Flat, snow-covered trails make for fabulous winter walking
I live in dry climate where even the cold tends not to be biting, so fleece gloves do the trick, even for a my daily early-morning two-miler. Over the weekend, my husband, a friend and I took a mid-day walk on the Coot Lake/Boulder Reservoir trails. Modest-size Coot Lake was frozen over with the ice thick enough to hold an adult’s weight and even to allow for some ice fishing.
The reservoir is too large to have frozen over, but in addition to Coot Lake, the surrounding wetlands were frozen solid and the foothills to the west were powdered in white.
The unpaved trail was covered with packed yet soft snow, with no icy spots. Such traction devices as YakTrax underfoot and studded paws on the poles were unnecessary, as were warm gloves, warm hat, gaiters, neck gaiter, scarf or any other real cold-weather wear. A basebell cap with a visor, sunglasses and sunscreen were useful.
Our charmed climate was brought home with a current discussion on the Nordic Walking eCommunity about winter walking and cold hands. Co-moderator Ed Urbanski wrote, “I always wear heavy down mittens when the temps drop below 20 degrees or so. Also I always use my Exerstrider poles with the ergonomic handles and no straps. Straps can cut off the circulation in the hands.” He also suggested, “hold the poles like you would hold a bird, tight enough so that the bird does not fly away, but loose enough so that you do not hurt the bird.” Yet another moderator, Marek Zalewski, suggested glove liners inside mittens.
Exerstrider‘s Tom Rutlin suggest bikers’ mitts, and I found a list of several makers on grad student/bicyle commuter John Martin’s blog called Regarding John. Click here for a 2008 post on the subject with his list and prices at the time (Googling to find links is up to you):
•Gallon Jug Pogies (~$6/pr)
•Cabela’s Handlebar mittens ($20/pr)
•Moose Mitts ($60/pr)
•Bar Mitts (for drop bars) ($65/pr)
•Apocalypse Design Bike Toasties ($84/pr)
•Dogwood Design Pogies ($90/pr)
•Expedition Pogies ($200/pr)
Am I gloating because I don’t usually such gear? I guess a little. I love to ski, cross-country ski, snowshoe and Nordic Walk in winter, and I’m happy that Boulder’s winter’s are benign enough to do so without having to dress as if for an expedition..