2018 Finding Awesome Spring Winners

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2018 Finding Awesome Spring Winners

When we started the #FindingAwesome campaign we only planned to run the contest for one year... BUT, you kept impressing us with your amazing photos and videos, so we kept it going into year two! We are very pleased to announce our #FindingAwesome Spring Winners for the 2018 contest!

Video Winner

Adventure Photo Winner

Chill Photo Winner

Favourite Business Entries

A big shout out to all of our local businesses for jumping on board the #FindingAwesome train. You make this region what it is, super-cool, and we are beyond fortunate to have these awesome folks to work with. Here are some of our favourite business posts: show them some love! 

Congrats to all of our winners and keep them coming: we are loving all your summer shots! To learn more about our #FindingAwesome contest visit: www.findingawesome.ca/contest

10 Rain or Shine Things to Do Around Nelson & Kootenay Lake

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10 Rain or Shine Things to Do Around Nelson & Kootenay Lake

The Kootenay Lake region is usually sunshine and rainbows. But when the odd shower rolls in, here are our top 10 suggestions to help you make the most of your time, rain or shine.

Ainsworth Hot Springs

If it’s raining, embrace it with a fully body soak at Ainsworth’s soothing hot springs. Raindrops can dance on your head all day long while relaxing in the outdoor pool. Or head into the caves (that you can wade in!) for shelter and some serious hot relaxation. And for the daring, jump into the cold pool to get really refreshed.

Cody Caves

Head underground with Cody Cave Tours into the labyrinth like network of caves near Ainsworth Hot Springs. Learn about stalactites and stalagmites from a local guide as you spelunk your way through the maze.


Patios are great, but the interiors of our restaurants are also bursting with character. Get a taste of Mexican food in the Kootenays at Taqueria el Corazon in Kaslo or Cantina del Centro in Nelson. Admire the heritage charm of the Hume Hotel’s Library Lounge, or the modern design at the Savoy Hotel’s on site eateries. The list goes on!


Wander Nelson’s historic Baker Street or Kaslo’s quaint Main Street. Boutique shops offer everything from locally made cartography to ethically sourced clothing. Charming bookstores and outdoor gear shops offer a curated selection to help you enjoy your time relaxing or adventuring in the Koots.

Lakefront Walkway

Nelson’s Lakeside Park is a gem. Flat pathways wind their way along the water, with art installations complementing the natural scenery. And if rain clouds beckon, hop on historic Streetcar 21 for a trip back in time and through the Park. Ding ding!

Capitol Theatre & Civic Theatre

Remember when movie theatres used to have just one screen? Rediscover the joys of cinema at Nelson’s lovingly restored (and volunteer run) Civic Theatre, complete with one big screen, rockin' sound system and spacious seating. The Capitol Theatre also boasts a charming heritage experience with top-notch performances through the year.

SS Moyie

Nestled up on shore, Kaslo’s historic SS Moyie sternwheeler offers plenty to discover rain or shine. Explore the multiple levels, rooms and exhibitions that fondly recall the bygone days of passenger travel on Kootenay Lake.


Does rain attract fish? We’re not sure but there’s only one way to find out. Head out on the water with a local guide in search of Kootenay Lake’s prized Rainbow Trout.


Nelson’s iconic museum of art and history anchors the intersection of Vernon St and Ward St. Check out the rotating exhibition on the first floor, learn about local history upstairs, and browse the fully stocked gift shop for a unique souvenir.

Live Music

Check out a local festival and dance in the rain or sunshine. The Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival features a floating stage, while the new Nelson International Mural Festival will add even more colour and character to the Queen City. Live bands, DJs, and street performers provide plenty of musical shows all year long.

#FindingAwesome Spring Winners

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#FindingAwesome Spring Winners

Wow! We LOVED looking through all your #FindingAwesome entries. It's so cool to see all you lovely folks showing us how YOU find awesome in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region! We had over 1500 photo entries and 93 video entries, and with so many amazing entries we ended up adding in a few honourable mentions!

