Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Hut to Hut Ski Trip in Alaska’s White Mountains National Recreation Area

Ever in search of accessible hut to hut ski trips, I stumbled upon a blog article about the White Mountains National Recreation Area north of Fairbanks, Alaska one day last fall. This March 2016, I had the good fortune of spending 7 days there with my husband Fred and my friend Shirley. The recreation area has cabins for rent, each about a day’s ski apart along a rustic trail. While the scenery is lovely and even dramatic, it’s not so steep that you need any avalanche know-how or gear to safely ski the route, one of my main criteria. It’s a playground for residents of Fairbanks and surrounding areas. Almost no tourists seem to make it up there, opting instead for more classic Alaskan destinations such as Denali.

This recreation area is only about 100 km or so south of the Arctic Circle. Being in a subarctic environment felt suitably exotic. We happened upon snow-white ptarmigan from time to time as we skied through the spruce and birch forests. It was light from 7 am till 9 pm. We pined after the typically spectacular northern lights though this wasn’t to be for our otherwise perfect trip. The weather was ideal, with bright sun and below-freezing temperatures. A few inches of fresh snow fell just before we arrived, supplementing the sparse two feet that had been there since late November. All in all, we experienced the best landscapes, snow conditions and weather of any hut to hut ski trip I’ve ever done. Lucky us!

We flew to Fairbanks via a long, circuitous route on Friday March 18th. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s friendly staff had advised us to avoid the university’s spring break, which was the week before our trip. Otherwise, March and early April are the best times to go, since the days are getting longer but there is usually still enough snow. By mid-April, it’s usually no longer possible to ski the route. And in other seasons, the route is boggy (and buggy) enough to deter most people.

We spent the next day buying food for the trip and repacking our packs. This was my first backpacking trip carrying 7 days of food and everything we needed to be self sufficient, so I was apprehensive about the weight. Upon my insistence, we ate nothing but freeze-dried meals, Cliff Bars and oatmeal, which were the lightest and most compact options, though not everyone found this regime to be wholly satisfying. We brought emergency gear in case we got caught between cabins and had to sleep outside. The BLM recommends bringing a tent, but we settled on a tarp, bivvy sack and shovel. The cabins have propane stoves, so we carried a bottle of propane in addition to our own compact camp stove and fuel just in case.

On Saturday night, thanks to Shirley’s keen scoping, we took part in a traditional Gwich’in fiddle and jigging evening in the Cultural and Visitors Center. The recreation area is in the heart of Gwich’in First Nations traditional land, which straddles Alaska and the Yukon.

And Sunday we finally started the trip itself, after months of planning and thinking about it. We drove up early in a rental car, about an hour and a half to our trailhead at Colorado Creek. It’s also possible to access the trails a bit closer to Fairbanks depending on the trails and cabins you choose. Sunday was our hardest day. Our packs were at their heaviest as we slogged along for nearly 14 miles slightly uphill. We gained 800 feet in elevation that day. The trail conditions were great with the new snow. They are groomed (but not track set) from time to time by BLM snowmachines. Shirley divided the weight between her pack and a small pulk (sled) lent by a very kind local guide. Fred and I opted for crushingly heavy packs. We all brought minimalist equipment. Along the way, we admired what we thought were lynx tracks along the trail.

Our route. The parking and trailhead is 57 miles north of Fairbanks. Thanks Fred for the map!

Exhausted after 8 hours of skiing, we finally reached Colorado Creek Cabin at 6 pm, a welcome sight at that point. The cabins are compact, cozy, well-built log structures, with a wood stove, bunks, and a picnic table. They are not expensive: it currently only costs $25 US to rent the entire cabin for a night, though fees are set to increase soon. Renting the entire cabin is the only option. To reserve, you need to call the BLM no more than 30 days ahead of the date of your first cabin. You can then rent 2 subsequent cabins, and need to call back 3 days later to rent any others. I called literally the minute the BLM opened when the date rolled around, and was extremely fortunate to get all the cabins we wanted, which is somewhat rare because they are in hot demand. We didn’t book our plane tickets or do much planning until we knew we had our cabin reservations. The tricky reservation system favours local usage… as it probably should.

