Although this winter got off to a slow start in Corner Brook, since mid-January it has been snowing almost nonstop.
Driveways are looking like tunnels and it is hard to find a place to pile the ever-increasing mounds of snow.
People are up on their roofs shovelling off snow, and although the sight of the snow plow on your street means you can finally move out of your driveway it also means that you will have another pile of snow to get thorough before you can go snowshoeing, skiing or snowmobiling.
Corner Brook and Western Newfoundland have long been a focus of winter activities in the province and this year the Western Newfoundland Destination Marketing Organization has been busy organizing a four-day event that you won’t want to miss.
It is called Snow West 11. It runs from March 17-20 and includes activities stretching from Robinsons (which is just south of Stephenville) to Gros Morne National Park in the north.
But most events are planned for the Corner Brook-Humber Valley area.
This is also the St Paddy’s Day Weekend so there are lots of indoor activities celebrating this popular event.
One of our favourite activities is cross-country skiing and this activity has many venues which are offering special events or prices.
You can do a full moon ski in Gros Morne National Park on March 19 on or ski the trails at Blow Me Down in Corner Brook for half price on March 18. Whaleback Nordic Ski Park in Stephenville has a special four-day package of cross country skiing for just $20.
Marble Mountain Alpine Ski Resort has special discover skiing and snowboarding packages, the Marble Cup (held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and night skiing.
There will be a variety of snowmobile tours offered on most days and there are some pretty unique events including an opportunity to try dogsledding both in Gros Morne National Park and at the base of Marble Mountain.
If you want to sample dog sledding then check out the base of Marble Mountain at 3 p.m. on March 19 and 9 a.m. on March 20. Short rides are just $20 per person.
You can also go ziplining at the base of Marble Mountain. This is Canada’s highest zipline at more than 280 feet and now has two more zips for you to try.
A winter highlight is Steady Brook Falls caked in snow and ice. Another unusual event is the chance to combine snowshoeing and caving with a visit to the Corner Brook Caves.
There are other guided snowshoe events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Corner Brook and in Gros Morne National Park. At both locations you can rent snowshoes.
In Pasadena you can take in snow appreciation day at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park all day Saturday, March 19 or you can go tobogganing at nearby Humber Valley Resort on Saturday afternoon.
There will be lots of special indoor events including the West Coast Comedy Show featuring Snook, John Sheehan and Brian Aylward. Don’t miss out on the best laugh of the winter.
If music is more your style, you might want to check out Whalen’s Gate on March 17 for a tribute to the Pogues, and there will be “A night of Music” at the Crown and Moose on March 18.
There will also be a dinner theatre event on Saturday, March 19 where “Not Fit My Son” will be performed at Jennifer’s.
You can even taste a special cocktail designed for Snow West 11 at the Bay of Islands Bistro. The Snow West Cocktail sounds great and includes bakeapple liqueur, vodka, sparkling wine and partridgeberries. Yum yum.
You can enjoy a steak dinner at the Blow Me Down cross-country ski club on Friday March 18 and a St. Paddy’s Day pork loin supper on March 17 at the Pasadena Nordic Ski Club which costs $10 or just $8 if you are a member. This must be one of the best values of the entire event.
These are just a sample of the types of activities that are being held at the first Snow West 11. So be sure to check out a full listing of events and venues check at gowesternnewfoundland.com/snowwest/.
For accommodation check out:
— Marblewood Village near the base of Marble Mountain: www.marblemountain.com
— Oceanview Hotel in Rocky Harbour: www.theoceanview.ca
Keith and Heather Nicol are travel writers and photographers from Corner Brook.
Keith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.