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Photo courtesy of Dave Norona
There is one reason that snowshoeing has become one of the largest winter sports — it’s fun!
If you have not had the opportunity to head off into the mountains this year, then take advantage of the timely sunny weather and get out and explore.
Whether you hike or run, snowshoeing is challenging, exciting and something anyone with an urge to participate can do. All the local mountains provide rentals, awesome terrain, and manageable trails to do it safely. If you really like to explore then just head off into the backcountry with some friends and discover a new area.
Whatever your fitness level, there is always room for improvement. One of the best ways to improve your fitness while having fun is to put it all on the line and enter a race. I know many people fear racing, however, this is only because they think that others will judge them on their performance. I guarantee if you are realistic in your approach and decide beforehand what “your” goals are, you will only see success.
Lucky for us, the biggest and best snowshoe racing series is right here in our own backyard. The Yeti Snowshoe Series was founded in 2001 by Marc Campbell in response to the growing demand for fun, fitness oriented, outdoor adventure events. The series is named after the elusive Abominable Snowman that roams the Himalayas and at each event you might even see the secretive creature out on course.
Nowadays, at each snowshoe event you will find hundreds of participants from beginner through advanced walking, running and panting their way along either a five- or 10-kilometre route. You don’t have to be a superstar racer to enjoy the feeling you get from being in a pack of energetic athletes as you tackle the undulating course with gorgeous mountain views around each corner.
If you are new to racing, sign up for the five-kilometre course so you can enjoy the experience and get a feel for the event. No matter what your pace is, snowshoe racing is tough. Altitude, soft snow and hilly terrain are just some of the objects that will drain your energy. Starting out at an easy pace will ensure a strong finish and a big smile on your face.
If you are really intimidated by your first event then the best way to ease your mind is to try one of the Yeti Snowshoe Academy Drop-in sessions on Thursday nights or Saturday mornings. Top instructors will show you the art of efficient snowshoeing and help you with any problems or concerns that come up. Then you can sign up for an event with the confidence and enthusiasm to have a great day out in the mountains. The next Yeti Snowshoe event is a first ever nighttime race atop Seymour Mountain on Saturday Feb. 24. Join in!
Woman’s Montane Event Super-Fly Jacket
Description: The Super-Fly jacket is for any outdoor enthusiast who needs full waterproofness, lightweight and awesome breathability. Event lightweight three-layer technology, fully taped seams and stealth reflective strip on sleeve, front chest and back for safety.
Price range: $460
Where to find it: www.altusmountaingear.com
Atlas Snow Run Snowshoes
Description: Whether you walk, hike or run the Atlas Snow Run Snowshoe is super light and comfortable to make your outing a blast. One-pull strap design, aggressive aluminum claw and secure binding system that wraps under the arch and ball of your foot for better foot-to-snow contact. Price range: $219
Where to find it: www.atlassnowshoe.com
Women’s IceBreaker Raven Zip Thru
Description: The Raven Zip Thru is a mid-weight top that will cover you for any sport. Constructed of 100 per cent merino wool that regulates your body temperature and won’t hold odour. Reflective zipper, breathes extremely well and the special looped wool traps in heat. Price range: $140
Where to find it: www.icebreaker.com
Komperdell C3 Duolock Trekking Poles
Description: These lightweight carbon trekking poles will make you feel more stable on the snow. The EVA foam grip is super comfortable and the three-stage telescopic adjustment means that they pack easily onto your pack when not in use.
Price range: $149
Where to find it: www.komperdell.com