Ellen Esterhay Photograph


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Snowshoeing - the Bright Side of New York Winters!

February 13, 2013   

Frankly, I am disappointed with myself for not getting involved with HOC the moment I stepped on campus. For a $10 membership fee, you can rent all kinds of outdoor gear from the Glen House - snowshoes, cross-country skis, camping gear, rock-climbing gear and more. Even more exciting, HOC offers a number of trips every semester. It is easy to just get some friends together and plan your own excursion as well, but officially planned HOC trips are great because they usually involve a more detailed plan and are led by a HOC leader who has some wilderness training. Best of all, they are a chance to meet some new people.

Last weekend, I went on my friend's snowshoeing trip. The group was a nice mix of friends and underclassmen that I hadn't met before. We went to Old Forge, located in Whetstone Gulf State Park in the Adirondack mountains. It was BEAUTIFUL! We hiked up a ridge and then circled around the top before descending back down to our original starting point. It was a perfect day to hike. There had been a big snowfall the night before but the sun was still peeking out. It made for some beautiful pictures - I'm still so thankful I remembered my camera. After coming back down from the ridge, we went down into the gorge and walked by the creek for awhile. This also included a huge snowball fight, in which we all ended up ganging up on Bill, the trip leader. I then remembered why I always lose snowball fights...for an athletic person, I have horrible aim with a snowball!

We hiked about three to four hours, total. It was an absolute winter wonderland. I didn't even realize it was also a workout until we took off the snowshoes and I finally became aware of the soreness in my legs! I can't speak for everyone, but my friend and I were both exhausted for the rest of the day.

I am the first to admit that central New York winters are long. As a Kentucky native, I was a bit shocked by my first winter on the Hill. But there aren't many places where you can grab some friends on a Sunday morning, drive an hour, and snowshoe in the Adirondacks.