Friday, January 12, 2007

Walk atop the snow

If you've been itching to try snowshoes, you're in luck. Gazette writer Deb Acord, who loves to 'shoe, will be out this weekend testing a couple of styles for a story to appear in next Friday's Out There section. And there are a handful of clinics coming up where you can try shoes at no, or minimal, cost.

++ The third annual Grand Lake Snowshoe Festival will feature a 7K race, celebrity snowshoe races, children’s races and a technique tour led by snowshoe racer Tom Sobal. Events start today at the Hospitality Haus in Grand Lake and continue through Monday. The competitive race starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and there's a 7K fun run starting at 9:35 a.m. Warm up with some chili 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The cele race starts at 1 p.m., and the kids events at 2 p.m. The technique tour also begins at 2, and there's a seminar with Ryan Gray on mountain climbing in Turkey at 3. At 4 p.m. there's a seminar with Earl Clark and Richard Over on the 10th Mountain Division and World War II. There's an awards ceremony at 5 p.m., and a concert and dance at 7.

Stay over, or get up there Sunday for an 11 a.m. seminar with Stacy Fowler on fitness, and another snowshoe technique tour with Tom Sobal at noon - or catch the U.S. Forest Service film on “American Wilderness, American Values.” From 1 to 3:30 p.m. there's an antique snowshoe tour and sleigh rides at Winding River Resort.

On Monday there are snowshoe tours at Grand Lake Touuring Center.

++ On Jan. 20 head to Winter Fest at Rocky Mountain National Park. You can try snowshoeing, or attend a clinic on avalanche awareness, backcountry skiing or winter camping. Visit REI for details.

++ If you'll be busy skiing 'til later in the month, plan to attend a "Snowshoe Essentials" clinic at our local REI at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. Staffers will help you choose the right gear, teach basic techniques, and talk about great local trails. The local store is at 1376 E. Woodmen Road.

++ Want to take the kiddies on the trail? REI in Denver will hold a clinic, "Snowshoeing with your Baby or Toddler," at 7 p.m. Jan. 22. The Denver store is at 1416 Platte St.


UltraRob said...

We got our 3 1/2 year old a pair of Little Bear Cubs Kids Snowshoes for Christmas. I was a little worried she was a little young for them. She had been asking for a pair because she's seen mine. At first she had trouble with tripping over the front edge especially in deep, unpacked snow. It didn't take her long though to be able to run on packed snow. There's a picture of her running at Rocky Mountain National Park near the bottom of a post on my blog.

Zen said...

Been a proud Atlas user since 1995. Simply bombproof.

My current shoe is a 2004 model year Atlas 1233 - awesome backcountry & mountaineering shoe and the bindings pack totally flat.

But my original pair of 1033s are still going strong 11 years later, proudly strapped on the feet of a good friend.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Rob, I love the photo of Danielle running in the snow. It's such a kid moment!

I was looking at Atlas shoes, thinking I'll rent a couple pair and test 'em out with the boy over the long weekend. Thanks for the helpful report, Zen. Any tips for a newbie?

Dave Philipps said...

I have a 1992 pair of Sherpa Claws, which I generally like for their simplicity, but the fairly basic binding allows for a lot of latteral wobble. If I had to do it again, I'd go Atlas. But honestly, my real love is touring skis.

Biker Betty said...

I look forward to Deb Acord's review. My husband & I have thought that would be fun to do with our two boys, 12 & 18. But like just about every sport out there, it's another cost.

Where is the best place for a beginner to try snowshoeing? And rentals?

Rob, you have some great pics on your link. That's a great one of daughter.

Dena Rosenberry said...

I'll ask Deb to read the comments as she's writing her story.

There's a list of a few local trails on the blog - written about a week ago, so scroll down a bit.

Photog Christian says REI and Mtn. Chalet have decent rentals, he thinks about $20 for three days. Seems worth renting a test pair before you buy (at $100+)!

Dena Rosenberry said...

Deb e-mailed to say the snowshoeing kicked her butt today, but she was upbeat and ready to hit more trails tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to her advice.

Biker Betty said...

What a beautiful, but cold, day for Deb to pick. Can't wait to read her column. Thanks Dena for the trail tip. I will look for the post.

UltraRob said...

I think the 2 most important things with snowshoes is the bindings and the size of the snowshoe. I have a smaller pair of Redfeathers and a larger cheaper no name pair.

The bindings on the Redfeathers are great and always hold my foot firmly in place. The bindings on the cheaper pair always are coming lose and my foot slipping out. I really wish I hadn't bought them.

The Redfeathers are great on trails that are already somewhat packed but I sink too far in soft, deep snow. That's where the no name pair are great as long as they stay on.

I generally use snowshoes for more mountaineering type stuff when there isn't enough snow down low to ski or it's too steep for my skiing abilities. I used to do at least one full moon ascent of Pikes Peak each winter and would use snowshoes for parts of it. I also snowshoe when I'm doing something with people that don't know how to ski.