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THE OUTDOORS ALMANAC | THIS IS FUN?

Icy ingenuity

A man turns a snowstorm into a brainstorm, creating a frosty playground for kayaking.

November 08, 2005|Janet Cromley

JEFF SCHULTZ of Fort Collins, Colo., will never be accused of building a better mousetrap. One winter, the woodworker was out on his property, surveying the bounty from a snowstorm the night before, when he had an idea. "It was a sunny Colorado day, and the hillside was so pristine. Snow around here doesn't last, and if you don't go play right now, by tomorrow it could be gone." Schultz has had previous experience with creative sledding. "Growing up in the Midwest we'd try to sled on whatever we could find -- an old trash can lid, anything." So Schultz went into his garage and found just the right thing. "The kayak works fine if the snow is really cold, so the kayak doesn't stick," he says. "You can get some speed going and use the paddle to carve out snow and stick the paddle behind you like a rudder. It's not as accurate as a sled but about the same as a toboggan. You can break an arm or leg just as easily." If nothing more, the kayak helped him scratch an itch. "When you're really into white-water kayaking, you can get a little desperate," Schultz says.

-- Janet Cromley

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