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Learn to Fly... And Return to Earth

Alternative to extreme, some sporting ideas for winter

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When you have winters as intense as ours, people get creative in their quests for diversion. There are times when you just don’t want to ski, but you definitely don’t want to stay inside. Thanks to those who saw outside the box, the Sun Valley area offers a plethora of options, from snowshoeing in the woods around Galena Lodge, to­—­­­­­­for the more adventurous—­­sailing over your friends in a kite. Those who miss riding their horses might reunite with them for a weekend of skijoring. Here are some of the ways we found that are beyond the pale and perhaps right up your interest level. First, let’s start on earth.

Snowshoeing

How’s that for turning work into play?

There are a lot of things you probably remember about the ’70s, but the advent of the snowshoe as a recreational vehicle as opposed to merely an implement of employment and survival likely isn’t in your top 10.

According to the Outdoor Industry of America, in 2000, more than 5 million people went snowshoeing nationwide.
How’s that for turning work into play?

But some may find the idea of strapping on some strange shoes and plunging out into the wild a bit daunting. For those, allow Susan Kranz to help you break the ice. Kranz is the Sawtooth National Recreation Area’s education coordinator and currently takes snowshoeing hikers along the groomed trails that fan out from Galena Lodge, north of town. Along the way, she’ll point out the area’s rich assortment of flora and fauna, and detail the area’s history in the mining trade. Her free weekly snowshoe hikes generally start the second week of January and last through March.

Bring your own shoes, or, you can rent some from Galena Lodge.

If you want to venture out without a guide, there are groomed trails, packed for easy snowshoeing for a nominal fee.

Kranz suggests some planning before you go. You should know the area in which you’ll be hiking, and the day’s forecast. You should also put a call in to the SNRA Headquarters, where they conduct daily analyses of avalanche dangers.

Once you’ve planned your trip, Kranz says you should gather the “10 basics” any hiker should have with them before taking to the trails, including extra clothes for changes in weather, water, food and snacks, a flashlight and a topographical map of your route. And, most importantly, tell someone where you’re going before you go. >>>

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