40 Frozen Experiences of a Lifetime

The ultimate North American winter bucket list

Mt. Hood, Oregon.     Photo: H Dragon/Flickr

Cold-weather dwellers love to gripe about the winter. Sure, it’s chilly. Yes, it’s dark. And I know, I know, we’re all counting down the days until the paddling, climbing, and biking season starts up again. But here’s the dirty secret that Alaskans, Minnesotans, and Canadians have been hiding from the tanned masses further south for years: For outdoorsy types, winter kicks ass. When the earth’s surface freezes over, all kinds of possibilities open up: new terrain, new sports, new ways to get an adrenalin kick, and new ways to wind down when the day is through.

If you’ve been hibernating indoors through the winters—or sucking back watered-down pina coladas at an all-inclusive resort somewhere—you’ve been missing out. Consider this your North American winter bucket list, and get started: You’ve got some catching up to do.

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