SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT, Vermont ??вЂќ Safety is always top of mind when Smugglers’ adopts new ways for families to enjoy winter. Two new programs this season are Airboarding and Winter Walking, and both have safety components woven into the way they are presented and how guests are guided to enjoy them.
The newest snow toy, an Airboard, is featured for guests to ride at Morse Highlands on weekdays from 2:00 ??вЂњ 4:00 p.m. More thrilling than tubing, airboarding employs an inflated A-shaped sled similar in size to a water raft. It is steered by shifting body weight side to side to engage the urethane grooves on the underside that act as edges. Belly-flopped on this cushion of air, the rider can negotiate moguls, hop jumps, and perform spins and other tricks.
To learn the hang of airboarding, first-timers attend a one hour instructional clinic before venturing on their own. Users must be at least 13 years old, 4’6″ tall and wear a helmet. A couple of runs under the guidance of the instructor complete the learning curve on the Airboards which run freestyle on selected Morse Mountain slopes. Rentals are available by the hour, and a rider with an Airboard is easily transported on the Highlands Lift. For information on the Airboard, go to www. smuggs.com/winter/activities/airBoards.php .
For an aerobic activity that involves less speed, Winter Walking is a new alternative being offered this season. It is recommended for guests 18 and older who want to experience nature in winter. To start the activity, skilled guides first discuss layering techniques to regulate body temperature and techniques for walking in the snow. Each participant is provided with Yaktrax to wear over snow boots for improved traction. Trekking poles are also supplied and can be used to increase stability and balance as well as aerobic activity. Daypacks may be borrowed for carrying water to stay hydrated, and snacks to keep energy output high.
The selection of walks range from an introductory outing in the beginning of the week to the Meadows in Winter Wike and the Winter Woods Wike (a wike is a cross between a walk and a hike) to the more vigorous Nordic Walking . . . Winter Fitness trek. The Explore the Notch wike takes guests into the Smugglers’ Notch Pass with its rich history as a smuggling route and its unique geological formations. The walks take about two hours and depart from the TeenAlley meeting point daily. No special skills are required for these guided forays. For information, go to www. smuggs.com/pages/winter/activities/winter-walking.php.
For more information contact Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 802-644-1156, or log on to www.smuggs.com.