Winter has tightened its death grip around the throat of Colorado's vast wilderness and its showing no signs of letting go. As someone who never grew up skiing or snowboarding, being raised in central Missouri meant winter always harkened a season of trying to manage my paper route on a frozen bike, digging my car out of the snow bank the street plows buried it in and eating chili on a weekly basis. Mix in a few shoveled driveways for your elderly neighbors and you've all the makings for a deep seeded hatred for the powder so many Coloradans dance around a fire every October and make sacrifices to the gods for. Winter just isn't my thing. But heading into my second season of a proper rocky mountain winter, I've figured out how to make the most of it. So when my new friend Steven asked if we wanted to hike around in the frozen forest until our extremities go numb, we said "hell yes".
I don't think I've ever experienced wind as cold as we did up there near 12,000 ft. We huddled in the last clump of trees for a quick snack and a few sips of water. My hands took a long time to warm back up but the peanut butter cup trail mix that Jen brought and shared made the temporary loss of feeling temporarily worth it.
The weather couldn't have been more bipolar. From gusting winds that sting any sliver of exposed skin, to fleeting rays of sunshine, mother natures kept us on our toes.
It may not be as glamorous as skiing, and there were certainly times I wished I could slide down the hill I just struggled to crest, but snowshoeing has quickly become our favorite winter outdoor activity. Its certainly aided in curing the ails from memories of midwest winters past.