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I Dream Of Jeannie And Snowshoe Running

On November 22, 2010, in Adventure, Running, by Meghan
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While it would be easier to have a Jeannie or a genie with which I could finger-snap-wish a snowshoe running trail into existence, there’s a certain joy in the effort of making one by myself. I spent Sunday afternoon packing the main set of trails that wend their way around the hillside above my house, called Rossi Hill. There’s probably about two feet of snow out there, perhaps a little less where the trees thicken. Most of the snow is perfect powder, which rather resists compaction and made the effort a challenge.

Why all this silliness? I like to snowshoe run and it’s hard to run for much distance through deep, un-compacted powder. So, to keep it real out there and create a trail in which snowshoe running will be plausible, I put in a little good work. Should you care to create your own snowshoe running trail, here’s my how-to:

1. First, take a trail.

Here's one of Park City's Rossi Hill trails, just after we arrived and before winter's arrival.

2. Add to it a boat-load of powder.

Here's the same Rossi Hill trail in the middle of the area's first winter snowstorm.

3. Mix in a set of snowshoes and a good set of legs.

That's me and my snowshoes workin' it out there!

4. Get moving.

The first pass was the hardest, breaking through all of the powder. On the second pass, I placed my snowshoes where they hadn’t been the first time through. The third pass along the trail is what I called the Steam Train. As in, I pushed through the leftover snow without lifting my legs too much, so that they moved the remaining loose stuff under my snowshoes or off to the side of trail. The final pass was the tamping pass, where I put a little downward gusto into it, creating that finally-firmed base.

5. Voila, the finished product!

The Rossi Hill trail converted for snowshoe running. Lookout, here I come!

6. The work isn’t quite done.

Snow was falling hard as I was out there, so there’s probably a couple of inches sitting in the track right now. Once it freezes overnight, then the base will really set up. In the next few days, I’ll go back out there for another walk-through to press down the newest snow, and I hope to find the base rock-solid. Each time it snows, I’ll traipse through and tamp the snow again. With a good base now, I expect it to be much easier.

I take a break from the effort to hug an aspen tree.

7. Get to the snowshoe running!

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8 Responses to “I Dream Of Jeannie And Snowshoe Running”

  1. Ewa says:

    Looks like hard but fun work. I miss snow now but our first trip to the mountains will have to wait till second part of December. Oh, well.

    • Meghan says:

      I hope you have a great trip to the Sierra snow in December. For certain, I will be a bit envious. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. JeffO says:

    Geologist, archeologist, and now the engineer. What don’t you do? I hope we we soon have enough snow for running.

    • Meghan says:

      JeffO, I hope you get enough snowshoeing snow, too! This was pretty low-key engineering. I’m going out to check my work today, so I’ll let you know how it went. 🙂

  3. Gretchen says:

    I’m fortunate to have like-minded neighbors in my ‘hood. We use teamwork to pack down a 4-ish mile loop in my backyard.
    This also reminds me of packing trails for dog teams in Minnesota. That was tough because we went for many, many miles.
    Have fun with the packing and the reaping of benefits!
    PS – You DO have good legs! 😉

    • Meghan says:

      Gretche, you say the RIGHT things! 😉 Oh, are you speaking of the trails above your house? What a nice place to get out and snowshoe. When I was walking the dog yesterday, I saw some people heading out on the trail in their snowshoes. I can’t wait to go out there today and see what the trail is like, but I’m super grateful for those like-minded folks going and packing the trail some more! Happy Thanksgiving to you and hubby!

  4. Dan says:

    Ha ha, right on! you look like a great snowshoe trail builder!

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