Biting cold wind at the trailhead didn’t deter the dozen souls who showed up to initiate DPMR’s brand new Atlas Run snowshoe fleet (compliments of Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City!)
We met up at Van Norden, first crossing the frozen meadow to access the snowy forest. There, out of the wind, Coach Peter helped everyone get geared up in the snowshoes. We climbed into the Royal Gorge trail system with just enough cold snow to make it fun.
Most of us power hiked up the trail and warmed quickly as we enjoyed the protection of the forest. Peter came back down to warn us of the wind on the ridge. Once we reached the top, I opened my arms and let the strong gusts blow me up Razorback Ridge.
Views of my favorite snow-capped mountains in all directions made up for the frigid air. Setting aside laryngitis and a head cold, I want to feel exactly like that at least a little bit everyday: full of happy, surrounded by beauty, and reaping the reward of pushing through a bit of discomfort to get there.
Many photos later, we re-grouped at the top of the ridge before headed back down into the forest. “This is the fun part. It’s all runnable,” Peter claimed, which I took with a grain of salt.
But it was true; the snow was great for descending. For the first time in months I let go and opened my stride as gravity gently guided me down the mountain.
I can’t speak for the other snowshow runners, (heck, with laryngitis, I can’t even speak for myself,) but the short, 5.5-mile was exactly what I needed to get into the winter spirit. If you haven’t tried it, it feels alot like being a kid tromping through the forest.
More snow will fall and more opportunities abound. Click here for DPMR snowshoe running opportunities. And, yes, I took a lot more photos than this! Click here for the full gallery.