Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Snowshoeing with Kids in Banff: Lake Minnewanka

One of the great things about snowshoeing with kids is that you can do it just about anywhere there's snow. You don't have organize an official trip like the kids snowshoe expedition I lead at Hogarth Lakes. I leave our snowshoes in my rooftop Yakima cargo box just in case.

Following the signal to our buried "victim".
On this particular trip, we'd headed off to Banff with no particular plans. At one point, we found ourselves in the parking lot at Lake Minnewanka. What to do? Snowshoe!
Digging the "victim" out.

Letting the boys lead, we found ourselves heading through the trees behind the closed food services building and soon popped out at the picnic area. After a half hour of playing around, I pulled out a couple avalanche transceivers, which were in my pack from a snowshoe trip into avi terrain the weekend before (sans kids that day). Taking turns, one of the boys would bury my old analog transceiver and the other would have to find it with my newer digital model. Not only was this a blast--we didn't just go snowshoeing, we went treasure hunting--it was also a great way to introduce the boys to avalanche safety. When you play in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, with its often unpredictable and treacherous snow pack, you can never start them too young.

While not every parent has an avalanche transceiver, let alone two, you could easily do this with a group. All you need is a couple parents who have transceivers, and you've got yourself a winter treasure hunt. Transceivers are deliberately easy to use, and any kid old enough to read numbers can follow the signal to find the buried victim.

Wondering how to get started? Read these posts:

Kids Snowshoeing Gear: Picking out Kids Snowshoes

Wondering where else to go snowshoeing with kids? Read these posts:

Snowshoeing with Kids in Kananaskis: River View Trail
Snowshoeing with Kids in Banff: Lake Minnewanka
Snowshoeing with Kids in Kananaskis: Hogarth Lakes
Heli-snowshoeing with Kids in Kananaskis
Snowshoeing with Kids in Kananaskis: Canyon Creek
Snowshoeing with Kids in Kananaskis: West Bragg Creek 

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