Let Spring Fever Take Over!

Assiniboine Lodge

Article by guest blogger Powder Matt.

You can go to Google maps and know geographically where you’re going but you have to physically be there to let the journey shape your outlook and your feelings.

We can’t hold back our excitement when Spring rolls around – sunny days, longer nights and a change in the weather are enough big-time reasons to get us in the mood for a getaway.

Let Spring Fever Take Over.

Take a ski tour, snowshoe or cross country ski to let the fresh air of Spring fill your lungs and carry away the daily grind.

This is one fever you’ll want to catch – so book your trip now, have something to look forward to and feel the goodness when you try a new experience.

Fernie Alpine Resort

Places to take that first step. Book your Canadian Rockies region ski vacation with a twist.

Spring time is the perfect time to take a ski vacation into the Canadian Rockies region. Whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned shredder, pick a ski resort like Fernie Alpine Resort, in Fernie, British Columbia, or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, located in Golden, British Columbia, where you can easily ski to your door with on-mountain stays, along with a variety of other activities nearby to try.

  • Snow running, leisurely walks or snowshoeing make a great way to catch fresh air in your face and keep up on your cardio program, with the added benefit of nature time. Enjoy time in a log cabin, stay in Snow Creek Cabin, nestled in a cedar forest and snowshoe right out the front door. Or take the Mountain Heritage Snowshoe Tours offered by Fernie Alpine Resort’s Telus Winter Sports School, a guided tour that ends nicely with pasta and wine.
  • Nothing beats evening cross country skiing on the trails, after a day of fresh pow at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, return to your private ski cabin in the woods and check out the line up at Lush Mountain Accommodations. Kick and glide out the back door to the Golden Nordic Centre, offering a variety of trails to match your ability level.
Snowshoe Fernie, BC

Place to go wild.
Stay unplugged in a fly-in or ski-in only lodge in the wilderness.

Stride along.
Go old school with a classic cross-country ski vacation into a cluster of cabins that provide lodging, warm up next to the fire in the historic CPR cabin and enjoy homestyle meals at the Brewster’s Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park. A bonus is that newly announced lodge managers, Katie and Leo Mitzel, are famous for service and incredible foodie experiences.

Assiniboine Lodge
Take beautiful steps deep into history.
Snowshoe trails abound here and the views can’t be beat with Mount Assiniboine looming above you – known as North America’s Matterhorn. After your tromp through the snowy meadows, kick back in the historic main lodge of Assiniboine Lodge, for the best social ever (unplugged, of course). After amazing food, grab hands and take a star-filled-sky walk back to your own private log cabin for your own version of story time. Your guides Claude and Andre are here to assist in providing memorable mountain time adventures, ready to break trail and share the joy.

First ski touring here.
Purcell Mountain Lodge, located high in the powder rich Purcell Mountains, a short heli flight from the alpine town of Golden, British Columbia, sets the bar high for luxury in the backcountry, with all the comforts of home. It is best to go with a guide when you are beginning the sport of ski touring. Ask for Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), like Ken and Stef, who will provide you with not only knowledgeable instruction, but to also include picking safe routes and discovering how to use the specific gear. They will make you feel like a champion on and off the slopes.

Fernie Alpine Resort
Adventure Gear Essentials

Wear a sweet helmet
The best helmet is the one you wear and the one by Sweet is a good way to go. Get the latest Sweet helmet with game-changer use of technologies combining lightweight, comfortable fit with the impact shield liner for safety.

Winter traction in the backcountry
Snowshoe easy, with the Tubbs new line up, allowing you to explore, providing a balanced and natural stance, making deep snow walks look and feel much easier.

Stay warm
Never forget the basics. Winter feels better when you wear base layers next to your skin. Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Pants and tops are perfect for all cold weather activities.

Poles matter
You can’t have any issues when you are out in the wilderness so get poles like G3 Via Carbon that are easy to adjust and most importanly durable.

Sticks that rip powder and the mountain
Rossignol Soul 7HD is hands down the best powder and all mountain play sticks you can put on your feet.

Build Forests
After ski or in the lodge, you’ll love the comfort and fit of a Tentree tee or sweatshirt and your doing good- as they plant trees for every item sold.