The view from inside Wolf Run cabin.
Inside Windy Gap Cabin
We put down our packs and turned our attention to various necessary tasks around the cabin. Chopping and sawing wood and gathering kindling was first on the list. Wood is not provided, but self-sufficient Alaskans don’t balk at the task of wandering into the forest, cutting down a tree, hauling it back to the cabin and transforming it into a neat pile of split logs after a hard day of skiing. The many forest burns that we skied through are a great source of firewood. The trail is multi-use; snowmobilers staying in the cabins will often take it upon themselves to haul in chainsaws and cut down trees to get the process started, leaving the finer sawing and chopping to the skiers, mushers, skijorers and fatbikers. Everyone seems to get along perfectly and people really take ownership of the cabins, leaving them clean and well-stocked. I’ve never seen cabin log books with so many faithfully recorded visits. This made for some entertaining reading!

Once we got a fire going in the wood stove, we went out to collect some clean snow for water. We then spent the evening melting snow on the stove and boiling water for various instant soups, meals and hot drinks.

On Monday we had a shorter ski (10 miles) to Wolf Run Cabin. We got there through an apparently typical head wind. The aptly-named White Mountains began to appear. We crossed several narrow bridges as well as the well-frozen Beaver Creek. Wolf Run was my favourite cabin in terms of construction. Sunny and bright, it has a “picture window” that frames one of the nicest views, complete with a near-full moon rising above the hills. There is lots of room for people and gear. Even the outhouse has a great view if you leave the door open. Since we hadn’t seen anyone else in 48 hours, we dared to take advantage of the view!

Another "room with a view" this one at Caribou Bluff Cabin
The next day we headed uphill toward Windy Gap. We saw some snow-white ptarmigan and enjoyed the sunny, still weather. We admired moose poop and fox tracks.

Ice covered part of the trail. This was my first encounter with the arctic and subarctic phenomenon known as overflow, or aufeis. Meaning “ice on top”, aufeis can happen when groundwater discharge is blocked by ice, or when lake or riverwater backs up under an ice layer. It can result in layers of water between layers of thin ice. It is quite common for skiers to get their boots wet in ice-cold water as a result. We were apprehensive about the possibility of overflow and carried many plastic bags, extra socks and even neoprene booties just in case. But this ice was well-frozen. The view all around us became increasingly dramatic as we skied up into the heart of the White Mountains. Jagged limestone spires topped the mountains and we witnessed the formation that gave Windy Gap its name. This limestone formation is rare for Alaska. We climbed a ridge, took many photos, then barreled down the steepest downhill of the trip until we reached Windy Gap Cabin. This compact cabin is located right along a blue-green frozen creek, surrounded by mountains and lush spruce trees. It reminded us of the Canadian Rockies!

Limestone formations between Windy Gap and Caribou Bluff
Early that evening, 3 BLM staff members came by on snowmachines, including Eric, who had patiently answered our many questions prior to the trip. They were grooming the trails for the upcoming annual 100-mile race in the White Mountains, which people do on skis or fatbike. The fastest skiers manage to complete the tour in 11 hours!

On Wednesday, we left Windy Gap Cabin to ski along Fossil Gap Creek. As we skittered along the sheer ice, we were truly thankful it was well frozen. The trail then went into a forest of thick spruce, and weaved in and out, crossing the creek several more times. We encountered one slightly more difficult crossing of sheer ice on a steep angle with a wet-looking spot at the bottom right. Fred tried bushwhacking uphill of the crossing, but ended up sinking through the snow down to water underneath, opening up a tiny rivulet that started running down the ice, exacerbating the initial problem. The rule of thumb of overflow seemed to be to always stay on the groomed trail since it’s the hardest packed – that’s where you have the best chances of a dry crossing. Snow around overflow tends to be saturated. Though the snow was not much more than 2 feet deep, whenever we went off trail, we’d sink in to our knees, right to the ground! I think the snow was so dry that it never settled and compacted, even after months on the ground. For a while after that, skiing went smoothly. We came to a fun downhill, a gentle slope with a dizzying plane of spruce trees in the foreground and mountains behind. 

Skiing right on icy Fossil Gap Creek
 We arrived at another river crossing with strange limestone formations, and climbed up a last, long hot hill on this big, 12-mile day, all the way up to Caribou Bluff Cabin… and another incredible view! On the ridge just above the cabin, we could see the mountains for miles all around. This was the tiniest of cabins, built snug like a ship’s hold. Again the outhouse was a room with a view. We set about chopping and sawing wood, marveling again at these Alaskans built so strong they could prepare so much wood after a tiring day’s ski.

