It may be chilly outside, but an adrenaline-fueled experience can keep you cozy and warm in the winter. From soaring through the thermal currents to snuggling down on a bed of ice, here are five heart-warming experiences to push your limits, and body temperature. Hold on to your Avid Grom R2D2 helmet…
Nihao! Let’s just get this out of the way… I love all things Japan and Mt. Fuji is at the top of the list. Post-tsunami Tokyo needs your tourist tips so take your board bi-continent to this little country across the way. Access Trips’ Japan Mainland Snowboard Tour takes powder hounds to experience the snowy side of Japan — you get to ride the best of the country’s mountains, which regularly get 450-plus inches of snowfall a year. And you get expert instruction from local guides who know the terrain, plus insider tips on apres nightlife. Secret slopes and Sake…. Say no more.
I love nothing more than dressing the part, especially when my outfit comes with a harness and a hawk. Parahawking (possibly the best sport ever after dating) bridges the extensive training of badass birds and the experience of paragliding. Crazy kids can Parahawk by day and set up shop at Maya Devi Village by night – a traditional lakeside guesthouse in Pokhara, Nepal. It’s home to some of the worlds largest raptors like Himalayan Griffon Vultures, White Backed Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, Black Eagles and even Peregrine falcons… similar to a bar full of broads in NYC. So snag your very own Egyptian vulture and soar over Lake Fewa. Just don’t fall in love… these aren’t the type of vultures you bring home to the parentals.
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Journey
Watching the Northern Lights from your private yurt with the sound of huskies howling in the majestic Yukon… Moments like this are more common than not on Uncommon Journey’s Aurora Classic dogsledding adventure, a seven-day excursion through the Yukon. First, the team gets suited up for a “Mushing 101” lesson to learn the rules of the dog sledding road — breaking, steering, you know, the usual. You’ll navigate steep hills, tight turns, deep valleys, and frozen lakes — and through it all, your team of huskies won’t stop wagging their tails.
Photos courtesy of ICE Hotel.
Sleeping on a bed of ice has always been on my to-do list… no, seriously, it has. And since The @ICEHOTEL Sweden went punk on us last year with it’s Tron Legacy Suite, it’s been given VIP bucket list status. Using only frozen water from the Torne River, artists from all over the world gather in this small Swedish village, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, to create an exclusive art exhibition… that you can snuggle up in. Add a furry blanket, a hot chocolate and an Eskimo. Sold.
Photos by Jeff Cricco, Helitrax
So I’m not super profesh (yet, wink) but I figure the best way to learn, is via a helicopter. Take to 11,000 feet in over 200 square miles of high alpine basins, cirques and summits around Telluride, Colorado with Telluride Helitrax Heliskiing. You can stay for the day, or in a cozy cabin you can call your own… avalanche terrain included.