Ice Castles (Emily) 1 .jpg
A photographer walks through the entrance of Midway Ice Castles. The castles are just one of many winter activities in Utah. (The Signpost Archives)

 

The snow has fallen, leaving a powdery playground to start the new year. Having snowball fights, making snow angels and building snowmen are among some common activities during winter that most Utah residents have enjoyed since childhood. For local college students however, these activities may become a bit boring over time.

The solution to winter boredom is available at Weber State’s Outdoor Recreation center, which provides gear for several winter activities at a very affordable price. You can rent skis, snowboards, boots, poles, snow shoes and even clothes if needed. You can rent items in packages at a set price or rent the items individually. For example, the Alpine Ski Package includes boots, poles and skis, and costs $19 to rent with a student ID.

Discounted adult lift tickets are also available to Nordic Valley at $32 and SnowBasin at $89. At Snowbasin, ski and snowboard packages are also available to WSU students for $108, which includes basic gear rental and lift ticket for one.

If you’re interested in swapping gear, Weber State holds an annual Outdoor Gear Sale and Swap each fall, where the outdoor recreation program and private owners come to sell and swap used and new equipment.

Spring break may call for a much-needed ski or snowmobiling trip. The Bloomington Canyon Yurt in Bear Lake, Idaho is also available to rent through the outdoor program. At $95 a night, the trip includes a Mongolian-style yurt (circular tent) with wooden floors, a wood-burning stove, a kitchen and bunks for up to 12 people. Due to the weather, the outdoor recreation center asks that groups know how to read a map or GPS because trails can become hard to find in the winter.

For those who lacking experience with a GPS or maps, guided snow adventures are also available until March 31 though the outdoor program. Backcountry skiing and snowshoeing guide programs can be rented for a group up to eight, but custom large groups can be accommodated upon request.

Backcountry skiing includes a trip up to Ben Lomond Peak starting at $100 for a half day and $125 for a full day. Snowshoe guides will take you to North Fork Park and Wheeler Creek. The cost is $70 per person for a half day and $60 for each additional person.

Other discounted adventures outside Weber State include the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah. The man-made attraction opened in late December and will remain open until the end of February 2017. Tickets are available for adults for $13 though online purchase or $18 at the door. The Ice Rink at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City also offers a unique outdoor skating experience in downtown. Tickets are $9 for adults and $8 for kids, including the skate rental.

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