Video Winner - $500 Cash Prize

Adventure Photo Winner - $250 Cash Prize

Chill Photo Winner - $250 Cash Prize

Honourable Mentions

1. Favourite Landscape - Gift Certificate for Taqueria El Corazon

2. Favourite Business Submission - Gift Certificate for Nelson Brewing Company 

3. Made Us Laugh - Gift Certificate for Starbird Bakehouse

Keep posting your #findingawesome moments, the contest runs all year long with more prizes being awarded for Summer, Fall, and Winter. View the Official Contest Rules and Prizes, then come find awesome, and capture it on your camera, and share.

Kaslo's Spring Awakening

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Kaslo's Spring Awakening

By John Bowden  |  Cover Photo: @cstrom.photography on Instagram

The annual May Days festival is quickly approaching in Kaslo, featuring the popular Logger Sports competition, softball tournament, markets, helicopter rides, and all sorts of festivities to help kick off the summer. The fun happens May 20-22. But there’s plenty of reason to visit all month long.

There’s something magical about spring. Longer days and the sun’s warmth are encouraging trees to bud, exploding in a sea of green. Set against Kootenay Lake and the heavily snow-capped peaks of the Selkirk Mountains, Kaslo offers a colourful contrast in seasons.

Like nature, the small town is also coming to life. Doors are opening wide on historic Main Street, ready to welcome visitors to this little slice of paradise.

Kaslo’s signature attraction, the SS Moyie Sternwheeler, opens for the season on Mother’s Day. I was able to get a sneak peak of the historic vessel and was impressed by the preserved elegance of a bygone era. The steamship will be providing an online digital video project in the near future: 360-degree interactive videos will allow you to explore the boat from the comfort of your own home.

Seasonal restaurants and outdoor spots are also springing to life, with tempting flavours and incredible views in every direction. Buddy’s Front Street Pizzeria has a charming patio and serves up some of the tastiest ‘za in the Kootenays. Bluebelle Bistro, Kaslo Hotel and Pub, and Taquiera el Corazon also offer sunny terraces and delicious meals.

The municipal campground is now open on the edge of the lake, providing campers and RVers with one of the most scenic outdoor stays in the country. Now’s also a great time to walk Kaslo’s River Trail, with the spring runoff feeding the winding waterway.

For those itching for a bit more adventure, road cycling and mountain biking are tough to beat. Head north from Kaslo to Meadow Creek and return to Kaslo for what might be Canada’s finest out-and-back day ride. You’ll have the jaw-dropping views all to yourself at this time of year. Or, challenge yourself on one of Kaslo’s many mountain bike trails.

If water sports are more your scene, rent a canoe or stand up paddleboard at the Kaslo Adventure Centre. Navigate your way over to the harbor and check out where the annual Kaslo Jazz Festival will be rocking the first August.

Or perhaps just sit and savour the scenery. There are no shortage of benches and driftwood to grab a seat and let your eyes wander down the length of Kootenay Lake. Forget the sound of vehicles. You’ll hear a variety of birds and the peaceful sound of rushing water. It’s hard not to think you’ve found paradise here.

Don’t wait for summer to make a trip to Kootenay Lake. A spring awakening in Kaslo is not to missed!

The Original Social Network

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The Original Social Network

By John Bowden

Ever seen that movie "The Social Network", about the start of Facebook? I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg had any idea just how enormous and widespread his brainchild was going to get. 

It makes me think what life would be like if we weren’t tethered to our mobile devices to check the latest status updates on social media.

Although cell phone service is reliable around most of the Kootenay Lake area (unless of course you’re headed deep in to the backcountry), there’s no shortage of refreshing ways to disconnect from technology and connect with fellow travellers face to face. I know, a little scary, right?

Fear not! What follows is a handy little guide to help you meet locals and like-minded explorers in Nelson, Kaslo and further afield.

