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Snowballs versus sledding verus skiing versus snow fort building

AS THE GEE-GEES’ season comes to a close, students may be wondering how they’re going to get their sports fi throughout the holidays. Well, no need to worry; there are plenty on winter activities available to even the poorest of students. But which one should you partake in—which is the best? The Fulcrum sounds off on some of the most popular and fun winter activities around.

Because nothing says ‘winter’s here’ like a snowball to the face

Of all the winter activities one can partake in over the holidays, snowball fights are by far the most legit.

Let’s face it; winter is the worst season of the year. Even so, snowball fights can turn even the crappiest part of winter, the endless mounds of stupid snow, into something fun, competitive, and badass—the most badass of winter activities, in fact.

Summer has paintballing and water fights, while winter has—what, hot chocolate and cuddling by a fire? Booooring. Winter would be nothing without the ability to chuck balls of snow at others, which is totally socially acceptable behaviour in Canada, by the way.

Whether you are a kid throwing balls filled with ice or pine cones from a tree trying to injure your siblings or a young adult blowing off some steam outside the office with your work buds, who doesn’t enjoy a good snowball fight to relieve some pent up aggression?

Last but not least, snowball fights—when done right—can embody every winter activity. The best snowball fights involve forts of epic proportions with secret passageways, ice fishing to feed your troops throughout the war, and building snowmen to use as decoys. You could even have one while snowboarding down a mountain and, once you destroy the other team, you can sip hot chocolate and chill your butt off in front of a fire all night long (the above should not be attempted by amateurs).

Involving competition, danger, and flying balls of snow, snowball fights are the best winter activity of the season.

—Mercedes Mueller

Happy birthday—building Frosty has never been so fun

While activities such as skiing or sledding involve expensive equipment and a large hill, snowman building only requires that fluffy white stuff associated with the holidays—snow!

What’s better than going outside on a brisk winter day with siblings or friends and playing in the snow? Rolling three snowballs until they are the size of your body, packing them on top of each other, and stuffing a carrot into the face, what better fun is there?

One awesome aspect is that it is a decent workout. Packed snow can get pretty heavy. Lifting and rolling it about can give you some strong biceps. Plus, carrots are healthy, and you can’t just buy one carrot, so you’re going to have to eat the rest of them.

Enough of that silliness though; the pure joy of making the most unique snowman around is enough to make you want to participate. Can you make one that looks like Clint Eastwood? How about Johnny Depp? How about a look-alike of your friend?

The choices are endless, and that’s what makes snowman building the best winter activity of them all.

Katherine DeClerq

Downhill we go

With the wind in your hair and the thrill of high speeds, skiing is the way to travel. Whether you are skiing professionally in the Olympics or facing the moguls for fun, the sport of skiing can’t be beat.

How can any winter activity compete with a sport that has been around forever. That’s right—the first pair of skis were made of hard wood and found in Russia around 6300 BC!

Skiing is challenging. It takes incredible strength to control your body on a set of sticks while hurtling at high speeds. If you aren’t careful, you could end up free-falling down the hill or skiing into a dumpster (not that it’s happened to me or anything). You have to have a strong core in order to partake in this sport.

Although skiing takes skill, it’s never too late to learn. Skiing gives you the perfect winter thrill—its 10 times faster than sledding, more exciting than
patiently building a fort, and when you crash, it gives you more of a sting than snowball fighting. Need I say more? Even after a millenia, skiing still has it!

Katherine DeClerq

Throughout history, sledding has always rocked

The year was sometime in the 1870s; the place, St. Moritz, Switzerland. A band of bored British tourists took to the hills in search of recreation when it dawned on them: Why not race the boy’s delivery sleds? With the help of clever Swiss craftsmen, a new sport was born: Sledding!

Sledding has inspired some of the most dangerous Olympic sports. Bobsledding, luging, and skeleton all stem from this recreational sport. What other winter sport can make that claim? I haven’t heard of extreme snowball fighting.

And yes, sledding shouldn’t be considered as anything less than extreme. Sledders can take on jumps, go “off-hilling,” and reach speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, sometimes causing serious injury, but mostly resulting in pure awesomeness!

Tobogganing can be enjoyed in large groups; it’s perfect for racing and some intense laughter when someone face plants, but also has the potential for an intimate date. Imagine cuddling up to your honey or
love interest and holding on for dear life while being pumped with adrenaline… Need I say more? Can’t do that on skis, can you?

There are a couple of decent hills around the downtown core that are worth checking out: Experimental Farm, Mooney’s Bay Park, and Vincent Massey Park, to name a few.

All in all, tobogganing is the perfect combination of fun and adventure in the snow, and should be at the top of everyone’s list of winter activities.

Happy sledding!

—Michelle Ferguson

Chillin’ in the snow fort

Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and even the Beast—whether it’s a humble shack or a castle made of gold, everyone dreams of their own personal palace. That’s why snow fort building is the perfect winter activity.

Unlike a real home, you can personalize it any way you please. Wanted to be a sailor
when you were little? Fashion yourself a boat. Wanted to be a firefighter? Build a deluxe two-level fire station complete with a ladder and sliding pole.

Not only will you have a badass and
long-lasting design on display, you will save yourself the excruciating pain of working out for the rest of winter. Once it’s done, it’s done. You can move in your own rocking chair, line the floor with carpet, and enjoy the type of privacy skiing or snowballing won’t supply.

Besides, if you strategically place your new ice home, you can turn it into a halfway house for those drunken nights when you can’t make it into your real home. Because you don’t have to share your snow fort with roommates or parents, nobody will judge you for passing out on the cold floor. Just make sure your face doesn’t freeze to one of the walls.

—Jane Lytvynenko