Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Hiking Series: Why Winter Hike

If you've been thinking about doing more winter hiking, especially above treeline stay tuned for my new how-to series about winter hiking. A few weeks ago, I posted 10 Winter Hiking Tips to start you off. I plan to continue the series with: traction basics, above treeline tips, eating, drinking, and being merry while winter hiking and more! So stay tuned.

To fire up our Winter Hiking Series--- let's start with reasons to hike in the winter. Sure you may go out for casual jaunts in the winter months, but I challenge you to take it up a notch and find a peak that suits your skills and fitness level.

Less crowds

This is one of the main reasons I like to get out and hike in the winter. The parking lots are near empty, the summits are barren, and the dog can run wild along the trails.

Less biking

For me I bike a lot less in the winter. Save for a few warmer days (like 30 to 40 degrees) I mainly ride on the bike trainer. Although I heard you readers! Many of you are out biking all winter long. Rock on! And I swear I'll be biking more in the colder months myself soon. You'll are very inspiring :)

Anyways- less biking equals more hiking for me- especially in the winter months.

The silence

The silence sort of goes hand-and hand with less crowds, but certainly deserves its own mention. The silence of a winter hike is unbeatable. After a fresh snowfall you can even hear clumps of snow falling off the trees.

More animal sightings

I tend to come across more animals in the winter months. Obviously not many of the hibernating kind, but the snow makes it easier to spot tracks and often I come across more critters because of this. It probably has a lot to do with the less crowds thing too.

It's harder

Add several inches of fresh snow, extra layers in the pack, and challenging temperatures and your easy summer hike becomes much more of a challenge.

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