As though -7 C temperature wasn't bad enough, around 100 people stripped down to their skivvies and dove into a bitterly cold Thompson River for the 22nd annual Polar Bear Swim on Tuesday.
And as the noon countdown to dive began, hundreds more crowded the Riverside Park beach to watch the spectacle.
"I think this crowd is amazing," said organizer Joe Picton. "It looks like we have a lot of swimmers. When you look back at the first year, we had something like four to eight people, so this is crazy."
Each swimmer had his or her own reason for running into water just a few degrees above freezing.
For Michelle Reith, the dive begins a year-long odyssey.
"I'm turning 50 this year and I thought my babies have grown, it's time to do something for me. This is my year of every day I'm going to do something new," she said.
"Maybe not all as dramatic as this," she added with a laugh.
Afterward, Reith said the cold "wasn't so bad" before running off yelling, "Onto the next!"
Annabelle Mew wanted to take part so she could experience something uniquely Canadian. Born and raised in Chichester, England, the Thompson Rivers University student said she's never seen colder weather than 0 C.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and it's good luck. So while I'm here, just do it."
Sahali secondary exchange student Nicole Wiecatrs of Germany has seen colder weather, but no one in her native country is crazy enough to jump into freezing water, she said.
"I will remember this forever I think."
Some swimmers took the plunge just to see if they could.
"I just want to know I can," said 22-year-old Kamloops resident Lauren Gallagher, adding with a laugh: "I probably won't be happy for the rest of the day."
Gallagher got a last-minute partner to join her in 21-year-old Natasha Kenworthy, who had just flown in from Lethbridge, Alta., the previous day.
"Lauren was like 'Will you come to the polar bear swim with me because no one else is crazy enough to do it?' I was like 'Yeah!' "
In the end, all swimmers survived the dare unscathed and a few even went in again . . . and again.