Friday, January 06, 2017

Top 10 Posts from 2016! - Did you miss any?

I love looking back at the beginning of a new year and it's a great opportunity to see which stories my readers have most enjoyed on this blog. Below are the top 10 posts from 2016 in order, starting with the one that was the most popular last year. At the bottom I've included a few more of my personal favourites that you may have missed.

Top 10 Posts from 2016 


Alberta Comfort Camping Destination Guide

I admire people who continue tenting as a family and who actually enjoy sleeping on the ground. It's natural, it's "real" and it's authentic. Unfortunately, the older I get, the less I appreciate the whole "authentic" camping experience and the more I long for comfort in the outdoors....

Comfort Camping in Alberta at the Mount Engadine Yurt in Kananaskis

The 5 Best Waterside Campgrounds near Calgary, Alberta

I participate in a lot of conversations around where to find the best campgrounds, and usually the number one focus is water! Families are looking for waterside campgrounds where they can roll out of their tent and immediately launch their canoe without carrying or driving it to the lake. Families want to sit back at their campsite and watch the kids play in the lake - right in front of the tent. And families want to spend the day at a campground beach, chilling, and cooling off on hot summer days...

Camping in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis

Family Guide to Banff - Top 10 Places to Explore with Kids 

Just have one week in Banff this summer and want to make your trip really count? Get off the beaten path, see the top sites, and get some valuable tips for capturing those prized views without crowds of other tourists jumping into your photos....

Biking around the Town of Banff

Ten Tips for Stress Free Camping 

We love camping but I won't lie and say that it's this easy peasy stress-free thing we look forward to every weekend. There are trips where we ask ourselves why we are going away for the fourth weekend in a row. There are drives that make us want to switch to planning permanent day trips instead of overnight outings. There are stressful weeks where I can't believe I now have to pack up for camping Friday morning, knowing I still have a huge pile of work I haven't finished...

Hammock City while camping in Banff

Winter at the Cameron Lake Cabin, Waterton Lakes National Park

The Cameron Lake Cabin is the newest addition to the Alpine Club of Canada's collection of backcountry cabins and huts, and with a 2 km approach, is one of the EASIEST cabins for families to reach in winter. The trail is packed and track-set allowing for easy cross country skiing or hiking with a flat level surface for towing sleds. Arriving at the cabin you might even be tempted to proclaim: "What? We're here already? But I'm not tired yet!" - I know I did...

Skiing out from the Cameron Lake Cabin, Waterton Lakes National Park

Backcountry Cabin Camping with Kids (Elk Lakes Cabin, BC)

You like vehicle-accessed camping, you've mastered sleeping in a tent with the kids, enjoy eating and cooking outside, don't freak out at the thought of using a pit toilet, can handle a few bugs and creepy crawlies, don't mind getting dirty (and can survive without showering for a few days,) enjoy an easy hike as a family, and generally like being outside. Yes? Well then, read on...

Group Cabin Camping Trip at Elk Lakes

Winter Yurt Camping in Kananaskis at Mount Engadine Lodge  

Raise your hand if you like winter camping? In a tent. While it's snowing outside. After you've been skiing all day and you're already wet and cold. Thought so - I don't see many hands raised. And I don't blame you because I don't like winter camping either. "Usually."

Now ignore the classic idea of winter camping and picture this instead: You drive up to your beautiful backcountry lodge perched on a bench overlooking a snowy meadow with awe-inspiring mountains in the background. You then grab your bags and set off on a two-minute hike through the forest to reach your cozy home for the night - a small yurt tucked away in a remote corner of the Mount Engadine Lodge property...

Winter Yurt Camping at Mount Engadine Lodge

Backpacking in the Bugaboos (and our first family glacier traverse)

I still remember the first time I saw the granite spires of Bugaboo Provincial Park 11 years ago. We had planned a September backpacking trip to the Conrad Kain Hut with friends and it was our first visit to this provincial park in the Purcell Mountains of Southeastern British Columbia.

Going over a rise on the drive in, we caught our first glimpse of Hounds Tooth Spire and Marmolata Peak, and promptly jumped out of the vehicle, mouths wide open! "Did we suddenly get teletransported to Patagonia" I remember asking? "There's no way we're in Canada anymore" was next out of my mouth...

Hiking in the Bugaboos of British Columbia

Summer Backpacking Trip to the Asulkan Cabin, Rogers Pass  

This post could easily be called "Introduction of Family Mountaineering" or "Mountaineering with Kids 101" because the Asulkan Cabin is a great base camp for exploring glaciers and for hiking to the nearby Asulkan Pass across a wild landscape of glacier moraines and permanent snow fields...

Gorgeous scenery from the Asulkan Cabin, Rogers Pass

Tour de Banff - The Ultimate Family Mountain Bike Loop

We've spent a lot of time biking the trails around Banff over the past month and have come up with a few amazing family tours. Today's loop is for the more experienced riders in your family and takes you on the best single track mountain bike trails around the Tunnel Mountain Bench...

Mountain Biking in Banff on the Tunnel Bench

Other Popular Posts from 2016

Technically, if I were to have included them, many of my Gotta do THIS monthly posts would have also been in the top ten. They definitely had high volumes of traffic but I chose to leave them out of the above "top 10," choosing stand alone pieces instead.

For those just joining us here, I publish a monthly edition of Gotta do THIS in the Canadian Rockies. January's Edition has just been published and you can read it here: Gotta do THIS - January Edition.

Other popular posts that I left out of the above Top ten posts were my annual Holiday Gift Guide and my 2016 in Review post. Both had the traffic to have been included but I wanted to focus on trips from the past year and feature guides.

One of the many things that you've Gotta Do in January!

Posts you May have Missed from 2016

Introduction to Family Backcountry Ski Touring

I've participated in many conversations on the topic of taking  kids "backcountry skiing"over the last year or two with questions centered around when the kids would be ready, how to keep it safe, how to build a pair of backcountry skis for a child (or whether it was even necessary,) and if it was really all that necessary to take kids into the backcountry at a young age...

Backcountry ski touring in Kananaskis


Family Guide to Kimberley Alpine Resort

I recall ski trips to Kimberley Alpine Resort with great fondness back in my pre-parenthood days. My husband and I used to make the trek across the border into BC to ski at Kimberley every couple of years and it was always one of my favourite hills. Many years later, we have finally returned to ski in this small mountain town, and everything was just as awesome as I remembered! Perhaps better...

Kids Tree Skiing in Kimberley, BC

Family Guide to Fernie Alpine Resort 

Fernie Alpine Resort used to be our favourite ski hill back in the day before we became parents and had to "tone down" our adventurous weekends. My husband and I would leave Calgary after work Friday, check into an affordable hotel room downtown Fernie, and then spend two days skiing the intermediate/advanced terrain on the upper mountain before driving home Sunday night in the dark...

Fernie Ski Weekend in British Columbia

Gym to Crag - How to Transition to Outdoor Rock Climbing  

My son has always loved outdoor rock climbing but has never shown much interest in the indoor variety. Fortunately, my husband is an experienced climber with the knowledge, training, and gear required for a family day at the crag. We also have a great group of friends who like to climb so we can meet up with other families for an evening of family climbing after work...

Outdoor Family Rock Climbing in Kananaskis

1 comment:

  1. Well, now I can't wait to get into the Canadian Rockies! It's high on our list when we return to North America.