Extreme adventures in Canada: Kayaking through glaciers


All over Canada, the province of British Colombia is known as the place to go for outdoor activities. Glacier National Park, Yoho National Park and Kootenay National Park, are perfect places to discover nature.

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Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria, are the main adventure centres where all the excursions begin. There are infinite options for adrenaline lovers:

Parachuting.

Hiking or cycling through the natural parks.

Golfing on courses with incredible panoramic views.

Rock climbing on cliff faces.

Speleology.

Bungee Jumping.

If you are thinking that the list is very general and you want to try a unique, adrenaline-packed adventure which is exclusive to Canada, how about kayaking on a glacier lake? If you thought that kayaking was just like sailing a boat like a canoe with a double-bladed, you’d be wrong, as it is actually an extreme sport that can be practiced on rivers and lakes with extremely strong currents. Its increasing popularity places it among the most sought after outdoor activities for visitors and tourists around the world.

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Where?

Taking advantage of the changes of season and nature, Canada is one of the few places where you can go kayaking through glaciers. In Abbotsford, British Colombia there are companies offering kayaking tours.

Situated in Fraser Valley, the city of Abbotsford is next to the Regional District of Greater Vancouver. The southern area of this city is the border between Canada and the United States, with Sumas, Washington on the other side of the border. The Fraser River and Mount Baker (the youngest glaciated volcano in the world) are two of the sights that can be seen from a large part of the city.

How to get to the glaciers

Tours are available from June to September. In general, the tours leave from the base in Abbotsford (you can get there by car from Vancouver), but you can also start from the Vancouver heliport for an additional charge.

When can you go glacier kayaking?

At the end of spring each year, to be more specific, in June, the alpine lakes and glaciers in the highest part of the mountains begin to melt along the lake, revealing blue and turquoise-coloured waters which are so unique that you have to see them to believe it.  The melted ice follows the shoreline giving the illusion that it is a river, when in fact, the water is perfectly still.

Once the ice is completely melted, the best time to visit is between the end of July and September. However, kayaking and paddling are available for tours until the ice returns in October, normally after Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend.

What do the tours consist of?

For a basic price, 5 people can choose a package that will take you in a helicopter from Abbotsford through the Cascade mountains to the lake, where you can kayak or paddle surf for 4 hours, finishing off with a picnic lunch.

During the helicopter trip, you can enjoy the views of untouched nature, including mountains and valleys, huge waterfalls, turquoise rivers twisting through the lush, rainy forests and sometimes you can even see wild animals like mountain goats or elks.

See also: Tips for travelling to Canada on a low budget

Important:

The lake is only accessible in helicopter during the abovementioned months.

If there are not 5 of you, you can reserve individual seats directly online.

If you are coming from overseas, you need to know flight times and to get your visa for Canada in advance.

You need to reserve the tours months in advance, since they have limited availability. There is only one tour a day.

During the tour’s four hours, the helicopter is always onsite in case of an emergency.

Take the necessary precautions when undertaking extreme activities: use protection equipment, take a change of clothes, a camera and a small first aid kit……