Do you love holidays; it’s time for to share a beer.
Prior to 2013, this website was for “Caribou Mountain Adventures”, based in Canmore, Alberta. Next, the folks at “Caribou Hostel” bought the domain and used it for their Golden, BC lodge business, until 2013, when they switched to www.caribouhostel.ca. And now this website is a tribute to the kinds of winter and mountain adventures and holidays that are possible in the Alberta side of the Rocky Mountains.
Have you always wanted to experience the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies but just not been sure how to get the best out of your time and money?
Caribou Mountain Adventures provided tailor made activities and a logistical support service for the independent outdoor enthusiast who likes to have choice and control over their adventures, but who still wants the ultimate experience. They specialized in meeting the needs of individuals, small groups and families.
They were based in Canmore, Alberta – in the heart of the Rockies! Canmore lies in the beautiful Bow Valley and is just 75 minutes from Calgary International Airport and 15 minutes from Banff. Access to Western Canada’s National Parks, Kananaskis and the Ghost River areas couldn’t be easier!
At Caribou Mountain Adventures, they used their love, enthusiasm and knowledge of the Canadian Rockies to put together and deliver, what they hoped would be, a perfect holiday or activity.
Because their services were so personalized, they gave plenty of ideas and inspiration for activities you may like to do, but ultimately they leave you to chose your own itinerary. So, whether you wanted them to just sort out the logistics and get you to the venues to play for yourselves; provide the one off taster activity; or to organize every aspect of your holiday and provide activities for you to enjoy at your own level – they could meet your needs!
They had no hard and fast set itineraries – just a variety of services we offer for you to pick and chose from to custom make or enhance your dream holiday.
They catered for all outdoor enthusiasts – from the “first timer” wanting a new experience, to the hard core weekend warrior looking for new challenges.
Summer and Winter activities included:-
ICE CLIMBING * HIKING * SKIING * SNOWBOARDING * ROCK CLIMBING * RAFTING * X COUNTRY SKIING * MOUNTAIN BIKING * SNOWSHOEING * ALPINE MOUNTAINEERING * CANOEING * DOG SLEDDING * BACK COUNTRY HIKING * NIGHT SKIING * HOT SPRINGS
You tell they what sort of adventure you would like and they would organize any or all aspects of your trip to suit your needs. Whatever the activity, at whatever level, year round they will arrange and advise on every detail of your holiday itinerary with you via email or phone. This allows you to make the decisions from the comfort of your armchair while we ensure you get the holiday of a lifetime!
“At Caribou Mountain Adventures we have based our services on our own experiences of visiting new areas worldwide. You want to find the best places to climb, ski, hike and play…fast! You want to be challenged at your ability level and want to pack in as much fun as possible in the time you have available. Why not let us help you.
We want to save you wasting precious time getting lost on routes and overwhelmed by guide books. We want to show you the best climbs, the best ski slopes, the bounciest rapids. You could do with talking to someone who has local inside info and who knows the area well – even better why not have that someone take you there and point out the best fun to be had?
So maximizing your time and allowing you to experience the very best of exploring the Canadian Rockies – at an affordable price. Being entertained along the way with local stories and the odd bad joke thrown in for free!
We aim to get every aspect of your holiday just as you like it – which is why we leave no little detail to chance. We pride ourselves on our personalized and friendly service, where our attention to detail is second to none as we know it is the personal touch that makes all the difference.
Let us take care of the logistics so that you can enjoy all that this outdoor wilderness has to offer.
All you need to do is dream it – tell us – and we will do the rest!”
About the proprietors, Arthur and Liza Hindmarch of CaribouMountainAdventures.
Hi , I’m Arthur, and I love all things Canadian – especially the winter. Now I’m known for my modesty so I must admit this part of the website does make me cringe and feel like I’m on Blind Date or something….but I know you guys out there need to be reassured I’m not some sort of mad man so I’ll just ramble on for a bit longer.
When I first holidayed out here 7 years ago I thought I had died and gone to heaven….there’s more vertical ice to climb than I had ever in my wildest dreams imagined! And that was only what I could see from the road! It really is an ice climber’s paradise out here and is home to some of the most superb climbing in the world – it’s no wonder that Canmore has been named the ice climbing mecca in recent years.
