Paragliding In Switzerland
Arrive in Verbier as a novice and, just a week later, you can be paragliding solo on flights of up to 25 minutes. The Elementary Pilot BHPA paragliding course at the Swiss resort is a high-octane programme mixing plenty of practical outdoor activity with a sprinkling of theory classes. The first couple of days are spent on the training hill, learning to take-off safely. From there, progress is fairly quick and you’ll soon be onto short solo flights.
Ice Driving In Lapland
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a price-tag to match. Overseen by experienced instructors, you will take a Porsche out onto an ice track in the pine forests of Lapland for some seriously extreme driving. Choosing from a range of models, you will learn drifting, slaloming and braking skills that will push you – and your motor of choice – to the limit.
Snow-Kiting In Switzerland
With just the power of a kite, you can reach speeds of more than 40mph as you cross the frozen lake at Silvaplana, next to St Moritz. Choose between skis or snowboard as your base. For beginners, there are courses that will teach you how to skim. For more seasoned kite-surfers, instructors can teach you a few daredevil jumps. If you happen to be in the area in February, you’ll coincide with the snow polo and ice-flat horse-racing seasons, both of which are adrenaline-raising spectacles in their own right.
Horse Trekking In Austria
Put the skis to one side and jump on a purebred Haflinger horse in the Tyrolean village of Ebbs. The Fohlenhof Ebbs is the largest riding club within the Tyrolean Riding and Driving Association. Set up over half a century ago, it employs the most professionally qualified staff and has collected more than 20 awards for its cabinet since the 70s. Experienced riders can take on intensive courses covering the practical and theoretical; beginners are taught individually on a lunge line. The Haflinger breed is known for its surefootedness, stamina, hardiness and resilience, making them a reliable ride whatever the conditions.
Dog Sledding In Norway
A few hours outside Oslo, the Jotunheimen National Park is home to Norway’s best dog-sledding areas. Jotunheimen (‘home of the giants’ in Norwegian) boasts expansive mountain plateaus and terrain combining deep forest, open wetlands, hills and frozen lake crossings. Book an overnight adventure or a three-day trip where you’ll get to know your own team of dogs and learn how to ‘mush’ them. Journeys begin at the Beito Husky Camp, where you’ll learn the basics before setting off into the vast, unspoilt wilderness. Accommodation might be private cabins – or expedition tent-camps if weather or snow conditions get too heavy to make enough progress.
Ice Trucking In Iceland
Take the wheel of a modified 38-foot Arctic truck for a three-day crossing of Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier. Along the way, you’ll tackle challenging mountain tracks, see the Golden Circle and explore some of the country’s remotest areas. Having learnt how to drive in extreme snow and harsh ice conditions, you’ll spend evenings in Arctic tents, surrounded by a beautiful glacial landscape and, if the sky is clear, beneath the Northern Lights.
Snowshoeing In Greenland
The 100-mile-long Arctic Circle Trail is the ultimate way to explore Greenland’s unique backcountry. During winter, the trail is primarily used by Greenlanders travelling on dog sled or snowmobile. Tourists can make the crossing on foot, but you’ll need extensive cold-weather expedition experience and all of the right gear as temperatures can drop below -40˚C and strong winds are common. Too much? Try your hand at snowshoeing instead. It’s hiking, but without the hassle of sinking into deep snow. Trek from Ilulissat along the banks of a Unesco World Heritage Site ice fjord; or begin at Tasiilaq and climb up to vantage points overlooking the icy Denmark Strait.
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