From backcountry snow camping to hiking and snowshoeing, there’s more to winter than skiing and ice skating. If you love nature, and aren’t afraid of the cold, there’s a wide range of adventures that will keep you outdoors year-round.
As long as you have appropriate outdoor clothing and training, there’s no reason not to take advantage of new physical challenges as well as a winter landscape that’s sure to provide unexpected delights.
Cross Country Skiing
With origins in Scandinavia 4000-4500 years ago, cross country skiing has come a long way from being the sole method of transportation for snow and ice-bound Northerners.
Today, cross country skiing (aka Nordic Skiing or XC Skiing) may just be the world’s best aerobic fitness activity. The sport involves simultaneous use of arms and legs utilizing ski equipment including boots, poles, and skis. Because you can XC Ski just about anywhere with snow, you can match the terrain to suit your fitness level and interests.
Winter’s fastest growing adventure fitness craze may just be snowshoeing! It’s easy to see why snowshoeing is the trendiest and friendliest on-snow winter activity considering anyone who can walk can snowshoe.
Until the 1970’s, snowshoes were used primarily for survival rather than recreation. Today, enthusiasts who strap on a pair of snowshoes range from casual snowshoers who hike trails for pleasure, to those who trek through the backcountry, and competitors who race. One of the best things about snowshoeing is just about anywhere you hike or mountain bike in summer, you can snowshoe in winter.
Get off the groomed trails and experience backcountry skiing! For most, tele skiing is all about the stoke, the sensation, that feeling of excited exhilaration that comes from getting into the groove of the tele turn.
Norwegian Sondre Norheim, recognized as the father of telemark skiing, popularized this new style of turn where one ski is advanced in front of the other and the heel is raised on the rear ski, with the skier in a very bent knee position . The telemark turn is ideally suited for the moderately steep mountains and the soft, deep snow found in the Telemark region of Norway.
Fast growing and simple to learn, skiers and boarders across the world are discovering the fun of snow kiting. All you need is snow and a power kite and you can turn a cold winter’s day into a blistering, adrenaline-soaked experience. Speeds of over 60 mph have been recorded as snow kite riders blast themselves along with just the power of the wind.
Wind power is one of life’s few free rides and already snow kiting enthusiasts have achieved incredible things. From a ground breaking unsupported journey to the North Pole and back to huge kite-powered adventures through Alaska, the world of winter sports is embracing this fantastic new sport.