Although ice and mixed climbing is my greatest passion (except for Liza, that is!) I enjoy all adventures outdoors – and more so since coming to live in Canmore as the climate is so dry and the sky so blue that it lets you go play, play, play all the time. I can be frequently found on the ski slopes trying to master this snow boarding lark and getting black and blue in the process, while this summer more rock climbing, hiking and biking are on the agenda! But don’t take my word for it – why not come out and see for yourselves!
Now, you want to know that you will be in capable hands should you chose a Caribou Mountain Adventures holiday, so here’s all the info that will hopefully reassure you I’m up for the job.
I am a certified Back Country Guide and a Member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) the governing body for Canada. I hold a current Wilderness First Aid Certificate and am a Mountain Parks Heritage Professional Interpreter of the natural landscape.
I have a B.Ed (Hons) degree in Outdoor Education and Environmental Science from I.M.Marsh College, Liverpool, U.K. After completing this I spent 5 years working with young offenders in care, using outdoor activities as a vehicle for personal growth and development. One of the highlights of this work was an Expedition to St Kilda to canoe with a group of 13-15 year old young men who more than met the challenge full on! I went on to head up the Education provision for this organization before moving to Cumbria Education department where I worked for 8 years, again using outdoor activities as a medium through which to offer young people opportunities to discover their potential.
I am committed to furthering my knowledge of the Rockies, and have a great love of mountains and wild places. I have been enjoying the mountains for some 30 years and have been fortunate to visit some of the worlds most beautiful places; from my early days on ‘The Ben’ in my native Scotland to the Southern Alps in New Zealand with many interesting stops in between.
I now enjoy passing on my love and enthusiasm for the Canadian Rockies to Caribou guests and feel that my own personal understanding and awareness of how outdoor activities and adventures nurtures the soul allows me to ensure guests have just the sort of experience they are looking for and unforgettable memories to take home with them!
Hi – I’m Liza!
Having resigned myself to needing to share Arth with the other love of his life….climbing….I discovered that it kind of grew on me too! And now I have to admit I love it!
My favourite time of year in Canada is, the Spring and Summer. I love hiking amongst the alpine flowers and mountain biking is a delight breathing in the refreshing smells of the pine, balsam poplar and willow trees in spring. I never take for granted the amazing scenery that greets my every day. Nature seems so alive and unspoilt and grand out here that it is just so easy to immerse yourself so totally and have the full blown wilderness experience that nurtures your mind, body and soul like nothing else! I love encountering wildlife on my travels and feel privileged to have been visited by a hummingbird looking for nectar, and a bald eagle floating above me on the thermals…and all from my back deck! My first bear encounter was just amazing (I spotted her first fortunately!) and gave me a taster of the awesome presence these majestic creatures have.
I have a B.Ed ( Hons) degree in Outdoor Education and Environmental Science from Liverpool, same as Arth – that’s where we met! I went on to spend the last 8 years prior to moving to Canada teaching young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties in a variety of settings.
I am also a qualified Homeopath and have an ongoing interest in health and wellness and love discovering the medicinal uses of plants and flowers I find on hikes out and about. I am also currently studying the art of tracking and outdoor survival skills to further my knowledge and connection with nature out here and so enhance a day’s hiking for Caribou clients. It is amazing how much more there is to see and hear when you know how to tread gently and what to look for!
I feel privileged to now be living in such a wonderful place, where everyone is so friendly and the sun shines so much! Canmorians are the nicest, happiest people I have ever met…..one comment clients repeatedly make is just how genuinely friendly and welcoming the local people are. ” Have a great day” is really meant out here! We are dedicated to ensuring that every day is a GREAT DAY in Canada for you too, should you decide to holiday with us! We hope we see you soon!
ALL ABOUT THE ROCKIES
The Rockies are indeed very rocky. Much is limestone, almost all is sediment of sorts. Sediments deposited in shallow seas over a long period – we’re taking hundreds of millions of years. Nothing on the planet stays entirely still, not for long anyway and the Pacific and North American plates are no exception. From around 140 million years ago they began to fall out big time. The thinner oceanic plate pushed under its thicker continental neighbor and our sediments began to see the light of day. As you drive west from Calgary towards the Rockies the resulting thrust faults are obvious.
