5 Alternatives to Skiing

Let’s say your friends are heading up to the slopes for a weekend of glorious skiing and fresh powder. And let’s say you really want to go because…hello, a weekend in the mountains with your best buds! But then let’s also say you don’t really know how to ski and, for whatever reason, you feel that you + planks of wood strapped to your feet + icy slopes = bad idea. Fair enough. But you don’t want to sit around the lodge sipping hot toddies either. Well, at least not until early afternoon anyway.

So, what do you do?

1. Suck it up and get out there!
Alright, fine, you don’t have to, but you better come up with a good excuse as to why you’re not hitting the slopes because your friends are most definitely going to give you a hard time and use all of their powers of persuasion to get you on the lifts. You might want to get a doctor’s note because “I’m afraid of heights” is not going to satisfy well-meaning (and insistent) friends who want you to enjoy the slopes as much as they do.

2. Rent snowshoes.
Easy to use, no previous technical experience necessary, and you don’t need a lot of extraneous gear. Just grab some comfy (and waterproof) boots, some warm clothes, and you’re good to go. If you want to explore the mountains, but don’t feel very comfortable on skis, this is your ticket.

3. Cross-country ski.
Ok, yes, technically this still includes strapping boards to your feet and going down icy slopes. However, it’s a little milder than some of the stuff at the top of the ski lift. You can stick to the beginner trails and enjoy a scenic tour through the forest. Just watch out for the more proficient cross-country skiers as they zip past.

4. Sled dogs
Pretend you’re in a Jack London novel and get your dog sledding groove on. These burly (but loveable) power houses are not your average house pets and getting a chance to run behind them will deepen your appreciation for the strength, grace, and magnificence of these pups in action. It will also give you a pretty good workout. The downside is you can’t take any of them home. Sigh.

5. Sledding
I don’t care how old you get, sledding never stops being fun. And it’s free, or at least a lot cheaper than a lift ticket. So go buy yourself a plastic disk and knock yourself out. But not literally so…stay away from the trees and maybe get a helmet.

By Nikki Hodgson

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