For those of us lucky enough to get a few days off over Christmas, there is the opportunity to pursue some winter sports. While many people make the Yuletide break one in which they get together with family, have a dinner, exchange gifts and catch up with friends, others use it as a great time to get away and do some skiing or other snow activities. Of course, quite a few want to get away from the cold, so they opt for a beach holiday in the opposite hemisphere.
The Olympic Winter Sports consist of skiing in a few forms, snowboarding, tobogganing, skating, the luge and curling. These are all typical winter activities that involve snow, ice, cold weather and sitting around a fire drinking hot toddies talking about what may or may not have happened on the piste.
There are always people in the world that like to add an ‘extreme’ aspect to having fun. That’s how we get games like underwater hockey, big wave riding, bungee jumping, base jumping, sheer face rock climbing, shark cages and spelunking. These same sorts couldn’t leave snow alone to be used to make snowmen and have snowball fights. Their interference has resulted in some really weird, but as usual, fun ways, to enjoy winter whether you’re at home or a favorite tourist spot. We’re going to take an amateur’s look at these crazy alternatives.
Let’s look at one of the more sedate examples of playing in the snow and use this as an opportunity to let the architect or engineer inside you loose. Location, as in all house building, is of paramount importance and a place where you have access to ice and snow is going to be a lot of help. If you have an Inuit friend, you’re going to win this game easily.
Shovel racing is popular because all you need is a shovel that you own anyway to remove the snow from in front of your house. Then find a snowy hill, sit on your shovel and away you go. Apparently the shovels can reach speeds of 60 mph so a helmet would be a handy safety accessory. Bad spills are cleaned up quickly by…shovels, of course.
Wok racing is similar to shovel racing except you use a wok. Competitors in this game try to find a bobsled track that can help them reach breathtaking speeds but in the event your search for such a route is unsuccessful, then any old snowy hill will do. Wok racing puts a new slant on the saying, “Sorry, I have to eat and run”. In this case ‘eat and slide’ is more appropriate.
Skijoring is obviously a Norwegian word and gets a mention simply because of its name. People love to do this activity because when somebody asks you what have you been doing all day and you answer with, “I’ve been skijoring,” it’s a major victory in oneupmanship and sounds far more exotic than telling them you have been skating or building a snowman. When you are skijoring, you are being pulled along while on a pair of skis behind a couple of dogs or a horse. Norwegian kind of fun.
Playing in the snow has always been a lot of fun, and it’s great to see the creativity of some people to invent a whole lot of extra fun things to do. So, put on your thermals, socks, snow boots, sweater, jacket, scarf, hat, gloves and get out into that white, cold snow and find something to do. It seems it’s easy!