Snowshoes and Shot Skis
If you are looking for a fitness and fun-filled weekend in Utah, there are options other than skiing/boarding and the gym! Working out in a gym or fitness studio is a good habit for a healthy lifestyle, but if there is an opportunity to mix it up to be active outside with good company, I would take it! Have you considered snowshoeing? I just enjoyed an action packed weekend in Utah's Winter Wonderland with snowshoeing, hiking ridges, snowboarding and rewarding with "shot ski" shots and "Boozy Coffee" at a parking lot party!
There are fantastic hiking trails in Utah year round, but as the snow gains in inches, being prepared with proper foot wear is necessary. It is possible to hike on flat, packed down trails with standard winter boots, but breaking through deep snow can be quite difficult to go the distance. Renting snowshoes from White Pine Touring or buying your own for winter workouts outside for quite the exercise experience. Snowshoes keep you floating closer to the surface to allow you to plow through the snow. They have metal spikes that give traction while you stomp through inclined trails. I recently completed a two hour snowshoeing adventure to Donut Falls, starting at Spruces campgrounds in Big Cottonwood Canyon. A large portion of the trail is packed down, but there are sections that a boot would fall through without a snowshoe. At the end of the trail, there is a rope to aid in climbing the steeper section to reach the waterfall cave called "Donut Falls". There are icy areas in the section, so I would recommend crampons for slippery sections of hikes like this. Having the proper foot wear aids in fall prevention, but all outdoor adventurers need to also take caution in the snow conditions. Check reports from the Utah Avalanche Center and know before you go! Signing up for a guided tour would be your best option if you don't know where to go. Already in to snowshoeing? Set a goal and condition for the Snowshoe Stomp 5k on January 23rd. Also, if you are looking for some last minute Christmas ideas, snowshoe gear or a guided tour would be wonderful gift to give!
Another way I have been getting my outdoor exercise is with hiking within resort boundaries with my ski boots and skis. It's like climbing a stair master with a weighted vest and ankle weights on! After stomping to the top, you get to do work on powder turns and make your own tracks in the fluffy stuff. It's a great workout in addition to a day of skiing. It's safer to stay in resort boundaries while getting rewarded with untouched snow, like this picture below at Alta Ski Resort.
Another way to reward yourself after skiing or snowboarding is resort tailgating. Of course I would never promote drinking and driving, so you need to have a sober driver, but hanging out with friends and meeting others during a parking lot party is great fun! No post-ski tailgate party is complete without a "shot ski" present!
Get out, be active, stay safe, have fun!
~XOXO, Bring on the SNOW!