Albertans have been asked to limit their contact to other the people in their households over the holidays, which leaves many wondering what they are going to do … especially with their kids. Luckily, Calgary offers a plethora of winter outdoor activities. These are great for getting in some exercise, exploring the city and province, and tiring out the kids so they will get some sleep before Santa comes.
Hitting the hills. Ski hills remain open for skiers and snowboarders. Right inside the city is WinSport, AKA Canada Olympic Park. In the Rockies are the world-class Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay Ski Resort, and Lake Louise Ski Resort, and south of Calgary near Pincher is the Castle Mountain Resort. It’s advisable that skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels wear a helmet at all times.
Go sledding. There are lots of great hills to sled and tube down in Calgary, including the WinSport Tube Park. Lake Louise and Norquay also have tube parks.
Get out on two wheels. You may have noticed more and more people riding their mountain bikes on big, fat, studded tires. Rent a fat bike at Bow Cycle or the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre and get out on Calgary’s 850 kilometres of pathways and 95 kilometres of trails.
Try out snowshoeing. Welcome just about everywhere in Calgary (and out), snowshoeing is relatively inexpensive to start out at and easy to learn.
Carve some edges. In addition to the iconic Bowness Park Lagoon and Olympic Plaza, there are dozens and dozens of small community-owned and operated outdoor rinks in Calgary to head out for a little spin and perhaps pass the puck around.
Ski around town. Cross-country skiing is great exercise and an excellent way to explore the city and surrounds. The Calgary Winter Olympics’ host of cross-country skiing events in 1988 was the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, which maintains lots of trails for all levels. In the city, groomed trails are available at City of Calgary Parks like Shaganappi Point Golf Course, South Glenmore Park, and Bowness Park.
Staying safe while enjoying outdoor activities
In addition to staying within your family unit, even when taking part in winter outdoor activities you should do your best to stay at least two metres away from others.
The Centre for Disaster Control in the U.S recommends the following to stay safe while enjoying winter outdoor activities.
Dress warmly by wearing sturdy boots that are insulated, water- and weather-resistant, and have good grips. Cover your head, and scarves are great for providing your face, neck, and body additional warmth. A longer jacket with down lining is best, and it’s important to wear layers. If an inner layer becomes wet, remove it immediately. Moisture will cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include:
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
Once any of the above signs appear, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.
Frostbite is something else to watch out for, especially in children. It begins with a loss of feeling and colour in extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. If you have numb skin that has changed colour or has hardened, it’s time to head to the nearest ER.
When heading out for any major excursion, always let someone else know where you are going and your estimated time of arrival back home. Ensure to check in upon your return. Pack your vehicle with a survival kit in case you get stuck and bring along a satellite messenger for areas where cellphone service is spotty.
Avoid slipping and falling
As snow removal professionals, we have been through everything an Alberta winter can throw at us … and then some. It’s our job to keep residential and commercial properties free of snow throughout the winter to reduce the chances of someone slipping and falling, and potentially hurting themselves quite badly. A slip and a fall can happen even on the best winter days, which is why it is highly advisable to wear proper winter footwear. Winter boots have unique tread patterns that are slip-resistant that help you maintain your grip. Look for deeply grooved rubber treads. Lace-up boots are better than zippers, too, as they tend to provide more support. Also check for adequate insulation to help keep your feet warm. If you walk a lot in the winter it might even be a good idea to purchase additional slip-on ice and snow grips.
Alberta Health Services advises that when sidewalks are slippery, the best thing to do is to walk like a penguin. Bend forward slightly, walk flat-footed rather than heel to toe, and take shorter, shuffle-type steps. This helps to keep your centre of gravity over top of your feet as much as possible. Concentrate on staying upright, watch where you step, and don’t rush. Always remember, too, that it’s very important to keep your hands at your sides and not in your pockets to help improve your balance, and also to help catch yourself should you go down.
Snow removal services from Mirage
Mirage Landscaping is committed to keeping your commercial or residential property safe throughout the winter. Our ability to provide reliable snow removal services has cultivated many long-term relationships with our customers. We’re ready to answer questions, provide a quote, or respond promptly to your immediate snow removal needs.