PowderMatt-250x300Powder Matt is hooked on Powder! Skiing has been part of his life for 40yrs! From ski racing to backcountry touring there is not a part of skiing that he does not like- in fact he will often say that spending a day in the mountains ‘Life is good when you do what you enjoy’ or refer you to his motto Eat.Sleep.Ski . He has been working in the Ski Resort business for over 20 years. He is the Senior Vice President, Resort Experience, at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. He looks forward to your comments. Make it a Powder Day! www.powdermatt.com

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Escape the City and Embrace BC’s Winter Mountain Culture

Whistler, BC. Photo: Andrew Strain

Article by guest blogger Powder Matt.

Something special happens in the mountains as we optimistically look forward to spring: the mountain air and sunshine are a bit warmer and the days are longer. That means it’s time to ski, ride or try some new winter activities in the fresh snow of a beautiful day.

I recently skied with Mountain Man Cole, athlete and social media influencer. He reminded me with his sunny outlook that just getting outside and trying a new sport or activity can nudge your busy self into a stress-free, happy place.

“Optimism is very important for success both in sport and life,” says Cole, as we skied at Fernie Alpine Resort. While stopping abruptly and spraying powder in my face, he added: “It’s important make time to get outside, meet winter head on and challenge yourself to a new mountain activity.”

Sure, Cole is an accomplished athlete, but with a little effort and a can-do attitude, you can get more out of your winter. Try one –  or all – of these winter activities.

Whistler, BC. Photo: Andrew Strain
Nightlife, Nature, Luxury

Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort and village in North America, packs not only a peak skiing and riding experience, but a full lineup of activities and experiences, from pumping nightlife to serene snowshoes trails.

If you need anymore reason  to get here, Whistler Blackcomb has had its snowiest season of the past 10 years. Check out these statistics, which includes the fact that March and April are when the resort gets the most snow.

Powder Highway Magic

Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kimberley, BC: The laid-back vibe, mix of winter-loving folks and cool craft shops dotting a pedestrian-friendly downtown, make this place special. It’s a fantastic mashup for a stellar winter. It also includes a super-sized Nordic centre, fat bike trail network in one of Canada’s largest municipal parks, and a ski resort dotted with ski-in and ski-out lodging options. Kimberley Alpine Resort also offers a heart-pumping fall-line and powder-filled trees that will make you want to ski until the lifts stop every day. Families with small children will also find a private learning area, no through traffic, making first turns fun, safe and easy.

Fernie, BC. Photo: Powder Matt Mosteller

Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie, BC: Feel the power of being surrounded by tall rocky crags, walk a historic main-street filled with local shops and dining, and stand mountain top on the biggest vertical ski area in the Canadian Rockies. This is the real deal; it’s hard to top this mountain town with tons of trails for your winter exploring. Pick your pleasure: snowshoe, fat biking and even mountain-side yoga to start your mornings at Fernie Alpine Resort. Stay slopeside in your own private place, with a hot-tub, then hit Cirque Restaurant and/or the Canadian Rockies only Stoli Ice Bar at Lizard Creek Lodge. If you’re looking for the ultimate in seclusion, where you can ski to your door of your own private enclave nestled in tall cedars, check out Snow Creek Cabin.

Fernie, BC. Photo: Taylor Michael Birk
Add one of these activities to your ski vacation

Thinking of trying something new? Take that first step with a lesson. You’ll be sliding, stepping or pedaling in no time.

Take a guided snowshoe tour to get up to speed quickly, learning simple steps that will have you feeling like a pro in no time. Many sessions also offer lunch or a hot beverage along the trail.

Cross Country
Take a lesson from professionals who will will show your classic strides or skate-style. Pick your own pace as you can head out for peace on the trails.

Fat Biking
Try the fast-growing sport of fat biking with a guided tour or with friends. Similar to mountain bikes, they have beefier tires to give you the ability to ride anywhere – and not just in snow but also in sand and mud.

Get More Adventurous
Check out the Backcountry Basics workshop at Fernie Alpine Resort. The two-day course provides coaching on how to use ski touring gear, uphill travel techniques, mountain environment awareness and snow safety.

Try Some Top Gear

Snowshoes: Check out Atlas Snowshoes, perfect for your city and mountain snow walks to pump up your fitness program. Don’t forget to bring your G3 poles; they’ll provide the added balance assistance.

Backcountry: If you’re getting started with backcountry ski touring this winter, try the new G3 climbing skins to make humping up that slope so much easier.

