Finally! TWO YEARS I’ve been waiting to do this one. Last year, the snow sucked and my knee wasn’t as ready as I had anticipated after surgery, so I postponed my “Learn How to Snowshoe” goal to this year. Then last month, my friend, Frances, and I trekked to Sunriver, Oregon (a total mountain town) thinking that in late November, the mountain would be teeming with fresh powder, but it was dry as a bone.
This weekend it was now or never. I literally went out and bought snowshoes yesterday in an effort to solidify my efforts. Early this morning, Frances and our other friend, Jennifer, headed with me to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Last week it was like -2 degrees up there, today it was above freezing. Go figure. Lucky for us, that meant the parking lot had ample spots and we could easily take their snowshoe trail without a lot of people around.
A little history: I was a frequent skier from about 10 years old till my teens, wherein I took up snowboarding. I consistently had a season pass and even met one of my best friends, Julia, in a snowboard class in college. It wasn’t until my 31st birthday where I blew out my knee playing soccer that my mountain days suddenly came to a halt. I know that I will probably never snowboard again (my surgeon didn’t recommend it, and I’m not willing to take the chance), but not being involved in wintertime snow activities just isn’t an option. Today was a great because I knew I had officially found my new thing.
First off, my new snowshoes fit and I was happy that they strapped on much like a snowboard. Second, SNOWSHOEING IS HARD WORK! I guess I was imagining a gentle walk along a flat trail, but we hiked a little over a mile with a 1,000 elevation gain, not to mention the gale force wind resistance all the way up. It was exhausting, but in a good, safe-for-my-knee kind of way. We even got above the clouds for some sunshine.
I would say it wasn’t quite as fun as snowboarding (I mean, we didn’t get to fly down the mountain after our laborious climb), but it was still really fun. And snowshoeing seems to require very little skill, other than the ability to hike.
A major upshot of snowshoeing versus snowboarding is it’s WAY cheaper! Beyond the fact that I bought a pair of show shoes for $80, versus my snowboard set up which cost me about $400, I didn’t have to purchase anything other than a snow park. No lift ticket or annual pass. Hel-lo! Wayyyyy cheaper!
So who wants to go snowshoe with me now?