Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Happy Spring! We're slowly adjusting to our new normal and are in disbelief every time we compare temps here in Vermont to temps in Alaska. While we miss knowing we could count on having snow from October-April, the above freezing temps and extended hours of sunlight have been a real treat.
2022 started out with a vengeance, but we made the best of it! Three stomach bugs in two months and all six of us getting Covid, left us feeling pretty stir crazy with a serious case of cabin fever. In addition to making multiple trips to the pharmacy for more Pedialyte and Zofran, one of the ways we stayed sane this winter was putting our snowshoes to good use! We had sold our old snowshoes before we moved from Alaska (way too expensive to ship,) so everyone's big Christmas gift this year was a new pair! We couldn't wait for good enough snow to test them out.
We're lucky to live in a great area of Northwestern Vermont, with plenty of trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. It was fun starting our #52hikechallenge on snowshoes this year. We can't wait for trails to be in good enough condition to get back out (didn't realize #mudseason was a thing until we moved here!) But it's been a great experience for our family, and a fun way to explore our new state.
B registered for a race for his birthday, The Vermont Krampuslauf, at the Suicide Six ski resort in Pomfret, VT. With 2000 feet of elevation gain and varying conditions, he knew he'd need a solid set of snowshoes just in case! After a lot of research, he decided to go with the new Crescent Moon snowshoes--made of foam! Super light weight and ideal for his race. I was skeptical, but I'm also not a runner. These fit more like a running shoe, are pliable, and offer great traction. He didn't end up needing them for his race, as conditions ended up being ice and slush-yuck, but they got plenty of miles this winter anyway!
Like I said, I was skeptical about the foam snowshoes, so I went the traditional route. My Yukon Charlie's fit a lot like my old LLBean snowshoes. The price was reasonable, and to be totally honest, I was excited about the color. The aluminum frames are a lot lighter than my old ones, and the Rapid Lite Flex heel strap made strapping in and taking off a breeze. With four kids, I don't have time to be fumbling around with bindings, so I was impressed with the functionality. I didn't get as many miles in as B did this winter, but they'll for sure be seeing a lot of action in the years to come.
After actually seeing B's Crescent Moon snowshoes and giving them a trial run, we were so excited to discover that they make a kids' version! They come in fun colors--we got a green set for A and a pink set for H. They are so easy to put on and take off, the kids can do it themselves! They could easily run, jump in the snow, fall, and get up with no problems. They were a little pricey, but it's always worth it to us to invest for the bigger kids on things we know will last through all four of them as they grow. These snowshoes for kids were definitely worth the investment.
I think we were most impressed with our three year old this winter. We thought she might be a little resistant to the snowshoes, and she was at first, but once she got the hang of it, she totally took off. She loved chasing her older siblings and feeling like a big kid! We went the classic Tubbs Snowflake Snowshoes for her. We'd had them in Alaska and knew how well they worked for little feet and legs. I think she'll get at least another year out of them before we pass them onto the baby!
Little Ro didn't miss out on all the fun. He loved either riding on my back in our Osprey backpack, or getting towed in the sled. He only got tipped into the snow once, I'd call that a win! He'll be joining us and running after his older siblings before we know it, but I hope we get one more year of toting him around on us!
We're looking forward to the increasing temperatures, longer days, and way more time outside. We're doing the #1000hoursoutside challenge this year. While I don't think we'll have a problem reaching the 1000 hour threshold...does anyone else suck at tracking outdoor hours? Don't get me wrong, I love the concept but I NEVER remember to set the timer or log hours. Oh well, it's still a fun goal to have!
Where are your favorite spots to snowshoe in New England? Any great hiking spots we shouldn't miss this year? Send us all the recommendations.
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