly island. Hugging the shore for miles, the empty highway offers views of drift ice as far as the eye can see. It’s particularly beautiful in the soft glow of a setting sun over the Sea of Okhotsk, a name that…

Entre Rios – One of the Fantastic Day Trips from Buenos Aires

Recently, Leigh and I along with two great friends, Judy and Scot, backpacked in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park for eight days and then proceeded to the Patagonia Eco-Domes near El Chalten in Argentina to do some hiking in Los Glaciares National Park. We were well advised that Patagonia would be windy, rainy, sunny, cold and cool, might snow and did I mention windy. So our post-Patagonia plan was to fly to Buenos Aires…

30 Photos to Inspire a Patagonia Hiking Trip

I've been drooling over photos of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks in Patagonia for a couple of decades - long before they became hot spots. Both parks are busy now, especially the W Circuit in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park; fortunately for us the first four days on the O Circuit are quiet, at least in comparison. I feel lucky to have visited both parks - but what a lot of…

Everything You Need to Know to do the Torres del Paine Trek

You are in for a treat if you head to Patagonia to trek. The O and W Circuits in Torres del Paine are nothing short of spectacular. They aren't easy multi-day hikes, especially with full backpacks but they sure are bucket list worthy. It's time consuming researching the Torres del Paine trek - be it the O Circuit or the W circuit. I always had questions I could never find the answers for online so…

What to Pack for Japan in Winter

In short order I am heading off on a trip to Hokkaido - Japan's most northerly main island. I have been warned by the group that invited me to be prepared for chilly temperatures. They obviously don't live in Calgary where chilly takes on quite a different meaning. Hokkaido, which is at the same latitude as Toronto, is famous for its spectacular mountain scenery, volcanoes, natural hot springs and ski areas. I am told that…

How to Spend a Day at the End of the World in Punta Arenas, Chile

Chances are high if you're planning a visit to Patagonia that you'll fly from Santiago into Punta Arenas, Chile - a seaside city known as the "end of the world." It certainly has that sense about it. It's both bigger, windier and more colourful than I imagined it to be with an overriding sense of loneliness about it, largely because I hardly saw a soul, except on the boardwalk late in the afternoon. Despite its…

Biking the Dinosaur Trail near Drumheller

If you'd like to go biking through an otherworldly landscape of canyons, hoodoos and coulees with the added attraction of seeing the world's largest dinosaur, then you need to bike the Dinosaur Trail near Drumheller. The city of Drumheller is just 90 minutes from Calgary but with its badlands scenery it feels a world away. On the drive there make the short-detour to see Horseshoe Canyon. It will whet your appetite for what's ahead. Biking the…

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