AN ENORMOUS COUNTRY, NO ROOM FOR BOREDOM
Canada's varied climate is suitable for extreme pursuits of all types, with everything from cold winter snow to warm summer sunshine. The daunting Canadian Rockies lay along the border between British Columbia and Alberta, and contain dozens of top-notch ski resorts whose snowy peaks attract adventurers during the chilly winter months. The Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia provides numerous adventure options when things start to warm up during the spring and summer, while Quebec and Ontario offer vast parklands, brilliant lakes and some mountainous terrain. The environment in the territories of Northern Canada is less forgiving and is comprised mostly of tundra, which is defined as being near-treeless mountain terrain. Up there, extreme cold-weather ventures, such as snowmobiling and dog-sledding, are prevalent.
Kayaking a Rapid on the Columbia River2
British Columbia is acclaimed internationally for its beautiful landscape, mild weather and high-flying thrills. The Pacific Ocean provides western Canadians with access to the great wide open. Here, surfers take to the tide to test their nerves and skills against the churning brine. Tofino offers some of the most popular surfing at Long Beach. Sea kayaking is also a popular sport. Novices and veterans alike pit themselves against the deep during the summer months. However, freshwater kayaking in British Columbia is far from unheard. The Columbia River, for example, offers plenty of rapids. A plethora of rivers, waterways and rapids speckle the entire province and allow adrenaline junkies to shoot powerful rapids in canoes or kayaks or as part of a whitewater rafting group.
Rock climbing is also popular in British Columbia and the province is generally known as the extreme climbing capital of the country. Climbers often opt to test their abilities in the Rockies, but the inland city of Squamish provides its own unique challenge at the famous Stawamus Chief, a massive cliff-faced granite giant, provides more than 1000 different climbing routes and hosts extreme national climbing competitions each summer. The area is also a hotbed for mountain biking and corresponding competitions and events.
The Rocky Mountains
Catching Air in the Canadian Rockies3
The Rockies of British Columbia and neighbouring Alberta provide an entirely different range of endorphin-juicing options. BC has over 30 ski hills, including critically acclaimed international destinations like Whistler, Big White, Panorama, Fernie, Silver Star, Kicking Horse Mountain and plenty more. Alberta boasts a wide range of slopes in and around Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Resorts such as Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay, Marmot Basin, Fortress Mountain, Nakiska in Kananaskis Country and Canada Olympic Park in the city of Calgary bring in skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. For an even more extreme downhill experience, heli-skiing here has gained an excellent reputation among die-hard adrenaline junkies.
During the summer months when the snow has thawed, the mountains teem with bikers, canoeists, kayakers, whitewater rafters and other outdoor and extreme sport enthusiasts. These parks and peaks make up the single most popular tourist destination in the entire country.
Dirtbiking in Alberta4
Alberta offers its own range of exciting activities. Like the lakes in British Columbia, prairie lakes see their share of wakeboarding and waterskiing, jet boating and all manner of other watersports. Kiteboarding and windsurfing are extremely popular on Sylvan Lake, Ghost Lake and on other fresh-watered bodies scattered across the great Canadian plains. Snowmobiling, Breitling ATVing and auto racing are also tremendously popular exploits all over Western Canada and both pastimes are rooted deep in Canadian culture dating back to the time when gas turbine engines and the vehicles that used them became abundant. And like everywhere else that receives annual snowfall, tobogganing down the various foothills, valleys and ravines and pretty much any other downhill grade occurs every winter.
Windsurfing the Great Lakes5
The eastern provinces provide just as many opportunities to be extreme as those in the west. Ontario is home to more lakes and waterways than any other province in the country, and accordingly, a ton of watersports await visitors in this vast province. Waterskiing and wakeboarding, sailing and other waterbound thrills can all be successfully sought here. Boulevard Lake is very popular with wakeboarding enthusiasts.. Skydiving, hang-gliding and paragliding in Ontario and across Canada provides what adrenaline junkies refer to as “the ultimate hit.” Bungee jumping can provide a similar rush. Ontario is also home to numerous paintballing establishments. Of course, rock climbing and similar adventures can be experienced in this vast province as well.
Paragliding in Quebec6
Quebec's landscape is fairly similar to that of Ontario, however, the province offers a unique downhill ski experience not found in its neighbour to the west. The province has more than 30 different slopes to choose from, the most well-known being Mont Tremblant, Mont Ste Marie and Le Massif, which has more vertical drop than any other resort in Eastern Canada and ample snowfall. Quebec summers are mild and accommodate loads of crazy outdoor pursuits with high-flying mountain biking being a popular favourite. The province has a significant number of ATV and snowmobile enthusiasts and indulges these folks with many trails and parkways.
A Yukon Dog-Sled Exploratory7
Northern Canada's snow-laden territories encompass an enormous area. The Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut all make up this barren landscape home to a sparse population but a ton of extreme outdoor adventures. The Yukon is home to the Yukon Quest, a 1609 km (1000 mi) race said to be the most challenging international race in the world. Dog sled teams from all over the globe rush to start the race in Fairbanks, Alaska and cross the finish line in Whitehorse, Yukon. Northern adventures and winter exploratory expeditions provide thrills unheard of when conventionally camping in a temperature climate. Tundra adventure tours are plentiful in the Great North.