Snowshoe report for December 10

It was very exciting to see the snowflakes falling Friday night! By late Saturday morning, the snow accumulation in Ithaca Township was enough to throw on a pair of snowshoes for the first time this winter season. Yesterday morning the conditions were ideal as there is nothing more magical than “snow globe” snowfalls while snowshoeing. Those precious moments where big fat snow flakes drift down, the air feels much cleaner and the world seems quieter.

The snow stopped coming down at mid-day and the clouds broke up briefly to see glimpses of sun and blue sky. We ended up with about 2 inches of snow in Ithaca. That is just enough to snowshoe. You don’t need a deep snowfall to enjoy this great sport and actually deep snow can make snowshoeing too strenuous for a beginner. Our Driftless area is the perfect place to enjoy snowshoeing with our hills, fields and forests.

In my 7 years of snowshoeing experience, I have learned a little about ideal snowshoeing conditions. When there is only two inches, it is best to snowshoe in areas where the grass has been mowed in the past. Your lawn or a city park are perfect examples. The snow over the mowed grass will be buoyant enough to enjoy the experience without the resistance of deeper snow. Two inches will not be enough snow for snowshoeing over harvested fields or over longer prairie grasses, as the grass and corn stalks can get tangled up in the grips on the deck of your shoes. It also is not enough for going in wooded areas either as the trees decrease the amount of snow that makes it to the actual ground.

This is the ideal time to dig those snowshoes out of the closet. Check your bindings and straps for integrity. You will find going for a short stroll on your lawn warms up those muscles you haven’t used since last year. The stride you use for snowshoeing is so much more different than jogging or hiking, you will definitely feel a bit of soreness in those hips and glutes the next day. The use of poles will warm up your shoulders and arm muscles in new ways as well. The sport is an excellent work out and the perfect activity to engage in during the pandemic. If you are new to snowshoeing, this is an ideal time to practice and master your stride so you are ready to hit the trails when the deeper snow comes.

The weather is forecasted to stay in the 20-30s the next two days and the snow should stay but by Wednesday, temps will likely melt the current snow. We have had reports that the Madison area has 5-6 inches of snow and double that of Richland county so if you looking for more snow, head in that direction.

Snow is forecasted for next Saturday again. We will bring this report every week thru the winter season. Our report will bring other tips for snowshoeing so be sure to follow this report every week.

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