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Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy BC's gorgeous scenery, mountain air and fresh snow without the daunting prospect of hurtling uncontrollably down a ski hill
Spectacular view from the top of Dog Mountain at Mount Seymour
As a non-skiier due to a long-time aversion to throwing myself down mountainsides at high speeds, I’ve often felt slightly out of place living in a province whose winter identity leans heavily upon boarding, bindings and après ski.
Thankfully, a few years ago I discovered a way to avoid being resigned to the task of purse-minder while my friends cut tracks through fresh snow. The answer? Snowshoeing.
Sure, the idea of snowshoeing might bring to mind images of ancient fur traders treading through uncut forests on traditional woodframe shoes laced with rawhide.
But if you haven’t tried snowshoeing since the 1900s, you might not know that the modern version of the equipment is high tech, lightweight, and dare I say, trendy.
Indeed, on any given winter weekend you might find almost as many snowshoers as skiers on Vancouver’s local mountains, quietly poking their way through treed mountainside trails, wending along snowy hiking routes with the lightness of spirit that comes from bounding through a freshly whitened forest.
And bounding is not far off the feeling of walking in snowshoes – even when you’re going uphill. The lightness of the shoe frames combined with the grip of the toe picks allow you to practically float across the snowy landscapes and wind your way upward with barely a second thought.
And some local trails, like the one on Mount Seymour, will reward you handsomely for your enthusiasm.
Mount Seymour‘s trail, a one-hour hike each way, leads to the top of Dog Mountain, where, on a clear day, after a fresh layer of snow, you’ll get views that will almost make you feel like you are a pioneer – the first to discover the bounty atop our local mountains.
And unlike your skiing and boarding friends, who are surely flying down the mountain too fast to savour the view, you might pull out your flask of Baileys-infused hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins and enjoy the vista.
Lisa Manfield (second from left) is the editor of BC Living.