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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Utah Snowshoe Hiking Adventure

Snowshoeing is a growing winter sport, especially in Utah along the Wasatch. Snowshoeing is overall cheaper and easier than skiing or snowboarding. You can enjoy it as a family without a huge expenditure in time or money. The learning curve is short and quick. If you can walk you can figure out how to snowshoe.

1) get some snowshoes. The smallest you can get away with are the easiest to deal with.

MSR Denali Classic Snowshoe


Some simple facts:

You will want more surface area if:

· you are in loose powder type snow
· you are heavier (include weight of pack)

You will want less surface area if:

· you are mostly on groomed areas, like roads and snowmobile tracks
· you are smaller or lighter than average
· you are "running" on snowshoes

You will want narrower snowshoes if:

· you are hiking in rough country or between trees

You will want "crampons" or metal rails if:

· you will be walking on steeper icy terrain

2) get some optional trekking poles:

MSR Denali II


· Trekking poles are optional.
· I actually only carry one and switch hands
· try not to support yourself on them - use them only for balance
· in snow you will not need "shock absorbing" poles

3) You will need a place to go

If you live in Utah there are hundreds of places to go. You can probably think of them right now with little effort. One of my favorite places is up Provo Canyon, between Orem and Provo in Utah County. At the Heber Railroad turnaround in Vivian Park turn South and follow the road to the fork where the sign says "end state maintenance" and go right. Park in the lot above the building. There are miles of trails and plenty of opportunities to bushwack.

Enjoy.