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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Trail talk › Dear Snowshoers: Please stop trampling our tracks. Signed, Vexed Nordic skiers

Dear Snowshoers: Please stop trampling our tracks. Signed, Vexed Nordic skiers

A former member
Post #: 4
Another day on MT. Hood trails, and another day of encountering snowshoers ruining ski tracks. In one case, the potholes left by one on a downhill track sent me sprawling headfirst. A party of 30 other snowshoers stopped midtrail to socialize and stood right on the ski tracks as we tried to pass by. The sign clearly showing the lanes for each activity stood a few yards away. At another point, yet other snowshoers were walking uphill on both ski.lanes as we were skiing down. If you are among those snowshoers who know and follow the rules, thank you. Please educate snowshoing friends who might be unaware. Meanwhile, here are some basics: Please walk in the snowshoe lane if available, or well off to the side. After all, snowshoes go most anywhere. Nordic skiers who are striding as opposed to skating, rely on those tracks since our skis have no edges and are difficult to turn. Further, someone has groomed many of the trails where we night encounter one another, and often skiers like me contribute toward the costs. In ungroomed areas, skiers who go in first after fresh snowfall set ski tracks for those who follow, which is greatly appreciated. How disappointing then to see those hard-earned tracks spoiled by either lazy, ignorant, or uncaring snowshoers. Thank you for helping to educate fellow snowshoers so that both groups can share the trails respectfully and harmoniously.
user 4250936
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 91

I can understand your frustration and I'm not even a Nordic or XC skier, but, in my "defense" as a hike leader, I have a couple of comments. Although entirely true that there are "rules" on trail usage, those apply mostly to groomed XC trails like those on Tea Cup, Newton Creek, trillium Lake, etc. Some other trails that are accessible to skiers that rule applies differently as being well off the side means being a much deeper snow which might not be easy or safe. In my outings I always make a point, whenever I'm on any of those trails with a group to stay off the ski trail as much as possible. I do have to say though that XC skiers seem to actually hate snowshoers and their demeanor to us is not very friendly or educational. Just two weeks ago I went to Newton Creek to Gnarl Ridge and as my group (9 of us) were hitting the trail, we were yelled at by one member of the Nordic club to stay of the tracks. Funny things is we were walking completely on the side, out of the groomed trail, on branches. I believe this is a two way street and for all to find a common ground, the education has to go both ways.
Portland, OR
Post #: 15
I second Claudio's remarks, and also would like to point out that while it's easy to blame one group or another, there are errors made on both sides. Twice in a row when I have been at Trillium Lake, there have been skiers all over the paths, many of whom expected us (the snowshoers) to move for them when we were on the correct side. This was particularly vexing yesterday, when the conditions on the ski side were perfect and there was no reason to be on the snowshoe side. I, too, have experienced being yelled at by skiers when I was doing nothing wrong, like last year at Twin Lakes when a skier hollered at my group even though we were making a valiant effort to stay out of the tracks though the whole trail was narrow and icy. This is not to say that snowshoers don't do the things you've mentioned, but my experience is that most of those involved in this hiking group tend to be more savvy and experienced, so you're somewhat "preaching to the choir" here - many of those mistakes are made by beginners, and as snowshoeing AND xcountry are gaining in popularity, I think you'll find a kind word and taking a moment to patiently explain to beginners you meet will go a long way on the trail.
Rick L. J.
user 10833570
Newberg, OR
Post #: 88
I will put in a word or two. If its a group of 30 its not one of our trips. I don't think any of us would try such a large group unless it was Trillium lake, possibly.

Certain areas would be very hard to keep separate tracks due to terrain.

But thanks for the reminder, it will be something that I will bring up at the start of any snow shoe I do with the group the season.

A former member
Post #: 4
I've been really anxious to try snowshoeing this year and in fact, feel I've been patient, waiting for a rookie/beginner class rather than signing up with advanced types, then possibly holding them back.

The reason I mention it is because as a beginner, more of a want to be at this point, I did not know there were rules established as above and frankly, it seems the last place in the world that a bunch of politics belong.

Maybe I'm enthused about starting the wrong activity and should consider something with fewer haters...Is there a Crotcheting Meetup anytime soon?
A former member
Post #: 21
I've never been snowshoeing. Not sure I want to now that I've been properly chastised.
A former member
Post #: 403
C'Mon guys those aren't attitudes that belong to a cool group of nature folks! Fact is, I've mistakenly walked over ski tracks and I have been almost killed by people on skis swerving all Willy nilly over the entire width of the path. When out on the trail just try to be respectful, that's all there is to it.
Ed H.
user 12786464
Portland, OR
Post #: 12
Christine get over it and move on.

This is like skiers hating snowboarders and vise verse.

Everyone is out there to enjoy nature and have fun.

Although, when I snowshoe and when its possible, I avoid the XC tracks. :)
Warren B.
user 14481921
Portland, OR
Post #: 4
Thank you Christine for starting this interesting discussion. It seems to be getting people to think about what makes sense in these various situations. I liked Claudio's comments about narrow trails and unreasonable animosity. As both a snow shoer and Nordic skier, it even seems there is a tendency to be vexed at skiers when I'm on snow shoes and vice versa. It reminds me of the news report of the avid bicyclist who, behind the wheel of a car, experienced road rage toward another bicyclist. Perhaps there is a slight tendency to dislike "the other" in all of us. Realizing this, I have tried to greet the other with a smile when passing on the trail. Though I admit I wasn't able to do that when a couple snowmobilers unnecessarily wiped out our cross country ski tracks near the Frog Lake snow park recently. Adding to Claudio's comments about different trail conditions: It might help to understand that a person braking trail in virgin snow will usually take the easiest path, which is often down the center of a trail. This makes it especially hard for the next person (using different equipment) to cut a parallel path. Another example: I gratefully skied in show shoe tracks recently when the alternative was to break trail in deep snow a few feet away. I didn't think it would make it any harder for the show shoers, but it was "breaking the rules" and I wondered if the next skier to come along would think it was a show shoer who trampled the ski tracks. As it turned out, the snowmobilers decided the question.
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