  • Kootenay Lake Ferry viewTake a ride on the Balfour to Kootenay Bay ferry (it’s the longest free one in the world too). Grab a seat on one of the outdoor benches and strike up a conversation as you savour the fjord-like views.
  • Stay at the Dancing Bear Inn. Nelson’s only hostel is the ideal spot to meet other adventurers and will help you save a few bucks to put towards some other experiences.
  • Take a dip at Ainsworth Hot Springs. You might be surprised to find out just how far some people have come to soothe themselves in the thermal waters and natural caves. See if you can figure out who’s come the furthest…it might even just be you!
  • Kaslo Adventure Centre smiling staffHead up the road and take a trip with Kaslo Adventure Centre. Whether you want to bike, kayak or SUP, you’re likely to explore the lake and mountains with some newfound friends.
  • Saddle up to the bar at a local brewpub. In Nelson, order a taste of the taps at the Savoy Brewery, Backroads Brewing Company, or Torchlight Brewing Co. Don’t miss a stop to the legendary Nelson Brewing Company either. And word is that Kaslo has a new brewpub opening May 2017 - The Angry Hen.
  • People drinking coffee in the garden at Oso NegroGrab a freshly roasted coffee at Oso Negro, a destination unto itself. You won’t be alone for long at this popular Kootenay café. People watch from the peaceful garden for a bit, but odds are you’ll soon find yourself chatting with a friendly local or traveller like yourself.
  • Stroll through the outdoor markets in Nelson and Kaslo. Connect with passionate local producers and mingle with fellow visitors as you discover why the Kootenays have a reputation for delicious fresh food.
  • Feel the adrenaline with a river-rafting trip. Hop onboard one of Lardeau River Rafting’s scenic rides along Class 2 waters, or challenge yourself with up to Class 4 rapids with Nelson Whitewater Rafting Co. Either way you’re bound to share good times and wild rides with other friendly travellers.

This is just a start - there are plenty of ways to unplug and meet travellers like yourself in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region. Just don’t forget to take a few pictures and videos along the way! Our photo and video contests start April 2017.  #findingawesome

Itching for a Spring Fling?

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Itching for a Spring Fling?

By John Bowden, Cover Photo by Adrian Wagner Studio

Everyone’s got a different take on what floats their boat. Fortunately, spring offers a flowering of activities, attractions and recreational opportunities around Kootenay Lake for a variety of travellers.

See if you can spot yourself in one of the four traveller types below, and start dreaming about your next trip to the Kootenay Lake region.

Culturally Curious

Freshly baked breads at the Cottonwood market.Are you the type who likes to wander, explore and get to know an area?

Consider a visit to Nelson’s popular Cottonwood Market which kicks off May 20th. The market offers a true taste of the West Kootenays, and continues every Saturday through October. 

Grab a freshly brewed cup of Jo at Oso Negro’s legendary garden patio in Nelson, or settle in for a bite at the bustling Bluebelle Bistro in Kaslo, featuring local live music and a cozy backyard patio.

Experience a taste of heritage with a stay at Nelson’s venerable Hume Hotel or the historic Blaylock Mansion just outside of town. The Kaslo Hotel is also a fine choice and a throwback to earlier days of architectural grandeur.

Relax & Chill Out

Two chairs on the deck of Wing Creek overlooking Kootenay Lake Do you enjoy the finer things in life and taking the time to soak it all in?

Spring is a great time to stroll scenic lakefront pathways in Nelson or Kaslo. Follow it up with a relaxing scenic drive along Kootenay Lake and enjoy a dip in the natural healing waters at Ainsworth Hot Springs. Make sure to stop in Balfour for lunch at one of the scenic lakeside eateries too.

Keep the waterfront views going with delicious dining at the West Coast Grill’s stunning patio in Nelson’s Prestige Lakeside Resort. Or head out of town and off the grid for some pampering and rejuvenation at Wing Creek Resort.

Like a Local

Golfing at Granite PointeDo you like to discover the local’s hidden gems and when you travel?

Take a short drive or bike across BOB (Big Orange Bridge) to the trailhead for Pulpit Rock, a local’s favourite. The steep but short hike offers spectacular views of Nelson and faraway snowcapped peaks. Follow it up with a paddle or round of golf at one of four nearby courses and you’ll be well on your way to a local’s triathlon.

