Vicarious snowshoeing– if I can’t go, I can at least report…

The weather in the Northeast has been extra-frigid for the past few weeks, with a brief warming interlude this week.  In Boston the highs were in the single digits, which is… cooooold.  We had also just gotten more snow, so outside was sparkly-white and… coooold.  But this is what gear is for, right?

I have been stuck inside with pneumonia.  But I did get email from my friend Michele, who was intrepidly planning an outdoor snowshoeing expedition.  And she gathered together a group of ten well-outfitted folks for the trip.  They dubbed themselves the “Tundra Ten”.  Yes, Canadian friends, we know it’s way way colder there.  But it was fun and motivating all the same.

Here they are, ten geared-up maids all in a row:

Ten showshoers, all in a row, outside in the woods.
Ten showshoers, all in a row, outside in the woods.


Here’s a shot with a little more detail:

Ten snowshowers, leaning out from their row.
Ten snowshowers, leaning out from their row.

This reminds me a little bit of another intrepid group:

The children from The Sound of Music, singing and leaning, in formation.
The children from The Sound of Music, singing and leaning, in formation.

As far as I know, there wasn’t any singing on their snowy hike, but here’s what they had to say about it.

Rachel: It was 3 degrees this morning (that’s -16 Celsius, my friends), with a windchill of hello, Antarctica. Maybe it was 5 by the time we hit the trail. I expected at least some last minute “yeah, I went outside and came right back in, staying here” messages, but there were none. Nobody even complained she was cold. Hard core. And the power of movement!

The weather was cold enough that you had to treat it with respect. I like that, when you have to think about your environment and not be too nonchalant. It doesn’t only happen in winter — there’s the same slight anxiety with anything that’s pushing your limits a little. That said, with appropriate dress and pretty constant movement it wasn’t hard to stay comfortable, and the sun-shimmered snow was gorgeous. Totally worth it!

Sandra: I’ve always loved cold weather, snow, shorter days, and the whole winter season in general. Being out in the cold really makes me happy. I also love that I know so many women who want to get out there in the cold and will invite me along (I’m usually the slow friend). Michele did a great job of organizing us and everyone just spoke up about what they needed or had to share. About 2/3 of the way through, I was in “are we there yet” mode but I was more tired than cold at that point. It was nice playing in the woods with such a fun group of people!

Jenny:  It was my first time snowshoeing with borrowed snowshoes and poles. And what a blast.  I wasn’t sure that I’d be warm enough but with my hand warmers and feet warmers and a wool neck warmer I was the perfect temperature. I was in the back so I didn’t have to break any new trail which was fine for my first time. I’m now considering buying some snowshoes!

Stephanie D: I’ve only been snowshoeing a couple of times, but I jumped at the opportunity to get outside after being cooped up for a couple of days in the snow storm. I was admittedly a little nervous about the extreme temperatures that were being predicted, but with a little planning in regards to clothing and gear – focusing on layers and skin coverage – I really wasn’t cold at all! It was fantastic to get together with a group of fun and like-minded individuals and to enjoy all the snow we have. Finding ways to get outside really makes all the difference in enduring such a long winter season in New England.

Bonus bargain gear note: Susan A won the prize for best price/value mittens:  $18 from a hardware store.  Here they are:

Axeman outdoor mittens, in yellow leather.
Axeman outdoor mittens, in yellow leather.

Since then, we’ve had a serious warming spell with rain, washing away the snow.  Today is back to winter cold– it’s 14 F, or -10 C now.  I’m on the mend, and hoping expecting to get back out there for wintry woodsy fun.  Until then, I can at least read about it…

What have you been doing during the period of frigid cold (if your neck of the woods has experienced it?)




2 thoughts on “Vicarious snowshoeing– if I can’t go, I can at least report…

  1. I love that you are still being so intrepid despite being so sick… even vicariously. I’d be posting about this season of Victoria, lol.

  2. Indoor Hot yoga. It’s beyond too cold here. Wind chill into the -40s. For weeks on end.
    However, have injured my back, I will blame the cold. so I’m now down to stretching.
    I’m off to Orlando Wednesday. I hope it’s warmer there.
    I hope you are recovering well!

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