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Yeti Tag and Sherpa Winter Walk

This is an excerpt from Get-Outside Guide to Winter Activities eBook, The by Andrew Foran,Kevin Redmond & TA Loeffler.

Yeti Tag


Yetis (also called abominable snowmen) are mythological creatures thought by some to inhabit the Himalaya Mountains, crossing glaciers and high mountain passes. They are often depicted as large white furry creatures that leave big footprints in the snow.


Age or Grade Level

Any age or grade level


Number of Participants

Any number of participants


Equipment

Ski poles, cones, or Kool-Aid for marking the boundaries of the playing area


Setup

  • Choose a level playing area.
  • Mark the boundaries of the playing area.


How to Lead

  • Choose two players to be yetis and have them stand between the two boundaries.
  • The rest of the players line up along one of the boundaries facing the yetis.
  • Play begins when the yetis chant "We're the yetis, if you are ready; if you're wearing . . ." and they choose a color or an item of clothing the players are wearing (e.g., blue, winter hat).
  • Any player wearing that item or color must attempt to walk or run across the playing field to get to the opposite boundary without being tagged by a yeti.
  • A player who is tagged before reaching the other side becomes a yeti and helps the original yetis tag players in additional rounds.
  • Those who make it across without being tagged wait behind that boundary line until the yetis chant again.
  • Play continues until everyone is tagged or only two players haven't been tagged.


Safety Considerations

  • Based on surface conditions, decide whether the game will be played at walking, jogging, or running speed.
  • Allow participants to run in only one direction at a time.


Yeti Frozen Tag


Yeti tag can be progressed into yeti frozen tag.


Age or Grade Level

Any age or grade level


Number of Participants

Any number of participants


Equipment

Ski poles, cones, or Kool-Aid for marking the boundaries of the playing area


Setup

  • Choose a level playing area.
  • Mark the boundaries of the playing area.


How to Lead

  • Choose one or two (or more) players to be yetis, depending on the size of the group.
  • Yetis begin the game in the middle of the playing area. Players tagged by yetis must freeze on the spot where they were tagged with their arms and legs open (in a jumping jack position).
  • Tagged players remain frozen until another participant ducks or crawls under their arms or legs. Let the game continue for as long as it remains exciting and fun.
  • Switch the yetis often.


Safety Consideration

Based on surface conditions, decide whether the game will be played at walking, jogging, or running speed.

The Search for Yeti

Alexander the Great, who in 326 BC set out to conquer the Indus Valley, heard stories of the yeti and demanded to see one for himself. But local people told him they were unable to present one because the creatures could not survive at that low an altitude. Indeed, yetis are thought to roam the Himalaya mountain range at an altitude of 14,000 to 20,000 feet.


Sherpa Winter Walk


Sherpas often guide climbers through rugged terrain in the mountains of Nepal. This icebreaker is a blindfolded winter adventure in which "sherpas" guide the group through and around obstacles found or made in the environment.


Age or Grade Level

Any age or grade level


Number of Participants

Any number of participants


Equipment

None


Setup

Choose a location that has access to several kinds of obstacles such as snow banks, trees, or park benches.


How to Lead

  • Break the participants into groups of 8 to 10, each of which has a sherpa. (If there are 10 or fewer participants, you will be the sherpa.)
  • Line up the players in each group, one behind the other, with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.
  • If players are comfortable, they can close their eyes, wear a blindfold, or drop their hats down over their eyes.
  • The sherpa is sighted and guides the group through, around, and over obstacles such as snow banks, snow trenches, and trees. The group follows the sherpa in a line.
  • Sherpas can describe the obstacles as part of a winter adventure story such as crevasses, icefalls, glaciers, and the like.
  • The group follows along and listens to the sherpa's descriptions for clues about what to expect and what to do (e.g., crawl over something, duck under a branch, roll in the snow).
  • The players soon learn that they need to depend on, support, and communicate with each other to negotiate the obstacles.


Safety Considerations

  • This activity requires participants to trust each other and work as a team to ensure everyone's safety while traversing the course. Make sure that your group is ready for this responsibility.
  • If an obstacle requires players to be off the ground, have adequate sighted spotters at the obstacle to assist.

Learn more about The Get Outside Guide to Winter Activities.