5 Ways for Groups to Hit the Slopes, Minus the Skis

There’s something about snow-covered mountains that brings people together and unites them as a team.  Perhaps it’s the thrill of being out of their element and thrust into the wild, but whatever the reason, a trip to someplace snowy often makes for an unforgettable group experience.

Meeting and event planners looking to add some frosty magic to their outing are sure to make an impression in the mountains. Typically, when temperatures drop and snow covers the ridgeline, people turn to skiing and snowboarding for outdoor activities. Not everyone has a passion for flying down a mountain, though, and hanging out in a fire-lit lodge isn’t the only other option. Here are five other enjoyable activities.

1. Roam the Mountains on a Snowmobile

Montage Deer Valley

Snowmobiling is a thrilling alternative to skiing that allows riders to cover many miles of terrain easily and quickly without having to trudge through deep snow powder. Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, offers guided snowmobile tours on groomed trails through the beautiful Wasatch Mountains that are great for all experience levels and group sizes.  Attendees can arrange for a private tour for up to 70 people by using single- and double-rider snowmobiles.

2. Kick Back on a Dog-Drawn Sled

Hotel Terra

There’s nothing quite like sitting in the bucket of a sled or standing on the back-runner as 11 excited pups mush through the snow. Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole in Wyoming provides half-day and full-day dog- sledding trips through Granite Creek Canyon, with full-day trips ending at Granite Hot Spring, where groups can swim. Outings can be tailored for groups of up to 20 and it is highly recommended to make a reservation early.

3. Break a Sweat with Snowshoeing

Crystal Mountain Resort

A snowshoeing venture is unlike any other hike.  It gives you the ability to stay on top of the snow and maneuver as if normally hiking, thereby allowing people to access beautiful angles of the surrounding mountains that aren’t regularly seen during winter. The guides at Crystal Mountain Resort in Enumclaw, Washington, take their parties (up to 25) off the beaten path on a 2 ½-hour trek around Henskin Lake, followed by a warm meal and drink.

4. Glide from High Above

Omni Mount Washington

If your attendees like to look at the snow but hate being in it, they might enjoy Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods New Hampshire, which offers winter ziplining. Open year-round, the three-hour canopy tour can take up to eight people (per pair of guides) soaring above the snow-kissed tree tops through a series of skybridges and platforms. It’s a great trust-building and team-building activity.

5. Skate in the Natural Beauty

Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa

Finish the day off with a cup of hot chocolate or hot toddy, and a skate around the rink. Aesthetically, man-made ice rinks don’t hold a candle to those that are naturally made. Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid, New York, has two maintained natural ice skating rinks outside the property’s cafe on Mirror Lake. There, skaters and hockey players of all levels can enjoy themselves on a rink and then skate right into the cafe.