Snowshoeing started today

Since the last appreciable snow feel here on Halloween, the ground has been bare, until yesterday, when we had 6 inches blow in from the northeast. I spent the morning inside, with a package of fluorescent highlighters, plotting possible route for an upcoming hike through New Mexico, but that’s another upcoming story.
Snowshoeing started today. I decided to spend a couple of hours walking around the route just outside my door. Reading the data on the GPS, I was stunned to see that all of the walking I did was within one square mile. I wanted to listen to my iPhone while I walked, so I tracked my progress with my Garmin eTrex30 and this time, was able to successfully upload the file from my computer right into my Strava app to register my progress.
Here’s the map:

Up over Moody Mountain, down around Moody Pond

Up over Moody Mountain, down around Moody Pond

I’m still totally pleased with my MSR Lightening Axis snowshoes. They are still perfect after two seasons. The bindings are ” lightening fast”, and never need adjusting on the trail.

Most folks own large pieces of property here, ranging from 130 to over 1,000 acres. In fact, just three families own all the land on both sides of High Street for 1.3 miles heading up to Moody Mountain road. I have permission to walk all of it. I cut the “Uncle Tom ” trail that runs up to the summit of Moody Mountain on one of these tracts. IMG_1191

Once I got up to the ridge, my navigating was aided by a deer path.

Natural directional

Natural directional

I had just a Patagonia Wool 2 long sleeve shirt on top under a soft shell, but 500 feet of elevation in a mile of snowshoeing had me sweating profusely. From the top, I bushwhacked down beside Moody Mountain road on an ancient road that probably is a couple of hundred years old. I heard that there were several families that used to live on the north side of this mountain, way back. I’ve not yet found old foundations where they lived.

Normally, I use High Street to walk home, but today I wanted a longer workout with the snowshoes, so I walked down hill and turned left onto the closed gravel Martin Corner Road where I followed fresh ski and snowshoe tracks around Moody Pond. The tracks eventually stopped and doubled back, so I broke fresh trail all the way back home.

I was exhausted when I reached the house, and still am. Snowshoeing is tougher than hiking, especially in powder. You have to widen your normal gait to account for the width of the shoes, and despite the claws underneath, you are not immune to sliding as you traverse sloped terrain.

I’m hearing the distressing, high-pitched whine of a snowmobile outside as I write this. Looks like the Pugsley has a freshly packed trail that will freeze up nicely overnight. I’m riding snow this weekend.

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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2 Responses to Snowshoeing started today

  1. Love the picture of the trees in snow. You do really well with the choice of photos. I think you omitted a report of the temp and wind-chill. Also, permit me to inquire: do you use a jocksock? If so, is it wool? If not, what do you recommend?

    A curious reader

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  2. tjamrog says:

    There was a faint wind- below 6 mph for sure. Temps were in the high 20’s. Regarding wind chill concerns, and without going into personal specifics, I hike in regular cotton briefs and whatever I wear over them. For my winter hikes, I have a pair of unlined Patagonia stretch/ wind resistant tights. That’s it, unless I need high gaiters to keep the snow out of my winter boots. I am kind of immune to feeling cold in my legs.

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