From Trikking to Snow Kiting, Here are Some of Oregon’s More Obscure Winter Sports

So you wanna Skijor?


What is it?

A clever way to keep your dog entertained in the winter. The sport, which was invented in Norway, involves being pulled on skis by a dog (or dogs), or sometimes a horse. Using a tether and a waist belt, skiers attach themselves to their dog's harness to be pulled through snowy mountain trails. recommends serious racers practice in the off-season by bikejoring and scootjoring.

Where does it happen?

The sport may sound like a half-baked formula for disaster that your drunken cousins cooked up, but it turns out serious skijorers race competitively in Oregon and across the nation. The Pacific Sled Dog and Skijor Association lists statewide races and maps of Central Oregon Trails open for recreational skijoring on its website, including Ray Benson Sno-Park, Upper Three Creek Lake Sno-Park, and various trails along the McKenzie Pass.


What is it?

Windsurfing with a snowboard. The sport—which is still relatively new and practiced mostly by DIY boarders—involves strapping yourself to a large kite and being propelled through the air at high speeds. Aaron Sales of Hood River describes snow kiting in a 2015 article on the Travel Oregon website as a way to "ascend the hill faster than on a high-speed chairlift—with no lift ticket required."

Where does it happen?

There aren't really designated snow kiting areas, but in online forums, enthusiasts describe open snowy fields, plenty of wind and minimal obstructions as key location ingredients. Sales notes making successful trips to Mount Hood and Mount Defiance. Southern Oregonian Matt Thames told Oregon Public Broadcasting that Mount Ashland is the place to kite—if you don't mind picking yourself out of trees from time to time.


What is it?

Skiing with training wheels. Trikke skis are pretty much exactly what they sound like—tricycle-style skis. Unlike traditional skis and snowboards, there are no boots and no clipping-in is necessary. Rather, a leash tethered to the trikke's handlebars keeps the rider attached to the skis. The devices, which are much lower impact and easier to use than skis, are a good option for people with injuries or disabilities.

Where does it happen?

Hoodoo Ski Area is the only mountain in Oregon that provides trikke skis for rent for $10 an hour or $30 for a full day. Avid trikkers can also buy online and trek around the state.


What is it?

A less life-endangering simulation of scaling ice walls and frozen waterfalls with picks and crampons. At annual competitions in Portland, rock gyms dump fake snow on climbers who use ice picks to ascend walls tacked with chunks of ice. Portland's amateur competition isn't as hardcore as other professional events across the nation, where snow is packed into the climbing wall and the room is cooled to below zero. But winning does secure local indoor climbers some bragging rights.

Where does it happen?

This year an "Ice Comp" is taking place at Planet Granite on Nov. 17. Thirty ice climbers will compete, and six winners will win yet-to-be-announced prizes.


What is it?

Snowboarding without the chairlift. The novelty of a splitboard—a board that detaches lengthwise like skis to be reassembled—is that it allows snowboarders to backpack up mountainsides and board untouched slopes on the way back down. Pros note that splitboarding is only for those with prior backcountry and snowboarding experience. Obtaining avalanche training is also a good idea.

Where does it happen?

Numerous Oregon mountains can be explored via splitboard—including Mounts Hood, Rainier, Washington and Jefferson. Online forums, like, provide real-time trip reports from fellow fresh-powder seekers.

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