Books: Go beyond skiing and snowboarding at your library |

Books: Go beyond skiing and snowboarding at your library

One of the many things I cherish about Summit County is that people here love winter. Of course, it’s easier to love when the sun shines almost every day and the plentiful snow makes the landscape look like a winter wonderland. With all the outdoor activities available this time of year, cabin fever is never a concern. If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, however, or if you’d like an alternative to those sports every so often, the Summit County Library has resources to inspire you.A good place to start is with Steve Ilg’s book, “The Winter Athlete.” “Rocky Mountain Sports & Fitness Magazine” said this work “bridges the gap between rigorous training techniques and a simple love for the outdoors.” The author discusses how cyclists, runners, kayakers and hikers can use winter sports to keep fit during the off-season. Try polar paddling, snowshoeing, winter mountain biking, winter mountaineering, ice climbing or any of the other suggestions there.The libraries carry several resources on the popular sport of snowshoeing. To go a step beyond, check out “Snow Walker’s Companion: Winter Camping Skills for the North” by Maine wilderness guides Alexandra and Garrett Conover. The authors promise to show you “how to sleep warm, travel safe and enjoy the white season.” The Conovers offer good advice on purchasing snowshoes, choosing the correct clothing and gear, and setting up camp. Another source on this topic is Stephen Gorman’s “The Winter Camping Handbook.” Gorman’s volume is full of practical advice. It offers extensive information on planning the trip, including winterizing your vehicle. Imagine snowshoeing miles from the trailhead to your campsite and returning the next day to a car with a dead battery. Gorman recommends checking your battery for power before leaving, as well as using good multi-weight oil and leaving your gas tank at least half full.Winter camping may involve ice fishing. “Ice Fishing: The Ultimate Guide” by Tim Allard recommends using modern technology such as sonar to determine water depth and to find fish, an underwater video camera for sight fishing, and a GPS to save the locations of your best fishing spots. The author accompanies his text with excellent color photographs illustrating each facet of the sport. Separate chapters deal with several species of fish.If the ice fishing doesn’t go well, you’ll want to have read “Winter Wise: Travel and Survival in Ice and Snow” by Montague “Monty” Alford. Here are safety tips for crossing ice, avoiding avalanches, signaling distress, and avoiding and/or treating hypothermia and frostbite. For an emergency food source, Kinnikinnick, a common groundcover in this area, has edible berries.If winter backpacking, ice climbing, and polar paddling are a bit too rigorous for your lifestyle, the library has the perfect alternative. Check out “Snow Play: How to Make Forts & Slides & Winter Campfires plus the Coolest Loch Ness Monster and 23 Other Brrrilliant Projects in the Snow” by Birgitta Ralston. The whole family can enjoy these fanciful projects such as building a snowball lantern, creating snow ghosts with glowing eyes, or fashioning a snow slide. Ralston also provides a list of snow festivals including Breckenridge’s Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships, Durango’s Snowdown and Steamboat Springs’ Winter Carnival.Don’t miss the several opportunities offered here in Summit County for sledding, ice skating, sleigh rides and more. When you finally get chilled, stop in at your Summit County Library to warm up and explore more ideas for winter fun.

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