Six Activities to Pass the Time Waiting for Snow
Published on 01/04/2013
By Katie Levy
December 21st marks the official start of winter, but for some unlucky cold weather lovers, the coming of December doesn’t result in piles of snow to play in. It’s easier to wait patiently for the start of winter during months like June and July with backyard barbecues and summer sports as distractions. But as the trees lose their leaves and temperatures drop, Mother Nature’s constant reminders of the fact that it isn’t quite cold enough for snow can be tough to take. These activities won’t make it snow, but they’ll help you pass the time until it does.
Take Up the Snow-Free Version of Your Favorite Winter Sport
No snow for skiing? Try water skiing (with a wet or dry suit if the water is cold, which it probably will be depending on where you are). No ice for climbing? Put your rock shoes on and head to a local rock climbing gym or your favorite crag. Not cold enough for your favorite pond to freeze over? Find an indoor ice skating rink or, better yet, a roller skating rink. Just because Mother Nature isn’t cooperating doesn’t mean you can’t find warm weather versions of your favorite snow-related sports.
Cold Weather Trail Running and Hiking
Just because there’s no snow on the ground doesn’t mean it isn’t cold. And though hiking and trail running are totally not the same as skiing or snowboarding, they’re both great ways to get out and explore uncharted terrain while you’re waiting for snow. You’ll give your legs a workout and get a chance to see exactly how breathable your layering system is. Pick a trail you’ve hiked and try running it, or get out in a completely new area. There’s just something about running around in the woods that makes us all feel like kids again.
Live Vicariously Through Others
Sometimes, we just can’t do anything about what Mother Nature has planned. Whether it’s through Warren Miller flick or a friend lucky enough to live somewhere with an endless supply of fluffy snow, try living vicariously until you get lucky yourself. Watch the pros throw themselves off 40-foot cliffs during the Dew Tour and dream about how, realistic or not, you’ll be doing the same any day now. Talk to your liftie buddy up in British Columbia about the foot of powder they got last night. Soak up the snow-related happiness and energy, and save it for the next powder day.
Go to your Favorite Ski Resort Anyway
Whether the resorts have snow on the slopes or not, there are always things to do on a ski hill. Some resorts are open for mountain biking, hiking and more in the off-season, and there’s no reason you can’t make use of amazing terrain without the fluffy white stuff.
Evaluate Your Gear Closet
Imagine, you’ve been dreaming of a powder day for weeks, it comes, and you haven’t done a thing to prepare. Get your skis or board out of the closet, dust it off, and then get it waxed and tuned. Check to make sure mice haven’t made a nest in your tub of gloves and hats. Try on your snowpants and jacket to be sure everything still fits. Remember every single time you said, “Man, I wish I had X!” and start ticking things off your gear wishlist. Get ready; you never know when a big storm will come.
Plan a Trip to a Place that Always Has Snow
C’mon, you’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica. Doesn’t everyone want to go to Antarctica? If Antarctica is out of your price range, and regardless of your sport of choice, there are always North American mountains with snow on them. Try Alaska, British Columbia, Wyoming, and Idaho for starters. Get a group of friends together and plan a trip to your favorite wintry locale. Even if you can’t make the trip happen, at least it’s a chance to research options for a move to a place where you won’t need five activities to pass the time waiting for snow.