Snowshoeing With Baby
During our trip to Okemo Mountain with baby we only wanted to put Arya into daycare for one day.
Both Mommy and I thought that Alpine skiing with a baby would be too dangerous and cross-country skiing might be too tiring.
So on the second day of the weekend we decided to go snowshoeing with baby.
Okemo Mountain has a separate Nordic skiing area within a mile from the main base camp. The facility operates out of the clubhouse for the golf course which operates during non-winter months. In addition to the main building the facility includes dozens of miles of trails spread up and down hills.
Since we arrived early in the morning we were able to rent snowshoes and get a trail pass from the Nordic center within fifteen minutes of leaving our rental house. Although we could have rented either cross-country skis or snowshoes for the same price, we thought that snowshoeing would be an easier way to carry baby across the snow.
We made sure Arya was bundled warmly enough to be carried for half the day in our infant carrier. She was used to being carried in front so we decided that I should carry her the normal way while we walked around a large loop trail overlooking a river.
I had never been snowshoeing with a baby so I had no idea how far I would be able to walk while carrying Arya. As it turned out the combination of the snowshoes and poles made snowshoeing with baby only slightly more difficult than walking on flat ground while carrying her.
The trail we chose took us up and down small hills and along a running river. For the first few hours we had clear skies and stable — though 20 degree — weather. Snowshoeing with a baby in good weather was fun and a lot easier than I expected. It took a half mile to get used to the balance of wearing a baby, but once I got used the extra weight in front Mommy and I were able to keep up a decent pace.
Snowshoeing with a baby doesn’t require any particular skill, but it does require constant use of both poles. By placing extra weight on the front pole I was able to maintain balance while keeping a good rhythm with my shoes. I took smaller than normal steps to make sure that I wouldn’t slip on even the iciest patches of ground.
Throughout the first two hours Arya slept peacefully against my chest. Unfortunately it started to rain. We weren’t high enough for the precipitation to be white snow so we got a wet, sloppy mixture of rain and snow. Arya was well covered so she didn’t get wet, but both Mommy and I were immediately soaked while still more than two miles from the rental building.
Snowshoeing actually became a little easier since the wet ground packed down some of the excess snow. We actually made better time during the last two miles in the rain than we did during the first two miles with clear skies.
The entire process of snowshoeing with a baby was surprisingly fun and not quite as hard as I expected. We ended up traveling a total of 5.5 miles in varying weather. With more practice and more exercise I could probably have handled another few miles while carrying Arya before stopping for our lunch break due to the rain.
Nevertheless, when Arya gets older we plan to go snowshoeing again. Only next time, I want her to be able to walk on her own snowshoes next to me rather than riding along on my chest.