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Details, igloo-building and winter camping

Sunday, February 6, 2011; F05

details

IGLOO WORKSHOPS

In Vancouver

Westcoast Adventures

1150 Burnaby St.

604-662-7209

www.westcoast-adventures.com

Michael Harding's company offers day-long igloo-building experiences for $150 a person (minimum four people). Also hosts a variety of multi-night expeditions marketed to the "pampered" igloo camper and including chef-made meals (prepared right in your snow kitchen), dog sledding with huskies and igloos complete with sheepskin rugs and tea candles. $1,092-$2,625 a person; minimum four people. All gear included.

Canada West

Mountain School

47 W. Broadway

888-892-2266

www.themountainschool.com

Offers a more rigorous introduction with the popular overnight Winter Snow Camping and Igloo Building workshop, $255 a person. Includes lessons in igloo and snow cave construction and training in essential winter survival skills and avalanche safety. Cold-weather gear, including four-season sleeping bags and waterproof outerwear, is essential and can be rented for an additional fee.

In the United States

Appalachian Mountain Club

www.outdoors.org

Among the best ways to get a taste of winter camping on the East Coast is through the free or low-cost instructional workshops and trips organized by this outdoor group, one of the oldest in the nation, with 12 chapters stretching from Maine to the District of Columbia. Hundreds of offerings, including seminars and daytime and overnight expeditions focused on winter hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, ice climbing and snow shelter construction.

WHERE TO WINTER CAMP

Mount Seymour Provincial Park (Mount Seymour Road, North Vancouver) and Cypress Provincial Park (Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver) are the most popular winter-camping venues in the Vancouver area. Both are a 30-minute drive from downtown.

Garibaldi Provincial Park near the ski resort of Whistler (Highway 99, Squamish) also offers stunning alpine scenery.

In all three parks, the mountainous backcountry is extremely rugged. Only experienced campers with avalanche training and proper equipment should attempt an overnight stay without a knowledgeable guide.

R.S.

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