Stay warm: Enjoy you piping, hot coffee longer with a Yeti Rambler cup. It fits nicely in the drink holder of a or in the side pocket of your backpack.

Stay cozy: Nights out on the town feel comfortable along the Powder Highway or browsing the Whistler Village, in your free and easy Tentree Hoodie.

Pack it: Load up your gear in style with the Herschel Supply Parcel Luggage Bag, perfect for a multi-day sporty holiday.

Fernie, BC. Photo: Powder Matt Mosteller.
Start planning your BC winter getaway here.
Learn more about what to expect along the Powder Highway and at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort.

PowderMatt-250x300Powder Matt is hooked on Powder! Skiing has been part of his life for 40yrs! From ski racing to backcountry touring there is not a part of skiing that he does not like- in fact he will often say that spending a day in the mountains ‘Life is good when you do what you enjoy’ or refer you to his motto Eat.Sleep.Ski . He has been working in the Ski Resort business for over 20 years. He is the Senior Vice President, Resort Experience, at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. He looks forward to your comments. Make it a Powder Day! www.powdermatt.com

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8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rossignol

“We aim to be known as the most progressive and authentic mountain brand on the market.”Rossignol

Known as a leader in the ski industry, Rossignol is one of our go-to ski brands year after year. Having been around for 110 years, Rossignol continues to innovate and defy expectations in their manufacture of skis, boots, bindings and apparel. Learn more about what makes the brand unique and how it has stood the test of time.

  1. After Abel Rossignol made his own pair of downhill skis in 1907, a brand was born. This makes Rossignol the oldest surviving brand name in skiing, and also the oldest surviving factory in skiing!
  2. Rossignol skis were used in the 1936 Winter Olympics – the first Games to include alpine ski events!
  3. While Rossignol did not invent the concept, the company’s first laminated ski, the Olympic 41, was an advance in design. In only ten years, production of the ski quickly climbed to several thousand per year.
  4. Rossignol has been associated with the biggest names in the ski industry such as Emile Allais, three time world champion in 1937. Allais worked in partnership with the brand to design notorious ski models like the Allais 60: the first metal ski used to win an Olympic gold medal!
  5. Rossignol’s first ski made out of fibreglass was the Strato 1. It featured a woodcore laminate stuck with epoxy resin and had an innovative shape with sidecuts to enhance turns. This was by far the best selling ski in Rossignol’s history.
  6. When the company was incorporated as Skis Rossignol S.A. in 1972, Rossignol had become the world’s best-selling brand of ski.
  7. By the year 2000, almost 40% of all downhill skis sold throughout the world were manufactured by Rossignol.
  8. The brand’s motto is Another Best Day, which says it all. Rossignol wants to offer to all skiers of all experience levels great products featuring modern technologies and high quality materials.
“Rossignol’s wish is simple: to share with you our passion for the wonderful world of winter sports.”
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Buyers Picks: The Best Boards for 2018

The buyers have spoken! Our team has worked tirelessly to choose the best of the best for this season’s equipment selection. Read more about why we love these 5 snowboards – which board will be your ride of choice for 2018?


When it comes to the best boards, we can always look to Burton. The Deja Vu is a favourite of our team, year after year. The board’s smooth rocker profile surfs through deep powder, while subtle camber underfoot and a true twin design keeps you in control no matter which way you point it. Not to mention – we love the graphic!


The Ladies Choice is one of our tried and true ladies’ snowboards; it seems like everyone that rides it loves it! Designed by pro boarder Jamie Anderson, this board will always be there for you – whether for jaw dropping manoeuvres in the park, heart opening resort ripping, or taking on new frontiers in the backcountry.


When it comes to Yes, you can’t say no! The Basic was built by snowboarders, for snowboarders. Its primary function is to allow the rider to do anything they focus their mind on. Whatever line, trick, direction or surface they want to shred, the Basic is designed to make this as intuitive as possible.


If it has Mark McMorris’ stamp of approval, we are totally on board. He loves it for for its twin freestyle playfulness and all-terrain prowess, and we couldn’t agree more. With a softer flex, the Process is suited to the freestyle rider, but is still capable of ripping the entire mountain as proven by the pros who push it.


Yet another board created by one of the greats. Travis Rice has designed a versatile proven freestyle/freeride snowboard that will allow you to push your limits and be there when it’s all on the line, but is still fun and playful enough to be a perfect daily ride.

