Sunday the kids and a friend and I went snowshoeing at the Sawmill loop in the Kananaskis. When we arrived out at the loop by midday there were a few clouds, but it was mostly sunny and just below freezing, with a light breeze. The winds were whipping snow off the mountains at higher elevations, but we didn’t feel it down below.
Usually when we snowshoe we stick to a fairly easy, mini-loop with not much elevation change to the right of the trail head. This day we were feeling ambitious, and I wanted to see what Little Runner was made of, so we tackled the big hill to the left. She is made of tough stuff! She led us up and up and up, past a few false crests with only a few short breaks. We climbed for about 25 minutes, which is quite a bit on snowshoes.
We trekked on a packed path right next to the ski trail until we turned off to the right on a snowshoe-only trail at the top. We broke for lunch at about 50 minutes, when we noticed some other shoers had packed a convenient rest stop down near the trail. I had brought some koubasa and buns, cheddar cheese, a couple of apples and pears, dried cranberries, and home made chocolate chip cookies. We had water which we’d been drinking along the way, too. The fresh air up there makes everything taste fantastic.
Shortly after lunch we decided to have a little fun bushwhacking off trail, because it’s a great way to enjoy the freedom of snowshoes. No need to stick to a groomed track; go where you like – explore. Plus, we were up at the top of the trail, all we had to do was head down to meet the loop below somewhere. This is Soccer Boy’s specialty. He likes navigating through the trees and finding good routes that don’t involve getting sucked into tree wells. We enjoyed this part a lot, because it wasn’t just straight trudging along. It involved looking around, picking through challenging gaps, and playing in the powder.
We got back to the car at just short of 2 hours, as we didn’t do the whole 5k trail. I could have traipsed about some more, but everyone was content with what we’d already done. We headed over to visit my in-laws who were staying at William Watson Lodge, and enjoyed an early supper of tourtiere with them before heading back to Calgary.
I didn’t do speedwork after the Learn to Run class Monday night. I gave my legs a break, which was good. My legs were a little achy by Tuesday.
Photos on my flickr page.