Adventures in a Winter Wonderland, Ski-Free
January 17, 2018
It’s been said that there’s no such thing as cold weather, just inappropriate clothing. And while that’s tough for us Southern Californians to remember at times, it’s true: Some snow and cold temperatures don’t have to put a damper on your winter vacations.
As the popularity of our non-profit fundraising auction travel packages to cold-weather destinations would attest, there are plenty of people (including some of your donors, likely) who love getting out into the snow. But those packages don’t just sell to skiers; there’s a diverse range of wintertime outdoor activities that can get even the most cold-adverse person out of the hotel and into the powder.
What else is there to do other than speed down the mountains on skis (or even snowboards)? Here are some ideas to pass along to your donors.
The thrill of speed and the challenge of keeping balance can be found on sheets of ice as well as slopes of snow. Ice skating can get the reticent out of the house and into the weather (in the case of an outdoor rink) or, at least, into a cold building (for indoor facilities). Most resort towns will have a rink somewhere nearby, but Vancouver might be the most interesting; there are outdoor and indoor facilities across the city, as many as golf courses in most major cities, and they include Trout Lake Rink, a venue built for the 2010 Olympics.
For those who need a little more heat to draw them outdoors in the winter, there’s always the day-ending bonfire. There are few experiences quite like making s’mores, huddled under a blanket on a clear winter night. These can happen anywhere, of course, but Telluride, Colo. might be the best place; the cold there, when it’s not snowing, is dry enough to feel a touch warmer. Also, the city has hosted major bonfires before; in 2015, Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson hosted a massive one in Telluride as a sacrifice to the snow gods. It worked: The town got 29 inches of powder the following weekends, according to Curbed
Interesting in fishing? You don’t have to put away the rod and the reel when the temperature dips. Instead, a destination like Banff is ready for you to camp out on the smooth ice of a lake in the Canadian Rockies. Get ready to see some of the most spectacular winter sights and catch lunch or dinner at the same time. The best news: Many guides will help you set up huts to protect you a bit from the conditions, should the often-sunny skies give way to precipitation.
Finally, snow shouldn’t stop you from taking part in some activities more associated with warmer weather months. Hiking trails through the colder states take on a different look with a dusting of snow, and those widescreen vistas we so often seek can take on an otherworldly feel in the winter. And thankfully, almost any place with colder winters has examples of coat-worthy trails; head outside of Boston for walk on Noon Hill, for instance, or Carrickgollogan, a hill in the south of Dublin with the “best winter views” in Dublin, according to the Independent