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Skiing Coast to Coast

Austin Ross, Retallack, BC, Canada. Photo: Adam Clark

Snow sports are an inherent part of what it means to be Canadian – living the Sporting Life is what we do! Depending on where you choose to ski, it is important to choose the right equipment and apparel to ensure the best possible day on the slopes. Learn more about what makes Eastern, Western & Backcountry skiing different and what you need to conquer any weather conditions.


We may not have the Rockies, but skiing in Eastern Canada is a completely different ballgame than it is out west. Most ski resorts are ski lift assisted with shorter runs and fewer protected lifts. There’s no warming up in a gondola here! Winter means something different in Ontario than it does in Alberta – for one thing, cold means cold! Chances are the weather won’t change so drastically in one day that an entirely different outfit is needed.

Staying warm and dry is what it’s all about for Eastern skiing. In your suitcase, you will want to pack your tried and true ski necessities: moisture wicking base layers and breathable, waterproof outer layers. What makes dressing for Eastern skiing different is that it requires less versatility. As the weather is much less variable on this side of the country, your best bet is to dress in fixed insulation product – something that will provide maximum warmth for those frigid days on the mountain.

The perfect ski for Eastern skiing is the Salomon XDR 84 Ti Ski. Perfect for everything from high speed groomers to fresh powder, this ski will help you squeeze every ounce of fun from the resort. C/FX keeps the ride damp and stable, but is very light to save energy for the last chair of the day.

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Blue Mountain, Ontario
Le Massif, Quebec


The home of some of the best skiing in North America! The Rockies are what Canadian skiing is all about. Unlike the lift system in Eastern Canada, expect to hop on a protected lift or gondola to get to the peak. Runs here are longer – you could spend the majority of your day navigating the mountain at Whistler! On these longer, tougher runs, your body will generate more heat. Paired with the high altitude and variations in climate conditions, you are much more likely to run into rain, snow, and wind.

You don’t want to freeze or overheat from exertion during your ski – layering is your friend! Our tried and true baselayers are always needed, but what goes on top is much more intricate than what Eastern skiing requires. Stock up on lightweight layers, an insulated jacket as well as a waterproof shell. The ability to shed layers as it gets warm and bundle up as temperatures drop is absolutely crucial. The higher up the mountain you go, the trickier the weather can get. Be prepared!

One key way to be prepared is with the right ski. The Salomon QST 99 Ski offers soft and hard snow performance and great terrain adaptation – ideal for those changing conditions we mentioned!

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Sun Peaks, British Columbia
Fernie, British Columbia
Kicking Horse, British Columbia

Learn more about the best skiing on the Western Canadian Powder Highway from our friend Powder Matt!


Much like other Western skiing, backcountry weather is as unpredictable as can be. Both backcountry and alpine ski touring are done off piste either within a resort or off the beaten trail. Backcountry skiing is done in the most remote areas of Canada – much of which is only accessible by climbing, snowcat and/or a helicopter!

If you are a backcountry skiier, chances are you know exactly what you need to stay safe on your trip. The need for layering is much greater than the resort skiing we mentioned before. With higher levels of exertion and likelihood of more extreme conditions, the phrase “Be Prepared” is even more crucial! Layers, breathability, waterproofing, hydration, and accessories are all of the utmost importance.

On top of appropriate apparel, be sure to have the best equipment for your backcountry adventure. The Volkl 100Eight Ski is the perfect ski to make the most of your alpine adventure. Powerful and predictable, this ski will help you take advantage of all aspects of the mountain – no matter the conditions.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Red Mountain, British Columbia
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Chic Chocs, Quebec
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

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Tips For Winter Running

Photo @mattiasfredrikssonphotography

No need to be intimidated by the snow. Running is still very much possible in winter – some may argue that it is more enjoyable! The cool air, beautiful scenery and change in terrain makes for an exciting change in your fitness routine. With the Sporting Life 10k fast approaching, now is the time to start training! Here are some of our tips to make the most of your cold weather run and get your body ready for race season.

Set a Goal

Winter running isn’t for everyone – sometimes you need to have a goal in mind to make the chilly temperatures worth it. Why not sign up for the Sporting Life 10k and set out on a training schedule?

