As the fall toys with us this October it is a perfect time to play in the outdoors. Two weeks ago I thought we had seen the last of T-shirt weather as the snowline dropped below Elk Mountain, and I was unpacking my ski gear in anticipation for snowfall in the mountains. That program seems to have been put on hold for the time being, however I am not complaining that we have been given another couple weeks of beautiful sunshine to help tie us over as the days continue to shorten. Many people find that the fall season sucks their desire to get into the outdoors as the limbo between summer and winter sets in.

I believe quite the opposite, and it would seems that I am not alone in this sentiment as a number of avid outdoor lovers are still plying their craft in our grand backyard. Cultus Lake is still spotted with paddleboards and dragon boats and the Vedder River is home, as usual, to whitewater enthusiasts soaking in one of Chilliwack’s greatest assets.

This time of year boasts many attributes that no other season can mimic and it is precisely these traits that prompt me to encourage you to take part in the enjoyment as well. Right now the Fraser Valley floor is flush with fall color and much of the vegetation is still lush and green. The mountains however paint a stark contrast to this image as they have long since seen the last of summer and are now dusted with snow. I love such contrasts, and I marvel at our luxury to enjoy two seasons in the same day; as one gains elevation they can watch the seasonal calendar shift before their eyes.

A tip I would like to pass on, which may seem obvious to some and novel to others, is that often times it is possible to climb above the clouds! On a dreary fall day when the rain seem to simply seep from the air, coming from no particular direction but rather from all sides at once, there is still hope for sunshine. On many of these days, of which Chilliwack is known to have a few, that band of clouds that can so easily changes our moods, is not more than a few hundred meters thick. This means that when everyone else is getting depressed on the valley floor you can be getting an October tan in the alpine!

This is even more exciting when the temperatures shift a few degrees colder and that rain is now turning to snow half way up the mountainsides. Remember to strap on your skis or snowshoes and head to the mountains and find some sunshine and powder above the clouds; for I attest there is no more suiting of a remedy for the rainy day blues than a bluebird day above the clouds on a blanket of pristine coastal snow.

(A free avalanche awareness seminar is being hosted at Sardis Secondary by Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors and the Sardis Secondary Eco Tourism Program on November 6th at 7:00PM more info at


– Sam Waddington – Owner of Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors: Equipping you for Rock, Water, Snow, Sand, Wind and anything else the Outdoors can throw at you!


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