A local New Years Day tradition for Maple Ridge masochists will have to skip a year.
The annual polar bear dip, which has seen crowds in the hundreds run off the Alouette Lake boat launch into the ice cold waters, will not be a group event on Jan 1, 2021.
The Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club has helped organize it in the past, but their president Alex Milner said the organization has forgone social gatherings of any sort this year.
“At the moment there’s no plans for it,” Milner said.
“One or two brave members may go down there, and maybe a few will watch, but there’s nothing official for getting together and having a swim.”
Ross Davies, with Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, has been known to be partial to a polar dip.
He echoed Milner’s comments.
“I think folks are being encouraged in these times of not gathering to just do their own thing in a backyard pool or something like that,” he said.
“I will probably end up just diving into the Alouette River at Hot Rocks.”
The Canadian Red Cross recommends participants in a polar bear plunge to keep as warm as possible until right before they hit the water.
It is also wise to have somebody nearby, who can lend a hand if anything goes wrong.
Dippers should not stay in the water longer than two minutes, and should have warms clothes to change into as soon as they get back on land.