After sunrise on Caribou Bluff, we skied back down to Fossil Gap Creek and to our delight, the snow-covered trail stayed right on the frozen creek for some time. Fred saw a small gray owl, likely a hawk owl, that Shirley and I somehow missed, to our dismay. We skied through forest and across Beaver Creek River with no problems, though it had apparently been covered in a foot of water at this crossing the week before. Downstream, flow increased and the trail followed along in the forest above the open river. It looked like a lovely canoe trip with the mountains all around. We admired yet more tracks in the snow: snowshoe hare, marten, moose, and perhaps fox and wolf, in addition to the many dog team and human tracks. We skied through the more open Beaver Creek Valley, seemingly endless expanses of shrubby spruce and snow, with mountains all around the edges of our view. And surprise, we arrived back at the sign for Wolf Run Cabin, to which we were returning on Thursday evening. The distance seemed shorter than the 12 miles indicated on the map. No matter, we were happy for the easier day and even had time and energy to walk up the hill to the view behind the hut and play a competitive game of Scrabble.

Friday we skied back to Colorado Creek Cabin and the miles went by fast. We met two fatbikers heading in the opposite direction with all their gear for a 3-night stay. They later came back, having changed their plans since the fresh snow was slowing them down and making it hard to reach the cabins they had booked. We arrived early at the cabin and had time to ski around, bask in the sun in front of the cabin, and build a shelter to test our outdoor sleeping emergency set up. We put our sleeping bags and mats inside a bivvy sack, under a tarp, surrounded by a snow wall. It worked well but it wasn’t all that cold that evening.

Saturday was our last day on the trail. Our packs were lighter, the snow was fast and the trail was mostly downhill. The miles sped by. Shirley whipped down a technical downhill (of which there are few), managing to stay more or less in control despite the slightly icy conditions and her pulk pushing from behind. We encountered a wild-bearded skate skier named Jim, his partner Melly on a fatbike, and their two dogs, which struck us as a typical mixed-use group for this area. In no time we were at our car, much earlier than anticipated. On the drive back to Fairbanks, we returned the pulk to its owner, had a chat and discovered he’s the president of the Fairbanks Paddling Club. He showed us his many exciting kayaks, including an inflatable Alpaka that can fit in a backpack and be part of a lengthy paddling-hiking excursion. The spirit of adventure and exploration in Alaska left a great impression on me.

AND, we had time to drive to the Chena Hot Springs, a popular resort with its own road, greenhouse and restaurants, for the best post-trip shower and rejuvenating soak! It features a couple of indoor pools and hot tubs, and a large outdoor pool surrounded by boulders and filled with international visitors taking selfies. Bring your own towel to save $5! There were other tantalizing hot springs in the area but these required hiking or skiing in 10 miles or so, such as Tolovana Hot Springs. There are cabins for rent here, and another time, I’d definitely leave extra 2 days to enjoy these more remote springs. But we were thrilled we had the chance to visit any of them!

And so ended an inspiring adventure that went better than we imagined possible. The images will stay with us for a long time. Everyone we met was warm, generous and kind. This hut to hut ski route would appeal to cross-country skiers in search of moderate yet not extreme adventure, a taste of what “everyday” Alaskans can enjoy.

