Sunday 12 January 2014

Snowshoe Morning

    We didn’t walk the trail at all yesterday, because of more than a foot (30cm) of fresh snow.  Instead we had to shovel the driveway.  Today, I decided that I would walk the trail, but that I needed to wear the snowshoes to do it, because the snow was so deep, plus the trail needed packing and widening so we could later just walk it with just our boots.
    The idea behind snowshoes is to create a larger surface area when you walk, so that you don’t sink  into the snow too much.  The fresh snow we had was very light and fluffy, so despite the snowshoes, I was still sinking about a foot in places.  Skye, who started out following me, finally gave up and turned around because even with my snowshoe path, the spaces between my footprints were still too deep for her.  I ended up snowshoeing the path twice just so it was all packed down.
    Once when I was working for the BC Forest Service, I had to do a check on an area high on the slope of a mountain.  There were no roads into the area, so we had to fly in and be dropped off by helicopter, then snowshoe through the area and be picked up later in the day at the other end. 
    There was a lot of snow on the ground and because of the slope, the helicopter couldn’t set down, so he was just going to hover close to the ground and we would have to just make the short jump to the snow.  We of course, couldn’t wear snowshoes in the helicopter, so I had to jump into the snow with just my boots on. 
    I opened the helicopter door, stepped our on the metal runner, and then jumped down to the snow.  I sunk up to my hips in the white fluffy powder, which was a big surprise to me.  My co-worker handed me my snowshoes and his, then he jumped down beside me.  Once the helicopter was away, we struggled in the deep snow to get our snowshoes on.  When that was finally accomplished, we were able to snowshoe on top of the snow without sinking up to our hips.
    Below is a shot of my snowshoe tracks on the trail.

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