The Snowshoe Almanac – December 2005

Dec. 2: Nature news: Watch bighorn sheep smash heads on Specimen Mountain and North Sheep Mountain during early December in Colorado, according to the Boulder County Nature Association in Colorado.

Dec. 4: The snowshoe race season started in Alaska on this date last year in the annual Heart of Darkness 7K and 1K race, according to the event sponsor, Running Club North in Fairbanks. Winter was already harshly in place. It was 10 below at race time. The event is on Dec. 3 this year

Dec. 7: In 1998, it was one of the worst starts to the snowshoe season. High temperature records for the month of December were reached at many cities, including Portland, Maine, 71; Concord, N.H., 73 and Washington, DC. 79, according to the National Weather Service

Dec. 15: Full moon. Dozens of resorts, inns and groups are holding the first of the ever-popular moonlight snowshoe treks of the season. The full moon largely blots out this year’s Gemini meteor shower. Oh, well.

Dec. 17: The winter Olympics is considering snowshoe racing as a demonstration event in 2010. Special Olympics has already embraced snowshoe racing. Special Olympics New York is holding an early season nordic/snowshoe competition on this date in northeastern New York, according to the organization’s Web site.

Dec. 18: In 1858, Nevada’s first newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise began publishing. The legendary John “Snowshoe:” Thompson carried the type and newsprint for the publication piece by piece as he trekked in the snowy Sierra Nevada. True, he was on skis (they were called snowshoes back then), but Thompson shows what you can accomplish in the winter wilderness. Get going!

Dec. 21: First day of winter. The good news: There’s a whole winter ahead to snowshoe. The bad news: Today is the shortest day of the year, so there’s little time to enjoy it unles you have a head lamp

Dec. 24: Buffalo, N.Y was the place to be on this date in 2002. A five-day lake effect snowstorm was beginning, and would leave 81.5 inches of new snow by the end of the week.

Dec. 28: What happens if you get lost in the woods while snowshoeing? Learn some tips at the Warner Nature Center in Minnesota. Learn how to build a snow shelter during the day-long snowshoe trek. The group will also bake backwoods bhannock bread to share. $50 for members, $55 for nonmembers

Dec. 30: This was the wrong morning to snowshoe in Bloomfield, Vt. back in 1933. It was 50 below, the coldest reading ever recorded in New England.

Dec. 31: Celebrate New Years Eve on snowshoes. Synergy Adventure Training in Low, Quebec often has races, but they’re a bit mellow for the holiday. As the clock ticks toward midnight, the center is having their Mad Trapper Snowshoe Social. Take a guided hike, socialize with like minded snowshoe enthusiasts and enjoy the party. $15 admission.

About the author

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Matt Sutkoski

Matt Sutkoski is a freelance writer and a staff reporter for the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press. He also operates a small property maintenance business. In his spare time he enjoys recreational snowshoeing, trail running and hiking.