4 Ways to Bear the Winter Blues

One of the challenges of switching seasons is embracing new sports and finding new ways to train with friends. These fun events will get you out there.

Running > Snowshoeing | Runners often think of winter as a time for cross-training and gym workouts, but with snowshoes, you can run on trails through forests all winter long. Vermont’s burgeoning snowshoe scene features a growing number of races. Try the Susan G. Komen Snowshoe for a Cure at Stratton on Jan. 6 or the PEAK Snow Devil Snowshoe Race in Pittsfield on Feb. 17. If you’re looking to test yourself, try the 100-mile Winter Ultra, also in Pittsfield on Feb. 17.

Running / Cycling > Nordic Skiing | Nordic skiing  (particularly skate skiing) helps maintain both the cardio fitness and the strength  that’s built up all summer. But jumping into these sports can be daunting. f you’re a runner, sign up for Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s Skiing for Runners Camp, Jan. 24-27. Start with fun events, like the Stowe Derby, a race from the top of the Mt. Mansfield Toll Road all the way to town. Costumes welcome.  Note a new date this year of Jan. 13.

Mountain Biking > Fatbiking | Many of Vermont’s best mountain bike networks now groom for fatbikes and many cross-country ski centers own a rental fleet.  Rikert Nordic Center’s Fatbike Round-Up is a day of rides, cookouts, and camaraderie on Dec. 22. Check out for Uberwintern, a fatbike festival in Stowe, Jan. 5 or head to Kingdom Trails for Winterbike, March 1-2.

Rock Climbing > Ice Climbing | As you might guess, these translate pretty well, and that’s not all: Ice climbing has one of the best parties of the winter, Smuggs Ice Bash, Jan. 25-27, which includes clinics for beginners, presentations, dinners and an (indoor) kick-off party.