Backcountry variety pack: Hankin-Evelyn a community run snow playground for all abilities
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SMITHERS, B.C. - Peaks soar above. Snow piles up above car rooflines, and terrain for backcountry touring stretches seemingly endlessly. Here, there are no motors running, no crowds, no distractions. Just you, your friends and the bowls, ridges and glades to play in.
You'll be pinching yourself twice as you discover Hankin-Evelyn, a community-run playground, near Smithers B.C, dedicated to anyone who seeks out self-propelled snowy fun.
Back in 2008, Brian Hall had a vision to create a non-motorized, ski touring area, that could be enjoyed by all. It would be a place not only perfect for those taking out first timers, but also for experts looking for multi-lap tours. He founded the Bulkley Backcountry Ski Society.
Arriving in the parking lot of Hankin-Evelyn ski area, we get geared up for some backcountry ski touring, starting off with our avalanche beacon check. We next consult the map and choose from nine purpose-cut runs, ranging from beginner to expert.
There's a little bit of everything for snow-lovers here, not just backcountry adrenaline seekers.
It's all about sharing the backcountry here. We have low-level routes for snowshoers or cross-country skiers to enjoy. And above that a variety of gladed tree runs and/or a selection of bowls if conditions are right for ski touring enthusiasts to enjoy, says Hall.
You'll quickly feel like you are part of cool community. Heading up, we get into the rhythm of the climb, up track routes, on perfect grades. We take a route that leads up to a high ridge, and traverse across, choosing one of the gladed trails with no tracks. It's boot top dry powder through perfectly space trees.
I can't shake my enthusiasm for the people who brought this all together. Recreationalists and volunteers went all out, showing that when there is a will, vision, and a plan, that the ripple can really make one incredible wave.
With views to peaks in all directions, this place is wild and pristine. As part of the Bulkley River Valley, nature thrives here. Its home to wolverines and grizzlies, mountain goats and moose.
For more about Smithers, visit http://www.tourismsmithers.com.
Call Tourism Smithers at (250) 847-5072
Fly into Smithers via Air Canada and Central Mountain Air with daily non-stop daily service. http://www.smithers.ca/airport/
For all your Travel Northern BC details, the folks from Northern BC Tourism can help make the planning process smooth. http://www.travelnbc.com
Learn more about what BC has in store for you this winter, search #ExploreBC