From the Prairies to the mountains, Canadian professional snowboarder Craig McMorris is sharing his experiences in Western Canada and highlighting activities for your next trip out west.
Growing up in Saskatchewan, what kickstarted your love for snowboarding?
I fell in love with snowboarding simply because I didn’t have access to it all the time. I was fortunate enough to get time at our local hill, Mission Ridge, but I always wanted more time on the snow. My brother Mark and I would wakeboard all summer and jump on the trampoline doing everything we could to imitate snowboarding. We watched videos and read magazines so we knew there was this whole world out there and we wanted in.
What do you love most about Western Canada?
Great question! How could I pick just one? For me, it comes down to a couple of things: the people and the terrain. The people are down to earth and the terrain is simply unmatched. Nowhere else in the world do you have such dynamic landscapes, from the island to the ocean to the coastal mountains, the snowy interior, into the Rockies, and the western Prairies. I’ve spent time in all these locations and each one is so special. I love it.
What are your favourite summer activities in Western Canada?
Get me on the water! I love the lakes in B.C. — there are so many hikes to mountain lakes. That’s always a great way to spend the day. You also can’t beat surfing on the island when the temperatures are high. The swell isn’t as strong in the summer but every once in a while it will get a little pulse.
What recreational activities do you recommend for people looking to spend more time outdoors?
I think the most underrated and simplest activity is a walk through the forest. I know it’s not the wildest thing one can do but there’s something grounding about being surrounded by huge trees. It’s an activity that I find helps me put things into perspective. Whenever I need to think, I’ll go for a trail walk through the forest.
What should be on someone’s bucket list when visiting Western Canada?
Fly into Vancouver on a clear spring day. The mountain tops will be snowy and the city will be starting to bloom. Drive the Sea to Sky highway on a crisp morning. I’ll argue that there isn’t a more scenic drive. Stand on a beach in Tofino or Ucluelet and watch the sunset.