There is something about winter hiking that has always scared me. Mostly the colder temperatures, deep snow and ice terrified me. Yet the wise Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “do one thing every day that scares you”. So, I scheduled a group hike my hiking group, Northwoods Wellness Collective to summit Squaw Mountain near the old Penobscot ski trail on March 26th. This is one of the six mountains on the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit challenge for both the regular and winter additions. I completed the regular challenge last year and was excited to check off one of the winter hikes!
I packed micro-spikes, snowshoes, my omni-heat Columbia jacket (which I love!!) and snow pants. I had plenty of snacks and water, in a bottle, not my camelback because camelbacks are more prone to freeze. I made sure to bring snacks that also wouldn’t freeze. As you can tell, I did some research!
“Do one things every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to winter hiking. The company was confident and comfortable with the mountain. The weather was a perfect, sunny and clear sky day! I even got a little bit of a sunburn, because who thinks to put sunscreen on in the winter? Although it was challenging and at times I wanted to give up, the 3.6 mile round trip hike was extremely rewarding. At the summit, we met a gentleman who cross country skied up the same trail. What a task!! We enjoyed a nice break all together before descending. Two of my fellow hikers skied down while myself and one other did a combination of snowshoeing and sliding down on our butts! What a fun reminder to savor winter!! Also this was hike 14/52 for my personal 52 hikes in 2017 challenge!
Next winter I have a simple goal of hiking at least one mountain between January 1st – April 15th. Maybe i’ll get really confident and conquer more.
Are you a winter hiker? Share your tips with me!