Many more tips and information:
-          There are a couple of other trailheads. Wickersham Dome is a bit closer to Fairbanks: it’s at mile 28 of the Elliot Highway (versus Colorado Creek, which is at mile 57). This trailhead allows access to cabins that are a bit closer together, but that are a bit further from the most spectacular scenery. In the past, there have been reports of vandalism at the Wickersham Dome parking lot.
-          Rental cars in Fairbanks come with plugs to save the battery in extremely cold weather. If the forecast is very cold during your trip, it might be worth looking into how to leave a car at one of these trailheads without being able to plug it in.
-          Be prepared for bad weather and getting caught outside. Weather can be extreme in this region. Snow conditions and overflow can change daily. Weather is considerably colder than in Fairbanks. Valleys may be colder than ridges. In March-April, there can be spring snow conditions, with hard-packed, icy snow in the mornings, and “sugar corn” snow in the afternoons.
-          Avoid Summit Trail Shelter except for day trips – the trail is not always broken and there is no easy source of wood.
-          There is no cell phone reception in this recreation area. Be sure to carry a SPOT and/or satellite phone. An example of a satellite phone rental company is: In case of emergency, contact the Alaska State Troopers at 1-907-438-7200.
-          There is no baggage transportation service in this recreation area. Renting a car is the most obvious way to get to and from the trailhead. No official shuttle service exists.
-          Be sure to buy propane bottles that are compatible with those in the cabins (the green 1 pound bottles). There are 2-burner Coleman stoves in the cabins. Equipment in the cabins is not verified on a daily basis so be sure to have a backup. You can also bring propane bottles for the Coleman lamps if you don’t mind carrying them.
-          Bring a mini folding saw. Saws and axes are provided but again, are not verified on a daily basis so could be broken.
-          There is not necessarily a big pot in every cabin. We bought a folding cloth bucket at REI to facilitate “snow melting operations”. There is an REI store in Fairbanks for any outdoor gear you might need.
-          Bring a camping mattress.
-          We appreciated having sturdy backcountry skis (not excessively wide) with metal edges in case of ice, but many people do this route on classic or even skate skis.
-          Before your trip, call for the latest trail conditions updates for information about snow cover, grooming, overflow, and any early spring bear sightings. Note: bears are not typically an issue at this time of the year. You can also check (less detailed) trail conditions here:  
-          You can consult the snow depths at the following website: There is a drop down menu under "Telemetry site to view".  Scroll down to "Upper Nome Creek" and select it.  This is the only automated site in the White Mountains.  The site is in the southeast portion of the recreation area.  To see the snow depths in Fairbanks, on the same site under the telemetry view, select "Fairbanks Field Office". Starting skiing early in the morning when temperatures are lower could help with avoiding overflow, although it seems to happen when it’s cold too.
-          You can call BLM at 1-907-474-2357 (Eric, for detailed information and advice). To reserve huts, call 1-907-474-2251. BLM will e-mail your permits to you. For the best chance at reserving a cabin, call at precisely 7:45 am Fairbanks time, or even dial at 7:44 am, exactly 30 days before your first overnight. Consult BLM beforehand to make sure you’ve calculated this correctly. There are no refunds. Cabins can house 4 to 6 people typically. According to BLM, the week right before spring break might be the optimal week, because it’s a bit less popular, and therefore easier to reserve cabins, yet the days are already getting fairly long. There is a 4 hour time difference between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Montreal, Canada.
-          BLM can also recommend professional guides to take you on these trips.
-          It is possible to winter camp in this recreation area. There is no fee and no need to reserve.
-          Visitors are expected to always leave firewood and kindling inside the cabin, sufficient for the next person, in case of emergency.
-          Our route involved up to 800 feet of climbing in a day and 14 miles of skiing, but typically less. The shortest day was 9 miles long.
-          Ask the BLM to recommend a good topographical map. GPS coordinates of the cabins can be found here: A basic trail map can be found here: the route has been groomed recently, it will be easy to find the trail. If not, trail markers can sometimes be far apart.
-          We stayed at the Minnie Street Inn, which worked out well for us. It was comfortable and had a kitchen and fridge we could use. The owners were very helpful and flexible. There is also a youth hostel in town.
-          We’ve been told there is a reliable app that forecasts when the Northern Lights will be at their peak.
-          Gulliver’s is apparently a fun independent bookstore in town, but it was closed when we were there on Easter Sunday.
-          This trip cost us roughly $2000 CAD/person from Montreal, including all transportation, lodging and food. The US-Canada exchange rate was not favourable at the time.

If you liked this blog article, you might also enjoy my other articles:

Happy reading and planning!

Programmation printemps 2016! Spring 2016 Program!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Randonnée au Ruisseau de Montigny le 30 avril – Hike Along a Hidden Montreal Stream on April 30th

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Suivons le ruisseau de Montigny jusqu’à sa source à Anjou. Ce cours d’eau méconnu a même des cascades ! Et oui, des cascades à Montréal ! Pendant la randonnée, nous allons faire un échange linguistique français-anglais, pique-niquer, et discuter des enjeux des cours d’eau à Montréal. Environ 6 km de marche, parfois en sentier rustique.  

