10 UNUSUAL WINTER ADVENTURES
Even if you don’t usually practice ski, ski-touring, cross-country skiing or ice climbing, winter season offers lots of alternatives to enjoy if you are going to spend your holidays in the mountains.
Winter destinations all over the world propose always new adventures – more or less adrenalinic – to their guests.
We selected 10 unusual winter activities which our Team would like to try soon.
Location: France, Col du Lautaret
Snowkiting, one of the hottest new winter sport now, is a fusion of snowboarding, skiing and kiting, but it is considered easier to learn than kitesurfing (standing up on the snow is not such as on water). You can enjoy stunning views and landscapes around you, while riding on the deep and pristine snow.
You can snowkite in many places in France, but the perfect climate conditions are in Col du Lautaret from November to May. Situated in the central Alps at 2058m, and nota way from the Serre Chevalier ski area, you can get a guide to learn the sport and to select the best spot to enjoy the session.
Location: Switzerland, St. Moritz
Skijoring is an alternative winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a dog or more or a horse. Scandinavian natives were towed by reindeers for long roads in the past, but since the 20th century Swiss replaced the reindeers with horses. After its first race in 1906, skijoring became a recognized sport.
In the most famous winter sport resort location in Switzerland, St. Moritz, you can enjoy the annual on-snow horserace event, White Turf, with the only skijoring race in the world and also try by yourself to be guided by an horse while skiing or cross country ski with your buddy in specific trails.
Location: USA, Pennsylvania
If you don’t ski or are you looking for a funny activity in the snow to do with your kids or friends, snowtube is what you need: you don’t need any particular skill or equipment, just sit down onto a tube, hold on, and slide down! Many ski resorts offer designated snow tubing hills where you can enjoy your rides.
At Camelback Mountain Resort in the Poconos Mountains, the largest snow tubing area in the US, you can slide down on 42 tubing lanes, even in couple or by forming a chain of 6 tubes. More, prepare yourself for the “Galactic Snowtubing”: snow tubing can continue in the night on the lanes lit up by colourful LED lights.
4. FAT BIKE
Location: USA, Vermont
If you are a bike lover and you think to stop your activity in the colder months, fat biking is what you need. Fat bikes are specific bycicle with oversized, under-inflated tyres which allow you to better handle the snowy and unstable terrains, and continue exploring the backcountry in winter season as well.
You can decide to rent a fat bike to explore the wilderness by your own, or you can opt for joining organized fat bike winter tours to explore the snow covered Northeast Kingdom in Vermont. Daily or multi-daily cycling tours are planned to experience the 30-miles groomed singletrack path of the Kingdom Trails.
5. NORDIC ICE SKATING
Location: Sweden, Luleå
Ice skating in a rink is certainly the most popular winter activity, but you can also try Nordic ice skating over a frozen lake for longer distances. You need to wear skates with longer blades and ice picks and a stick are essential as well; take part to the tour skating activities which are organized by local guides in different places.
In Swedish Lapland, from December to March/April you can enjoy the 10 kilometres track in Luleå: the ice track encompass the city, spanning from one harbour to the other and then out into the Bothnian archipelago to the island of Gråsjälören, and benches and fireplaces to stop and rest at along the way.
6. SLEIGH RIDE
Location: Austria, Grossarltal
If you don’t want to experience the classic winter trekking activity, you may opt for an alternative winter experience in the outdoor: a sleigh ride among the Grossartal countryside, in Salzburger region, Austria. Enjoy the peace of Nature around you, just disturbed by the sleigh slicing, bells and the horses movement.
You can merge yourself in a nostalgic past, by sitting on a lacquered sleigh under warm blankets just enjoying the snowy surroundings. Two majestic horses and the carriage driver wearing traditional clothes will will lead you among winter landscapes and you will feel like in a romance.
7. VISITING HOT SPRINGS
Location: USA, Oregon
After a long day of exploring places and enjoying the best winter activities, you can decide to soothe tired muscles after a day of skiing or just relaxing by visiting the thermal hot springs: pull on a swimsuit and get ready to sink inyo the warm mineral water pools with the surrounding all covered in snow.
If you’re visiting Oregon, you can plan a week-end trip to the popular Umpqua Hot Springs. After a 0.4 mile (0,6 km) hike, you can reach a handful of geothermal cascading hot pools sit on a cliffside travertine terrace above the roaring river and warm up with their hot water, going up to 115°F (46.1°C) degrees.
8. CROSS-COUNTRY SKI BY NIGHT
Location: USA, Michigan
Cross-country ski is one of the classic activities you can do to enjoy the snowy landscapes during the winter holidays by your own way or joining organized guided tours. What you don’t usually take in consideration to do is to practice this activity by night, but you can try it in the Porcupine Mountains in Northern Michigan.
In the Porkies, as are called the Porcupine Mountains, you can experience their pristine wilderness by skiing in the night on the 1-mile path illuminated by nearly 80 old-fashioned kerosene lanterns or snowshoeing on the adjacent trail to the lighted loop. Along the way, restore and warming up is possible in the Visitor Centre.
Location: Italy, South Tyrol
If you are looking for an entertainment for the whole family or friends, a tobogganing session is for you: you need to follow simple rules and wear warm clothing, ski goggles and a headlamp and just have fun. Tobogganing runs are spread all over South Tyrol, in skiing areas mainly.
In Rosskopf at Vipiteno, you can experience the longest tobogganing slope in Italy: 10 kilometers of artificial snow covered trail which runs for 900 meters of altitude back to Vipiteno through a forest landscape. In some evenings the sledging trail is floodlit until midnight, so you can enjoy a night-time sledging session as well.
10. WINTER VANLIFE
Location: USA, Utah
Even if we usually associate camping and vanlife to summer season, the colder months also offer plenty of campervan road trip opportunities; after all, what’s better than staying warm inside your campervan while admiring always different wintry peaks outside in the morning?
Arches National Park offers you stunning views with its red rocks covered by the white of the snow; most hiking trails remain open year-round, such as the well-known Delicate Arch, but pay attention to the icy surfaces after a snowfall. RV parks or locally owned establishment are located in the near city, Moab.