March 8, 2022

Last Snowshoe?

Down in the wintery valley the outer world stops and this is all there is.

This is a funny time of year in the Maritimes. About this point in the winter, I both hope and don't hope that I have just done my last snowshoe. It could go either way.

This winter has been one of the most trying since we moved to SW Nova Scotia in 2014 (which happened to have a record snowfall that first winter).

It has snowed a lot this winter, but it also rained a lot so the snow never reached the amazing accumulations of our first winter here. 

It was also very windy, and we experienced our very first ice storm. The power grid went down more times than any winter previously, which kind of sucked, but also provided us with the opportunity to do some "camping" in our own home.

So. Much. Fun.

But this winter we have had dependable enough snow for me to get out for several very good snowshoe hikes into the valley behind our home. Much better than last year when I logged a grand total of 1 winter hike. Just one.

So when the forecast last week showed that above zero temperatures and rain were on the way, I strapped on the ol foot platforms and ran for the woods to enjoy what could be my last snowshoe of the winter.

I guess it was fitting that on my way home after hiking down to the brook at the bottom of the valley, my 20 year old MSR snowshoes started to self destruct. 

Blowout! One of three. The wheels are coming off close to the finish line.

The rubber-like straps that hold the boot in the binding degrade over time, and it appeared that the time was up for several of mine. One after another, three of the straps on one binding tore, and my snowshoe fell off.

I had visions of a jalopy in a race with more and more parts falling off the closer it got to the finish line. I could actually see the roof of my home through the trees as my straps busted one after another.

Back in business, again.

Three times I stopped to do a field repair so that I could get myself across the finish line with both snowshoes on my feet, instead of carrying one and hobbling along with one booted foot sinking into the snow while the other rode on top.

Almost across the finish line, and home sweet home.

This jalopy made it home intact, albeit with jerry rigged strapping. If this does turn out to be my last snowy trip into the woods, it proved to be one of the most adventurous and challenging.

And how satisfying to find that I could keep things together long enough to cross the finish line successfully.

Victory, whether it snows again or not. 


  1. Will you replace the straps?

    1. Yes, I will do everything I can to continue using this set of snowshoes. Everything else is working, it is just the straps. First I will try to fashion strapping on my own, using things I already have at hand. If that doesn't work, I will order new straps from the manufacturer.

      The weather has turned, so I will have many months to come up with a solution, although I guess a big dump of snow could conceivably still happen over the next few weeks.


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