Ah, the shoulder season…a time when the snow has subsided, summer is around the corner and everything is just a little too slushy for solid ripping or hardcore backpacking. What to do with yourself, you might ask? Plenty. This magical time of year is perfect for trying out new adventures while you’re transitioning from your love of the powdered slopes to your passion for the sheer vertical or putting foot to earth.
Indoor Rock Climbing and Yoga
Whether you’re a hardcore climber or just in it for recreational purposes, indoor rock-climbing is sweeping the nation. Gyms are cropping up all over and often offer more than just climbing; some feature yoga, cycling, and crossfit classes. Consider joining a gym this spring and couple your climbing with yoga. In just a few months time, you’ll be more toned and ready to tackle some outdoor pursuits.
A Hot-Springs Road Trip
Natural hot springs persist throughout the west and can be found in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and California amongst other places. There’s nothing quite so peaceful as sitting in a warm spring surrounded by the remnants of snow dusting the surrounding mountains and canyons.
Consider a road trip to Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and make some leisurely turns at the resort while you’re at it.
For mountain biking enthusiasts or outdoor lovers looking for a new adventure, Fat-tire biking is the new winter frontier. Consider a spring trip to breathtaking Crested Butte, and enjoy biking on their numerous alpine trails.
Hardcore athletes may guffaw, but snowshoeing can actually provide an excellent workout and stunning views. Plus, snowshoeing typically requires less preparation than backcountry skiing. As the snowpack melts, consider using Yaktrax to navigate icy conditions.
Wanna up the ante a bit? Consider adding ankle weights if you’re training your legs for mountain biking and backpacking season.
Aggressive Rest and Relaxation
No, seriously. You’ve played hard all winter. Maybe you logged 100 plus days on skis, perhaps you enjoyed considerable hours ice climbing or winter mountaineering was your jam this year. Whatever your passions and pursuits, a perfectly respectable way to spend the shoulder season, perhaps even the most recommended way, is in utter relaxation mode.
This is the time to be gentle with your body. Get more sleep and participate in some hatha yoga to realign and stretch out those tired tendons and muscles.
You’ve earned it. Shoulder on.