Got the Shoes Out for the First Time

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Peeking Through the Trees

Originally uploaded by sogrady.

Just got back a couple of hours ago from a quick trip up to Keystone, CO. My snowshoes got their first official taste of Colorado snow and seemed agreeable enough, even if they weren’t used to the sheer volume of powder. Maine might be cold, but we never got this much snow. Unfortunately, my planned itinerary of hitting the highway recess by milemarker 219 just beyond the A Basin ski area proved fruitless. Unlike the similar recesses on this side of the Loveland pass, the ones I fish out of in the summer were unplowed. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal as I’d simply turn around, but with the sheer amount of snow coming down and the fact that I was stuck behind some sort of huge, flammable truck I was forced to head all the way down into Keystone before and heading back up to the other side of the pass.

The pictures I took here are poor not just because of the visibility, but also due to a camera that was only semi-operative, presumably because of the temperature. Either way, it was good to get out and enjoy the snow being dumped on the mountains in fairly sizable quantities.

For those of you who have not tried snowshoeing, the next time you happen to be in an area that features sufficient quanities of frozen precipitation I suggest you try it. The best part is that there is pretty much zero learning curve; you strap the shoes on and start walking – that’s it. No need for lessons, no waiting, no stick to the bunny slope. There are a few little tricks you pick up, especially with longer shoes like mine, but mostly they amount to things like learning how not to kick up snow from your shoe down the back of your snow pants.

I’m often asked if I moved to Colorado for the skiing, and when I reply that I don’t really ski anymore most people sit there quietly perplexed, as if I told them I moved to Cayman Brac but don’t like the sun or ocean. While I did ski a fair amount growing up, I didn’t enjoy it enough in college to shell out the required sums (most likely a result of the kind of skiing available in NJ), and now that I’m older I tend to value peace and quiet over the absurd crowds and lines at just about every ski area in the country. That’s what I love about snowshoeing – you can go pretty much wherever you like. The only challenge here in CO is the everpresent threat of an avalanche, which is something that I’ll have to adjust to.

Anyhow, I look forward to getting out for some more snowshoeing action in the weeks and months ahead, and if any of you local to the area have particular trails you’d recommend (today’s was pretty much all uphill, not so sweet), drop me a line.


  1. I am seriously jealous! I was in Keystone for the first time during the Colorado Software Summit this year – how beautiful. They had one run open at A Basin, so I went snowboarding before hopping a plane home, and all I could think of was how cool it would be in season… I live in Minnesota and we have been ripped off the last few winters with snow – I don’t think my snowshoes have even been off the hook for 3 years, and my 5- and 7-year-old boys still really don’t even understand why I keep telling them how cool their snowshoes are! Hopefully they’ll get a taste of real winter this year.

  2. I would recommend snowshoeing up to the fire tower that overlooks Grand Lake. It is like two miles or so…

  3. This looks enjoyable, but how about to be in a warm and clear water on the Caribean ? I would forget the snow in a heartbit.

  4. Scott: really? that surprises me. last time i was in Minnesota was for the airport, and there was plenty of snow then 😉 but otherwise maybe you can get the fam down to CO for a nice winter break.

    Dr. Todd: no way. fell for that once already, and ruined both feet doing it.


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