Taking place in Toronto and Ottawa on May 13 in support of Camp Oochigeas and June 16 in Calgary in support of Kids Cancer Care, the Sporting Life 10k is a great opportunity for you to try and beat that PB, all while supporting kids affected by childhood cancer. Sign up before prices go up on January 15 and get running!

Plan Ahead

You don’t want to get stuck outside longer than necessary on a cold day. Be sure to map your route ahead of time and ensure that it is a length that you can handle. Use a service like MapMyRun or Nike+ to track and plan your run. As always, be sure to bring enough water or energy chews with you to keep you in tip top shape during your run. Another important factor is the buddy system; having someone with you always makes for a safer run, especially in the winter. At the very least, let someone know where and when you plan to run in case of emergency.

Get Warm

Warming up is essential for any workout, but it is particularly important when it is cold outside. You want to give your muscles a chance to warm up before you dive into an outdoor winter workout. Do some quick cardio around your house to get your body moving, but do your best not to break a sweat; this can give you the chills as soon as you step outside!

Dress For Success

Don’t forget to gear up for your outdoor run this winter. Layering is of the utmost importance! Keep warm and dry in moisture wicking base layers, breathable shells, and seasonally appropriate accessories. Proper footwear is also key; you likely can’t get away with the same shoes you would wear for summer road runs. Much like your apparel, you want something waterproof and breathable with all-weather protection. A rugged outsole and ankle protection are also helpful for improved resistance to the elements.

See and Be Seen

Don’t forget about visibility! Stay safe on your run in reflective apparel and footwear. With reduced daylight, early morning and evening runs are subject to reduced visibility. The addition of a headlamp or reflective stripes on your clothing and shoes will allow vehicles to avoid you when running on the road.

Shop the best in cold weather running gear and get outside!

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The Best of Snowboard

To celebrate the peak of prime snowboarding season, we’re sharing our favourite snowboard brands for 2018. Whether boards, boots or apparel, this selection offers nothing but cool innovation and style. Learn more about what makes these brands the best of the best and shop all things snowboard, only at Sporting Life.


“Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn back in 1977, and has dedicated his life to snowboarding ever since.”

Burton has played a key role in the growth of the snowboard industry, and we are proud to support a brand that has supported some of the world’s best riders. From technical baselayers to the coolest apparel to the top boards and bindings, Burton is a key brand in our snowboard line-up. One of the many reasons we love Burton? Their commitment to sustainability. Burton is a Bluesign approved brand – learn more about the Bluesign system here!

Along with the classic Burton line, Burton AK and L.A.M.B. x Burton offer unique looks to complete your all mountain wardrobe.

In partnership with Gore-Tex, the Burton AK line offers both waterproof and breathable outerwear. With Gore’s “Guaranteed To Keep You Dry®” pledge in mind, Burton AK products are built to withstand the elements and keep you dry all day. AK products are not only Bluesign approved, but are also manufactured using the Drydye process. Drydye technology boasts a waterless dyeing process, it saves 25 liters of fresh water per tee shirt, uses pure dyestuff, and has no chemical additives. 

L.A.M.B. x Burton is “drastically different than everything else you see during winter, each piece speaks for itself. Fierce and edgy—but fun—and always laced with punk rock, this is the bold street style of Gwen Stefani backed by Burton’s top-shelf outerwear technology.” PS – we are the only retailer in Canada that carries this line…rock on!

Oh, and don’t forget about the Step-On system. No big deal or anything.


Developed by Mervin and created at “the world’s most environMENTAL factory”, Lib Tech and Gnu are a force to be reckoned with. Yet another snowboard brand founded by snowboarders, Mervin is the longest running and last major board building factory in the USA. If you couldn’t tell, we are all for sustainability when it comes to our brands – Lib Tech and Gnu are no exception. Want to know more about what environMENTAL entails? Learn more on their website!

We buy the toughest, lightest, strongest, most environmental materials; many of which aren’t meant for snowboards or used by anyone else for what we use them for.”

You can always count on Lib Tech for innovation. New concepts, new shapes, and collaborations with riders like Travis Rice and Jamie Lynn offer a ride like no other.

Gnu on the other hand takes their design to another dimension. Their own description says it all: “Mysterious materials, bizarre geometries, contours and board shapes, far out art and colors, odd terrain and freakish riders have allowed us to create fantastic progressive snowboards taking snowboarding to wild and magical places.”


