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Category: Good To Know

Good To Know: Cold Is Hot

Through some good fortune and hard work, we found ourselves at the famous Mii Gullo Spa at Fjällnäs, the oldest mountain resort in Sweden. The crescent-shaped hot pool looks out over the frozen Lake Malmagen, bordered by the mountains of west Hörjedalen rolling towards Norway. We gazed through the steam rising from the hot water to the post-card-perfect view, but our real attention was at the gaping 20 x 15 foot hole carved out of the ice below. Who among us would be brave enough to take the icy plunge?

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Good To Know: Indoor Climbing

While outdoor climbing is still more about adventure and communing with nature, indoors it’s more akin to community interaction and an unbeatable workout. And sometimes the weather doesn’t make outdoor climbing an option worth considering–if you’ve sweat through the unrelenting sun at Smith Rock in mid-summer, or dealt with suddenly slippery hand-holds thanks to a rainstorm that dropped mid-pitch, you know the truth of which you speak. Sure…it makes for a good story. But really, it’s kind of miserable–and dangerous.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for owning it at your local gym.

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Good To Know: Spring Training Camps

As winter drags on, most of us could use a little Vitamin D, some warmth on our skin, and day after day of dry weather. And while we all love a bit of spring corn on a sun-bleached mountain, it’s now time to shift your gaze from the colder, short days of winter and focus on getting a head start on the summer sport season. The best way? Head south–or even abroad–and enroll in a training camp dedicated to your choice warmer-weather obsession.

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Good To Know: Cross-Country Skiing

Photo: Upitrek

Cross-country skiing is the earliest form of skiing. The word “ski” comes from an old Norse word “skid,” which translates to something akin to a “split length of wood.” The activity dates back some 5,000 years; most likely it was developed in northern regions (Scandinavia and Siberia) by people who discovered that strapping flat boards onto their feet for hunting and transportation beat walking in the thick snow. Military applications soon followed (legendary “free-heel” troop were thought to move as fast, or faster, than cavalry through snow-bound terrain). By the 1800s, not only had skis, boots, and bindings evolved,; so had the skiers. Races became popular with soldiers; soon the aristocracy adopted the sport for entertainment at their winter homes.

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Good To Know: Pond Hockey

“Bringing Hockey Back to the Basics,” is the slogan for the Pond Hockey Classic a series of tournaments developed in New Hampshire in 2009. Now hundreds of teams from across the country compete for a spot in the event. There are open leagues (like the Labatt Blue Balls from Boston), age group teams (like the U35 Live Free and Dangle from Londonderry, NH), women’s teams (Miss Conduct from Hingham, MA), and in the Twig League (Here for the Beer from Calgary, Alberta). Sure, there are tens of thousands of pick-up games across North America that start pretty much whenever it’s cold enough for the ice to form (typically from November through March), but for the serious player, this organized approach is a fun way to combine competition, adult beverages, and–hopefully–the thrill of victory.

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Good To Know: Hot Tub Etiquette

Nothing feels better than soaking your cold and aching muscles in the hot tub after a full day of shredding. While hot tubs are best shared with friends and perhaps a cold beverage or two, some unwritten rules exist on how you should behave while bubbling away at 104 degrees.

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Good To Know: Do You REALLY Need Demo Skis?

When renting snow equipment–especially during the chaotic early hours at most major ski resorts–the question of whether or not you want demo skis can feel like an ask from a sketchy salesman at a car dealership. But know that demo skis or snowboards aren’t the equivalent of a top coat on a car; they can  make the difference. That said, demos aren’t for everyone, and with an increased fee of $15 to $20, it may be an unneeded expense to your time on the mountain. Here’s a few tips to help you decide whether or not to upgrade.

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Good To Know: Does Electrolyte Loss Cause Cramping?

We’ve all been there at some point–out in the middle of a run one minute, then limping in pain from muscle cramps the next. Up until a few years ago, the prevalent belief was that, by regularly consuming a sports drink during workouts, you could prevent muscle cramps. Yet, even after recent studies have all but debunked the theory that fluid/sodium loss through sweat is the cause of cramps, the belief still persists. So what is going on?

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Good To Know: Things To Fear in Finland

Exotic may not be the first word that leaps to mind when contemplating the animals of Finland, but just because this country isn’t crawling with rare poisonous snakes or aquatic creatures with mouthfuls of razor-sharp serrated teethed doesn’t mean the fauna of Finland should be taken lightly. In fact, the country boasts more than 260 carnivores (not counting humans). Here are a few to fear:

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Good To Know: Avalanche Awareness

The growth of backcountry skiing–in large part fueled by a flood of newer-generation, affordable backcountry equipment–has also caused an increase in accidents and deaths in the backcountry. And as excited as we all are to get out and enjoy some solitary deep-powder fun, it’s important to remember that buying the right equipment doesn’t secure your safety.

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