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7 Wacky Winter Sports

7 Wacky Winter Sports

While the majority of people spend their winters skiing, snowshoeing, and other mainstream recreation options, these unconventional activities add a unique and unusual touch to life in the winter. Enjoy the ice by drilling a hole in it and catching some fish, or grab your ice climbing gear and head straight on up the frozen water. Strap on your fattest skis and head down the mountain before getting up enough speed to skim right across an icy pond.

Whether you decide to participate or spectate, these wacky winter sports, they are yet another way to savor the season of snow and ice this winter season.


Snow kiters use the wind to propel them while they glide along the snow.
Snow kiters use the wind to propel them while they glide along the snow.  Grook Da Oger

Maximize your velocity by strapping skis on your feet and going snow kiting. This relatively obscure sport is growing quickly, as one group of devoted amateur riders works to introduce new people to the sport. 


According to lore, the idea for gelande quaffing was conceived in 1986 by the Jackson Hole Air Force, an infamous group of skiers who ducked ropes and skied epically (and illegally) in the Jackson Hole backcountry before it was opened to skiers. Legend has it that the skiers were waiting for ski patrol to clear the mountain for opening during a storm that dumped 14 feet of snow on the mountain, and the bartender started sliding full beers across the bar to eager drinkers.

One day, a full beer slid right off the edge of the bar, and a quick-reflexed drinker snatched it out of the air and quickly downed the whole thing. With that, the fine art of “gelande quaffing” was born, drawing from the German word "Gelandesprung," which refers to ski jumping on skis with alpine-style bindings.


Soar high above the Tetons on a paragliding adventure.
Soar high above the Tetons on a paragliding adventure.  Courtesy JH Paragliding

Fly high above the snow-capped mountains on a paragliding flight. This is the perfect way to see your favorite snow-covered moutain this winter.


In this sport, skiers rope up and harness themselves to a horse, and then the horse races down a racecourse as the skier hangs on for dear life, hopping off jumps and aerial features. 


With the right gear, ice fishing is a popular pastime for many Teton fishermen.
With the right gear, ice fishing is a popular pastime for many Teton fishermen.  Joonas Lyytinen

This ages-old technique isn't as easy as it may appear. If you're interested in trying it out, going with someone who has experience is advisable, especially at first. Be sure to avoid spots near moving water and test the stability before heading out. Snowshoes are often helpful to access the lake.


OROS Co-Founder Ice Climbing In Iceland

Instead of slipping and sliding across ice, consider climbing up a frozen cascade.

Winter has an incredible array of activities. Go out and enjoy the powder. Don't forget to tag us in your adventure, @orosapparel and #MyOROS.

Originally written by RootsRated.