Less is more.” – Mies Van Der Rohe

Winner of the 2016 ISPO Gold Medal, Yes has made a name for itself in the snowboarding industry. Being shaped by product, customers, riders, fans…Yes has all of the pieces to create the ultimate in snowboard innovation. Tuning out the noise of what others are doing, Yes marches to the beat of their own drum and keeps it simple. Do what you know and do it well.

As a testimonial from James Biesty states: “Out of the 400+ boards I’ve tried, I don’t think any other brand has such a wide appeal to our crew and readers as YES. does. Alex makes a good board for nearly every type of, budget, condition, boot size, ability level and riding style.”

If you’re just getting started or you’ve spent your life on the mountain, don’t say no to Yes. Say Hel Yes.


“We believe that life should be lived without limits and that your choice of technical apparel should reflect this.”

From a small collection of denim and outerwear in 1992, 686 Enterprises has expanded into one of our top snowboardwear brands. With innovative, forward-thinking outerwear and technical apparel inspired by mountain culture, 686 challenges you to push your experience beyond what you thought possible. Just take a look at the Smarty 3-in-1 Cargo Pant:


“A collective force of creative expression, Analog is committed to progressing the individualistic style that snowboarding is built on.”

Say no more. The Analog collection offers riders freedom of expression in the form of fun and creative snowboardwear. Like its creator Burton, Analog is – you guessed it – environmentally conscious. With Bluesign approved product and using THERMOLITE® Insulation, Analog is a true all mountain brand. Talk about a finger on the pulse of changing fashions and materials.

For just the right amount of on-snow function and street personality, try the Caldwell Anorak – it’ll remind you of your favourite hoodie, but will keep you warm and dry all season long.


“Holden brings timeless style to technical outerwear.”

Shocking, but true: another brand we love that blends fashion, function and an eco-conscious sensibility. Holden was founded by professional snowboarder Mikey LeBlanc and designer Scott Zergebel with a mission to create products that are built on these values: Timeless Quality, functional style, versatility, tailored-fits, and eco-friendlier attributes. Since 2002, they have done just that. Holden offers a 2018 collection that looks cooler than ever in sleek neutrals and camo prints, allowing for corny camouflage jokes all day long.


We have a vision that turns obstacles into opportunity. A creative courage to tempt the impossible… And embrace the strange. Telling us to push further… To try again.”

Who didn’t grow up loving Volcom? From skate to surf to snow, the Volcom stone is one of the most recognizable logos of our generation. Volcom was born from the philosophy of the times, “Youth Against Establishment”, and continues to support and inspire young creative thinking. The coolest patterns and silhouettes paired with reasonable pricepoints make Volcom the ultimate starter kit for a fun and carefree snowboard season.


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Tune-Up Services at Sporting Life

Markus Eder, Retallack, BC, Canada. Photo: Adam Clark

Since 1979, we have lived and breathed the Canadian winter. We are proud to be your one-stop shop for all things winter – especially equipment and tune-ups for the ultimate mountain experience.

If you are just getting into skiing or snowboarding, you may wonder…why tune my equipment? The answer is pretty simple. Just like any equipment – a bike, a car, an instrument – your skis need to be tuned to reach their top performance potential. The more you ski, the more wear and tear your equipment will endure. To get the most use out of your skis and to ensure that they stand the test of time, regular tuning will keep you and your equipment safe.

“Regular” tuning can mean something different to every skier; a racer will require more frequent ski tunes than a casual family skier who hits the mountain a few times a season. The look and feel of your skis will tell you when it is time to bring them in for a tune.

Are the edges rough and the base worn? How do they feel while you are skiing – is it harder than usual to stay on track?

Dull edges are a surefire way to have a less than ideal skiing experience. Along with sharp, smooth edges, skis also require wax to function properly. As they are made from porous material, skis need wax to keep water and dust out of their pores, making for a faster and more responsive ride.

If you aren’t sure, bring your skis into your nearest Sporting Life! Our staff can tell you in a second whether your skis are due for a tune-up. A proper tune will ensure that no matter the snow conditions, you will have a great day on the slopes.

Boyd Callaway from Sporting Life Market Mall.

