Activities for nonskiers

February 02, 1997|By Toby Hill | Toby Hill,ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

There's a 6-foot snow base -- unspoiled powder on the mountain's backside; moguls the size of VWs over yonder; meticulously manicured cruisers everywhere; and virtually no lift lines anywhere. A perfect ski day.

And you couldn't care less.

Let's face it -- schussing from summit to base all day just isn't everyone's idea of a great time.

Keeping this in mind, many resorts have evolved into theme parks of sorts, offering activities not only for the avid skier, but also for his or her slope-impaired companions as well.

At Steamboat Springs, Colo., for instance, invaluable winter driving skills can be learned at the resort's Bridgestone Ice Driving School. Eighty-thousand gallons of water form a 10-inch-thick sheet of ice on the school's mile-long track. Students learn to navigate the course's eight turns safely using braking, cornering and skid-control techniques.

Various classes are offered, ranging from a half-day introductory course to a two-day high-performance driving and racing program. Call (970) 879-6104.

Keystone, Colo., offers indoor tennis, swimming and sleigh rides. The resort also boasts a 5-acre outdoor skating rink.

More high-speed thrills can be had at the USA Bobsled Driving School in Lake Placid, N.Y., overseen by the New York Olympic Authority. If you don't want the school's weeklong bobsled-driving course, consider taking a single run down the icy mile-long track with an experienced driver and brakeman.

Winter Sports Park at Park City, Utah, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, also plans to start a public bobsled program next winter, but hopes to begin offering luge rides on its new refrigerated track by the end of the 1996-1997 ski season. Call (801) 655-3482.

Rather ride at a more relaxing pace? Try one of the more unusual horse-drawn-sleigh rides around Jackson Hole, Wyo. See the largest wintering herd of elk in North America with National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides, from late December through March. For more information on activities around Jackson Hole, call (800) 443-6931.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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