Shack up at one of our cozy B&Bs or vacation rentals and enjoy the freedom of cooking your own meals. Wander through the brand new Kootenay Co-Op and enjoy aisles of fresh produce, baked goods and healthy ingredients.

Top it off with a cup of coffee from one of Nelson’s numerous cafés or a freshly brewed pint at a local brewpub, and explore boutique shops along historic Baker Street.

Wild & Free

A person standing in the entrace chamber of Cody CavesWant to make sure you cross off everything on your bucket list?

The Kootenay Lake area is oozing with outdoor opportunities. Experience legendary mountain biking trails and road biking routes, the thrill of ziplining high above Kokanee Creek, unforgettable whitewater excitement on Slocan and Lardeau Rivers, or journey into a wild underground world of caves near Ainsworth Hot Springs.

Meet fellow travellers with a stay at the Dancing Bear Inn or Adventure Hotel, or pitch your tent at one of the many scenic (and mostly waterfront) campsites in the area.

Still feeling energetic? Feel the beat at the Falls Music Lounge, Spirit Bar, or lively Mexican eateries including Taqueria el Corazon in Kaslo or Cantina del Centro in Nelson.

Plan to Stay and Play Golf This Season

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Plan to Stay and Play Golf This Season

The Nelson Kootenay Lake region offers some of the most scenic golf in the world. With heart-stopping views, undulating greens, and enough risk-reward challenges to satisfy the most discerning golfer, the courses along Nelson Kootenay Lake tempt you to explore a bit more.

And now, you can do so with some exclusive “Stay and Play” packages offered this season.

Eminently Walkable Greens

Golfing in the forested mountainside along Kootenay Lake will take your breath away. You’re welcome to use a cart, but the courses are eminently walkable, taking you along spectacular scenery where spotting wildlife as you move from hole to hole is not uncommon. Deer, eagles, and the occasional bear spotting are not uncommon.

Granite Pointe Golf CourseNelson, Balfour, and Kaslo

Courses in the area range from Nelson’s nearly-100-year-old course Granite Pointe, to the Balfour Golf Course featuring private lakefront meadows, Eagleview Executive 9-hole course, and the Kaslo Golf Course, a 9-hole course perfectly nestled between the Purcell and Selkirk ranges.

Stay and Play

Nelson Kootenay Lake invites you to stay and play with us this season. Nelson is offering FREE golf when you stay at a preferred partners accommodation, and Balfour has it's accommodation partners with great deals. 

You’ll be able to combine staying in some of the most iconic Nelson Kootenay Lake accommodations, choosing the hotel or resort that perfectly matches your style and budget.

Then take in a round of golf and fully experience golfing in the Kootenay Lake region. If you’ve never golfed here, you won’t believe the views. If you have golfed with us before, you know what a great deal this is.

Enjoy and Explore Kootenay Lake

While you’re here, take in all that is Nelson, Balfour and Kaslo. From the SS Moyie, the oldest intact sternwheeler in the world, to the historic downtown shopping districts and the artisans studios dotted along the highway surrounding Balfour, we’ve got you covered.

You can spend a day taking the longest free ferry in the world, crossing from Balfour to Crawford Bay, where a community network of artisans invites you to watch them craft their wares as you shop and browse.

And then there’s ziplining, hiking, kayaking and SUPing to round out your stay. Lots of Travel Deals to look through to enhance your visit, and of course, you’re welcome to spend some time just lounging on our beaches as well.

Book Your Stay Now — and Save

Take a moment to plan your perfect trip with us now, and make sure to take advantage our stay and play deals this season.

We look forward to showing your our region and to helping you see and do all that you can during your stay with us.

Clara Hughes Says: Let's Talk Nelson!

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Clara Hughes Says: Let's Talk Nelson!

Mountain Baby in Nelson supports mental health awareness! Mountain Baby in Nelson supports mental health awareness!


