Travel Diary » Adventures in snowsnoeing
Spring is here and the ski season is wrapping up. NOOOO!!!! It seems quite surreal that the mountain is about to shut when there is still 2.5m of snow on the ground. But the temperatures are getting warmer and the mountain is almost empty. We've been joking that we need to head to South America for another winter. Of course our daughter might never speak to us again if we do - she has a drawer full of summer dresses that she hasn't been able to wear in a very long time and she's determined to start wearing them soon.
With the warmer weather, we've started snowshoeing over the past few weeks. Early March bought hot spring days to the mountain (and by hot I mean just above zero) so it seemed to be the perfect weather to be outside trying something new.
Here on Big White there's a specific Nordic trail area that you can snowshoe in, with woodland trails designated for snowshoeing and walking. For our first walk we considered walking on those but the kids were keen to explore the woods near their school. During the school day they are allowed to play in the woods but only within 50-100m of the school. The kids wanted to show us where they play and explore the 'forbidden zone'. Since the nordic trails were just a few hundred meters on the other side of the woods it seemed like a good plan.
I thought it would take a few minutes of practice and instruction to get the hang of snowshoeing but as soon as the kids had their snowshoes on they were off down the slope and away into the trees. We were still strapping our shoes on when the shouts started: "Come see my base" "There's a jump over here that the senior's built" "That's where Charlie lost his tooth sledding" "This is where we collect moss. It's like money" "Come on ... why aren't you snowshoeing yet?"
After enjoying seeing where the kids play it was time to hike further into the woods in search of the nordic trails. Twenty minutes after following rabbit tracks, skirting creeks and ambling along we found the first nordic trail - right where we thought it would be. We felt fairly impressed with our woods survival instincts!
It didn't take long to realise hiking through the woods was a lot more fun than walking along a path. As far as the kids were concerned walking through the woods was fun, whereas walking along trails was just like regular hiking. So we backtracked through the woods, with the kids collecting their moss "money" to store in their base at school.
Since then we've been out snowshoeing at least once a week. We've explored the small woods behind our house and discovered a treehouse someone built last summer. My mother and her partner came to visit us and we took them snowshoeing through the woods, along the trails past the dog sledding and sleigh rides. I took Nanna and her partner out snowshoeing on a longer adventure during their visit. After one wrong turn on the snowshoe trails in the woods (the map on my phone was out of date!) the long adventure turned into a much longer adventure than we were expecting! This week the kids are starting snowshoeing with school.
It's definitely a fun all-ages activity and a great way of making the most of the snow. Have you ever tried it?