A while back, I met Dan in the parking lot at a local auto parts store.
He recognized me from hiketricities.com and wanted to talk about his experience at the 50k Badger Mountain Challenge. His story was not pleasant as he felt he had been forgotten, left behind and unsupported (except by a couple of people). I encouraged Dan to write his story so I could share it with others. I share it not to tear anyone down or cast blame but to motivate people to do hard things……click here to read more.
There really are only two reasons to stay shacked up at home when there’s snow on the trails. One is the cold, and two is slipping and sliding and falling. Well, it is nice because you can overcome both of these barriers. First, bundle up. As you can see in the above picture, I’ve got some cold-weather gear on. Three layers on top, plus a wind-resistant balaclava to protect my head. Two layers on the bottom and insulated boots. I know its cold outside but it feels really good to get out of the house and get the blood pumping. As you’re climbing, you get a great workout and you can push as hard as you want to get some cardio (or not, just getting moving is important). You might find yourself peeling back some layers as you push for the summit, just keep them handy for the trip back down as you may get cool again.
Yes, I know, it seems like there has been snow on the ground for months now. I know its been the longest time with snow on the ground in this area in the five plus decades that I’ve been around. All the more reason to get outside and enjoy it, don’t let it hold you back. You can end up putting on pounds from being sedentary (so much for that new year’s resolution). You can also have effects on your mental well-being from seasonal affective disorder (yes, SAD, its a real thing, you can Google it, I’ll do a post on it soon!).
What if I slip?!
This is a real problem and a real concern. In my work, I’ve had patients who have suffered serious injuries this winter season because of the snow and ice. The good news is, there are devices which can help you hike safely, even with snow and ice. First off, take it slow. This isn’t a race. You will benefit from being outside and just walking (Even taking the Badger Flats trail is a good idea if you don’t want to climb a mountain). Check each of the hikes listed in click here for 40+ hikes and it will give you a difficulty rating and how much elevation you may have to conquer. I took a picture of some of the traction devices I use to stay safe.
There are Yaktrax (one of my favorites), Sub-Zero (not impressed, from Wal-Mart they fell apart), and there are several other brands.
Then, there are full-on cramp-ons (the ones in the picture above are the ones I used to climb Mount Adams a couple years ago). The important thing is to find one you like and use it. Also a little tip, you might want to tie a shoelace over the top of your shoes or boots because some of these rubber-based traction devices can fall off (I speak from experience as one of my YakTrax is still buried under the snow somewhere on the Skyline Trail on Badger Mountain. I hiked a lot this winter and I haven’t fallen once, I think it is safe as long as you feel secure and comfortable. (want more information and pictures from my winter hikes on Badger Mountain? Just click this link for the blog post)
Mission of Hike TriCities.com
1. Encourage people to get off the couch and get outdoors.
2. Help people make and keep commitments to improve their level of physical activity.
3. Increase use of our local resources while creating ownership and pride which will lead to responsible outdoor recreation, preserving our beautiful surroundings.