Our first attempt to snowshoe Farmington Canyon was scuttled by vague (to me, at least) navigation instructions and very high winds, seeming to give purpose to my suggestion to turn around and see if we’ve missed something. And I’m glad we did since we weren’t fully kitted to trek in 50 mile-per-hour winds. Who is? Instead we picked up two pair of ski goggles and went home and warmed up for some New Year’s Eve celebration.
Our first attempt at snowshoeing was a few days previous when I suggested we try them out on the Bonneville Shoreline trail. So, we’ve turned another corner in our Cornering Consciousness. This new mode of travel has been on Mindy’s mind for a year, now, which I’ve been resisting for reasons having to do with my being out of shape. You see the method to her madness.
Snow conditions were a far cry from ideal on our ascent and our late start put us navigating a canyon without a trail into sunset and a brewing winter storm. So, we trekked up to the summit, had a hot lunch and walked the trail back to North Salt Lake.
We’ve enjoyed this view without inversion dozens of times during warmer months and despite the damaging haze it was good, at least, to get above it.
We kitted up before Christmas – gifts to each other and from our daughter – at REI, only to return after the Bonneville trek to fill in the gaps of our gear; better base layer and trek pants for me, better backpack for her.
We walk with MSR Lightning Shoes with lightweight trek poles. We pack a full change of winter clothing, a satellite tracking device, a pair of FlexLite chairs, a survival kit (fire, water purification, shelter, signal), a first aid kit, a backpacking stove and plenty of water and carbs to keep us going.
We tried Farmington Canyon the following day – New Year’s Day – and put everything to the test. The shoes turned us into human snowmobiles and it didn’t take long to appreciate their design and the investment. And we stayed viable in fourteen degrees, frozen hydro tubes not withstanding, and the rest of our gear and prep served us well.
Better than the physics of snowshoeing, though, is the time spent together. She is fearless and engages the air around her in ways that have always inspired me. We sat in the sun along the trail and made a hot lunch and while it cooked in its bag we simultaneously quieted, silent and listened to what Winter does in this canyon. Frigid air feels like it allows a different frequency for sound to travel, as it did for us to connect.
More to come as we explore the trails of the Wasatch Front.