This weekend was our first real snowshoe trip of the year. Up until now we have been able to walk in the snow with our YakTrax. The past week brought up to 6 feet of snow to the mountains though.
We set our sights on Kendall Peak Lakes. We knew we might not actually make it the whole way because the trail is 4.5 miles, we didn’t know if the snow would be packed down by other people or not and Chester and Gretel aren’t acclimated to hiking in the snow yet this year.
Before we left, I slathered Chester and Gretel’s paws with Musher’s Secret to protect them from the snow. After we bundled them up snug in their Cozy Hound fleece jackets and neck koozies we were hit the trail.
It was really cold but it was one of those beautiful sunny and mostly blue-sky winter days. We were also really lucky because this is a popular trail and a compacted path had already been made in the snow for Chester and Gretel to walk on. If they have to plow the snow with their chests and faces they can’t go nearly as far 🙂
Some of you may have seen the photo I posted of Gretel on our Facebook Page looking all pitiful while waiting for us to get our snowshoes on. I promise you that look was short-lived. Once we got started it is all happy feet and wagging tails.
They even get impatient when we stop.
It was a moderate climb and we only hiked about an hour and a half up the Gold Creek Basin before Chester and Gretel started getting tired and cold. We were curious just how close we were to the lakes though. If it is just around the corner we would have carried the dogs the rest of the way.
We saw several people coming back down the trail (most of them snowshoeing or skiing with their dogs) but none of them had actually hiked that to the lakes so they weren’t quite sure how much farther it was. We did hear that once you get about a mile or so from the lake you have to break trail through fluffy snow.
The route in that area isn’t clear. Since not everyone takes the same route to get to the lakes there is no packed snow trail to follow. It would have been too hard to carry the dogs so after we stopped for a snack and a foot-warmer break on the Highlands Bed we headed back down.
You don’t work as hard on the way back down so to keep us warm I would periodically race Chester. He beat me every time…although he didn’t have to run in snowshoes while looking through the lens of a camera (yes, it WAS an accident waiting to happen). Ha, ha.
Here is a video of him winning the race 🙂