Check out some of these hi-adrenaline alternative winter sports and get ready to hit the snow
The arrival of winter is associated with the ushering in of myriad emotions. For some, winter means being snug in a quilt with a hot beverage in one hand and watching the dense fog slowly pass by the window. However, for others, winter signifies activity, and the fresh outdoors refreshes the body and mind in a unique way.
Winter sports have always been popular, in one way or the other, combining the elements of recreation and competitiveness perfectly. Countries which witness a heavy downfall of snow are usually the ones where different forms of winter sports – like ice hockey, skiing, sledding, snowboarding and others, are enthusiastically pursued. The Winter Olympics Games and other similar events reflect the trend of the ever growing popularity of sports during winter. The adrenaline rush generated from zooming down a mountain slope, running and tackling a ball or watching your sled speed past others, with the onlookers cheering you all the while, is a thrilling experience.
However, the rise of alternative winter sports has expanded the variety of options available to both amateurs and the experienced, sports that require a high level of expertise and those that do not.
DOG SLEDDING IN NORWAY
As you glide through Scandinavian snowlands, you will cherish the feel of fresh air rush past your face, thanks to the pack of lively husky dogs towing you at great speed. Dog sledding is a sport that is fast gaining popularity, and not without good reason. It’s a breathtaking ride and thousands of tourist boards across Scandinavia arrange day excursions for complete beginners. However, your four-legged companions will do half the work, the other half of it will require you to have considerably strong arms, so, watch out for muscle soreness the next morning!
SNOWSHOEING IN THE FRENCH ALPS
A snowshoe walk is all about treading merrily over frosty plains. The snowshoes distribute the weight of the body over a larger area, thus preventing one from sinking into the snow. Forget those weird looking tennis racket-like shoes strapped to your feet, and strap on stylish models that offer an iron grip. They keep you steady on snowy terrain, leaving you free to take in mesmerising views of the white rolling hills. The workout that your legs receive is an extra bonus. The best part about it is that it requires no expertise, just walk slowly and steadily with a rolling gait, that’s all.
SNOWKITING IN NORTHEASTERN USA
This sport will keep accomplished skiers and snowboarders on their toes - literally. Snowkiting gives you the sensation of weightless skiing, with a power kite speeding the snowkiter along or lifting them above the ground. The experienced (and brave) can also spin into mid-air acrobatics. A combination of skiing and kite-flying, using some of the principles of sailing to steer, snowkiting allows you to glide easily on flat land assisted by the breeze, or even ski uphill.
SCALING ICE FALLS IN CHAMONIX VALLEY
While snowkiting provides a spectacular bird’s-eye view, ice climbing provides one the adrenaline-laced vertigo that you crave. However, scaling ice falls requires both expertise and a tough heart. The ice falls of Chamonix, across the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland, have plenty of sites for ice climbers that challenge one’s abilities to the zenith. Beginners, though, would be advised to take a course or two before engaging in this daring sport.
NIGHT SLEDDING IN SWITZERLAND
From the town of Interlaken in Switzerland, travel high into the Swiss alps, under starlit winter skies, and then embark on the sled run that extends up to one hour. The beautiful trail cuts through some beautiful, still woods that appear quite magical during the night, crossing alpine meadows and passes over majestic frozen waterfalls. Night sledding combines the elements of winter fun, nature, and exposes one to various forms of Swiss traditions. This is one sport that makes freezing nights lively.