Clara's Big Ride Brings Awareness to Mental Health in Nelson Kootenay Lake

On May 24th, Clara Hughes brings Clara's Big Ride to Nelson to help shed light on a topic many still in 2014 don't speak openly about: Mental Health. Whereas it is pretty common to let someone know you've had a bad cold, when was the last time you felt okay letting friends (or acquaintances) know you've been a little blue? It's still pretty rare to feel okay sharing the fact that we're feeling less than "fine". (As in How are you? Fine.) And yet, the facts are there. All of us are touched by mental illness. Twenty percent will have a mental illness, 8% will face major depression, and yet half of those who say they have suffered from depression have not sought help from a doctor. Canada's youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world, making Clara's emphasis in getting youth involved all the more prescient. Only between 20% and 25% of youth who need mental health services receives them. Clara Hughes suffered from severe depression for years, and it was a meeting with a doctor at the London Olympic Games that began to change things for her. This doctor was able to let Hughes know that the symptoms she had were caused by depression, and that there was a way out.

Press Conference in Nelson talking about mental health awareness. Press Conference in Nelson talking about mental health awareness.


With so few people affected by mental illness receiving the help they need, Hughes feels that "Canada has to do better - it just does, because there are so many hard-working nurses and doctors who want to help, but their hands are tied because there just isn't enough money." The community of Nelson supports awareness of mental health, and on May 5 there was a gathering of notable speakers who shared their roles and perspectives on mental health in Nelson. Clara's message is strong and to the point. Seek help. Your family and friends are going to tell you what you want to hear, but you need to seek help from "someone clinically trained, not someone emotionally connected." But, and she is a testament to this, recovery is possible. "Recovery is work, and it's about setting boundaries and listening to our bodies," but it is possible.

Clara Hughes in Nelson May 24th

Clara Hughes is bringing her message to Nelson on May 24th through a series of events in town.

  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm Welcome and Speech by Clara Hughes — Gather at the end of Hall and Baker by Gerick Cycle and Ski. There will be information booths, Samba band, face painting and Bubbles the Clown. OR gather with your bike in front of the Best Western Inn and ride in the parade. Confirm your parade spot with Kim Palfenier at nrsc@telus.net.
  • 7:00 pm - Let's Talk Nelson at the Prestige Hotel. This event is $25 and all funds will go to the newly created Osprey Foundation Fund for Mental Wellness. tickets can be purchased at Gerick Cycle and Ski.
The Hume Hotel and Best Western Inn support mental health awareness. Let's Talk Nelson! The Hume Hotel and Best Western Inn support mental health awareness. Let's Talk Nelson!


Coldwell Banker Realty supports mental health awareness! Coldwell Banker Realty supports mental health awareness!


Heaps of businesses are onboard supporting mental health in our community! Nelson's Blue Bike, signifying mental health awareness, donated by Gerick Cycle and Ski, will be around town. Get your photo taken with the bike and start talking Nelson! Stay informed and keep the conversation going at Facebook at TheKoopKootenays or NelsonKootenayLake. Hope to see you there! ***

This blog is a repost from our sister blog, 108 Healthy Things to Do

Mountain Biking in Nelson and Kaslo

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Mountain Biking in Nelson and Kaslo

Riders of all ages gather to race! Riders of all ages gather to race!


Dust Off Your Bike & Grab Your Body Armour...

It's mountain bike season in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area. First thing you've got to do, after getting your bike tuned up at one of our local bike shops and making sure you've got the helmet and padding appropriate for what you will ride, is to pick up your copy of the Nelson Mountain Bike Guide. You can pick up a copy at many different locations around Nelson, including the Visitor's Centre, Valhalla Pure, and Gerick's. PinkBike also not only has a great write up about the guide, but has a link that let's you buy it online. If you have the 2009 version, you're going to want this revised 2013 edition, because it's got 40 more trails plus special bonus sections on local bike parks and off-road touring suggestions. It also includes a great business directory with places to eat, stay and shop while visiting us. So pick up a copy. All proceeds go to the Nelson Cycling Club, which is a super great organization that is committed to promoting cycling in our area.