Quand : Samedi 30 avril de 9h30 jusqu’à 15h30 environ.
Coût : 12$ (entre 5$ et 12$ si nouvel arrivant à faible revenu), plus taxes.
Inscriptions: Places limitées! En ligne ici ou au 3555 St-Urbain. Questions? 514.872.0566 ou  

Cette activité est organisée en collaboration avec la Maison de l’amitié, avec le soutien de Mountain Equipment Co-op. Merci également à la Ville de Montréal pour son soutien.


Follow the De Montigny Stream all the way to its secret source in Anjou! This hidden place even has actual waterfalls – yes, waterfalls, right in the middle of Motnreal! During this urban hike, we will also do a French-English language exchange, have a picnic, and discuss water conservation issues in Montreal. We will walk a distance of around 6 km, sometimes along rustic trails.

Date: Saturday April 30 from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (approximate end time)
Cost: $12 (from $5-$12 if low-income newcomer to Canada), plus taxes.
Register: Space is limited! Register at 3555 St-Urbain or online here. Questions? Call 514.872.0566 or

This activity is organised in partnership with the Maison de l’amitié, with the support of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Thanks also to the City of Montreal for its support!

À vélo au fil de l’eau – Biking Montreal’s Waterfront this Spring

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Découvrez Montréal à vélo… au fil de l’eau! Sept sorties pour bouger, explorer les paysages, quartiers et pistes cyclables de Montréal le long de ses nombreuses berges, et rencontrer du monde!

Calendrier préliminaire des sorties (pourrait être modifié sans préavis) :
25 avril – le port de Montréal via le parc Maisonneuve
2 mai – le boulevard Maisonneuve et canal de Lachine
9 mai – le fleuve vu du haut du mont-Royal
16 mai – Laval par le pont Perry
23 mai – pas de sortie (congé)
30 mai - île Ste-Hélène et circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
6 juin – Longueuil par le pont Jacques Cartier
13 juin – Île des sœurs

Autres infos :
-          Il faut amener votre propre vélo et casque. Les sorties sont possibles en Bixi mais ça demande plus d’effort physique.
-          Il faut savoir pédaler. Nous avançons à un rythme « convivial » (pas effréné).
-          Les distances varieront entre 15 et 30 km.
-          Le lieu de rendez-vous sera au coin de Rachel et Brébeuf, beau temps, mauvais temps. On décidera sur place s’il faut reporter une sortie (par exemple en cas de pluie diluvienne ou vents très forts). Si oui, la sortie de remplacement aura lieu un mardi ou mercredi soir ou alors en fin de session.
-          Nous terminons la sortie au même endroit entre 20h et 21h selon le trajet.

Coût : 50$ (10$ à 50$ nouveaux arrivants à faible revenu) pour 7 sorties, plus taxes et une carte de membre annuelle de 10$ à l’Association récréative Milton-Parc.  Ou alors, venez essayer une fois gratuitement!

Inscriptions : auprès de l’Association récréative Milton-Parc, 3555 St-Urbain (métro Sherbrooke) ou ici. Questions ? 514-872-0566 ou

BONUS printemps 2016 : recevez un beau petit sac à dos gratuit en vous inscrivant officiellement d’ici le 25 avril. Premier arrivé, premier servi si vous êtes parmi les 10 premières inscriptions. Détails ici.

Cette activité est organisée en collaboration avec la Maison de l’amitié, avec le soutien de Mountain Equipment Co-op. Merci également à la Ville de Montréal pour son soutien.

Montreal’s Waterfront by Bike!

Discover Montreal’s extensive waterfront by bike this spring! Join us for a series of 7 after-work bike rides to get some exercise and fresh air, explore Montreal’s water-based landscapes, neighbourhoods and bike paths, and meet new people!

Preliminary Schedule of Rides
Please note that this schedule could change without notice and could evolve depending on the group!
April 25 – Port of Montreal via Parc Maisonneuve
May 2 – Maisonneuve Boulevard and Lachine Canal
May 9 – The St. Lawrence seen from the top of Mount Royal
May 16 - Laval via the Perry Bridge
May 23 – no outing (Monday is a holiday)
May 30 – Île Ste-Hélène and the Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack
June 6 – Longueuil via the Jacques Cartier Bridge
June 13 - Nun’s Island

-          You will need to bring your own bike and helmet. The outings are mostly feasible by Bixi (though more tiring). You should already know how to bike.
-          Distances will vary from 15 – 30 km. We bike at a “normal” pace (not too fast).
-          Meet at 6 pm at the corner of Rachel and Brébeuf, rain or shine. In case of very bad weather, we’ll meet and decide onsite whether to ride or not. If we need to postpone an outing, it could be rescheduled to a Tuesday or Wednesday evening or at the end of the session. We’ll return to the same place at 8 or 9 pm depending on the length of the outing.
-          The group size will be limited to approximately 10 participants

Cost: $50 ($10 - $50 for low-income newcomers to Canada) to sign up for 7 outings, plus taxes and an annual $10 membership card to the Association Récréative Milton-Parc. Or: come try it once for free!

