‘Just’ skiing did I say? There’s nothing ‘just’ about skiing. It is one of the most exhilarating sports in the world I think… although my son would beg to differ – his choice would probably be snowboarding or kite surfing.
But back to my question… why limit yourself to just skiing? With mountain regions becoming accessible to anyone with snowchains, resorts are getting more and more imaginative and offering more and more things to do for all adrenaline junkies out there.
Take COLORADO for example. We all know that some of the best skiing in North America can be found there. After all, they are lucky enough to have the whole spine of the Rocky Mountains running through their state. But this fabulous area now has a lot more to offer.
You can now dogsled at Snowmass, snowshoe hike at Bear Lake, four-wheel all-terrain Jeep ice race on frozen Georgetown Lake, climb frozen waterfalls at Ouray Ice Park … to name just a few alternatives. When it comes to extreme sports and the ultimate adrenaline rush, I think Colorado has most things covered come Summer or Winter.
You can actually dogsled at many other places besides Snowmass – that was just my first example, try Breckinbridge, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Winter Park, Vail, Beaver Creek, Durango to name just a few.
Then you can four-wheel, all-terrain Jeep ice race on frozen Georgetown Lake. When most other people park their toys in a garage in the winter, some in the Snow Belt don’t – they screw on studs and hit the lake! BRadOO7 put this video on to show us all what it’s about.
What’s next? Climbing frozen waterfalls… The Ouray Ice Park is a 2 mile long stretch of the Uncompagre Gorge that has been designated for public ice climbing.Thanks to bwadeocra.
But you could also go to East Vail and climb their 120 ft free standing pillar of ice – fondly nicknamed ‘The Fang’. Routes on this climb are prime examples of technical ice climbing and should only be attempted by the knowledgeable and well-trained. This enormous ice pillar forms from the cascading waterfall only in exceptionally cold winters. It can be up to 50 m high (120 ft) and has been known to have a base measuring 8 m wide.
You could also, of course, do a spot of snowshoe hiking. Snowshoeing can be the perfect escape – if you are desperate to experience some much-needed peace and quiet… or just a wild day out with friends. Try Bear Lake and Wild Basin. These two areas are particularly popular with the big shoeprint set, thanks to DrOfWax for the video. Most other areas of the park could be considered “ski mountaineering” rather than “ski touring” with steep climbs and descents, narrow routes and sharp turns. This area is also suitable for cross country ski-ing.
And then of course there are other such arbitary things as para-gliding, heli-skiing, back country skiing etc. to take in.
I started this article on the derogatory lines of “Why limit yourself to just skiing” and I will end it on a video from XTremeVideo to show that there is no such thing as “just skiing”…