How Yaktrax Changed My Life

mountainI’m not sure anything can prepare a new immigrant for their first Canadian winter.


Mid-October, our first year here, some friends came round for Sunday brunch. As they were leaving, one of them sniffed the air and said, “I can smell snow.”

I laughed.

Two weeks later my wee boy had to wear a snow suit to go out trick or treating.

iceBut the snow couldn’t last forever, could it? So we bought our son a tricycle for Christmas. The first time he got to ride it outside? Easter Sunday, at a park downtown where all the paths had been cleared.

Come our second winter, I thought I was prepared.


On my way to a job interview, I slipped, fell, and broke my wrist. Bye-bye job. Hello phobia of snowy sidewalks.

I’d still go out walking in winter, but the fear that my bones wouldn’t make it through till spring intact lurked constantly in the back of my head. And at least once every winter, I’d do a serious nose plant. It got to the point where I couldn’t see the beauty of Calgary’s clear blue skies, bright sunshine and magnificent vista of the Rockies and would gladly have swapped it for rain, damp and drizzle.

yaktraxThen, after almost thirty years here, I discovered Yaktrax. It’s no exaggeration to say they have changed my life. Yaktrax (and similar brands) cost about $30 from Mountain Equipment Co-op, slip over your shoes, and grip the ground like nothing on earth.

Now, as long it’s not colder than -10C (with no wind) you’ll find me out walking the dog, taking in that glorious blue sky, sunshine and scenery.

Winter? I love it!

Welcome to Canada!