Benson Access Road in the snow

“Let’s go for a snowshoe,” someone says.”Ok!” I say.”Where?” I say.”Ummm,” they say.

We decide on the access road that begins on Nanaimo Lakes road and heads up the back of Mount Benson.

For some reason the track from last year didn’t work, so I loaded up some waypoints for the trail in my Colorado 300. After finally gathering in the Malaspina, err VIU parking lot, Ryan, Brett, and I in my truck and Mike, Jer, Andrew, Steph, and Greg in Mike’s truck head up Nanaimo Lakes road to find the access road. Ryan and I had made a day trip out of it last winter and had found the road no problem. There was a lot more snow now though and it was dark.We found the road a little slippery but no real problems for the 4×4’s and arrived in at the gate in no time. Everyone geared up and we were on our way. It was cold. I had a couple merino layers, a softshell, and a puffy down jacket on and I was just warm enough. A few minutes trudging through the snow on MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes warmed me up pretty quick though.

I knew snowshoeing was a fair amount of work but apparently I had not hiked through 3 feet of powder for any distance before. There is a huge difference between the front and the back of the line, especially if there are a bunch of people in the line. Ryan led for a lot of it, he’s got long legs and has a ridiculous amount of energy, and Steph was close behind him or leading for the rest of it.

The rest of us were jockeying for last position.  When there is 7 people to pack down the snow in front of you, it’s nice and easy walking at the back 🙂

After about 1.5 hours shoein’ we arrived at a flat open area that Greg claimed to be the location of an old house. There was no trace so either Greg was a little off with his location calculations or someone had burned it down and it was buried under the snow. We’ll have to investigate in the spring.

All in all, a beautiful showshoe and a great start to the season.

Happy Hiking,

– Ross

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