Squamish Polar Bear Swim returns Jan. 1 at noon | Squamish Chief

Squamish Polar Bear Swim returns Jan. 1 at noon

Organizer aims to get more people to take the chilly dip into Howe Sound this year

What cures the New Year's Eve hangover faster than a cool dip in Howe Sound?

Likely not much.

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The Squamish Polar Bear Swim 2020 at Newport Beach takes to the icy water at noon on Jan. 1.

"For us, it started in 2012, although a few people were doing it before us. A high spirited commitment at a New Year's Eve party  — with video evidence — the night before meant we could not back out," said Mike Wight, organizer of the frosty event.

The swim has grown year over year. Wight estimates around 50 brave souls took the plunge in 2019.

"We want more for 2020. Squamish people are outdoorsy and tough, there’s no excuse not to take the plunge," he said.

Asked why he comes back each year, Wight called running into the ice water fun, exciting and "a plain old good laugh."

In terms of tips for those taking the plunge for the first time, Wight says that it won't be as bad as the newbie fears.

"Pretty much everyone who takes the plunge will do it again the following year, including my seven-year-old daughter," he said.

He advises first-time participants get to Newport Beach early and rally friends to come along.

Also, bring sandals, towels, a hot beverage, and a camera to remember the memory.

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