canoeing in spring with some snow left on the ground

Poles for Paddles

Could river canoeing be the perfect après ski-season activity?

To answer this question, let us examine a few of the similarities:

Well, the first and most obvious – both sports happen on water – or some form of it.  If you’re lucky, you might even slide your skis across the very molecule that ends up splashing against your paddle blade in the river later on that spring.

Then, there is the movement.  The repetitive motion transforms into a kind of meditation, where the body mechanics subtly become an extension of your sub-conscience.

On a more philosophical level, to ski or canoe is like immersing yourself into Canadian history.  Long ago, if you needed to collect firewood in the winter, you needed some kind of touring skis to access the forest.  Similarly, rivers once were the arteries of human transportation.  Today, canoeing gives us the chance to revisit those long-lost corridors that were once so significant, but no less important today.  The canoe can become a low-impact vehicle with which to explore deep into the back-country where even a hiker might find it difficult to access.  Similarly, strapping on those skis gives us the means to explore the secrets of vast areas of our country’s wild areas that otherwise would hold their secrets through 8 months of cold, white solitude.

I’d like to propose that river canoeing is the perfect après ski-season activity.  Both sports tend to attract the kind of folks who are looking for unique, meaningful, and sustainable ways to explore Canada’s wilderness.