We’ve tuned for the pros, and we’d love to tune for you! Our staff have learned from the best when it comes to the art of tuning – have you read our blog post on tuning skis in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, or our post on a week spent with the NCOST? Each of our locations boasts top of the line Wintersteiger machines, guaranteed to send you to the slopes in peak form.

Want to learn more? Watch the video below, featuring our Collingwood shop expert Bill, or visit our website to learn about the specifics of each store’s tuning machines.

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New Year, New You

Image via Lole Blog.

Happy New Year! There is something so refreshing about leaving the past year behind and looking towards a clean slate. While fitness goals are one of the most common new years resolutions, we are totally on board with that. If 2018 makes you want to break out of your fitness routine and get healthy, we say GO FOR IT!

The hard part of sticking to a resolution is finding motivation. To help you get started in crushing your goals this year, here are some surefire ways to successfully change up your fitness regime and learn to love working out.

1. Try Something New

New year new you, right? The best way to break out of a fitness rut is to change it up. Getting stuck in the same routine isn’t good for your body or for your motivation. Even adding one new class to your week will challenge your muscles and reignite your will to workout! Here are some of our favourite workouts that you can try in the new year:

Spin: We LOVE spin! Spin is a great way to get your heart rate up and build muscle without the stress of a high-impact workout. If you’re in Alberta, visit our friend Andrew Obrecht at YYC Cycle – his high energy class will leave you feeling invigorated (and probably pretty sweaty, too!).

Yoga: Yoga is great because there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer power yoga, hot yoga, restorative yoga, chill flow…your body will thank you for turning off your brain for an hour and focusing inwards. Training your breath is beneficial to all aspects of your life, and even an hour of light or restorative stretching will benefit your muscles, your sleep, and your mind.

TRX: One of our favourite workouts this year has been TRX. Using portable suspension equipment, TRX develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. Gravity and your own body weight makes for a workout unlike any other. Whether you work out every day or haven’t set foot in a gym in years, TRX is adaptable to provide a safe and tough workout regardless of your fitness level.

Barre: Trust us: Barre is not just for ballet dancers. What seems like simple micro movements and stretches turns out to be a killer workout inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates. This workout will sculpt, lengthen and strengthen your muscles – muscles you probably didn’t even know you had! We promise you will break a sweat.

2. The Buddy System

We know…one of the hardest parts of working out is getting to the gym. This year, find yourself an accountability partner to ensure that you get yourself up and moving. It’s awesome to have a friend to go to the gym with every day, but something as simple as receiving the “Hey! I just finished my workout, did you?” text can be enough motivation to get that workout done. Community is one of the reasons we love Fitbit; there’s nothing wrong with creating some friendly competition among friends to help you reach your goals!

3. Fuel Up

We can’t say it enough: hydration is KEY. Nothing will make you want to quit a workout more than feeling burnt out and dehydrated. Always be sure you have enough water for your workout to keep up with the sweat you are inevitably producing. S’well bottles are a forever favourite; your water will stay cool in a hot room, and won’t freeze during a winter run. We also recommend an energy chew or snack to refresh your sodium and electrolytes before, during and after a tough workout.

4. New Gear, New You

If the reasons above weren’t enough to get you out the door for a workout, new gear often does the trick! We’ve got all of the equipment you need to be ready for that new 2018 fitness regime. Whether you choose to workout in the privacy of your own basement, at a local gym, or in a trendy new fitness class in your city, you can find the tools you need to succeed at Sporting Life.

Go out and chase your fitness goals in 2018 – it’s time to make a change!

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Let’s Meet Along the Powder Highway

Why a road trip with a full serving of snowflakes is good for you

Article by guest blogger Powder Matt.

The snow is falling again. Faces with powder crumbs – a normal look – highlighted by colourful toques line up for rides up to Fernie Alpine Resort. It’s the first stop on our week-long road trip to four deep ski destinations dotting the aptly named Powder Highway.

This famed stretch of pavement threads its way through forested valleys and over jaw-dropping alpine passes, making every powder aficionado drool as they land in one historic and homey mountain town after another.

Get ready because your Insta account will be filled with photos of you being silly and playful – kind of like those college road trips you used to take.

Here’s what a skier or rider’s holiday looks like.

First base: Fernie, B.C.

We take an evening stroll along the snow-filled streets of downtown Fernie, minutes from the ski resort of the same name. Music spills out onto street, accompanied by the occasional blasts of the freight train, as we checked into the iconic Brickhouse. Beer has been poured here for many decades to fuel the thirsty miners and now skiers, who enjoy pints of Fresh Trax, made by the Fernie Brewing Co.

