Until very recently, it had been an unseasonably dry winter. Through December and January, the local ski mountain was bare and it truly looked like 2013/14 would pass without any local snow-sports.  But then the storms blew in and we were treated to lots of snow close to town and meters of the white stuff up in the alpine.

With our favourite local running trails covered with snow, slush and ice, B and I decided to head up Mt. Washington for a snowshoe workout.

The ski mountain is close enough to get to for an after-work snowshoe before the sun sets.

The ski mountain is close enough to get to for an after-work snowshoe before the sun sets.

About half-way up the Parkway, there is a pull-out where snowmobiles park and head into the back-country. Usually we like to run on the packed trails that they leave behind. But today, with the novelty of new snow, we decided to follow another snowshoer’s tracks straight up the hill.

Following in someone else's tracks

Following in someone else’s tracks

There he goes!

There he goes!

Good luck catching up with him now!

Good luck catching up with him now!

After a while, B decided to deviate from this trail and head up into the untracked powder. With each step he would sink almost to his knees. I followed, trying to widen the track he was making.

Deep, deep snow. Fluffy and delicious!

Deep, deep snow. Fluffy and delicious!

It was hard going and we both had to stop and catch our breath fairly often. It is such a different work out than running with all that high-knee lifting.

Slogging away

Slogging away

We climbed up to the height of land and then took the shortest, sweetest descent we could find – straight down a steep embankment and back onto the snowmobile track. We finished off the day with a few kilometers of running on packed trail. We returned to the car just as the light was fading. A beautiful end to the day.