Hike all year long with snowshoes | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hike all year long with snowshoes

Lightweight snowshoes clasped to his feet, hiking near the Echo Summit Sno-Park, Bern Kreissman suddenly comes to a halt.

Pointing to a set of deer tracks in the powdery snow, the white-bearded Sierra Club member says discovering a small treasure like this is one of the great reasons for snowshoeing.

“This is winter hiking. A lot of people just stop hiking in the winter. This is a chance to hike all year long,” Kreissman said. “You can go at a slower pace to look at tracks; if you want, you can become an expert and go racing.”

Kreissman and other members of the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club hosted a media event Dec. 14 to promote Winter Trails 2000, a national event planned for Jan. 15 to promote snowshoeing. One of the two Northern California events will be at Camp Richardson Resort. The other is planned at Eagle Mountain Resort near Yuba Gap on U.S. Interstate 80.

“The Sierra Club has two basic missions: to promote and protect the wilderness places of the Earth. Part of that is to enjoy the wilderness places,” Kreissman said. “This is a chance for people to understand about recreation in the back country and also to understand how to protect the backcountry.”

The American Hiking Society is sponsoring the nationwide program; the Sierra Club is sponsoring the Tahoe event.

At Camp Richardson, there will be snowshoe rentals, guided tours, food and drinks, giveaways and souvenirs, and clinics on safety.

All of it will be free.

“Snowshoeing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular winter sports – it already has eclipsed some winter sports – for several reasons,” Kreissman said. “One, it’s easy to learn. If you can hike, you can snowshoe. Two, it’s inexpensive unlike other winter sports where you have to be a semi-millionaire to get out on a slope.

“Three, it’s extremely safe. The worst that can happen is you flop on your knees in the snow. Four, it’s wonderful exercise. Just doing it is the most wonderful exercise you can have.”

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