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Tag: Good To Know

Good To Know: Dessert on the Trail

Hands down, there aren’t many things more magnificent than a wild berry. So much gastronomical potential in something so small. Marionberries,  raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, lingonberries—even the magnificent cloudberries of Sweden. These gifts from nature seem sweetest when you earn them. In places with lava-rich soil (like the Washington and Oregon Cascades) there’s an abundance of fruits and vegetables; local favorites are the blackberries and smaller red and black huckleberries. Careful lookers can find wild strawberries, and the holy grail of foraging, wild raspberries, with their lush sweetness and out-of-this-world juiciness.

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Good To Know: The Joys of Mud

As the spring corn melts off the mountains and the late-season skiers and snowboarders begrudgingly return to Earth and pack away their snow gear, the formerly snow-covered towns of the country enter into the oft-cursed mud season. It’s the time of the year where the snow has melted away any dreams of a few final turns in the ski season, a time when it’s too wet to hike or bike on the trails because they’re carpeted in cloying, momentum-sapping, boot-sucking mud.

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Good To Know: The Art of Pond Skimming

Spring has officially arrived–the snow is beginning to melt and leaves are budding on the trees. This means your local ski resort is getting ready to hold its annual festival to welcome spring, and the pond skimming event is the usual highlight–a group of crazy people attempting to ski or ride across a 100-plus-foot-long, icy-cold pond.

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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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