As the sun rises on 2024, we bring you this winter-rich scene courtesy of Canadian landscape artist Stéphanie Gauvin.
“Although snow appears white to most, there are so many colours to play with depending on the light.”
If winter isn’t monochromatic, neither is winter travel, which has thrilled us ever since we started publishing Toque & Canoe in 2011.
To celebrate the season — and because it’s finally snowing in the Canadian Rockies (better late than never) — we’re taking a moment to reflect on highlights of our winter coverage from over the years.
Looking back, we took family travel to new heights during a life-affirming backcountry ski adventure at Assiniboine Lodge in the shadow of Canada’s Matterhorn.
We swooned in Saskatoon, where our writer shared her heated love affair with an icy home province.
In the Northwest Territories, we produced a video of Yellowknife in 60 seconds and with Tundra North Tours, we sampled “smooth, creamy smoked whitefish and quak, northern-style sushi made from frozen Arctic char.”
During our winter trips, we learned that the Québecois don’t just embrace this time of year. No, for our friends in La Belle Province, it’s more of a mitten-clad, full-body tackle.
At least this is what we observed, whether we were watching canoes race through jagged ice in a frigid St. Lawrence River, cross-country skiing on the Traversée de la Gaspésie, winter camping in La Mauricie National Park or fat biking and enjoying sleigh rides at Le Baluchon, an eco village and spa located northeast of Montreal.
We also enjoyed spotlighting that unique place where winter travel and creativity intersect:
A snowboarding image from Fernie inspired a painting. A wilderness guide who doubles as a fine art photographer shared an intimate Nunavut moment. An ice sculptor carved a beautiful voyageur canoe on the shores of Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
And given our occasional adventures abroad (which we always cover with a Canadian spin), we ventured to Iceland during the darkest days of winter where we discovered a connection linking back to one of our first posts, All. I. Can. The real snow show.
While visiting Iceland, we would learn that Mossop, a high profile filmmaker, has close ties to the land of fire and ice and has visited multiple times.
In fact, during an interview with him, he would describe the whole country as “intrinsically marvellous.” Read our feature about this enchanting island nation, and you’ll see that we agree.
Intrinsically marvellous? The same could be said of Canada, if you ask us, especially during the snowy season.
Lucky for winter sports enthusiasts here in Western Canada, forecasts are anticipating more snow flurries in our country’s mountain parks.
To mark winter’s late but welcome arrival, we very recently (and gleefully) stuffed our daypacks with home-made sandwiches, hot tea and ice cleats and celebrated with a frosty hike in the backcountry.
Meanwhile, to our followers everywhere, to contributors from coast to coast to coast and to those who make it possible for us to keep on paddling, we want to thank you for your part in our community.
Here’s to wishing you good health, happiness and colourful adventures of your own in 2024.