It has been so nice to have snow this year, not least (although certainly neither most) because it has given us a chance to go out snowshoeing a number of times in great conditions. And I’m sure there will be more. On a recent Sunday, I went up Thomas Creek. It was a nearly perfect after-snowfall day with little flurries blowing through all afternoon, and even on the main trail I got to make fresh tracks for myself.Now, when ya gotta toot yur horn ya gotta toot it BIG TIME. So I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and announce, loud and clear, that I firmly believe that I have something to offer to the world when it comes to snowshoeing. I’m not saying I’m the only one, but judging on the tracks I see around, I’m definitely in the minority. See, people treat snowshoeing and walking in the snow with pasties pasted firmly on your footsies. And they try to walk normally in snowshoes. But you can’t walk normally in snowshoes. The width of the shoe keeps you from using your hips correctly. In my case, when I first started, I came home from a long day and realized that my hips hurt much more than they should have. I thought about that gait and realized that the unnatural gait had strained me. So the next time I went I tried to figure out how I could reduce that strain. And now you’re gonna hear what I came up with.
Snowshoeing is much more like slow dancing in the snow than walking. And even more so, it’s like walking the catwalk in the snow. In slow motion, well, in motion that won’t get me panting, I lengthen my stride and try to really sashay my hips so that instead of having two distinct tracks in the snow, I have a wavy single track.
This works best in fresh snow, and with fairly short snowshoes. But let me tell you, I think this method of snowshoeing is first off way more fun and artful that trudging in the snow, that it saves a lot of hip pain, and that it provides a better and more reasoned activity.
And don’t hesitate to strut your stuff on the snow-catwalk!