Next morning, we get up early from your secluded slope-side Snow Creek Cabin, to make the first chair, on the “old side” as locals call it. This is where our powder safari begins across five bowls, starting with Cedar Bowl. We hit up the perfectly spaced trees somewhere off to the skier’s left. (Just ask a local if you can’t locate it.) We end our day with last chair to a sharp rocky point, Polar Peak. This is a milestone for advanced skiers and riders, where you stare down your slot, turn after turn of thigh-burning fun, all the way to base and beers at the famous Griz Bar.

Powder tip. Pick a ski resort that offers ski-in and ski-out convenience. That means no need to pack up each morning and more time on the slopes or just relaxing. Our stay was sweet and easy with your own private cabin, at Snow Creek Cabin and taking a dip at the full-service Lizard Creek Lodge, complete with slopeside pool. There’s no need to get up too early when you’re just 50 feet from the lift.

Second base: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, B.C.

The following morning, fueled up with coffee from the Valley Social, we head north up the big valley, sculpted by glaciers and cut by two rivers named the Kootenay and Columbia. Forested sides give way to jagged peaks on both sides as we descend into Golden, B.C., home of loggers, railroaders, hard working folk, ski bums, mountain guides and adventure seekers. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort rises above town, with large runs cutting across nature’s canvas. This bucking horse has the fourth largest vertical in North America, at more than 4,000 feet. Lifted to the summit by the Eagles Eye Gondola, we slide skier’s left to the Stairway to Heaven Chair. Up a short stair case, we’ve reached the ridge top and drop in. Honking it down Whitewall’s steep goodness we reach the base and are ready for another lap. Later, we try a run called Crazy Legs, accessed from the top of Terminator 2 Peak. A stop at the Whitetooth Brewing Co., delivers Blower Pow a fresh and lively pale ale, the perfect match for fire-side hot tub, and cabin in the snowy woods from Lush Mountain Accommodations.

Powder tip. You can enhance your skills on these big mountains by taking a clinic. Try the Big Mountain Clinics led by all-mountain professionals at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Third base: Red Mountain, Rossland, B.C.

Rossland is just shy of a three-hour drive over Kootenay Pass from Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, B.C. (WestJet is adding service in early March). It’s easy to allow your mind to wander and dream at Red Mountain.  We head right up to the north side of Grey Mountain and buckle up. We’re about to dig into a buffet of tree-lined chutes and powder. If that doesn’t fire up your quads, then take another lap on the next one over. Rossland offers plenty of apres ski and dining options along its main street. Check out ski-in and ski-out lodging right at the base of the mountain.

Powder tip. Don’t forget skiing and riding with a helmet is safer, warmer and more comfortable. New models come with lighter and stronger materials, like the Smith Quantum Helmet, using Koroyd (a kind of crushable plastic). The helmet also has removable ear pads.

Powder tips. Add the Max Pass to your Blue Mountain season pass and get five free days of skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Keep your craft beer cool with the Yeti Hopper for the hot tub celebrations. Wet boots are no fun, so keep that DryGuy handy for easy after-ski drying. Walk the main streets in comfort, Kootenay style, with one of Bog’s Tall Boots so your feet stay warm while you dance under the street lights and snowflakes.

You can fly into Canadian Rockies International Airport, in Cranbrook. From there, rent a car and journey along a giant loop, from Fernie to Golden (Kicking Horse) and then onto Red Mountain with a free ferry ride across massive Arrow Lake, to Rossland and then east back to the airport.

Read more on SnowSeekers.ca and Powder Matt’s recent adventure:

If You Go:
Fernie Alpine Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Red Mountain
Start planning your BC Powder Highway ski holiday here.

PowderMatt-250x300Powder Matt is hooked on Powder! Skiing has been part of his life for 40yrs! From ski racing to backcountry touring there is not a part of skiing that he does not like- in fact he will often say that spending a day in the mountains ‘Life is good when you do what you enjoy’ or refer you to his motto Eat.Sleep.Ski . He has been working in the Ski Resort business for over 20 years. He is the Senior Vice President, Resort Experience, at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. He looks forward to your comments. Make it a Powder Day! www.powdermatt.com

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