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6 Canadian Mountain Adventures

That will get you off the beaten path

Looking for something to do other than skiing and snowboarding this season? Then why not try one of these five great Canadian mountain experiences.
 
Staying at Mistaya Lodge in the Canadian Rocky Mountains
Opulent-yet-outdoorsy comfort seekers will love staying at Mistaya Lodge, which is nestled deep in the Canadian Rocky Mountains near Golden, BC and is only accessible by helicopter. The lodge is a 2,000 square foot post-and-beam structure with six large guestrooms, a large, modern kitchen and incredible views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. After a day of alpine hiking, mountaineering, ski touring or snowshoeing with certified guides, guests can relax in a cedar sauna before enjoying a delicious home-cooked in meal in the common area.


Snowshoe and Fondue Tour in Banff National Park
The Sunshine Village Historical Snowshoe and Fondue Tour in Banff, AB is part of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Signature Experiences Collection, so you know it’s must-do Canadian mountain experience! Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and incredible views of the Rocky Mountains as you trek through pristine powder in Sunshine Meadows before heading to the Chimney Corner Lounge and Wine Bar at Sunshine Mountain Lodge for a traditional Swiss style cheese and vegetable fondue.

Heli Fondue at the Summit Hut in Panorama, BC
For a different kind of fondue experience, head to the Panorama Mountain Resort in Panorama, BC for an exhilarating helicopter flight over the mountains before landing near the Summit Hut and enjoying beverages and a traditional cheese and chocolate fondue beside a warm fire. Reservations for the Heli Fondue at the Summit Hut experience are available throughout the winter.

Snowmobile Dinner Tour at Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario 
Go for a thrilling snowmobile ride on trails that cross through hardwood forest, over streams and rivers, and alongside incredible vistas before stopping for dinner at a restaurant tucked in the hamlet of Singhamton on this four-hour tour organized by Ride On Rentals. After dinner, you can experience what it’s like to snowmobile ride at night through Ontario’s backcountry as you make your way back to the resort.

Climbing the Via Ferrata in Mont-Tremblant National Park
Discover Mont-Tremblant National Park in Quebec from a whole new perspective by getting harnessed in and climbing the Via Ferrata Du Diable. Built onto the Vache Noire rock wall, the Via Ferrata—which means “iron road” in Italian—is a climbing path made of built-in steps, handles, beams and various types of bridges with a steel cable that runs alongside the route to clip yourself in to. The best part? You don’t need to be an experienced climber to enjoy the incredible views on this 200-metre ascent. 

Splitboarding at Whistler Blackcomb
Get a whole new experience on a snowboard that splits into skis! Join Whistler's Mountain Skills Academy and Adventures to try Splitboarding. You will head up the mountain with an experienced guide and take in all the sights and sounds of the mountains without needing to be an expert yourself. Have a look at this video of a recent splitboarding experience by one of the Get Out There reporters.


Photo: Mistaya Lodge / Julie-Anne Davies

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Treating Concussions with Physiotherapy

According to Statistics Canada approximately 30,000 hockey players a year suffer a concussion

It’s everywhere.  The talk about concussion. Everyone seems to know someone that has had one or is currently sitting on the sidelines because of one.  

According to Statistics Canada approximately 30,000 hockey players a year suffer a concussion.  Seventy eight percent of all concussions occur during sport. 

What is a concussion? A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. It is a shear stress to the brain tissue caused by rotational or angular forces, direct impact is not required. Some injuries to the brain can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don't realize it. Most symptoms resolve within 7-10 days, however, approximately 30% of the time symptoms persist. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. There are 22 signs and symptoms that can result from concussions, most of us are only aware on average of about 5 or 6.  

Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football, rugby, soccer. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. The brain needs time to rest and heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild (mTBI), and people usually recover fully.  

If you are involved in a contact sport it is important to get a baseline test done. Baseline concussion tests give health care professionals a starting point should you sustain a concussion during your season. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.

Baseline tests consist of a series of clinically validated musculoskeletal, vestibular, balance, proprioceptive and cognitive protocols including; SCAT3, ImPACT and BESS standardized tests. These tests give us valuable objective data so that in the event of a concussion, we know what normal was for the athlete and this helps us in making informed decisions about an individualized treatment path and when to determine the athlete is ready to return to school or sport. 

 

Think of your brain as you would another body part that you may injure, knee, back, shoulder. Each body part injured needs treatment. The brain needs to be rehabilitated too. Studies show that within an 8 week vestibular and cervical spine rehabilitation program, athletes with symptoms of headache, dizziness and neck pain have a 66% higher rate of return to sport/school (Orthopaedic Division Review-Vol.27 No.2). Certified Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists are trained to take the patient through a series of validated treatment protocols depending on the flagged areas after a concussion. We look at all the systems that the brain controls and what it is affected by; the neck (cervicogenic), the vestibular system, balance, memory and the oculormotor system (eyes). We are able to focus our treatment on the specific area that is causing your symptoms. For example if we flag an area through your baseline test redone, and through our series of assessment processes with your eyes, we essentially take your eyes to the gym and strengthen them back up. Until all the systems are functioning properly together will you be able to return to your daily life, work, school and play at 100%. 

Here are a few excellent resources online for more detailed concussion information.

https://sjhc.london.on.ca/concussion-mtbi

http://links.lww.com/JHTR/A131

http://dvbic.dcoe.mil/resources/progressive-return-to-activity

 

Kara Creed is a Certified Athletic Therapist and Nancy Botting is a Sport Physiotherapist. Both are from Physical Edge Physiotherapy - a multidisciplinary sort medicine clinic in Oakville , Ontario. www.physicaledgephysio.com