Life is slowly returning to normal. We have new gas in the car, and our power has gone down only once today, and I wasn’t even there for it. Weather conditions were close to perfect for a snowshoe hike, so I was outside!

Snowshoe time! - Overland route to the Spout

Snowshoe time! – Overland route to the Spout

For my first snowshoe outing of 2014, I chose the overland route to the Spout, and it was an excellent choice if I do say so myself. Of course, there was a lot of snow cover after the blizzard, a little too much in fact. The first five kilometres were a breeze though, with a shallow 30cm of snow in the forest, and a hard frozen snow crust on the open barrens. I tried staying on top of snowmobile tracks as much as possible, which made the going pretty easy, even though it led me away from the ‘ideal route’.

Lots of snowmobile tracks - Overland route to the Spout

Lots of snowmobile tracks – Overland route to the Spout

After the easy part, came the inevitable hard part… The blizzard had filled up the last two kilometres with treacherous, increasingly deep snow. At first I just forged ahead, hoping for the best. But when knee-deep snow became waist-deep snow, and when after that even my 145cm trekking poles could not find solid ground without being completely submerged, I knew I might have to turn around. Soon my legs started cramping up every time I had to free myself from a snowy trap, it was exhausting. Some times I got lucky, but in most places it took me minutes for every step forward. When I was finally within earshot of the Spout, my legs gave up, so I decided to head back and return another day.

The hike was still plenty rewarding without reaching the coast, lots of wide open landscapes with winter scenery, not a single sound to be heard, and I had it all to myself. Here are some more pictures of my day:

The initial forest bit, before dawn - Overland route to the Spout

The initial forest bit, before dawn – Overland route to the Spout

Alone on the frozen marshes - Overland route to the Spout

Alone on the frozen marshes – Overland route to the Spout

The open barrens, completely covered and frozen - Overland route to the Spout

The open barrens, completely covered and frozen – Overland route to the Spout

In this last shot, you can make out Motion Path in the distance, and from here I could see Cape Spear as well:

Snowy view, all the way to Motion Path - Overland route to the Spout

Snowy view, all the way to Motion Path – Overland route to the Spout

I’ll give this snowshoe hike another go when the snow is more cooperative, sometime in the next two months.