Registrations: Milton Park Recreation Association, 3555 St. Urbain (métro Sherbrooke) or here. Questions? 514.872.0566 or

BONUS: the first 10 people to register and pay by April 25th will receive a free backpack! Details here.

This activity is organised in partnership with the Maison de l’amitié, with the support of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Thanks also to the City of Montreal for its support!

Randonnée urbaine et conversation (et fleurs!) – Urban Hiking and Conversation

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Marcher sur le mont-Royal et dans le quartier, tout en pratiquant votre français et anglais ! C’est ludique, sympathique, utile et bon pour la santé. 

Il suffit de porter des chaussures convenables à la marche et aux petits sentiers rustiques. Beau temps, mauvais temps.

Quand : Les jeudis soirs dès le 14 avril, de 18h à 19h30/20h.

Coût : 50$ (10$ à 50$ si nouvel arrivant à faible revenu) pour 9 sorties, plus taxes et une carte de membre annuelle de 10$ à l’Association récréative Milton-Parc. Ou alors, venez essayer une fois gratuitement!

Inscriptions : auprès de l’Association récréative Milton-Parc, 3555 St-Urbain (métro Sherbrooke) ou ici. Questions ? 514-872-0566 ou

BONUS printemps 2016 : rencontrer une nouvelle fleur printanière chaque semaine !
2e BONUS printemps 2016: recevez un beau petit sac à dos gratuit en vous inscrivant officiellement d’ici le 14 avril! Premier arrivé, premier servi pour les 10 premières inscriptions. Détails ici.

Cette activité est organisée en collaboration avec la Maison de l’amitié, avec le soutien de Mountain Equipment Co-op. Merci également à la Ville de Montréal pour son soutien.

Urban Hiking and Conversation

Hike on Mount Royal and in the neighbourhood while practicing your French and English! We’ll walk, get fresh air and exercise, and have a weekly language exchange with neighbours! Just wear decent walking shoes – sometimes we’ll venture onto smaller trails! Rain or shine.

When: Thursday evenings starting April 14, from 6 – 7:30/8 pm.

Cost: $50 ($10-$50 for low-income newcomers to Canada) to sign up for 9 outings, plus taxes and an annual $10 membership card to the Association Récréative Milton-Parc. Or come try it once for free!

Registrations: Milton Park Recreation Association, 3555 St. Urbain (métro Sherbrooke), or here. Questions? 514.872.0566 or    

BONUS for spring 2016:meet a new wildflower every Thursday! 
2nd BONUS for spring 2016: the first 10 people to register and pay by April 14th will receive a small yet amazing free backpack! Details here.

This activity is organised in partnership with the Maison de l’amitié, with the support of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Thanks also to the City of Montreal for its support!

Initiation au kayak en piscine 27 avril – Intro to kayaking in a pool

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Venez essayer le kayak – dans une piscine chauffée! En collaboration avec le club de canoë-kayak d'eau-vive de Montréal, nous vous proposons une initiation aux bases de kayak de rivière, qu'on va apprivoiser en piscine au Cégep Rosemont le mercredi 27 avril de 18h30 à 22h30. On va apprendre : c’est quoi le kayak d’eau-vive (versus le kayak de mer ou le canot), rentrer et sortir du kayak, quoi faire si on est à l’envers dans le kayak, les coups de pagaie de base. Le kayak de rivière s’apprend dans l’eau calme ou en piscine au départ. Voici un article qui explique pourquoi le kayak est si génial! Il faut être à l’aise dans l’eau.

Le coût est de 30$ (5$-30$ si nouvel arrivant à faible revenu) plus taxes incluant tout le matériel.

Inscriptions ici ou au 3555 St-Urbain. Questions? 514.872.0566 ou Places limitées, n’attendez pas!

