By Annie Lafrance
Have ski hills lost their thrill? Are your snowshoes giving you the cold shoulder? How about trying a new sport this winter? Here are five things that will make you love the cold and snow again. We promise!
Hop on a fat bike and get rolling! You don’t have to wait for the snow to melt to pump the pedals. Anyone can ride these winter bikes, equipped with over-sized tires and available at a growing number of rental locations. Whether novice or daredevil, you control the speed you want to go, giving you time to take in the beauty of nature while you’re out on the trails.
Are they skis or snowshoes? Sometimes known as Hok skis, these ski-snowshoe hybrids combine the two to give users more freedom. What’s the advantage? They get you around faster than snowshoes, but are easier to handle than cross-country skis. It’s not surprising that several provincial parks are now renting them.
Back-country skiing brings you off the beaten path and into the freshly fallen snow. While you can practice this sport at most ski resorts, many adventurers prefer climbing snowy mountains without a chair lift or sign in sight. It’s a sport that can be done all over the country, in the Rockies or the Chic-Chocs or anywhere in between.
Snowkiting certainly isn’t new. It’s been attracting snow-sport lovers since 1990. Balanced on a snowboard or skis, snowkiters are pulled along by the wind as it hits a large kite. Even though you kite ski/board on a flat surface, usually a frozen lake, you can reach up to 70 km/h in wind corridors and even do air acrobatics! In Québec, introductory classes are available at most snowkiting schools.
As a child, did you ever try to attach skis to your BMX? Did you know that this fusion really exists? A snowscoot, or snow scooter, is a bike frame mounted on a snowboard that brings all the fun of BMXing into winter! Having shifted from odd gadget to veritable sport, snowscooting has been growing in popularity and is now allowed on many ski hills.