Unusual winter activities
Are you bored of basketball? Tired of Tennis? Frightened of Football? Well don’t despair. It might be winter but curling’s not the only activity on offer.
Here’s our list of the best unusual winter activities on offer around the world.
Sit-Down Skiing in Canada
If you’ve ever gone skiing and spent more time on the floor than on your feet this might be the activity for you. The Whistler resort in Canada now offers its visitors the option of using the Sno-Limo – a chair on skis! A guide will stand on the skies at the back and manoeuvre the Sno-Limo around the icy slopes. To some this might seem like the lazy option. To the un-coordinated this is genius.
Build an Igloo in France
That’s right, build an igloo. If you’ve ever wondered how it feels to live in a home made of ice, or if you’ve ever wanted to pretend to be Pingu, this is your chance. You might think that you’d have to travel to the arctic for such an activity but you’d be wrong. In the French Alps (Les Carroz to be exact) you can build your own igloo and sleep in it for the night! A team will help you with the construction and provide you with champagne and a warming fondue dinner after.
Ice yachting in the US
Ice yachting involves sailing and racing specifically designed ice boats on – you guessed it – ice. This winter activity is also popular in Poland, Austria, Germany, Sweden the US and Canada. An ice boat typically has a kite shaped frame, resting at right angles on a runner-plank and can hold up to 7 passengers. In New York an ice boat that resembles a toboggan with a sail (known as the ‘scooter’) has become particularly popular.
Segway Snow Trekking in Austria
Although many countries view segways as a rather geeky mode of transport that’s not the case in Austria where segways are a hugely popular way of exploring the winter countryside. You can trek through specially designed obstacle courses or just cruise freestyle over snowy slopes, all the while enjoying views of the Austrian Alps.
Play Broomball in Moscow
Broomball was once described as the result of hockey and curling meeting at ‘a really wild party’. In order to play broomball a tennis court must be flooded and frozen. A stick, made from the straw brushes used by street-sweepers in Moscow, is altered using duct tape and used to hit a soft ball towards a goal. The rules are very similar to hockey, although there are some notable differences. Broomball shoes (like trainers, only with more grip) must be warn during play.
Skijoring in Norway
This activity is similar to sit-down skiing in that it requires very little effort from the participant. Skijoring involves a person wearing skis and being pulled along either by a motorized vehicle or an animal (a dog or a horse for example, not a cat or a goldfish). Sanctioned and unsanctioned skijoring competitions are held in many countries which receive heavy snowfall in winter and there are three international organisations for dog skijoring.
Hot-air ballooning in Finland
If you’ve got a head for heights and enjoy spectacular views hot-air ballooning in the Finnish skies is an experience you’d never forget. Some companies will take you up before day break, so you can watch the sun rise over snow-capped pine forests.
Naked Ice Swimming in Scandinavia
Most people wouldn’t swim naked in the warm waters of the Mediterranean, let alone the icy depths of a frozen Scandinavian lake, but ice swimming is surprisingly popular in areas of Northern Europe and many people do it in the nude. Apparently dunking, diving and swimming in freezing waters can offer a huge array of health benefits. Let’s hope the benefits make the risk of hypothermia worthwhile!