Allouette Lake ‘not frozen’ for Jan. 1 dip

Reservoir was at freezing point for traditional swim to mark new year

Alouette Lake was exactly 0 degrees Celsius for the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club’s Polar Bear dip on Tuesday.

Up to 40 people took part in the event, nine of them club members, testing both courage and endurance of the human body.

Started in the late 1990s by the club, the dip has been growing in numbers for the past three or four years.

Every year members get together for a short hike in Golden Ears park before gathering by the lake for the noon plunge.

“So it was not frozen, but it was zero, so it was cold,” chuckled Serge Touchette, president of the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club.

He only does the plunge because it is tradition for the club and he enjoys the social aspect of it.

“It’s doing it with a group of people and, of course, the shock of getting in the water and getting out of it fairly quickly,” he laughed.

“Although some people will add to the challenge by trying to stay in it as long as they can, I’m not into that personally.”

One man stayed in the lake for several minutes this year.

“The guy had a smile on his face, so he was obviously hiding the shock on his body well,” Touchette said.

The Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club regularly organizes physical outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, biking, snow shoeing or skiing, all year round for its members.