Hi friends! Happy New Year! I’m happy to say I’m back after a much needed vacay that allowed me to unplug and recharge my batteries a bit—which sounds odd considering under every other circumstance we plug things in to recharge, but I digress.
The hubs and I spent 10 glorious days with his family in Big Sky, Montana where we skied and snowshoed in frigid cold temperatures, shared many laughs and even more bottles of wine.
As much as I like to pretend I’m tough on the slopes the truth of the matter is I have zero tolerance for whipping winds, icy runs, crappy visibility or temperatures below 20ºF.
I simply don’t love the sport enough to endure it–especially for what they’re charging for a lift ticket these days.
Having married into a family of die-hard skiers, it’s taken me a while to be able to admit that maybe skiing just isn’t my thing, or that I’m only a fair-weather skier. But now that I’ve taken up snowshoeing–well–I can officially do so unapologetically because I finally have an activity that I absolutely love to do in the winter.
For Christmas this year I decided to get the hubs and myself each our own pair of snowshoes—a little risky considering he’d never actually been, but with our mutual love for hiking, the outdoors and being active, and his ability to tolerate even the coldest of days on the slopes, I was fairly confident he’d be hooked like I was after his first tromp in the snow.
I think I was right. ;)
If you’ve not been, here are 5 reasons to love (and why you must try) snowshoeing this winter:
1. Snowshoeing is one killer winter workout. I don’t know about you but I often judge a workout by how much I sweat. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I’ve broken a sweat while downhill skiing. I realize this doesn’t say much for my skiing ability or cold tolerance but after just 10 minutes of snowshoeing I’m usually unzipping layers like a mad woman, even in single digit temperatures like we had last week in Montana. Uphills at sea level are one thing, but at altitude–holy heart rate! Snowshoeing has freed me from feeling like I have to shell out $100 and endure crappy ski conditions to get a good workout.
2. It is practically free. Once you invest in a pair of snowshoes (which will run you about the same price as a couple of lift tickets and apres ski cocktails) there’s little to no additional costs. Many hiking trails become snowshoeing terrain come wintertime. No tune ups, lessons, lift tickets, and overpriced lodge lunches.
3. You get the same beloved “back country” experience. Imagine being surrounded by nothing but untouched snow, utter silence (except for the crunch of snow beneath your feet) and 360º of breathtaking scenery. That’s the back-country experience so many skiers seek during these cold winter months, and now I get why. Last week I learned it’s not uncommon for back-country skiers and snowshoers to share the same wintery terrain. With snowshoes, it’s not just for the hardcore anymore.
4. Snowshoeing will give you a new appreciation for winter weather. During this time of year it’s easy to complain about the cold and snow, especially when it jacks up our heating bills and messes with our travel plans. One thing I realized last week was that snowshoeing has actually gotten me excited about being outdoors in the winter again. I don’t think that’s happened since I was a 10 year old kid with a sled.
5. It’s convenient, and great for groups. Unlike some winter sports that take up an entire day and aren’t always conducive to doing in groups (ahem, skiing), snowshoeing is a fun and social activity that almost everyone can enjoy. Seasoned hikers can head for hillier trails, but you can also get a great workout on the flat trails, too. All you have to do to up the intensity is step off the snowpack and do a few minutes in knee-deep powder–you’ll be sweating in no time. One of the things I love most is that, much like a hike or a run, you can go for as little or as long as you like. Just hop in the car and hit the trail!
Snowshoeing has seriously rekindled my love for winter, and snow, and even for being outdoors in frigid temperatures–which is pretty much unheard of. If you haven’t been, all you need to get started are a pair of snowshoes (consider renting the first couple of times and testing out different styles/sizes) a pair of lighter-weight winter boots, and some snow pants or gators if you plan to venture off the trail.
Snowshoeing: Ever been before? Love it too? Got any favorite places to go?
Your pictures are STUNNING! I’m anxiously awaiting our first real snowfall… But I have a feeling it’s just wishful thinking. I’ve never been snowshoeing, but I grew up skiing every winter and spring break.
I’ve always wanted to try snowshoeing! I’m so SO not a skiing or snowboarding person! Showshoeing looks way more enjoyable to me.
What do you wear to go snow shoeing? I’ve never been, but some friends were talking about going in a couple weeks and I don’t know if I have the proper clothes.
I grew up in Utah, and I’m not a big fan of skiing either. I haven’t tried snowshoeing but it looks so fun! And your pictures are fantastic!
What Beautiful Pictures!!! (What kind of camera do you use, if you don’t mind me asking?) I absolutely LOVE snowshoeing, snowshoes was actually the first gift my bf & I bought for each other… 5 years later, now husband! I’m hoping the temps warm up so I can get out & enjoy the snow. It’s been -14 with a windchill of about -40 so I haven’t been able to hit up the trails! Oh… I think it’s an amazing workout too!
My husband and I got ourselves snowshoes 2 years ago for Christmas but have not yet been :-( We live in NC and just haven’t had enough snow (or, we’ve been out of town when it snowed). The year we bought them, we spent New Year’s eve up in the mountains in my mom’s cabin and it was 60! We went hiking instead of snowshoeing….But we keep hoping we’ll get another snowy winter (or travel to the mountains or north) to use them!
Absolutely beautiful pictures! We actually snowshoed for gym class when I lived in Wisconsin. Haven’t done it since I moved!
Snowshoeing is so funny! I have done it once, and remember that it was indeed a killer workout. I’d like to do it again, especially in beautiful snow like that!
Gorgeous!!! Snowshoeing is such an amazing workout, and you can’t beat the scenery. I miss living in Vancouver 20 mins from the mountain, it was so much better than the gym :) Happy New Year!
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Lots of the trails that are used for hiking over the summer here and also used for snowshoeing over the winter as well. It’s also kind of nice to get out into the mountains without being surrounded with people like when you’re skiing/snowboarding.
Gorgeous photos! I’ve been wanting to try to snowshoeing for awhile now. I’m definitely looking for a winter sport to make me like the season a bit more. Not a huge fan of the cold, but living in the Midwest, I’m always looking for ways to make it more enjoyable.
Hi Elle! So glad you had a great vacation. I only tried snowboarding once (as a born and raised Floridian, I didn’t exactly grow up around snow), and it was soooo hard, I’m scared to go back. But I could definitely see myself enjoying snowshoeing for all of the reasons you mention above. So cool!
these photos are breathtaking. my brother lives in bozemean, montana… the sky really is bigger! ;)
i took up snowshoeing this winter as well! I really enjoy the peacefulness of the trails. It rivals skiing in my book