At Boulder Hut, every ski turn comes after a lot of (uphill) effort

Boulder Hut in the Purcell Range of southeastern British Columbia offers a rustic – and fabulous – backcountry skiing experience

At Boulder Hut, every ski turn comes after a lot of (uphill) effortThere are no baths or showers at Boulder Hut. Cleanup after a day of strenuous backcountry skiing involves soaping up in a wood-fired sauna, then dumping a bucket of water over your head. To my surprise, a fellow guest – fit, naked and female – offered to do the pouring. I reluctantly acquiesced. Thereafter, the absence…

Moving on: nature migrates as winter closes in

On the Pacific coast, the fascinating fall movements of whales, salmon and sea ducks have begun

Moving on: nature migrates as winter closes inOne evening recently at about 6 p.m., I heard a familiar sound from the sheltered bay just in front of our house at Skelhp. If you’ve never heard it, it can be bewildering, even frightening. It’s very loud blasts of air – sometimes two or three in succession, sometimes with about a minute’s silence before…

5 fun things to do in British Columbia

Whatever you enjoy doing in your free time, you can probably find it in British Columbia

5 fun things to do in British ColumbiaBritish Columbia is a beautiful province situated on the westernmost side of Canada. While the capital of B.C. is Victoria, Vancouver is actually the highlight of the province. Vancouver has over four million residents, but there’s still plenty of nature to be enjoyed there. In fact, whatever you enjoy doing in your free time, you…

Exploring the islands of B.C.’s Nuchatlitz lagoon

From sublime beauty to mysteries of an unknown world tucked away at the edge of the Pacific ocean

Exploring the islands of B.C.’s Nuchatlitz lagoonNuchatlitz lagoon, framed by a formidable offshore wall of reefs and rocks, is sprinkled with small islands. Consulting the Canadian Hydrographic Service chart entitled Esperanza Inlet, one is quickly puzzled by their odd place names. While Nuchatlitz Provincial Park and four IRs (Indian reserves) are prominently badged, the entire flotilla of Nuchatlitz islands (I counted…

Discovering an island of mummucknees in Nuchatlitz

When Capt. James Cook first arrived in this region, the Mowachaht were also surprised that the white men lived without women. “How was that, people wondered?”

Discovering an island of mummucknees in NuchatlitzIn early March of 1778, Capt. James Cook sailed the Royal Navy sloops Resolution and Discovery into Nootka Sound looking for water, solid timber to replace some broken masts and spars, and new lands to claim for King George III. At this point during his celebrated third expedition of discovery, the ships and crews had…

Paddling along B.C’s outer edge

Nuchatlitz offers a shallow lagoon system, dotted with islands, encircled by rocks and pinnacles with names like Danger Rock, Nuchatlitz Reef and Blind Reef

Paddling along B.C’s outer edgeThe route to Nuchatlitz Provincial Park is as involved as the destination is rewarding. First you have to drive to Zeballos, a somewhat forgotten mining and logging village on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, home to about 300 well-defined West Coasters. Then you pay the Cedar Lodge boatman $200 each for a (return) tin…

Reliving our past, aboard kayaks

We're heading out on a lengthy kayaking expedition once again, 20 years after our paddles last broke water and we slept under canvas on a remote beach

Reliving our past, aboard kayaksChaos reigns in our front yard. Our two old kayaks have been pulled out from their slumber under the house and their hatch covers pulled off under a blinding summer sun. Spiders are creeping out of bow and stern lockers. The old Kevlar paddles have been found in the garden shed, along with ancient plastic…

A BC coastal community orchestrates a new role in the global economy

Powell River's PRISMA on the Beach is part of a global movement of summer music festivals in towns that love to organize, fundraise and volunteer for the arts

A BC coastal community orchestrates a new role in the global economyA local history of volunteerism and love for the performing arts have given Powell River a cultural base for its second coming. Every year for the past five years, this community on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast has hosted the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy – PRISMA. The whole experience is festival-like and runs for…

Ways to save at Canada’s top summer destinations

Ways to save at Canada’s top summer destinationsWe are pleased to introduce a new weekly travel columnist. Calgary-based Russell Hannon calls himself an “ultra-economical travel expert” and uses lean principles to travel economically. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, CBS, America Tonight, CTV, ShopSmart, Around the World Travel TV, and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. Russell speaks at travel…

A soft egg in the Nahanni National Park Reserve

Discovering Virginia Falls, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site – and learning a little German

A soft egg in the Nahanni National Park ReserveON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY – In German, weichei means soft egg. It defines a person’s character. In Canada, we call them wimps. Charly Kudlacek is from Frankfurt in the German state of Hesse and, as eggs go, is hard-boiled. We met Charly and his wife Marion in a remote campground at Summit Lake on the…