Thomas Wentworth Higginson is famously quoted as saying, “How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!.” Well, to this reflection we pose yet another great preponderance: “How many snowboarding tournaments should we lose, if there were no snow in our winter!.”
While many of us may not be so disappointed to see the back of the white powder, it’s hard to imagine winter sports without it, yet with global warming looking like a very real future possibility, it may be time to give it some careful consideration. Let’s explore some ways of doing winter sports without the white stuff.
This is an alternative to snowboarding which replaces the waxed decks of snowboards with pneumatic tires and springs suited for downhill terrain. Mountainboarding disciplines include terrain park freestyle as well as downhill mountain riding and can be held anywhere there is a slope, be it woodland or ski resort. Note that these contraptions may run you upward of $150 dollars, topping out at about $500, but hardcore snowboarders may find it well worth the money.
Got some huskies? In the past few years, upper Midwesterners have been kept indoors due to a lack of snow cover which lead to the cancellation of several races. To alleviate their disappointment, many have turned to dog carting, or dry land dogsledding as an alternative. Dryland is essentially identical to the wintertime version, with the exception of the use of a wheeled rig as opposed to the traditional sled. Playing the option of wheels to an advantage, many mushers have gotten creative with their vehicles, incorporating tricycle style contraptions with ATV tires and built-in brakes, while other use a two-wheeled scooter style rig with a team of dogs at the helm. Now dash away all!
Ice blocking is the latest form of winter maddens to hit SoCal. Riders sit on a huge block of ice and slide down grass hills on it. No word on where the ice comes from, but someone must have a pretty big freezer! The bad news about this sport is that it can damage grass and has been banned in a few places. If wet pants are a deterrent, you might consider investing in a Slicer sled that uses snap-in freezable panels to descend snowless hills.
If you don’t mind some puzzled faces, try out some skis on wheels. First used by Nordic skiers to train when there is no snow, roller skis can be a great fun workout, and you can always tell people your training for the Olympics.
If your tastes run to the more vanilla. hiking may be your ticket. Go up to the mountain and get a lungful of fresh air. It will also get your legs in shape and prepare you for the slopes when and if the white stuff does come.
If you’re jonesing for some wintertime thrills, we hope these options were somewhat inspirational. What do you do when there’s more cement than snow? Let us know!