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Encyclopedia of Winter Fun

BW's guide to winter diversions

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As we roll out Boise Weekly's annual Snow issue, it seems like just last week the gloriously warm temperatures of summer bathed the valley. Well, technically, it was last week, but now that the calendar officially reads November, it's time to start preparing for the cold and snow ahead.

We're not talking about winterizing your house, blowing out the sprinkler lines and topping off the antifreeze in your car, although those are all good things to do.

Nope, we're talking about getting ready for the fun part of winter, the part that involves schussing and hucking and, better yet, hot buttered rum, light on the butter. It's about afternoons spent on the hill, deep fresh powder, bluebird days and first tracks—basically why many of us live in the northern climates in the first place.

Of course, not all of us were lucky enough to grow up with skis on our feet. Those transplants may have skipped the childhood initiation of having their faces plowed into the snow as they continued to cling to the moving rope tow even after falling, but they also missed some important life lessons (like letting go of the rope and rolling out of the way before the next adolescent skier runs you over).

It's with these people in mind that we have created the BW encyclopedia of winter fun: a guide for those of you who are somewhere between winter novice and full-fledged winter enthusiast. Here's your introduction to the wonderful world of snow sports—albeit a bit tongue-in-cheek.

It's not just about warding off cold and injuries, it's an effort to give you a primer on some of the most popular traditional sports and the latest creations on snow.

Of course, it's not just about the newbies. Maybe you're an old hat when it comes to Alpine skiing and yawn at the challenge of Nordic, but have you tried strapping yourself to a giant kite while wearing skis to catch some serious air and possibly set a land-speed record? Or how about learning the meaning of pain with a day spent in deep one-legged lunges?

Why not expand your winter options with some suggestions of activities you may have never dreamt of?

You can always think of expansion in geographic terms as well. The Northwest is blessed with an abundance of ski resorts ranging from the mom-and-pop ski hill to the massive, glitzy ski resorts where mink coats are as common as Bogner ski suits. Our annual mountain guide offers the rundown on nearly all the ski areas within a half-day drive of the Treasure Valley, with all the basic information to get you on the slopes.

We haven't forgotten about those of you who feel snow is the necessary evil that allows us to water our lawns all summer. For you, we offer the wonders of apres ski—remember, you don't actually have to ski to become a lodge bunny.

Snow contributors: Amy Atkins, Rachael Daigle, Deanna Darr, Nathaniel Hoffman

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