Cross-country skiing, ski tours and more: the best outdoor sports in winter


Writed by - Andy Gocker
 Cross-country skiing, ski tours and more: the best outdoor sports in winter
When you go ski touring you are - for the most part - alone in nature. © Gaspar Janos/, SpotOn

Off track

After mild weeks in December and half of January, according to forecasts, a polar vortex is now supposed to cause the onset of winter. At the end of January and February, the chances of snow are good in large parts of Germany and the surrounding area. If you don't want to crowd the crowded ski slopes but still want to be active in the fresh air, you have a number of alternatives. From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing: You should try these outdoor sports in winter.

Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is idyllic. Normally, cross-country skis are used on groomed trails, which are not only found in rural areas. For example, the city of Munich prepares tracks on some green spaces - but only if there is enough snow. But in order to avoid the crowds, cross-country skiers can also immerse themselves in nature without a cross-country ski trail. This variant is called backcountry skiing and requires special skis. They are wider and shorter than traditional cross-country skis. At least 20 centimeters of snow are required for both variants. Before the trip, cross-country skiers should find out about regional nature reserves - they are usually taboo.

Ice scating

Being an ice queen for once - it's possible while ice skating. All it takes are ice skates and warm clothes. Many cities have public ice rinks. When it's cold enough, natural bodies of water such as lakes also freeze over, but at the moment you can only dream of that. An ice surface must be at least 15 centimeters thick in order to be able to move safely on it. Ask the responsible municipalities which lakes are suitable.

ski touring

Climb a mountain on skis? This is exactly the principle of ski mountaineering, also known as ski touring. With special skis you go up a mountain, mostly off-piste, and then ski down. Winter sports are very strenuous and require a certain level of stamina. But the hardships are worth it - especially for those seeking peace and quiet. Ski tourers are often all alone in untouched nature. In addition, a fantastic panorama awaits you at the summit. Important before the start: find out about the weather conditions and avalanche warning levels.


A snowshoe hike also goes up the mountain, which takes a lot of strength. The snowshoes increase the stepping surface, the weight is better distributed and you sink less into the snow. The difference to touring: There are no skis. That's why snowshoe hikers have to walk back as well. Slopes or cross-country trails are not intended for this type of winter sports, but there are often extra paths. If you are off the designated routes, you should find out about the weather and the danger of avalanches before you set off - as with ski tours.

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