Snowshoeing – with a twist!

With the Rockies covered with a thick snowy blanket, trail running gets a bit tough. A couple years ago my parents got my brother and I snowshoes for Christmas and I have put them to decent use since!

Keith and Dan stopped for a break on the way up

Keith and Dan stopped for a break on the way up

In the week following New Years before school started, Keith’s friend Dan was visiting from Toronto for a few days. We took advantage of a day off mid week for Keith to get out and explore Blacksmith Ridge (or at least try). I was inspired to pick this one from an awe inspiring photo found on www.bobspirko.com, but unfortunately a reincarnation of that photo was not to be. There were no trails already made so we set out to make our own trail which was both exhausting and slow. We zigged and zagged through suuuper deep snow going up steep ridges (that we basically just had to pull ourselves up using trees) and down again really having no idea if we were going the right way. Finally we found some tracks made by back country skiers and followed those up. They didn’t end up where we had wanted to go, and eventually we peeled off their trail following a frozen creek back up a little while before deciding to turn around.

It was up that gully that we had the best sledding!!! And it's way up that way that we were supposed to be headed. Another time I guess!

It was up that gully that we had the best sledding!!! And it’s way up that way that we were supposed to be headed. Another time I guess!

This was where the fun kicked in! You see, back when we hiked Ha Ling and snowshoed Rummel Lake, there was much talk about how awesome it would be to have flying saucers to go down the hill on! So the night before Dan and Keith had purchased two saucers and a crazy carpet and we had carried them up strapped to our backpacks. Look out back country skiers and boarders, there are back country toboganners in town! (Yes we got a few weird looks and comments from actual skiers and boarders but I’d like to think they were just a little jealous – haha).

While the boys hiked a little further up the gully, I started making a trail down. I strapped my snowshoes to my back and let’er fly! Each time I would hike back up to my original starting point and make it a little further down. And it was SO awesome! Soon the boys were flying down too and we managed to get about halfway back to where we started without hiking at all! There was so much laughing and many crashes into the deep snowbank but it was totally worth it! We definitely won’t be heading out again without them in the winter! There is simply too much fun to be had!

Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos of the actual sledding so you will have to use your imagination, but here are a bunch of photos from the trail. To say that the sun was shining is an understatement!

What a gorgeous day in the Spray Valley!!!

What a gorgeous day in the Spray Valley!!!

The most aerobic activity Dan has done in years!

The most aerobic activity Dan has done in years!

We were in the shade of the sides of the creek here. This is where we had the best sliding!

We were in the shade of the sides of the creek here. This is where we had the best sliding!

Sorry Dan, but this picture is just too priceless!

Sorry Dan, but this picture is just too priceless!

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2 thoughts on “Snowshoeing – with a twist!

  1. I hiked up to Chester Lake, in the Spray Lakes Park, on Feb 10 2013, and encountered a fellow on his way down on a sled…I said to him, “You don’t look like you are having any fun!” in an obviously sarcastic voice. He replied, “You’d never know how much!”. This weekend, I am heading back to the area, but this time with a tobaggan!

    • Do it!!! Let me know how it goes! We tried at Prairie Mountain on the weekend and although there were a few spots, there wasn’t quite enough snow for it to be safe (especially because it was super steep and we would have gotten a ton of speed likely resulting in playing bowling with the people trying to come up!).

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