About being Betty in the Kootenays and beyond.
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 oz/60 g)
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) Club House Pure Vanilla Extract
2/3 cup (150 mL) Club House Rice Flour
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) baking powder
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) chopped nuts or raisins (optional)
In medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat.
Stir in sugar and let stand 5 minutes.
Beat in eggs and Club House Pure Vanilla Extract until light and fluffy.
Stir together Club House Rice Flour, baking powder, salt and nuts or raisins (if using).
Add to chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
Pour into lightly greased 8 x8 inch (20 x 20 cm) pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes. Cool on rack before cutting into squares.
As humans we expect a lot of ourselves. Regardless of what you do, striving to be the best you can be has its highs and lows. I find it humbling to be put in a position where I do not perform to the level I expect of myself. Regardless of the situation I have high expectations of my abilities and when I don’t meet those expectations I get discouraged. A fun ride with friends can quickly turn into a competition of me against the world; it’s not that I am comparing myself to my friends so much as comparing myself to my unreasonable expectations. Quickly that little voice in my head starts to berate me on not being good enough, fit enough, fast enough, ballsy enough whatever fits the particular situation. Instead of giving up I have started to embrace these feelings of discomfort and use them to propel me to the next level. It is also great to know how it feels to be left behind, without these experiences where is the motivation to keep getting better?
I don’t think it matters what level you are at, this happens to the best of us and as a beginner don’t forget that everyone starts somewhere, and for most there is always someone better. It is important not to hold yourself back by thinking you are not good enough; honestly how are you going to get better? If someone wants to get out and have fun with you that is what they want to do. I have found time and time again that people will decline an invitation to get out stating that they are not good enough and they don’t want to hold me up. That is not a good enough excuse. So take on the challenge, embrace the discomfort and use it to your advantage. One of the things I love about the BettyGoHard participants is the way they feed off of each other; all of them turn up thinking they will be the weakest member of the group. Pushing those boundaries and challenging those assumptions is as easy as seeing another at the same level as you do something you never thought you would do. That same competitive spark flares up and the rules of the game change. Suddenly, things not imagined become possible and new doors open. I dare you to feel uncomfortable and love it!
Happy Valentines Week!! I hope it was a fun day had by all. I thought maybe that Ullr had left me a valentines pressie on the hill, but alas there was little fresh snow; however always fun turns to be had. Maybe they will be belated presents if the current forecast holds true, fingers crossed.
Talking about snow, BettyGoHard has wrapped up what I think was the best snowshoe season yet. We were super lucky with the conditions, the snow fell at all the right times and when it didn’t we found fresh snow off the beaten track. I have discovered that I have an aversion to the groomed or well beaten trails and with snow as well as life I seem to head for the road less travelled. I also tend to prefer looping trails to those going out the same way as they return, which may explain how I ended up in Rossland.
One of my joys when it comes to snowshoeing is the peacefulness of the snow, being out under the stars or even better a snowstorm, quietly making my way through the trees. The ability to take my own path and adventure out beyond the conventional trail, knowing that if I lose my way the tracks will lead me back, provided it is not the snowstorm of the year. When introducing others to a sport I so very much enjoy I like to share those trails and give the ladies a true sense of what snowshoes are all about; trails where if you take your snowshoes off you appreciate why they were invented in the first place.
So thank you to all the ladies that joined us this year, I hope you all enjoyed the experience as much as I did. There is something special about sharing the trails with a group of fun ladies out to explore and connect; although there are some days where I suspect it is more about the chocolate shop than it is the walk, but that is ok too! Join us Saturday 26th, February for our last Cross Country Ski adventure at Nancy Greene Summit, we will be exploring the trails then finishing at a cabin for lunch and treats. Sign up at www.bettygohard.com.
I love hanging with the girls. Before sitting down to write this week’s column I got out on the hill with a friend. There is something different about riding with other females. The energy is different and so inspiring. Back in 98’ I spent a season at Lake Louise, I found a posse of girls that loved to ride and no matter what the conditions the days we went out together were always my favorite. That was where it all started.
Returning to Canada many years later and riding at Red I was surrounded by boys. Lacking my girls I went looking for inspiration in other places; magazines, movies, anything I could think of and it was sadly lacking. The girls that were in the magazines were standing with their gear looking pretty – that was not what I was looking for; I wanted to see them in action!
By the time we returned home I had come up with a plan to help others like me, girls looking for inspiration. We came up with the name Bettygohard and I set out to create a place where females could be inspired and inspire others. I figured out how to build websites and with a snowboard bums budget created the Bettygohard community. It was a great start but a long way from where I wanted to go.
The website has evolved over the years as I searched for a way to create the interactive community I had imagined. At this time Facebook and other social networks started appearing and I had a goal; to build a social network for females of all ages that are into action sports.
This Christmas Bettygohard launched the Bettygohard Social Network @ www.bettygohard.ca. Now it is time to get out and get you girls/ladies/women and even the guys involved in the dream of inspiring others to get out and go hard. No boundaries, No expectations, just getting out and having fun; however you like to do it!!
Please take a moment to log on and sign up, www.bettygohard.ca , it’s free and easy to do. Become part of the Betty movement today and be part of the action.
If you've never experienced the beauty or serenity of hiking in fresh-fallen snow, you're in for an adventurous treat. Snowshoeing is easy to and fairly inexpensive. With a little knowledge, buying the right snowshoes is a walk in the park.
REI categorizes snowshoes as follows:
While most snowshoes fall into these 3 categories, a few models are designed specifically for trail-running, fitness or climbing.
Shop REI's selection of men's snowshoes and women's snowshoes. Snowshoes can be viewed according to terrain, gender, brand, price or customer ratings. Choose your preference in the left-hand navigation column.
Here's another option: Many REI stores offer snowshoes for rent. Take a pair out for a test walk. (Please call first for availability. Snowshoes are not available at all REI locations.)
We will take a closer look at snowshoe parts in the next section in this article. If you're already familiar with snowshoe components, realize that one of your key shopping decisions involves selecting a snowshoe that is an appropriate size.
Aluminum-frame snowshoes come in multiple sizes, usually 8" x 25", 9" x 30" and 10" x 36" or something similar. