Skiers and snowboarders spend half the year impatiently waiting for winter to arrive, for that chance to explore the mountain trails and savor the comforts of the resort. Many never venture beyond the carefully mapped green, blue and black of the resort’s terrain, and in doing so, miss some of the truly unique gifts that the backcountry can provide.
There are other ways to explore a snow covered landscape and still have incredible fun and feel a rush of adrenaline! Snowshoeing and cross country skiing take the winter sports lover further afield, typically across flat or less undulating terrain which is something most skiers and snowboarders hastily avoid.
Cross-country, also known as Nordic or XC skiing, may seem less appealing than the adrenaline fuelled rush of speeding down a steep hill, but the benefits of getting away from the busy trails are many. The peace and tranquility of pure, uncluttered snow-scenes, coupled with the exhilaration of gliding among snowcapped trees lining glistening paths with only yourselves for company – at a speed that allows you more than a fleeting glimpse of the natural beauty around you – is an awesome experience.
Snowshoeing allows even more freedom to explore. And the great thing about discovering a winter wonderland in this way is that it’s suitable for people of all ages and all skill levels, meaning that the whole family can enjoy the experience. Or if you want to make it just the two of you – add a touch of romance and round off the day with a blazing fire and a candlelit dinner for two.
A snowshoe hike or cross-country trek is an ideal alternative to the slopes, allowing you to enjoy snow without the cost of a full mountain pass or the trouble of ski lifts, lines and crowded slopes.
The snow lovers’ version of the romantic wander in the countryside, and a great, low impact way to get fit, these alternative snow sports open up the winter holiday options, and experience gifts such as guided snowshoe tours mean you spend more hours on the snow without the need for hours on the nursery slopes.