New ‘shoes

Last Sunday we took our new snowshoes (an early Christmas gift to each other) and headed up to Cypress for the first hike of the winter. The snow cover is still pretty thin, but we bashed through the little trees and branches that were poking out of the drifts and made it all the way to Hollyburn Peak. The views north to the Lions and east to Sky Pilot were quite incredible; there’s nothing like that feeling of standing on top of a mountain that you’ve climbed with your own two feet.

Of course now I keep looking at the snowshoe trails and seeing backcountry skis, skins, AT bindings and potential tours, but that doesn’t take anything away from how much fun snowshoe hiking is. I’m always going to have a soft spot for it because it was the thing that got me back into the mountains this time last year, when I was still months away from skiing again.

I love the way every snowfall changes the landscape in the winter; you can hike the same trail two days apart and find it almost unrecognizable, all the lines changed and gradients softened. I love leaving the city and driving up to the place where the world becomes clear and clean and white and the air has that beautiful crisp coldness that you only get above the snowline. I love being out there in the mountains, regardless of what’s on my feet.

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