For people who like sport,
the American winter is a season of opportunity
sports are popular in North America. In winter time, a large part of
the continent is covered in snow for up to four months.
skiing in the Rocky Mountains, in Utah
Only two parts of the USA are mild
or warm in
winter — a) the coasts, especially Florida and southern
California, and b) the southern part of the Mississippi basin
it gets cold, often very
cold. By the end of November, many American states are often covered in
snow; and although recent winters have been less cold, sport in winter
usually means snow sports, or indoor sports.
By January, many people in North America
will have temperatures of -30°C; not every day, of course, but
such low temperatures are not rare. In Chicago and Minneapolis, the
temperature can fall below -40°.
When it is very cold, specially when
there is a cold wind, few people want to go outside, unless they have
to; but on sunny winter days, winter sports are popular.
In the large flat regions in the middle
of North America, the most popular winter sports are snowmobiling
snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. Ice-skating is popular too;
lakes and rivers freeze, and many towns and cities have free open-air skating
many places, these are flood-lit
after dark, so that people can enjoy skating in the evening.
However, for many people, real "winter
sports" means downhill skiing; and in the USA, there are two principal
areas for this; the Adirondack Mountains in the North East, and the
Rockies in the west.
The Rockies are probably the best place
in the world for skiing. North America's "continental" climate means
that the snow that falls there is usually very dry, very powdery. It provides
skiing conditions in the most famous skiing resorts
mostly situated at a height
of over 2000 metres.
The best resorts are in Colorado and
Utah, where the air is usually beautifully clear through the winter
months. In Colorado one finds America's most famous skiing resorts,
Vail and Aspen, where the stars and the rich go for their winter
holidays. But the great ski areas
of Utah are just as good, with miles and miles of slopes
There is one big difference between
American ski resorts and most Alpine resorts in Europe: the traffic!
For most Americans, a skiing holiday
means a trip
by plane, as most American cities are far from the Rockies.
Americans do not take long holidays, so they cannot spend several days
driving to the Rockies.
The situation is different for people in
Los Angeles and other West Coast cities. They can drive to ski resorts
in just a few hours.
Nevertheless, American ski resorts
encourage visitors to come by plane and use buses when they arrive:
lots of ski resorts offer free bus services from the nearest airports;
some, like Aspen, provide
free buses between the hotels and the pistes.
As a result, people do not sit for hours
in their cars, moving very slowly towards the slopes, and the air is
Conditions are not going to get worse;
the quality of the environment in America's mountains is a very
zone - basin
wide valley - everywhere
: in all other parts - flood-lit:
illuminated - height
altitude - issue
question - provide
make for, offer - resort
holiday centre - skating
artificial lake where people can skate on ice - slope
: piste - snowmobile
: a snow
scooter - trip
Return to Linguapress site index
for A4 printing from the Firefox
© Linguapress. Do not copy
this document to any other website
Copying permitted for personal study, or by teachers for use with their
factually and grammatically correct versions of each of the following
In winter a lot of North America is covered / covering
in snow while
/ during / for over three months.
2. On very cold days little / few / a few people
/ go / do
go outside unless they are
having to / must to / have to .
3. Most / Most of
Americans go by
/ in / with plane when they go to
the Rockies, and many
/many of resorts provide
/ are providing free /
4 State parks are well equipped / equipping
/ equip for
/ with / of vacationers.
5 North of San Francisco, the ocean is
warm / warm enough / too warm
swim / for swimming / for to swim.
6 Many state parks open / are opening /
have opened / opened since 1872.
EFL teachers: Help develop this resource by contributing extra teaching
materials or exercises.
copyright Linguapress 1998 - 2015.
Revised 2015 . Originally published in Horizon, the Low-intermediate
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised