Other Winter adventures

Posted by Ash K on Sunday, February 26, 2012 0

Think winter sports and most people think of snowboarding and skiing. One or two might add
sledding or snowshoe walks to the list, but for years the snowsports world has been dominated
by those two activities. There are, however some great alternatives for those who are looking for
something a little different this season. Here are a few other options to think about:

-Ice climbing. Where skiing is all about coming down the mountain in style, ice climbing is all about
going up. Armed with a pair of ice axes and with spiked crampons on your boots, you'll make your
way up a spectacular frozen mountainside, or even climb a frozen waterfall.

You don't have to be an expert to give ice climbing a try. There are even a few indoor ice climbing
centers scattered around the world, so you can give it a go in a very controlled environment. Even if
you aren't going to be anywhere that offers indoor ice climbing, most Alpine and winter mountain
resorts are home to guides and instructors who will be more than happy to take you out and give
you a taste of this incredibly exciting sport.

-Snow holing and snow survival courses. Every kid wants to build an igloo at some point, and there
are plenty of adults who'd like to give it a try too. With expert instruction you can learn how to build
your very own igloo or snow hole home-away-from-home. Winter survival courses can also teach
you about assessing avalanche risk, how to move across snowy slopes safely, and a whole lot more.
They're ideal for people just starting out in the winter sports world but even the most experienced
mountaineer will probably learn something new.

-Ice diving. The tropical fish are nowhere to be seen but nevertheless, scuba divers are taking to the
icy waters around Canada, off Iceland, and in Russia's Lake Baikal in increasing numbers. The appeal
lies in exploring a strange and new underwater environment and seeing sights few people ever
dream of- very few ever see an iceberg from below. With the right training and the right equipment
it's even possible for recreational divers to get into the water underneath the North Pole.

-Dog sledding. One of the most popular of these winter alternatives, dog sledding trips are now run
from many of the biggest and most famous Scandinavian winter destinations and also in a number
of US states and Canadian provinces and territories. There are plenty of tour companies that offer
a one or two day dog sledding option too, so there is no need to spend a whole week on a sled. You
can either sit back and enjoy the ride, try handling the dogs yourself, or even join in dog sledding
race across the frozen countryside.

Jess Spate is a devotee of all kinds of winter sports. She writes for Appalachian Outdoors, one of
America's finest providers of winter sports clothing and equipment. They supply everything from North
Face Summit Series jackets
to backcountry ski accessories.

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