With it being too chilly to get out of bed and getting dark at 4 p.m., there’s little motivation in winter to do anything but hibernate. Never fear adventure enthusiasts, there are some winter activities that can still get your pulse racing and get you excited about the possibility of wind whipping your hair.
Like the exhilaration of backcountry skiing and the remoteness of no lift lines? Get dropped off at the top of the mountain by helicopter. Gaining popularity with adrenaline junkies around the world, BC is the most popular location to partake in this death defying act with 90% of the heli-skiing marketshare. Make sure you do your research though as etiquette is different all around the world. The U.S. and Canadian companies treat heli-skiing like a ski lift, picking you up and dropping you off for about 5-12 runs, but in Europe it’s more like a taxi, once you’re out there, you’re on your own so bundle up and bring a map in order to trek back to civilization.
Ever heard of the polar bear club? Now’s your change to live it by plunging into the icy waters of Antarctica. Don a wet suit or dry suit and take a shallow dive down (just 30 feet) under the ice floes to experience interesting marine life such as kelp walls, sea snails, crabs, sea butterflies, ice fish, shrubby horsetails, jelly fish, sea hedgehogs, starfish, and even seals and penguins while getting your blood pumping.
A newer adventure sport, kite skiing can be done on water, land or ice, but is easier to learn on snow than water. Foil kites are the most common to use, as they won’t get crushed upon impact. Popular on the many frozen lakes and fields in the Midwest and East Coast, the sport first gained popularity in Erie, PA in the ‘80s.
Sleep in an Igloo
Get a taste of Eskimo living by sleeping in your very own igloo. Both an art and a science, your home for the night is constructed out of blocks of snow in jenga style succession. Lapland Igloo Village in Sweden boasts snow igloos, 20 glass igloos, an ice bar, an ice gallery, ice chapel and the world’s largest snow restaurant to get your freeze on.
Strap on some bindings and float your way across the snowy landscapes by snowshoeing your way around the world. Gorgeous Patagonia offers the ability to traverse it’s terrain via snowshoe, while Hokkaido, Japan offers snowshoeing out to frozen waterfalls with legendary hot springs to look forward to. It's one of the most accessible winter sports because if you can walk, you can snowshoe.
An exhilarating way to scale ice walls, grab your crampons, don an ice pick and get your adrenaline pumping. Iceland is a great landscape for glacier climbing as the white snowcapped mountains are a stark contrast to the black ash of the volcanoes. Alaska is also a popular place for glacier tours.