Monday, 5 January 2015

Snowshoeing (with moose)

I'm not a monster fan of snowshoeing for a number of reasons, but I like to get out there occasionally. When my friend Monty said he wanted to get out, I thought it would be fun to introduce him to the walk to Karst Springs.

We have been there a few times, the last in 2009 when we rode our bikes in. We saw moose that day, and I kinda figured we would see some today, too. And we did.

Near water, as always
Mom & the kid 
Through the car window
Funny part was that they were in the EXACT same place when we went by again 4 hrs later.

Karst Spring is in the middle of the Mt. Shark XC ski complex -- where there were exactly 2 skiers out today. It has been cold, but today it was only -10° when we got to the parking lot at 1 PM and -7° at Watridge Lake at 3:30 PM. There was between 5 & 15 cm of fresh snow, which I would call nigh on perfect XC conditions.

As a snowshoe walk, it's kinda boring. Very little wildlife (recent pine martin and squirrel tracks), straight, flat, wide (it is, after all, a fire road). But it makes for "effortless" walking (if snowshoeing is ever effortless), and it is nowhere near avalanche terrain.

We did see American Dippers in the stream.
A not exciting gray bird 
There were at least 2, maybe three
The ice formations in the creeks are cool.
The springs were indeed springing, gushing out their usual way. I expected clouds of fog and ice, but the springs are about +5° C, and the air was only -10° C, so probably not big enough of a temperature difference to create ice fog.

The upper lookout from below 
Looking down from the lookout 
Winter and summer meet
Rushing water and green moss
We spent most of our day breaking new trail. It therefore took longer than I was expecting (1:30 one way, versus the hour it takes in the summer). It's a shame it wasn't a blue sky day, and that we didn't see much other than the moose, the dippers and the waterfall. But it was a good day nonetheless.

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