Uggghhh....Winter!

Yes, that's right....I hate snow.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, yet I can't stand the cold and snow.

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Along with numerous physiological reasons that I don't do well in the cold, I have a list-topping psychological one: HYPOTHERMIA. I have been unlucky/stupid enough to have been fully dropped, frozen, and crushed (and put in an ambulance) from hypothermia...several times. Each time has not only been excruciatingly painful, but each time has also left a permanent scar on my perception of the cold. 

I am now very cautious of the cold, and quite hesitant to commit to any big adventures out in the snow. I realize that I can't just 'tough' my way through being cold. I have tried that several times already, and LOST!

So....I went and bought some snowshoes last month....WHAT???

My logic was that I needed a way to extend my long runs this winter. I would start out by running up one of the North Shore mountains (with snow shoes in my pack) until I hit the snow. Then strap on the snowshoes, and voila....a slightly new world to explore. I like the idea of being on familiar ground; same trails, same mountains, just whiter. The thought of heading out in to the back-country wasn't really in my plans. I just don't do well in the cold, and being too far from an exit could be pushing my luck.

That's exactly why I shouldn't have snowshoed out past Elfin Lakes and back on Sunday...but I did.

Seriously layered up!

Seriously layered up!

My good buddy Will is an experienced back country ski mountaineer. With his assurances, and a multi-faceted 'get-me-outta-here' plan, we hit the snow on Sunday (Will on skis, and me on snowshoes).

Yah, the cold Sunday; maybe the coldest day of the year Sunday. Thankfully, mother nature was reasonable. It was cold, but the sun was bright and warm, and there was no wind to sap the life out of me.

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We made great time to the Elfin Lakes lodge. We stopped for some food, and after tacking on a short out and back, we retraced our way back to the car. All in all, the day was a total success. Better than I expected, a solid 5 hrs of fun and exercise, and no issues at all with the cold (but i think i wore very piece of clothing i own). I learned a lot about snowshoeing too: My small, racing snowshoes work great on packed snow, but really suck once you break through. Also, guys on skis (Will) are WAY faster on the downhills. 

Here's hoping that I can build on this positive snow day. Plus, now I can justify buying some new winter clothing. Thermal tights and a light weight, waterproof jacket are on the top of my Christmas list.

Blue-bird day

Blue-bird day