What is snow kayaking? Exactly what it sounds like. If you don’t think that sounds so extreme, take a look at the video above. Your mind will be changed forever.
Equipped with a paddle, craft and helmet, snow kayakers take to some of the steepest slopes in the world to see what it would be like if the whitewater rapids they traverse in the spring, summer and fall were frozen over and coated with several feet of snow. Interested in having a go? No special equipment is required and paddles are still used to steer, but beware: mixing waxed-up kayaks with snow and ice results in some seriously fast cruising. The potential for injury is high, so start off on hills to get your bearings before taking the plunge on rock-laden trails.
It probably goes without saying that most ski resorts do not allow snow kayakers on their property, but some, like Monarch Mountain in Chaffee County, Colo., hold closed-course competitions. For better or worse, the best way to beef up your snow kayak experience is by traversing uncharted backcountry. Just let someone know where you’re going before taking off.