Looking for fun things to do in winter? Let us inspire you with our top 10 adrenaline activities, and where you can experience them at their high-octane best.
1) Tour skate – Åland, Finland
Skating around and around and around an ice rink can often get rather boring. Up your game and go on a freestyle route around the frozen lakes of Finland’s Åland Islands.
2) Dog-sled – Exit Glacier, Alaska, USA
Sledding is traditionally a solo affair, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a lone wolf. Head to Alaska’s Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park and cruise across the terrain with your eight new furry (though not cuddly!) friends.
Read more about Alaska: The 8 best destinations for the solo traveler
3) Mountaineer – Mont Blanc, France
At 15,782 ft (4,810.45 m) – or, in you prefer, almost six times the height of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Mont Blanc is the the mightiest peak in the Alps, and all of Europe. Join a mountaineering course and take a guided ascent. You’ll walk back down with your head held high, filled with amazing stories and memory of the incredible vistas you encountered.
4) Fat bike – Alta, Wyoming, USA
For anyone who’s tried, cycling through snow can be a bit risky. Avoid a disaster and get yourself a fat bike. What’s a fat bike? Basically, the same as a normal bike, only with beefed up tires that make it easy to venture across more precarious, snowy terrains. Rent yours in Wyoming this winter and let rip!
5) Glacier trek – Fox Glacier, New Zealand
A glacier is like a living being: Flowing slowly and weathered from above, it’s constantly evolving. Jet yourself over to the Westland Tai Poutini National Park in New Zealand and trek across the ever-changing, but always beautiful Fox Glacier.
6) Bobsleigh – Calgary, Canada
Head to Calgary and jump aboard what you might call a bathtub on rails as it hurtles down Canada Olympic Park’s track at speeds of up to 75 mph (120 km/h). The good news? The driver’s a professional. The bad news? The 14-turn ride only lasts 60 seconds, and is not for the easily dizzied.
7) Ice-climb – Ouray, Colorado, USA
Climbing a regular wall is so last winter. Head to Colorado for a wall or cliff-side covered in shimmering ice. Yes, it’s extremely slippery, but those less-daring shouldn’t worry: visit in January for the Ouray Ice Festival and you can relax with a hot chocolate and watch other thrill-seekers mounting the ice instead.
8) Cross-country ski – Beitostølen, Norway
The trouble with skis is they only take you downhill. Take a turn for the better, and shuffle your way around the Jotunheimen National Park in Norway, cross-country style. It’ll be the workout of your life, but the views and gliding over the velvety snow is totally worth the pain.
Read more: The 10 best ski resorts in the Nordics
9) Snowshoe – Yosemite National Park, California, USA
We’ve all tried looking cool while walking over fresh snow, only to find that it is much, much deeper than expected. Don’t get stuck this year. Grab yourself a pair of snowshoes – or tennis rackets strapped to your feet, if you’re feeling extra adventurous – and glide with ease over Yosemite National Park.
10) Heli-ski – Banff, Canada
If you really want to take things to the extreme this winter, heli-skiing might just be up to scratch. Beyond making your typical action movie stuntman jealous, a helicopter is much quicker, and far cooler alternative to waiting in line for the gondola or chairlift in-between slopes.