Getting Over Winter Withdrawal: Off-season Activities

Winter or Summer? Image: Gary Coronado LA Times

After the end of the winter snow season, it’s common to fall into the dreadful winter withdrawal slump.

It’s as though the seasonal party has ended and we are left with a snow hangover. There are few sports that rival the thrill of blasting through powder, arcing down a fresh face, and flying down mountainsides.

Here are several activities to pursue throughout the summer that not only make the wait for next winter shorter but might offer some valuable training.

Winter Withdrawal Pick-Me-Ups:

Mountain Biking:

Riding on a mountain bike while flowing around corners and over obstacles can almost rival the rush of skiing. With a variety of trails all over the world mountain biking is a unique thrill that doubles as a good workout. The process of scoping lines and approaching technical trails at speed shares several commonalities with snowsports. As a further benefit mountain biking is a good workout that is sure to be good training and fun.

Gravel/Road Biking:

Mountain biking’s skinny sibling allows you to get further faster with an emphasis on traveling distance. Similar to mountain biking, traditional road biking or gravel biking are an exceptional aerobic endurance workout. Yet with road bikes (traditional or gravel), you can truly explore a far-reaching network of established routes to gain a new perspective on travel.

Hiking/Backpacking/Trekking:

Hiking, backpacking, and trekking are truly a traditional way of traveling over any terrain. As a good endurance workout, the activity can really enable a different travel experience and a more holistic feeling of experiencing a place.

Trail Running:

Free of all but the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet, running is one of the most freeing methods of travel. Returning to one of the most natural ranges of natural human motion, running is an excellent aerobic workout and also trains muscles to stabilize and support during repeated impacts similar to snowsports. Building off of regular running, trail running offers an outdoor flair.

Climbing:

Climbing offers a unique but satisfying challenge. Plotting a route up a technical face is a good challenge and can transfer into skills needed for big mountain riding and alpinism. Similarly, climbing can offer a segway into mountaineering and travel over technical mountain terrain which opens up a whole new world of backcountry snowsports.

CrossFit:

CrossFit offers a unique combination of Olympic lifting and high-intensity workouts that strengthen the whole body. Through a varied mix of workouts that address both muscular and aerobic training attributes CrossFit is simply an incredible way to build overall fitness. Through good technique and consistent disciplined training, Crossfit can offer athletic benefits to anyone: professional athlete or newcomers.

Yoga:

Yoga may seem slow paced compared to the thrills of skiing, but there are many significant benefits to the practice. Yoga can help physically with stability, flexibility, and mobility. Mentally, the practice also promotes coping with stress and general well-being. Overall, yoga offers a multitude of positive attributes that can have significant payoffs in the long-term especially when coupled with other sports disciplines.

Spring Touring/Park Skiing:

As a result of the strong winter across the American West, many snow remnants should survive far into the summer. Either track down scraps while touring or join in on the fun at summer ski areas with a variety of park skiing opportunities.

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