Cette activité est organisée en collaboration avec la Maison de l’amitié, avec le soutien de Mountain Equipment Co-op. Merci également à la Ville de Montréal pour son soutien.


Come try kayaking – in a nice heated pool! We’re offering a one-time intro to river kayaking course in partnership with Montreal’s kayaking club. It will be in the Rosemont Cégep’s pool on Wednesday April 27 from 6:30 – 10:30 pm. We’ll be learning: what whitewater kayaking is (as opposed to sea kayaking or canoeing), getting in and out of the kayak, what to do if you flip over, and basic paddle strokes. It’s always necessary to start learning river kayaking in calm water or in a pool. Here is an article explaining why kayaking is so amazing!

The cost is $30 ($5-$30 for low-income newcomers to Canada) plus tax, including all the gear. Limited space – reserve your spot online here or in person at 3555 St-Urbain. Questions? 514.872.0566 or

This activity is organised in partnership with the Maison de l’amitié, with the support of Mountain Equipment Co-op.  Thanks also to the City of Montreal for its support!

Politique de remboursement - Reimbursement Policy

Politique de remboursement du Programme de plein air interculturel (ARMP)
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Aucun remboursement ne sera effectué à partir de la deuxième semaine après le début des activités ou cours hebdomadaires. Les frais d'inscriptions, les frais de gestion et autres frais ne sont en aucun cas remboursables sauf en cas d'annulation de la part de l'Association récréative Milton-Parc (ARMP).

Les cours ou activités annulés en cours de session seront repris en fin de session. Aucun remboursement pour ces cours ne pourra être réclamé.

ARMP organise également des sorties de plein air ponctuelles à places limitées et pour lesquelles nous avons à payer des dépôts. Pour ces activités ponctuelles d’une durée d’une journée ou moins, aucun remboursement ne sera accordé si vous ne participez pas à l’activité. Si vous avisez ARMP par écrit au moins 72 heures avant le début de l'activité, un crédit vous sera accordé. Le crédit est valable pour 1 an, est non-transférable, et est applicable à l'ensemble des activités de l'ARMP.

Pour les activités qui incluent une nuitée (2 jours et plus), veuillez noter que le paiement total est dû 7 jours avant l'activité. Pour demander un remboursement, veuillez nous aviser plus que 7 jours à l'avance par écrit et le montant total moins un frais administratif de 10$ vous sera remboursé par chèque. Si vous avisez l’ARMP par écrit entre 24 heures et 7 jours avant le début de l’activité, un crédit de 50% du montant total vous sera accordé. Le crédit est valable 1 an, applicable à toutes activités ARMP, et est non-transférable. Si vous nous aviser d'une annulation moins de 24 heures avant le début de l'activité, aucun remboursement ni crédit ne sera accordé. Veuillez noter que parfois pour des activités plus complexes il sera nécessaire d’aviser l’ARMP encore plus en avance en cas d’annulation ; dans un tel cas l’ARMP vous fournira les détails lors de votre inscription.

Comment faire une demande de remboursement
Pour faire une demande de remboursement ou de crédit pour un cours dans un délai admissible, l’ARMP doit recevoir une demande écrite. Pour un remboursement, il faut venir en personne au 3555 St-Urbain. Les remboursements se feront par chèque uniquement. Un délai de 15 jours ouvrables s’applique.

Refund Policy for ARMP Outdoor Recreation Activities

No refund will be given as of the second week after the start of activities or courses (for example, weekly courses). Registration fees, administration fees and other fees are under no circumstances reimbursable except if the Milton Park Recreation ASsociation (ARMP) cancels an activity or course.

Courses or activities canceled during the session will be added to the end of the session. No refunds or credit for these courses can be claimed.

ARMP also organizes one-time outdoor activities that have limited space and which require us to pay deposits. For our one-time activities that last one day or less, no monetary refund will be issued if you don’t partake in the activity. If you provide notice of cancellation in writing at least 72 hours before the start of the activity, ARMP can provide full credit for the activity. Credit is valid for 1 year, can be used for any of ARMP’s activities and is not transferable.

