A word to the wise: snowshoe bindings are more delicate than they seem.
Saturday we decided to try to find the waterfall our neighbour directed us to a few months ago. Last time, we left too late and it got dark way before we made it back to the truck, leaving us frantically snowshoeing in the dark. This time, we pre-planned. We woke up early, packed food, supplies and extra socks, posted our whereabouts on Facebook, and were all set for a good time.
I have to interject with the fact that all my life I’ve been reluctant to pee outside. Even when I was a kid, I was the one scouting out roadside gas stations and restaurants so my father couldn’t make me pee on the side of the road. Unfortunately, if you’re going to take on an outdoor activity, you have to stay hydrated. Before we even had our snowpants on, parked at the beginning of the trail, I had to pee.
Matt went through the motions of trying to adjust the truck so I could do my business hidden from the road, but I outright refused to drop trou ten feet away from the highway. My plan was to hike out into the woods, safe from the prying eyes of passing traffic, once my snowshoes were on. Except, once my snowshoes were on, I took three steps out into the snow, sunk two feet into the powder with all of my weight on my toes, and promptly found my face nearly planted in the drift.
If you’ve never worn traditional snowshoes, let me tell you that getting up from a fall is difficult. It’s even more difficult when you’re on a steep downhill like I was. It took me at least a minute to right myself. I tried trundling out into the woods again but the super-deep snow was making it incredibly difficult so I waited for Matt to get ahead and break trail. I spotted a private dip in the woods and started on my way, periodically sinking in and having to hoist my feet out from under the weight of the snow.
Another fun fact about snowshoes: it’s really hard to execute sharp turns, so turning around completely is quite the procedure. If that’s hard, then backing up is probably the most difficult manoeuvre. That’s how I found myself stuck, feet all over the place, toilet paper in hand, snowpants still zipped and buttoned. After a few minutes of shuffling around, only to find myself backwards and further away from where I wanted to be, I got mad and undid my snowshoes.
With one step, I was up to my knees in snow.
Peeing outside is difficult to begin with. Now I know how difficult it is when one is half-mired in snow, in -20C temperatures (with wind). By the time I got my shoes back on and lumbered over to where I had left Matt, I realized he wasn’t moving at all.Peeing outside is difficult to begin with let alone when one is half-mired in snow, in -20C. Click To Tweet
“I broke my harness,” he said, and with that, we carefully exited back out the trail, took off the snowshoes, packed up the truck, and ate our lunch on the drive home. At least the harness broke within walking distance to the truck. But if I had known his harness was broken the whole time I was trying to arrange myself in the woods… I really could’ve just waited, you know?