Wow, has the winter of 2013/14 here in the Pacific Northwest ever been a crazy one so far. In November we were treated to “almost feeling guilty” conditions to “where the heck is winter?” situations in December. As we watched the news with all the cold and snow elsewhere, I wore a Hawaiian shirt for Christmas lamenting the thin base so far this season. We have been able to get up regularly, but a lot of the places we go still have a fair bit of rock and shrub where they shouldn’t, and there is plenty of ice. The freezing level has been fluctuating wildly, bringing all kinds of mayhem. This brings us to the main point: the Tubbs Flex Alp snowshoes continue to dominate the terrain; especially very hard surfaces. We didn’t measure the angles, but we were able to both ascend and descend ridiculous pitches where most folks would say forget it. Some of the scrambling was on all fours; but hey, that’s what we do. We even descend big pitches backwards if we need to. It’s a great technique when going face first just isn’t smart. If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot sometime. Just look between your legs or to the side…whatever is easier or more comfortable to navigate. Use your hands for stability, and in case you slide a bit. Something we’ve been trying to do is a bit of “parkour” on snow. Jumping, leaping, controlled sliding, 180’s, etc. Basically free styling it down whatever looks like fun. Remember that the trees are your friends, so don’t be shy to grab them whenever you need to. They can really help you out from time to time. We’ve been snow dancing like crazy, and have been enjoying some magical sunsets with the new waxing moon that is upon us. If you have great conditions right now, be happy; if not…keep snow dancing and get out whenever you can.
Brent & Dorian
Day Hiking Ambassadors