Landon, Backcountry Ambassador
The days are getting shorter, the air is turning crisp and cool with a chilly afternoon breeze, the leaves have gone from green to all hues of reds, oranges and yellows and now, for the most part have fallen from their perches to cover the mountain trails; it is the time of year when Winter begins to breath her icy breath across the many parts of the earth. For the sun seekers and fair-weather followers it is the time of year that they chose to migrate, like the birds of the sky, to warmer lands until Winter gives up her hold to Spring. However, for others, it is the times of year that is looked forward to with anticipation and excitement. The cold air that steals your breath, the icicles hanging precariously with all their might from bare branches, and of course, the crunch of snow under snowshoes.
There are few seasons as pristine and beautiful as Winter. There is something so transcendent about a fresh and untouched blanket of snow. There is a stillness and silence that comes only when normal sounds are muffled by a heavy coat of snow. There is a purity of nature that only truly be observed when all the world is white and cold.
It is often said that the things in life that bring the greatest reward often require the greatest sacrifice. This seems to hold true with the rewards Mother Nature regularly hides beneath her branches, in her canyons, and atop her mountains. Finding those rewards is often more difficult during the winter months for myriad reasons such as shorter daylight hours, uncomfortable cold, long trudges through snow, and so much more, but where the sacrifice is greater so too is the reward. What may be a perfect vista in summer is transformed by Winter’s artful hand into a glorious scene unlike any other.
With all the winter sports out there few compare to the beauty and simplicity of snowshoeing. It’s no small task to climb a snow covered mountain trail on snowshoes, yet I have found that the exertion coupled with a chance to slow down provides me with moments to reflect and meditate. As Winter brings a whole new world of beauty and a chance for a different perspective, so too does snowshoeing. There is something so primitive and simple about snowshoeing that it is difficult to overlook the opportunity to see the world and life from a new and beautiful perspective.
So whether you have never enjoyed the snow or you’re a snowshoeing veteran I challenge you to get outdoors, brave Winter’s chilly embrace, and put forth the sacrifice to receive the rewards that Mother Nature reserves only for this time of year. Get out there and feel the crunch of the snow under your snowshoes, watch your heavy breath rise and disappear with each labored breath as you explore new worlds, worlds that only exist for a few short months each year. Connect with nature and with your own self in ways you may have never connected before. Take the challenge; you’ll be glad you did.