Mountain Biking on Local Nelson Trails

The Bike Pirate does a great job of describing our local Nelson trails. Located right above the city limits, literally a short (uphill) bike ride from our downtown, the Svoboda trail system comprises intermediate to advanced trails that are moderate to difficult to ride. As the Bike Pirate puts it, you're going to want a full face helmet, knee and elbow pads for these trails...and you are going to earn your turns. There is not access for shuttling here, so you're going to do some switchbacks before your descent. Be ready for it. On the other side, these trails are well-maintained and end up at Nelson's Lakeside Park, which will be waiting for you to go for a dunk and then grab a bite to eat at the Rose Garden Cafe. The Bike Pirate gives this trail system "4-Skulls" which means "highly recommend this ride; we enjoyed it heaps and would come back." Not bad.

Nelson Fat Tire Festival Criterium Nelson Fat Tire Festival Criterium


Weekly bike rides that start at Sacred Ride and Gerick Cycle and Ski will get you out enjoying and familiarizing yourself with over 120 rides in the area. And the Nelson Fat Tire Festival in August is fun for the entire family!

Mountain Biking in Kaslo

The Kaslo Chamber of Commerce offers a great introduction to some of the trails around Kaslo. They range from easy to very challenging, and consist of rides that are relatively short (11 km) to those which are over 50 km long. Kaslo offers rides for every level of mountain biker, with trails ranging from cross country to downhill.  We would love for you to give Kaslo some of your mountain biking time while you're visiting this season. The Wagon Wheel trail, for example, used to be the supply road from Kaslo to Sandon, and is a 20 km one way trip that is considered easy. On the other hand, Silver Cup, accessed at the south end of Trout Lake, 90 km north of Kaslo, is a very challenging 20 km ride in the alpine. The end of August brings Suffer Fest to the mountains and streets of Kaslo. Bring the family or a group of friends and come do some hard core riding.

Take Some Time To Enjoy Mountain Biking

While you are visiting us this spring and summer the views alone should be enough, but the trails are epic, and your fellow mountain bikers will inspire you. If you have a chance, take a few minutes to also check out the volunteer built and maintained Bike Park, located in Rosemont, right beside our new Skateboard Park! ***

This blog is a repost from our sister blog, 108 Healthy Things to Do

Get WET with Lardeau River Adventures

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Get WET with Lardeau River Adventures

Rafting on the Lardeau River. Rafting on the Lardeau River.


River Rafting: A Kootenay Sport (Nearly) Everyone Will Enjoy

Whitewater rapids. Sound like fun to you? In the hands of experienced guides Oly and Tamara Hopwood, and accompanied by a homemade, organic lunch...How does that sound? Serenaded by an Osprey? Witnessed by a snorkelling grizzly? Piqued your interest? Your appetite? Oly and Tamara Hopwood's Lardeau River Adventures has taken almost the full 57 kilometre length of the Lardeau River and broken it into two different trips. Lardeau River Adventures offer two kinds of river rafting adventures: One, the Upper River Rapid Spectacular, is a full day, 32 kilometre trip down the top section of the Lardeau river. For people who want to feel their heart beating, fast, but for novices and experienced rafters alike, this trip has a steeper gradient, a higher concentration of Class 2+ rapids, and, according to Oly, "many glacial tributaries." If that sounds a bit intense, Oly assures me that "there are also a number of calm stretches and many stunning mountain vistas and is well within the abilities of a wide range of people." However, if that does sound a bit much, the lower section of the river offers a slightly more mellow adventure. This section is named the "Scenic Family Adventure" and is 25 kilometres river rafting a slightly reduced gradient, offering a more relaxed trip which includes "secluded pebble beaches, waterfalls and gorgeous mountain views." You still get many rapids up to Class 2 (so you don't have to worry about not enough rapids...) but the trip allows for time to swim and play and enjoy a leisurely lunch along with the same thrill and adventure of descending a wilderness river. Perfect for if you're travelling with younger children or if you are a bit on the cautious side. And whichever adventure you choose, both allow guests lots of time to relax and enjoy the scenery as well as a gourmet organic (much of the lunch comes from Oly and Tamara's own garden) picnic lunch. Because this lunch is handmade and made with whole foods, they are able to accommodate allergies and sensitivities...just ask when you book your trip.

