Hundreds take polar bear dip

Event at frigid Alouette Lake turning into a tradition

  • Jan. 5, 2016 2:00 p.m.

The New Year’s Day tradition continued as people ran down the boat launch in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Friday and jumped into Alouette Lake.

“It was quite amazing that there were a couple hundred people up there,” said Alex Milner, with the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club.

The club doesn’t officially sponsor the polar bear swim, but helps organize it and set up the ribbon for people to cross as they hit the water at noon.

He guesses the New Year’s Day swim has been going on for 15 years.

“It’s grown substantially. I think it’s become a Maple Ridge tradition.”

The road to Golden Ears Provincial Park was closed intermittently the day before, but opened on Jan. 1 so people could get to the lake.

Ross Davies, with Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, usually goes to Alouette Lake, but this year went to the New Year’s Day swim at Stave Lake in Mission.

“The water temperature was four degrees. The key is to keep your core warm right up to the last second.”