Column: Masks, Support Local and Wild Ice

I’m sorry, but what in the world do anti-maskers shouting nonsense at passer-byers in downtown Canmore think they’re going to accomplish? They’re breaking laws, crowding busy intersections and endangering lives. I can’t wait for covid to be over for many reasons, like the end of a deadly pandemic and the relief that our hard-working healthcare workers will get; but almost most of all is so that we don’t have to see those maniacal, cultish, childish, conspiracy-wielding, life-endangering losers (sorry, but they’re not winners) waving poorly-written signs about lies anymore.

Please, don’t encourage them, honk at them, wave to them, shout at them, or do anything that might make them believe that their weekend-wasting “protest” has any affect on Bow Valley locals. Treat them like a wildlife sighting – take a picture, don’t feed them and move along.

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And don’t be a complete lunatic, wear a mask; they’re important. It seems a vaccine, or many, is a thing of the near-distant future; something to look forward to. Just be prepared for the anti-maskers to start with their anti-vaccine campaigns. Vaccines are good, masks are good.

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A big shout-out to all of the local business owners who are doing a great job in protecting their shoppers and community members by enforcing mask wearing. We’ve all seen anti-maskers in the valley acting like complete idiots in indoor public spaces, possibly putting lives in danger; so, lots of love to those confronting them to keep us safe.

On that note, let’s do what we can to support local businesses this holiday season. Shop local in-person or online, it’s cooler than buying gifts on Amazon. Let’s work together to ensure that after this winter, our small shops and community areas are still around.

Ice skating has been one of the most popular Bow Valley recreational activities in the past few weeks. There was the Johnson Lake rush, the short-lived Lake Louise skate-a-thon, the Gap Lake fiasco and this weekend we had the rush-to-Spray-Lakes blitz. Spray Lakes had some open water, but what was frozen was nearly perfect for skating.

Last week, the Bow Valley Wild Ice Facebook page was “archived,” so nobody can post anymore. It was the go-to for lake ice conditions. It was gaining hundreds of followers a week; it was shuttered with nearly 6,000. The page likely closed because it was creating mad rushes to lakes that don’t have the infrastructure or parking spaces to accommodate hundreds of visitors. After seeing how busy Spray Lakes was, it seems the local ice-skating scene has outgrown the need for it.

In the world of climbing, nearly all of the classic Rockies ice routes are formed. Reach out to a local guide if you’re hoping to get into ice climbing. If you’re interested in getting cash for a Canadian climbing trip in 2021, check out the John Lauchlan Award online before the end of December. There’re thousands of dollars available for climbers to explore remote new-route potential. And wear a mask.

This Week in Flyers