Unless you live in one of those blessed, sun-drenched parts of the U.S., winter can seem like the ideal time to hunker down by the squat rack and just grind out powerlifts until the snows melt and the mercury rises above freezing again. Look, we love powerlifting too, but chilly weather is no excuse to restrict your fitness to the gym. Hell, Rocky ventured into Siberia before fighting Drago—and you all remember how that fight went, right?
So think outside the (CrossFit) box this January and February by pushing yourself to the limit with these five outdoor adventures. And if Minnesota still sounds too chilly, there’s always the “Burning Man for Mountain Bikers” in Tucson.
Backcountry Ski Camp
Jackson Hole, WY, Jan. 12-15
Take on some of America’s wildest backcountry terrain—the bowls, steep chutes, and toothy Alpine peaks of Jackson Hole—and live to share the GoPro footage. During this four-day camp, J-Hole’s pro guides show you the ropes of skiing beyond the ropes, from picking safe lines to avalanche safety and survival. Days are split between classroom instruction and, of course, epic out-of-bounds shredding. jacksonhole.com
U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
Lake Nokomis, MN, Jan. 14-17
This ultimate winter beer league event brings together weekend warriors, ex-NHLers, and college stars in a massive, open hockey tournament on the frozen surface of Minneapolis’ Lake Nokomis. Even if your squad doesn’t take home the coveted golden shovel—with more than 500 teams, it’s unlikely—a few rounds of beer-fueled pond hockey will bring out your inner kid. uspondhockey.com
Tough Guy The Original
Wolverhampton, U.K., Jan. 31
Celebrate 30 years of obstacle racing with the original Tough Guy race, cooked up in 1987 by a bushy-mustached sadist called Mr. Mouse. It’s grown only more twisted with time, and today more than 200 obstacles—including fire jumps, barbed-wire crawls, and electrified cables—are spread over nine soggy miles dubbed the “killing fields.” toughguy.co.uk
24 Hours in the Old Pueblo
Tuscon, AZ, Feb. 12-14
The “Burning Man for Mountain Bikers” features costumes, custom rigs, and 24 hours of racing in the dry heat of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Following the LeMans start, clock as many 16-mile laps of the fast, semitechnical course as possible as you steer clear of prickly cacti, while nighttime revelers in “24-Hour Town” help keep you on track with cheering and beer hand-ups. epicrides.com
Slumberland American Birkebeiner
Cable, WI, Feb. 20
Modeled after Norway’s legendary Birkebeiner, the 34-mile Birkie is North America’s biggest cross-country ski race, attracting more than 10,000 skiers to the frozen woods of Wisconsin. Join them for a day of swishing over rolling (with 4,500 feet of climbing), snow-hushed terrain, and find out why Nordic skiers are some of the world’s best endurance athletes. birkie.com
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