Truth be told, I didn’t leave home without my Tubbs snowshoes. They were in the 50 pound bag of gear I checked on a flight from Seattle to Phoenix. Yes, Phoenix. As in Arizona.
The plan was to snowshoe/climb Humphrey’s Peak, the highest point in Arizona. It’s over 12,000 feet tall and is snow covered into April at least. After a few days doing warm-weather activities in the desert I was ready to get back into the snow.
Unfortunately, I didn’t trust my gut. My gut said, “Take the snowshoes at least as far as the trailhead (just north of Flagstaff).” Instead, I believed the rumors that the snow was thin and well consolidated. That was true for the first mile of the trail, but as soon as we deviated from the established route I was wishing for my snowshoes.
When you’re a lowlander like me the prospect of carrying an extra five pounds in snowshoes at 12,000 feet is daunting. However, that would have been nothing compared to the energy we wasted wallowing in the soft snow. Even though we traded the task of breaking trail, it was demoralizing work. By the time we hit the summit ridge we had barely enough left to claim the peak.
From now on, even if I think there’s a moderate or even a low probability I’ll need my Tubbs, I’ll pack them. Even if everyone else says I don’t need to.