Let Oly and Tamara Share Their Passion for River Rafting with You

Enjoying a river rafting trip goes much deeper than simply wanting to experience the thrill of rapids. The Lardeau River valley is home to the world famous Gerrard Trout spawning – the largest rainbow trout in the world! These incredible, 20+ pound fish are a feature of this area that people travel here just to experience. The spawning of the Gerrard Trout and the Kokanee salmon create a scenario that, as Oly says, "you can’t help but feel privileged to witness it. Both of these spawning runs bring in a great deal of wildlife. This can range from swooping bald eagles and diving osprey to snorkeling grizzly bears. Every season brings a different compliment of Rocky Mountain wildlife to the Lardeau." Both Oly and Tamara come to the Lardeau from many years of guiding around the world. They "fell in love with the Lardeau" because of the combination of its accessibility mixed with its being "a wild and free-flowing river with an active wildlife corridor" being able to marry their two passions of adventure and conservation in these trips ensures that they can honestly say: "We love what we do!"

Environmental Stewardship

Oly and Tamara take their environmental stewardship and impact very seriously. They deliberately limit the size of their trips and are committed to providing  you with an intimate and personalized adventure. It's such an important part of booking a trip in this area, realizing that you are not only with experienced guides who you are able to trust with the knowledge and wisdom it takes to make sure you're going to have the adventure of a lifetime, but also that they take caring for this area seriously. Before a trip begins, you're given a safety briefing, taught what you need to know about paddling and the commands used, and then you head out onto the water to practice paddle strokes and commands. By the time you head off  down stream, "first-timers and veterans alike are singing from the same song sheet!"

 Sound Good So Far?

River Rafting in the hands of experienced, knowledgable guides can be the experience of a lifetime. Oly and Tamara make sure that before you step in that boat, you have a very good idea of what you are getting yourself into, so that, in over 25 years of guiding, not once has an adventurer backed out mid-trip. On the contrary, reactions cover the spectrum for huge grins to huge hugs and exclamations that lives have been changed. For Oly, a "great big grin after a big splash that you get from a young rafter holding on at the bow is always great." But often there's a "deep sense of accomplishment from people who conquered something they had always wanted to try but were quite nervous about." The rapids experienced on the Lardeau are Class 2...this means that they are ideal for first time rafters - no previous experience is necessary. You'll be required to paddle, but only in short bursts and you'll have frequent rests. And though people often think that higher grades are more exciting (Class 6 would be Niagara Falls, for example) Class 2+ rapids are "exciting, engaging and require some truly satisfying teamwork while still maintaining a lower safety risk." This is their secret to making sure that the trips are exciting and always an adventure, but also safe and enjoyable for everyone who participates.

Getting Ready for Your River Rafting Adventure

Oly and Tamara insist that this is a trip that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. There is a lot of upper body exercise involved, and you'll definitely notice you've been working in your core and back, hips and legs, as they mention quite often, rafting is a team effort and the exercise comes in short, doable bursts, accompanied by stretches of rest and enjoyment of the incredible scenery. To get ready for an adventure like this one, you could try paddling on Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) or even brisk walking, especially on uneven trails, to help you get used to uneven terrain. Another great exercise is cycling. You increase your stamina while going easy on your joints. Really, getting out and moving is a great place to start - and a great way to get ready for an epic adventure like river rafting.

 Why the Lardeau?

River rafting at this level is often only possible on multi-day trips. Many commercial trips run beside a railway or large highway. The Lardeau combines accessibility with the access to  "it’s wild and rugged location and it remains one of the most prolific fish and wildlife corridors in southern BC." Roughly halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, the river is easily accessible from Nelson, Nakusp and Kaslo while still being a rare and pristine area for wildlife and forest.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Season

Right now Lardeau River Adventures is in its Early Bird Season providing significant discounts to guests booking an adventure for May and June and for advance booking for July through September. They have been enjoying beautiful water conditions and some excellent spring wildlife opportunities. Please check  us out on facebook too. There are plenty of great places to stay in the Kaslo area from hotels, motels to campgrounds on the lake. ***

This blog is a repost from our sister blog, 108 Healthy Things to Do


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