Last week, I was in Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Show. While the show was great (many posts forthcoming), one of the events I was most looking forward to was the #Hikerchat snowshoe outing organized by Teton Sports and Tubbs Snowshoes. I’ve been participating in #Hikerchat (a Twitter chat for outdoor enthusiasts) for a few months, so it was exciting to think that I’d be meeting some of those folks and putting a face to a handle.
We cruised out of SLC, head for the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride, to meet up with other people who were part of the experience. (I’ll say right here that Shawn of Teton Sports went above and beyond what could be expected of anyone, gifting me a sleeping bag for the week, making me feel welcome, then chauffeuring me to the snowshoe outing and then to the airport – thanks Shawn!) After some nervous (and cold) banter, we introduced ourselves, hopped back into the cars, and headed up the canyon.
Kelsey of Tubbs explained the basics of snowshoeing to those of us who were beginners, then passed out equipment to all. I got to test out their forthcoming commemorative Boundary Peak model (out for next season) and would definitely recommend it to any beginner – one of their ambassadors, a seasoned snowshoer, said that they worked fine for him, so clearly they’re onto something with the design (beautiful and functional).
I also opted for poles, which I would skip next time unless the terrain was more technical – the poles were just a nuisance when I wanted to stop and take photos (which was a LOT).
After literally getting your feet under us, we trekked through the woods over to explore Little Cottonwood Creek. We headed upstream along trails (and off – the beauty of snowshoeing) until we got to the turnaround point, the ruins of an old mill or similar building. A group photo of the nicest people you could meet, then we headed back to the cars, tired but exhilarated.
Unfortunately, I had to head to the airport rather than the Taco Fest at the new Teton Sports showroom and offices, maybe the biggest disappointment of the week. I’m glad I took the safe route in terms of time, however, as the security lines were so long they actually moved a group of us to another terminal to speed things along. Hoping that I’ll get to the Summer OR Show and get to be involved with the next #Hikerchat outing, I’m sure it’ll be a blast.