What goes up as they say inevitably comes back down and processes of erosion would have been in effect even as the mountains were rising. The ice-ages have sculpted what rivers had started and now continue. The landscape today is one of steep rocky mountains, u-shaped valleys, truncated spurs and hanging glaciers. As the ice retreated, plants began the colonization process. First lichens, mosses and flowers then, as soils developed, larger shrubs and trees. Lodgepole pine, spruce, aspen, Douglas fir and others now blanket the valleys and climb the slopes into the sub-alpine zone.
This environment is home to a whole host of wildlife. You probably know about the: elk, deer, moose, beaver, marmot, big horn sheep, mountain goat, snowshoe hare, lynx, cougar, wolf, black and grizzly bears and of course the caribou who lends us its name. But did you know we have two species of humming bird? A ground squirrel that sleeps for eight months of the year? How about a frog that freezes solid in winter and yet thaws out in spring alive and well? We continue to learn about and from these incredible animals.
Native peoples have lived with this land for over 10,000 years. Blackfoot, Ktunaxa, Peigan, Shuswap and Stoney tribes all lived in and traveled through the Rockies prior to European contact. Their knowledge of, and relationship to the land is rarely fully understood or appreciated by more recent settlers.
In 1670 the Hudson’s Bay Company was given a Royal Charter to trade for fur in all the lands that drained into the Hudson Bay. A fashion statement i.e. the wearing of a beaver skin hat as a symbol of wealth and class in Europe, led to profound change for Canada. Early pioneers used native guides to good effect. In the early 1800’s Ktunaxa (Kootanay) people showed David Thompson a way across the Great Divide. Other routes followed and Oriental markets beckoned.
The Canadian Pacific Railway completed in 1885 – built to secure British Columbia’s membership of the Canadian Federation – changed the west forever. The railway cost a fortune and the government was keen to reclaim its investment. Wheat in the prairies was one payoff, the other was tourism. During railway construction three workers; the McCardell brothers and Frank McCabe, had noticed steam rising from the woods at the foot of Sulphur Mountain near Banff. They “discovered” the cave and basin hot springs that native peoples had used and venerated for centuries and they saw a gold-mine. Hot baths for railway workers in a land with six months of winter. They built a shack and began charging a few cents for a dip.
The C.P.R. wasn’t slow on seeing the potential, spa towns in Europe had grown rich on healing waters. The government with great foresight decided to protect the cave and basin and the area became Canada’s first national park in 1885. The Banff Springs Hotel completed in 1888 provided a luxury stop-over for wealthy passengers enroute from Europe across Canada and the Pacific to the Orient.
Early outfitters who had provided horses and guiding during railway surveying and construction now took visitors into the back-country. The Golden Age of Mountaineering in the Alps had come to a close with Whympers’ ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. The C.P.R. again saw the potential: hundreds of unclimbed peaks. They brought in Swiss guides to ensure the safety of their guests. In 1909 Conrad Kain an Austrian guide responsible for many first ascents in the Rockies, including Mt. Robson (1913), built a small ski jump on Caribou Street in Banff to amuse himself during the winter. The local youngsters loved it and it wasn’t long before Banff was set to become a year round resort.
So this is a small taste of the Canadian Rockies, to savor the full flavor however, you’ll need to come and experience it for yourself.
Golden BC. Their new website: http://www.caribouhostel.ca/
a 1400-square-foot cabin has two self-contained suites
The main floor suite sleeps up to eight people with three bunk beds in the dorm room and a futon in the living room. The suite also has a fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom, and a patio with barbecue.
Apartment Suite –
The upstairs suite sleeps up to four people with a queen-sized bed in the bedroom and a futon in the living room. The suite also has a fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom, and a private balcony with barbecue.
Prefer Bed and Breakfast style accommodation? Just ask about our breakfast baskets.
Caribou Hostel is a ten-minute drive from the town of Golden BC, which is centrally located with easy access to Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper, and Glacier National Parks.
Nestled on 8 acres of wooded land near the Blaeberry Valley, we are in a perfect location to explore what the area has to offer. We are just minutes from the Blaeberry River, Thompson Falls, Mummery Glacier, the Northern Lights Wilderness Wolf Centre, and the Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch.
Winter activities include snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, backcountry touring, and ice climbing.
Summer activities include mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, paragliding, hang gliding, longboarding, and disc golf.
We are a proud member of Backpackers Hostels.