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NOVEL NEW (AND NOT-SO-NEW) WAYS TO ENJOY THE SNOW HOWIE PHUNG AND KAREN SHERLOCK

Around mid-February, life in a northern climate can begin to feel claustrophobic. We hunker into our coats and dash quickly from house to car to office or school with our shoulders up around our ears and our brows furrowed against the wind. Yes, there are many obvious winter pastimes to get us outside, such as cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing or tobogganing. And then there are more imaginative activities such as building a fire in a city park fire pit, staging a neighbourhood shinny game or sculpting snow faces on tree trunks so the tree spirits can watch passersby. But if you want to try something really off the wall, consider the following.

those bumps…in theory, anyway. Monarch, Colorado, hosts snow kayak races every year.

YUKIGASSEN In parts of Japan, people take snowball fights very seriously—so seriously that they’ve turned it into a sport called yukigassen. It’s similar to capture-the-flag or paintball. Victory goes to the team that either captures the opponent’s flag or eliminates all opposing players by hitting them with snowballs. .

Skijoring Think water-skiing but with a horse instead of a boat, snow instead of water and ice ramps instead of waves. Originally a method of winter travel in Scandinavia, skijoring is now a hair-raising winter activity for the daring.

KICK-SLED Also hailing from Scandinavia, the kick-sled is ideal for travelling over frozen lakes. A small chair on metal runners is propelled by someone standing behind the chair on a runner and pushing off behind. Kick-sledding won’t become a winter Olympic sport anytime soon, but races could be a lot of fun.

SNOW-KAYAKING If you’ve ever been tobogganing, you know how tricky it is to control where you end up at the bottom of the hill. One bump (often perfectly and purposefully placed) sends you flying through the air headfirst into a pile of snow. Instead, when you kayak down a hill, you’ve got paddles to help you manoeuvre around

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CITY–REGION STUDIES CENTRE | University of Alberta

Photo– Thomas O’Hara

Profile for University of Alberta Extension

CURB Magazine 3.1  

Curb Magazine is about policy practice and community experiences in cities, regions, and rural areas. Curb is distributed to municipal offic...

CURB Magazine 3.1  

Curb Magazine is about policy practice and community experiences in cities, regions, and rural areas. Curb is distributed to municipal offic...

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