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Ski to Remote Lodges in Canadian Rockies


Weeklong cross-country heli-skiing trips in the Canadian Rockies are scheduled for March 10-16, March 17-23 and March 24-30. Participants will first ski to remote Lake O'Hara Lodge--accessible in the winter only by ski, snowmobile and dog sled--to spend two nights in the backcountry and explore nearby trails by day.

The next overnight stop is the lakeside cabins of Emerald Lake Lodge. From there, guests take a helicopter ride for a flight to Purcell Lodge, which sits atop Mt. Baldy at 7,200 feet. The ski trails begin at the lodge door and range from meadow terrain to more challenging backcountry routes. For much of this trip, guests use backcountry skis and boots (slightly heavier than traditional Nordic equipment) to break tracks through virgin snow.

Cost: $1,998 per person, double occupancy including hotels, some meals and activities. Not included: air fare. Backcountry equipment is for rent at $70 a week. Contact: Backroads, 1516 5th St., Berkeley, CA 94710-1740; telephone (800) GO-ACTIVE.

Springtime in France

Travelers can choose from three tours to France this spring with Let's Go Tours of San Jose. The Paris Spring Fling tour leaves March 27 (cost: $1,545 per person, double occupancy, including air fare), which includes six nights in Paris; continental breakfasts; a visit to Claude Monet's home and gardens; five-day bus pass; tour of the Louvre, Orsay and Orangerie museums; the Tuileries garden and a Parisian fashion show. The Exploring Provence Tour leaves April 2 (cost: $1,699) and includes five nights in Ni^mes, private motor coach and guide to visit Avignon, Arles, Les Baux, St.-Remy, the Camargue and Aix-en-Provence. Price also includes round-trip transatlantic air fare. The French Connection combines the two-tour package for a price of $2,599, departing March 27 and returning April 8.

Contact: Suzanne Thomas, Let's Go Tours, 3222 Lake Albano Circle, San Jose, CA 95135; tel. (408) 223-2281.

Dog Sled Races

Get a feel for the far north on a seven-day trip, Feb. 27, to watch the annual 1,100-mile Iditarod Dog Sled Race, which starts in Anchorage,Alaska, and ends in Nome, Alaska. Participants travel to a remote wilderness lodge by dog sled and spend three days learning to drive a team of dogs, ski or go snowshoeing. On race day, the group will fly to a remote homestead along the Iditarod trail to watch the first teams. The next day the group will fly to an isolated race checkpoint at Skwentna to see the mushers and their dogs. Also scheduled: the Kenai Peninsula, Homer, Kachemak Bay and Anchorage for a bush ski-plane flight.

Cost: $2,675 per person, including all local transportation, lodging, meals and guides. Supplementary arctic winter gear can be supplied. Contact: Adventure Alaska, 2904 W. 31st Ave., Anchorage, AK 99517; tel. (800) 365-7057.

Workout Session

A 10-day fitness tour of Australia to visit Queensland and Sydney leaves March 15 and offers optional fitness sessions twice daily with trainer Diamond Russ. From the Queensland resort town of Cairns, participants will hike in a rain forest, learn about the ancient culture of Australia's natives and sail, snorkel and swim on the Great Barrier Reef. In Sydney there is an evening cruise on Sydney Harbour, walking along Manly Beach, breakfasting with the animals at Taronga Park Zoo and a day trip to the Blue Mountains.

Russ will give morning and evening workouts with a special beat-the-jet-lag session the first evening. Some training will be alfresco and unstructured on the beach or in a park. In Cairns participants will stay at the beachfront Novotel Palm Cove Resort, which has a sports center, sauna, swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, aerobics and aqua-aerobics.

Cost: $2,600 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, air fare within Australia, land transportation, hotels, some meals and workouts. Contact: WorldWise Travel Services, 1739 Franklin St., Suite A, Santa Monica, CA 90404; tel. (310) 829-5334.

Trek Vietnam

A 22-day tour of Vietnam escorted by cultural studies expert David Cupples will depart Los Angeles on Jan. 26. Participants will spend several nights with ethnic villagers and take boat trips on Nha Trang Bay, Perfume River and Ha Long Bay. Cities and sites visited include Saigon, the Cu Chi underground tunnels, Tay Ninh, Pleiku, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, My Son, Hue, Hanoi and Hoa Binh. Several cultural shows will be staged and a morning's trek by elephant is planned.

Cost: $2,195 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, all meals and entrance fees, air-conditioned motor coach and local guide. International air fare not included. An optional extension in Saigon for Tet celebrations available. Members may also link up with a 10-day trek in Thailand departing Jan. 15 or a 14-day tour of the Philippines departing Feb. 26. Contact: David Cupples, Mythic Tours, 1505 Secrest, Santa Ana, CA 92704; tel. (714) 545-0812.

Perusing Peru

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