The dead of winter seems to have been broken and outdoor enthusiasts are taking up the latest seasonal offerings in Gros Morne National Park.
A growing pursuit in the national park this time of year is backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding.
One of the most popular treks is an 18-kilometre day trip looping around the unmarked Burridges Gulch area, which covers some of the higher elevations found in the Southeast Hills area of Gros Morne.
The backcountry hut located in Southwest Gulch in The Tablelands area is also a popular destination.
Both of these areas are snowmobile-free locations, meaning the only way to reach them is on skis. Backcountry skiing also requires proper gear, including skins to assist with ascending snow-covered and icy slopes.
“The beauty about the Southeast Hills area is that skiers and snowshoers and snowboarders can drive to the snow, put on their gear and be in a mountain experience right away, versus trudging for long distances to reach these pristine snowmobile-free areas,” Sue Rendell, who recently retired from her adventure tourism business Gros Morne Adventures, explained in an emailed message about the growing interest in springtime adventures within the park.
In addition, Rendell added, there is quite a variety of terrain from gentle valleys to steeper slopes suitable for both beginner and expert skiers or riders.
The Gros Morne Ski Community’s page on Facebook currently has more than 350 members posting photos and comments about their latest adventures and the conditions, including areas where avalanche activity has been noticed or seems to be a possibility.
“There are a number of people who tour and there are a number of people who seek the thrill of dropping down steep mountain slopes and glade runs,” said Rendell. “It is growing in popularity for sure.”