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Top 5 Mountain Activities For Non Skiers

Posted: 02/27/2012 7:00 am

You and your three buddies are contemplating the destination for the next weekend getaway. You're an avid skier. David loves hitting the slopes. Your other best friend, Jared? He's gone skiing before but isn't head-over-heels about it.

You mentally cross off "weekend at the mountains" as an option, trying to brainstorm a destination all would be equally pumped up about.

Stop right there! Snow and behold, there are tons of other awesome activities for Jared, and the rest of you, to try once you unclip the skis/board. In fact, there's more than enough off-the-slope fun stuff to do both on the mountain and in the resort village to keep you entertained, active, and having fun all weekend long!

2012-02-26-SquawValleyIceRink.jpg


Here is a list of my favorite 5 things to do at a ski resort...aside from skiing:

1. Snowshoeing: Becoming an expert skier takes time and dedication. Snowshoeing, on the other hand, is incredibly easy to learn, super cheap, and is an awesome workout. Not to mention that you're often surrounded by some of the most picturesque scenery in the world. Forget about exercising on the treadmill for one weekend - put on your (snow)shoes and get after it.

2. Spa/Springs: After a long day of skiing (or now snowshoeing), you and your aching muscles are begging for some down time. What better way to satisfy that need than bathing in a natural hot springs, getting a 30-minute massage, or jumping (okay, crawling) from one pool to the next. And for those not into skiing at all, I have no doubt you can enjoy a full day at the spa and keep "busy". Great ski-spa destination: Moonlight Basin

3. Ice Skating: Yup, guys, we said it. Whether you are attempting the backwards skate, gliding around hand in hand with your girl, or swerving after one too many Après-ski beers at the lodge, ice skating is a great alternative or compliment to hitting the slopes. Check out the picture below of the sweet skating rink at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe and tell me you wouldn't be keen.

4. Tubing/Sledding: Growing up, we always thought sledding was meant for kids. Then we grew up, and it didn't lose its cool factor one bit. This sport is fun for all ages, and sled manufacturers are now making them in all sizes (the best tubing spot I've seen is at Keystone Ski Resort's Adventure Point). Hop on, lean back (close your eyes if you're hardcore), and enjoy one of the most underrated winter thrills out there.

5. Dog Sledding: This is one activity, while admittedly very fun at the time, is equally cool to cross off the bucket-list, say you've done it, and bring it up at the bar/dinner table completely out of context. A racing guide typically leads a team of eight to ten four-legged friends while you and your buds ride in a sled moving at speeds up to 15mph winding through some Kodak-moment wildlife.

Those are the Liftopia team's favorite five, but the list of great non-ski activities is much longer, including ice fishing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, dogsled-race viewing, zip-lining and wine n' dining. Before you know it, your friend Jared will be the one egging the rest of the crew to hit the mountains, and you'll be convincing him that there is a world outside of the ice rink.

Enough of what we think! What's the coolest non-skiing activity you've ever done on a ski trip? Can't wait to hear what you have to say and then try it the next time we head to the rink...I mean slopes.