Six Essentials For A Snowshoe Hike In The Alpine

 

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Valentine’s Day Sunday. I’ve never been a huge advocate of Valentine’s Day as I don’t particularly need one day a year to appreciate my loved ones. However, 2016 is my year of productivity and I was reminded last month as to how short life can be and how quickly it can change so made a promise to myself to do more things. I used to do everything but calmed down a little over the past five years or so, so it was more of a promise to re-ignite that spark to do everything at every opportunity. Therefore, when we managed to get our one day off a month together (just happened to be on February 14th!) I had big plans for us to go cross country skiing to the warming hut at McGillivray Lake. We were also on this little detox…

Sunrise, Feb 2016. Blazer, Sun Peaks, BC.

However, I did not foresee my cross country ski partner becoming ill. As such, there was very little chance of me dragging his poorly little ass on a cross country jaunt to a freezing lake in the snow (I made him tea instead!).

With a ridiculous amount of energy myself (on the wagon for a few days may I add…! Gold star for me!), I decided to go snowshoeing up to the chapel at the Sunburst Lodge in Sun Peaks. For those of you not in the know, this is mid-mountain point at roughly 1841m above sea level – an ascent of 572 m (according to my Ski Tracks app), which quite frankly, seems pretty pathetic to me as I definitely felt like I could add a couple of zeros onto that whilst I was climbing! Anyway, i did it and had all these big plans to do a fancy yoga pose at the top to post on my Instagram page and was so excited that I’d made the top that I forgot… Must. Be. More. Mindful.

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Sunrise, Feb 2016. Blazer, Sun Peaks, BC.

I felt amazing afterwards and it most definitely did its job in making me feel as exhausted as possible so I slept that night; that really satisfying exhausted that you get after a really good workout.

Snowshoeing is definitely my go-to during the winter where I struggle to get my quick cardio bursts that I get through running in the summer, due to snow and ice! To get my aerobic exercise and really get my heart rate up I will head straight up the alpine and pick a run based on difficulty level and my energy levels.

The most wonderful sunrises and sunsets are a little bonus as well if I manage to get out before or after work. They are great for that essential fresh air and vitamin D fix if you are stuck in the office all day and most definitely help me to get to sleep at night!

Try it 🙂

SNOWSHOE HIKE ESSENTIALS

Snowshoes (obviously!)

Mine are some little cheapy ones I bought a few years ago when I wasn’t sure if I would really use them all that much. Needless to say they are my winter staple and I can now definitely justify some new ones. These ones come highly recommended to me by an avid snowshoe peer and are the ones I will be getting myself when my next pay check comes in!

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My snowshoe companion in Feb 2016. Sun Peaks Resort, up and down Runaway Lane at sunrise.

Ski Tracks (2016 Edition)

This is just great. Usually used by people in the alpine to track their days’ skiing, there is a little option to change your activity to snowshoe, as opposed to the default ski. Great to track your snowshoe progress.

Water!

If I am going for longer than a quick 30 minute jaunt I will take my trusty water belt, which was a very thoughtful Christmas gift. A water backpack would work as well.

Layers

As lovely as your ski/snowboard jacket is, leave it at home! Layers are key here.

A camera (or camera phone!)

Especially if you are going at sunrise or sunset. Who knows what wildlife you’ll run into. I usually just use my phone, which neatly brings me onto my next one…

A phone/pigeon

Some form of contact with the outside world in case you injure yourself/get lost etc. We do not want one big icicle.

Always tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back.

 

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