Guide to Frostival fitness

No sleds required for Winterfest’s giant ice slide (Philip Drost/AQ)

It has been a cold, harsh winter this year, and many have taken to hiding indoors for fear of frostbite. But Fredericton’s 12th annual Winterfesthiver proved that winter isn’t just about shoveling driveways and slipping on ice. Winter can actually be fun!
Winterfest offered many different things to do for young and old alike. The biggest hit was the tubing hill. People of all ages lined up to take ride down the tubing hill.
On the other side of the tubing hill was another sliding hill. On this hill there were no tubes. Everyone had to go down on their rear, but it was still fun. There was also a much faster moving line, which meant more fun to be had. You couldn’t hear anyone complain.
Sliding wasn’t the only fun around. Winterfest also had a giant snow maze. Despite the little kids rushing by, the snow maze was fun to just wander around in. Those who got disoriented, which was completely possible, just had to look up and ask one of the people standing on top of the maze where to go.
Those who weren’t into getting lost still had more options. If animals were your thing, it was the spot for you. There were ponies, a petting zoo (with an aggressive alpaca), a horse-drawn sleigh, and even dog sleds.
Winterfest had a new location this year. Instead of its usual spot on the northside, it took up residence at the Capital Exhibition Centre, making it much easier to get to. Unfortunately that meant long lines and traffic, but it flowed relatively smoothly. Plus at just $5, it was budget-friendly for everyone.
DJ Nasty Naz was there keeping the mood lively. Despite being from Jamaica, DJ Nasty Naz seemed to be having a blast with the chilly event, playing pop music and giving out shout outs.
There were even things to do for the more competitive winter celebrator. People could try their hand at some six-hole mini golf, tug of war, and beanie bag toss.
A person without a smile was difficult to find, if not impossible. Winterfest is a great way to hang out outdoors, chill with friends, get some exercise, with the added benefit of being able to get lost in a snow maze.

Snowmobile racing gets the blood pumping

Getting lost in the back woods of the North side and being surrounded by gas fumes and liquor doesn’t sound all that healthy. But if you’re looking for a good and unconventional workout, the King of the Strip snowmobile races were the place to be.
This was the first year for the races, held at A.L.P.A Equipment on the North side. It’s a long way out, especially for students, but there’s no equivalent event anywhere near campus.
The event was put on by the Easter Seals and featured some crazy snowmobile fans, cool machines, and a ridiculous amount of exercise. It’s free to get it, although donations are accepted, and all ages are welcome. They even have a little canteen, right there in the middle of the woods.
Once you get to A.L.P.A, a passenger-ized snow groomer bounces you up and down a forest trail to take you to the races, which are much further in. It sounds more murder-y than it is. Once you get dropped off, you have to walk at least half a kilometre to the actual races, all on sticky, ground up snow that people have been walking on all day. If you’ve ever run on the beach, you know how much of a workout that is.
There is one important thing to remember though: dress appropriately. One woman wore high heeled ankle boots (with no socks – tsk) and ate snow while trying to climb a hill. Think of this event as a nice break in between a snowy hike. You don’t want to end up like that.
Fredericton’s snowmobile dealers and A.L.P.A are working out the kinks from this year’s event. A.L.P.A owner Serge Landry wants to make the whole operation run a bit smoother for everyone involved, like changing how the trail rides are run.
“You learn a few things the first time you do something,” he said.
Snowmobiling is a whole cult, and Fredericton takes it very seriously. Hundreds of people were at the races to either take part or drink and watch someone else take part. The gas fumes can’t really be avoided, but your calves will look excellent come spring.


Elope to the slopes

If you say half-priced anything, students listen.
During the four weeks of Frostival, that thing is half-priced skiing at Crabbe Mountain.
Crabbe has been offering discounts and events for the past two weekends. Friday night is Family Night, Saturday is the Après Ski Series, and Sunday night is half-priced rentals and lift tickets. The next two weekends of Frostival include a Winter Warmer party and a “Valen-ski” for Valentine’s Day. If you’re into fun fitness, this is for you.
New Brunswickers have loved Crabbe for years. Located in Central Hainsville, about an hour’s drive from Fredericton, it isn’t perfect. If you don’t have access to a car it’s hard to get to Crabbe. There have been unconfirmed reports of a weekend bus out there, but details are scarce. There is a March Break bus though, so if you’re staying around Fredericton you can utilize that for maximum skiing fun.
With half-off your equipment and a handy student discount, the whole Sunday night shebang is going to cost about $25. If you already have skis or a snowboard hanging around your dorm (and who doesn’t), all you’re going to pay for is the lift ticket, which will run about $15 with tax. Not a bad deal when trying to beat campus fever.
If you’re uncoordinated, this stuff may not be for you. But during Frostival Crabbe is running the Après Ski Series in the Thirsty Boot Lounge, so you can warm up with drinks and take in some smooth New Brunswick sounds after a long day of avoiding the slopes. The live music runs from 3pm to 7pm, but drink specials are from 5pm to 9pm. If you time everything right, you don’t have to move for hours.


Aq Pics plus extra 524
Getting lost in the snow maze was a Winterfest highlight (Philip Drost/AQ)

Snowshoeing by moonlight

This sounds like a mix of worst-idea-ever and super-cool-thing-to-try. Grab your snowshoes (or use the ones provided) and meet at the lodge at Mactaquac Provincial Park. There’s going to be the usual snowshoeing fun, but they’ve also added a “Battleship Backlight Scavenger Hunt”. Coordinates will be written in the snow that can only be seen with a black light. Use the coordinates to sink a ship and you win. It’s a perfect combo of interesting and potentially fatal.

Snow cricket

It’s exactly what it sounds like: cricket in the snow. Gotta love Canadians. You grab at least six friends, with registration going at $25/head, and you attempt to play cricket. Lessons will be provided in case you are cricketly-challenged, and prizes will be awarded for the least-bad team. There’s also the added bonus of free ethnic food for those who have registered, so there’s really something for everyone. The games only last half an hour, so embarrassment will be kept to a minimum. Probably.


Do you like yoga? Do you like snow? Your Feb. 9 is already planned. Yoga enthusiasts are bringing the downward dog to downtown Fredericton. You and your buddies can grab your mats and stretch it out on Carleton St., where an experienced yoga teacher will help you get your namaste on. It’s by donation, so choose what you think is appropriate.