Snowshoeing provides exercise and fun to novices and experts
"There is really nothing that's not healthy about snowshoeing," said Lee. "It's really good cross-training for athletes who are doing other things."
Not to mention some serious altitude training, if you pick the right hike.
"It's so much better than a treadmill," she said. "You can get out and enjoy the fresh air."
Some people are unsure they want to navigate the backcountry without a guide. Never fear. In addition to hiring private guides like Lee, would-be snowshoers can sign up for guided hikes with companies like All Seasons Adventures. They offer a moonlight hike on snowshoes in Park City, and if you go with them, they outfit you with gear in addition to leading the trek.
The nicest thing about the sport, however, is that one doesn't have to know much to have fun.
I enjoyed it so much that I took my 11-year-old out again the following day with a couple of friends. My friend, Russ Pack, had accompanied Lee and me at Alta. He snowshoes a lot and picked a shady trail in Millcreek, which, based on the cars in the parking lot, I thought would be packed with people. It was not.
While my daughter wasn't thrilled with the ascent, she loved meeting other people (and their dogs) and throwing snow on her mother. She was also ecstatic about climbing up snow banks that would normally swallow her up.
She enjoyed the descent so much, she asked if we might go look at the new snowshoes available at the store.
"When I ski, I have to wait and find people who ski at my ability," Lee said. "With snowshoeing, I can take my kids, my grandma or my husband. We'll be able to snowshoe together tomorrow. I can get out more because it's so much more affordable. ... There is hardly a downside to it."
Unless, of course, you count running through fresh powder.
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