We decided that it was time to give snow shoeing a go. The conditions were looking windy but hiding amongst the pine trees of New York state we would be fine, especially with the recent snow fall making for a soft and powdery walk amongst the woodland. We headed over to XC Cascade up in Lake Placid to experience some of their trails. It looked chilly outside with the wind swirling the snow around.
If you have all the equipment you don’t have to be limited to laid out trails but can head up and into the backcountry trails. This season we hadn’t got all the equipment together needed for this and we were total rookies, so maybe next year!
After getting kitted out we opened the door of the warm, cozy hut. We were blasted by the wind as the door crashed closed behind us. Despite the lure of the cozy hut, we took our first incredibly large, cumbersome and awkward steps. Trying to make a quick dash across the cross country ski trails, dodging the speedy and more agile skiers, was probably quite a site but we made it onto the start of the quieter snowshoe trail. Soon enough the towering pine trees swallowed us up and blocked out any trace of a raging wind behind us.
Walking between the trees and over the soft powdery snow felt like walking into Narnia. A magical quiet world with hardly a disturbance. A wave of feeling completely at peace came over us as we began meandering along the trail with the snow sparkling on the drooping trees. Not long after starting we got into the stride of things. My large feet now felt like ginormous platforms flopping around the place. Yet despite the speed at which we became accustomed to our new oversized flip flops taking pictures was a new challenge what with the poles swinging about the place, a camera in hand and padding about through the winding trail.
Further a long the trail we came to the first of a few obstacles in the form of a tree blocking the path. Carefully and gingerly we stepped over forgetting that the snowshoes would flop almost completely open catching and scraping over the tree. I am not sure smooth or seamless would have been used to describe the transition over the obstacle but it was successful if the benchmark was not to fall over.
After being out for a few hours we meandered back to the hut for a warm drink by the fire. Coming out of the protection of the trees we were reminded that all was not so tranquil. As we flung ourselves through the doorway with little grace but huge grins and red cheeks from the cold breeze and great conditions.
Very quickly we commandeered some seats near to the fire with hot chocolates and some soup on order.
All in all a great experience and one that will definitely be repeated once the snow comes again.