I once held the opinion that snow shoeing seemed dull and plodding.  I was foolishly comparing it to my other winter sport of choice: downhill skiing.  Now I know better :)

True, there is the absence of the adrenaline rush, unless you count, of course, the hair curling screams of local abominable snow beasts lurking behind the trees.  But if you’re lucky enough to escape their clutches, there will still be no tears streaming down your cheeks from the high speed happiness of downhill foot-plank plummeting.  But you just may enjoy it, as I have learned to.

Hiking in the snow

snowshoeing-in-idyllwild

Blaze your own trail..

You see, it’s all about perspective.  And as I am now an avid and Advil-ed hiker ( explanation here: The Fall of SuuperG), I think of snow-shoeing as merely an extension of the hiking season – PLUS some!  There is something exhilarating and breathtaking – literally and figuratively – about donning modern day foot gear that can float you on the tops of snow banks.

Blaze your own trail…

Where without these metal-toothed, weight-spreading marvels of meandering, one would soon peter out by post-holing in soggy pants through the snowy woods.  No matter how beautiful the pristine white surroundings, you wouldn’t and couldn’t go very far (unless of course you are members of a particular Chilean soccer team :} ).  And with snow shoes, you find yourself in the “exclusive zone”, where the only other tracks are those of scurrying and scampering critters and birds, leaving trails so numerous you’d think their numbers double in the cold months.  The fluffy flakes give away their frenetic foraging activities.  One can almost imagine them indulging in a bit of glee in the sensation of floating over terra softa.

“I grew up thinking of snow as a luxury you visit.” John Landis

devils-slide-trail-in-snow-idyllwild-california

Winter Wondrous

So, how to go about snow shoeing in these here parts?  Well, this is a seasonal pursuit, and is also sort of a secret local thing. As in, I have snow shoes and friends with snow shoes and I can commandeer them, etc and take someone snow-shoeing – conditions allowing -  and show them pure crystal white forest magic!  If I’m REALLY lucky, I can snowshoe into town before they plow my road and get to Café Aroma, which seems to stay open and welcoming with a toasty fire through the most dumpingest snow storms!

But if you travel to Idyllwild unprepared, I have some great news: Our local outdoor gear outfitters http://nomadventures.com/ will begin renting snow shoes this season!  Or, if you plan ahead, the big guys like REI and Adventure 16 rent shoes, too.  I’d love to hear of any other great spots you may have discovered in Southern California – or even worldwide.  Do share!

Dropping your camera in the snow makes for a nice dreamy effect ;)

Dropping your camera in the snow makes for a nice dreamy effect ;)

All photos by G. Stark unless I’m in them!

You might also enjoy:

More Idyllwild: Festive Festivals of Idyllwild

More Snow Fun: A Skiing Philosophy: Or, Life in Contrasts

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

@ellies58 February 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

Great Post Gina! You'll be in Great Shape for the big climb! :) )))

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Must.maintain.momentum! lol Hi bonfire sistah! Thanks so much for visiting, reading and cheering me on. :) You rock in a big way! xoxo G

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@transcendwebs February 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

what a great hike! i think that's close to Mt San Jacinto, isn't it? i hiked that a couple springs ago to the peak. didn't bring nearly enough water or food lol! lookin good Gina!

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Heyyy Bruce! You are RIGHT…Devil's Slide Trail is the entry point trail to hike up to San Jacinto Peak :) I'm a lucky gal here enjoying a maze of trails, always in different seasons and different timing, casting different light and shadows on the magnificent boulders and surroundings. Endless hiking bliss :) Thanks so muuchly for visiting and sharing – let me know next time you're in my 'hood! Cheers! G

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Carol February 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

Awesome writing Gina. Thanks for putting into words how amazing it is to be an exclusive guest in a wintery paradise.

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Thank you so much Carol! It does feel like a privilege :) I'm hoping for more snow this season – for many reasons! Cheers, Gina

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Abbey Hesser February 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I'm so right there with you comparing snowshoeing to skiing and I've never tried it as such. Will have to give it a try now, I guess… though it sounds like a lot of work.

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Gina "SuuperG" Stark February 12, 2011 at 1:11 am

Hi and thanks Abbey – yes you will! Let me know how it goes for you :) G

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

Hi and thanks Abbey! Yes you will have to try it ;) Let me know how it goes. It's not much work at all. More like playtime in the snow really. Enjoy! G

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@Gipsy22 February 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Hi Gina, thank you for all your great posts. Each and everyone of them blows me away, everytime I pass by. You are, for me, an inspiration and personal motivation trainer. Got a bit of catching up with reading to do but again, the last articles I read are awsome, as they all are. You have an awsome writing style and one feels carried away from home straight into your article and where it takes place… as if one was there oneself. Love it! :D Big hugs to you and looking forward to many more posts to come. Lotsaluv, Caroline

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

Darling Caroline!!! OK, now WHO is the inspiring and motivational one? You mean I should keep writing? ;-) ) So very happy to hear I'm bringing you along on my adventures…just try to sit on the sidelines when I post MISadventures! You are a gem and a gift to me. Thank you so muuchly for reading me and for Lotsaluv. xoxoxo G

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Iain Mallory March 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for sharing, great how snow shoeing has become cool in recent years :)

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Gina SuuperG Stark March 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I wasn't aware it was cool…but well, yes..it can be cool as in brrrr ;) Have you tried it? I missed a nice opportunity to snowshoe today as I was stuck shoveling my driveway as well as rescuing my little car from a snow bank I slid slowly backwards into last night! lol Cheers and happy snow play! G

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Here Be Dragons March 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Looks fabulous! I did San Jacinto peak a couple years ago. I wanna go again!

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Gina SuuperG Stark March 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I've done "San Jack" a couple times! It's hard but rewarding. Snow shoe-ing is like hiking on clouds :) Hope you get up there to do that peak again! Cheers, Gina

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