Mountain biking, hiking, running, while taking in the warm summer breeze, fall foliage, or spring flowers, are all ways of staying healthy and fit.  Soon the temperature drops, days become shorter, snow starts to fall, and your ways of staying fit become more challenging.  You feel like a hamster going nowhere on the treadmill.  So what can you do to stay in shape that involves the outdoors, mountains and fresh air? unspecifiedThat’s where skinny skis, skins and spandex (if you want) come in.  Thanks to ski resorts around the nation, creating uphill policies that allow skiers to use their slope to ski uphill, more and more outdoor enthusiasts are realizing the excitement of going uphill, as well as the training benefit of skinning, also known as ski mountaineering or skimo. unspecified-3Skimo started in Italy and has been around for decades in Europe.  Recently, the U.S. has taken an active role in promoting this sport that compliments trail runners, mountain bikers, hikers and athletes from a multitude of sports when their “dry weather sport” isn’t possible in the cold, wet winter months.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should get into ski mountaineering:

1. The best way to stay in shape outdoors in the winter months.

2. A new challenge to keep you motivated and strong for your fair weather sports

3. At many resorts you can grab a beer or bloody when you get to the top!

4. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with a downhill.

5. It may be an Olympic sport in 2022!…

Want to learn how to Skimo?  The Grand Traverse Skimo Academy will be held Janurary 20 through the 22, 2017 in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.  Top ski mountaineering athletes from around the country, will come together for a 3-day camp that will incorporate everything you need to know to get you going uphill!

More information here.