For overnight outings that last 2 days or more, please note that full payment is required at least 7 days in advance of the activity. Monetary refunds minus a $10 administration fee will be issued if you give written notice of cancellation more than 7 days before the start of the activity. If you give written notice of cancellation from 24 hours to 7 days before the start of the activity, a credit of 50% will be provided upon request. If you notify ARMP less than 24 hours before the start of the activity, no credit nor reimbursement will be issued. Please note that certain more comprehensive outings may require more advance notice – in this case, ARMP will provide the details when you register.

How to request a reimbursement
In order to request a reimbursement or credit for a course or recurring activity within an eligible timeframe, ARMP must receive your request in writing. For a reimbursement, you must come in person to 3555 St-Urbain. Reimbursements are made by cheque only and take 15 days.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Raquettes à donner à un organisme - Snowshoes to give to an organisation

Nous avons 10 paires de raquettes du style dans la photo ci-dessus à donner à un groupe cette semaine. Elles ne sont pas très performantes. Nous allons les apporter à la Poubelle du ski ce mercredi sinon. Faites signe si ça peut vous intéresser en tant que groupe/organisme!

We have 10 pairs of snowshoes (see photo above) to give to a group this week. They are not great snowshoes. We will bring them to the Poubelle du ski, probably this Wednesday, unless we hear from an organisation that could use them. Please contact us if yes:

Monday, 14 March 2016

Dernière sortie hivernale? Last winter outing?

Petite sortie en raquette jeudi dernier, histoire de profiter de la neige avant que tout fonde! Merci à tous pour votre belle participation!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Raquette interculturelle le 10 mars! Intercultural snowshoeing, March 10!

Jeudi 10 mars, participez à une sortie de raquette interculturelle ! Profitons des conditions printanières de la fin de l’hiver. On vous prêtera des raquettes au besoin !

Quand ? 18h30 à 20h15 environ.
Où ? RdV dans le parc Jeanne-Mance. L’endroit exact sera transmis aux personnes inscrites.
Pour qui ? Pour adultes. Il suffit d’être capable de marcher en sentier durant 1.5 heures.
Prix : par contribution volontaire, payable sur place (argent comptant)
Inscriptions : Places limitées. Veuillez réserver votre place en écrivant à :  Premier arrivé, premier servi.
D’autres détails seront transmis aux personnes inscrites !

Au plaisir de sortir en raquette avec vous !

English version

On Thursday March 10, join us for an intercultural snowshoe outing! Let’s enjoy the spring conditions and say goodbye to winter together. We have snowshoes to lend you if needed.

When? 6:30 – 8:15 pm (approximately)
Where? We’ll meet in Jeanne-Mance Park. We’ll provide the exact location to those who have registered.
For whom? Open to the public (adults). Level: you should be able to walk on a rustic trail for about 1.5 hours.
Cost: by voluntary contribution (cash only, onsite)
Registration: space is limited. Please reserve your spot by writing to First come, first served.
Additional info will be sent to those who have registered. Thanks!

Looking forward to snowshoeing with you!

Nous remercions nos partenaires MEC, Maison de l'amitié et Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Nos nouveaux skieurs!

Hier soir, 24 heures après la fin de la Coupe du monde, 13 nouveaux skieurs ont affronté le froid et ont apprivoisé le ski de fond dans le parc Jeanne-Mance. Bravos à tous pour votre curiosité et enthousiasme! Nos nouveaux skieurs venaient de plusieurs pays différents. Le hasard faisait qu'il y avait 6 personnes venant du Venezuela! Sinon il y avait des personnes venant de la France, Colombie, Grande-Bretagne, Vietnam, Inde et autres, dont certains qui sont ici depuis plusieurs années, d'autres depuis peu. On a bien profité d'un des dernières soirées froides de l'hiver sans doute!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Bénévolat à la coupe du monde!

Hier nous avons eu le plaisir d'assister à la Coupe du monde de ski de fond en bas du mont-Royal! C'était la première fois que cette coupe du monde a eu lieu au Canada dans ce format. Un groupe d'environ 15 bénévoles venant du Québec, France, Maroc, Équateur, Ukraine, Vietnam, île Maurice, et Pakistan, ont contribué leur temps à aider à gérer la foule et éviter que les gens marchent sur les pistes de ski. C'était l'occasion de regarder les meilleurs skieurs du monde en compétition. On a pu discuter avec les autres bénévoles venant de partout au Québec pour donner un coup de main. Il y avait des beaux prix de participation. Merci à nos bénévoles et aux organisateurs! Félicitations aux compétiteurs!