Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Snowflakes in the forecast! Woo hoo!

The weather forecast for Huntsville  today - look at those snowflakes!
Here at Algonquin Outfitters, we get excited about winter. It's time for skiing, snowshoeing, snowman building, sledding, skating, snowboarding and, yes, those other fun things like shoveling and winter driving.  So, when this morning's weather forecast showed the little snowflake icons for Sunday and Monday, we all gave a hearty cheer. Some people may not share our enthusiasm for snow. It is safe to predict that Sunday's snow won't last long and "real winter" won't start until late November or so.

And while we are discussing winter, here are a few dates to keep in mind:

AO presents Warren Miller's WINTERVENTION
Friday, November 5

Do you have a skiing or snowboarding problem? Do you always take "just one more" run? If you answered “yes” to either of these, it may be time for a Wintervention. Narrated by skiing icon Jonny Moseley, Warren Miller’s Wintervention is the definitive solution for the snow-obsessed. Wintervention takes riders like Chris Davenport, Jonny Moseley and Lindsey Vonn on a global tour of Alaska, Norway, Canada, Antarctica and beyond, delivering a successful Wintervention for all of us in need. Warren Miller films attract a cult-like following and mark the official start of winter for sports enthusiasts everywhere. Warren Miller premieres are an experience, a party and a phenomenon not to be missed.

Join Algonquin Outfitters for a Wintervention on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 pm, at the Algonquin Theatre. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students. Tickets are available at the Algonquin Theatre box office at 37 Main St. E., by calling the box office at (705) 789-4975 or 1-888-696-4255, ext. 2352 or on-line at algonquintheatre.ca.

For more info on the movie, visit Warren Miller Entertainment.

For a little pre-season stoke, watch the official trailer for Wintervention below:

Algonquin Outfitters presents the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Tuesday, Jan. 18 & Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

Algonquin Outfitters is once again bringing the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to the Algonquin Theatre for two nights. Each evening will feature a different selection of films. Get a taste of wild mountain adventures, and more, as the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour rolls into Huntsville.

For the last thirteen years, Algonquin Outfitters has hosted this spectacular showing of mountain films in Huntsville. Films in world tour bring the spirit of adventure to life on the screen. A wide variety of stories - from mountain sports, mountain culture and the environment - will entice and inspire viewers.

The tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking action, environmental, and adventure mountain films. Traveling from remote landscapes and cultures to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world. The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is produced by Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre, and features award-winning films and audience favorites from approximately 300 films entered in the annual festival in Banff, Alberta. The world tour spans the globe, making its way to North and South America, Europe, South Africa, India, Poland and Iceland.

Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students. Folks buying tickets for both shows can exchange their two ticket stubs for a coupon offering a 15% discount on their next purchase at Algonquin Outfitters.

Tickets  are available at the Algonquin Theatre box office at 37 Main St. E., on-line at http://www.algonquintheatre.ca, or by calling the theatre box office at (705) 789-4975, or 1-888-696-4255, ext. 2352.

For more information on the Banff Mountain Film Festival, visit the World Tour web site.

Algonquin Outfitters presents the 17th Annual Winter Fun Day
Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011

Self-propelled fun in the great outdoors is once again the theme on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. This free, family-oriented, event takes place at the Oxtongue Lake location, just west of Algonquin Park, on Hwy. 60, about 30 km east of Huntsville. Winter Fun Day is designed to introduce people to self-propelled (or at least non-motorized) winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, kick-sledding, winter camping, ice-climbing and dog sledding, as well as provide a host of opportunities to have fun in the snow. Free cross-country ski lessons are available, thanks to our friends at Ski For Life.

Stay tuned to this blog for more info!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall colours in Algonquin Park are at peak - don't miss it!

"Smoke Creek" by Olaf Schneider
Even when you are lucky enough to live up here, you can never take the fall colours for granted. Every year the colours seem different and every year the "peak" seems to happen at a different time. I suppose you could define "peak" as the time when reds, oranges and yellows are the predominant shades and there are still lots of leaves on the trees.  Personally, I prefer the time just before peak, when there is more contrast with the green leaves that haven't turned yet. That's the stage in areas like Huntsville and Muskoka right now. Once the leaves peak, you still have several weeks of good colour viewing but run the risk of being disappointed if rain and/or wind cause the leaves to fall.

This year, many natural events (like ice-out and bug season) occurred earlier than usual (with a few setbacks), and peak fall foliage colours are no exception. Here is a quote from the Algonquin Park foliage report, updated today:
Fall colour in Algonquin Park is now at "peak". The Sugar Maple canopy is providing the best viewing of the season at the current time. If you are planning a trip to Algonquin Park to view the autumn colours, now is the time!
If you can't make it to Algonquin Park, check out the fall colours report for a provincial park near you on the Ontario Parks website.

I posted the images of two paintings by Olaf Schneider because, a), we like Olaf and his work (next time you visit, ask to see the original Olaf painting that hangs in our "back shop" at Oxtongue Lake), and b), they are good examples of what you can expect to experience in Algonquin Park at this time.

"The Other Side of Life" by Olaf Schneider

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some nice fall photos

During the fall, Algonquin Park is a photographer's dream: the changing autumn colours, fantastic light and morning mist are just a few of the natural events that make it a special season. Photographer Paul Madden dropped by the Oxtongue Lake store the other morning and asked if he could take some pictures at our waterfront. Sure, why not? Paul sent me a few of the images and gave us permission to post them for all to see. I have to admit, when you can look out the office window and see views like this, life seems pretty good. All the images on this post are courtesy of Paul Madden and are protected by copyright.

Time to get on the water

Eerie morning mist and sun
The view from a tent cabin
Coffee and morning paper anyone?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where did the time go? It's fall!

Well, long time no blog. I humbly apologize to any regular readers, or for that matter, even casual readers. It was a VERY busy summer at Algonquin Outfitters, which is good, but sadly this blog seemed to take a back seat to everything else that was going on.

So on the first official day of fall, let's get back into it by patting ourselves on the back. Late this summer, the Oxtongue Lake location took delivery of a few special canoes. Swift has been selling their new integrated carbon/Kevlar gunwale system for a year or so and we finally decided to test out a few of these very lightweight canoes in our rental fleet. For the moment, we are surprising customers we know and trust by saying, "hey, do you want to test out a new canoe?"  One of these lucky parties, Tony and Lois, are a couple who have been doing an annual fall trip for many years and always ask for "the lightest Kipawa you have." And so, that's what they got. Here is their report. Sadly, it rained for most of their trip and Tony did not have any pictures to go along with the story.

We've been home from our annual canoe trip for a couple of days now (still up to our ears in gear that needs to be washed and dried before storage!), but I wanted to take the time to thank you for taking such good care of us this year.  My wife and I really appreciate having been given the opportunity to put a brand spanking new Carbon Fusion Kipawa through its paces on this year's trip. 

While we keep coming back to AO because we're always pleased with both the products and the services we receive, it was a special treat to be given the chance to experience a canoe as spectacular as this one is.  Same load handling capabilities and same efficient hull design as the standard Kipawa, but so light that I almost looked forward to the portages!

You know you're in the right canoe when a pair of senior citizens (OK, I'm only 58, but my wife is 65) have no trouble cruising by canoes from other outfitters being paddled by 20 year olds! I can assure you that it has a lot more to do with the canoe than it does our paddling technique.

Thanks again for taking such good care of us.

See you next September

Tony and Lois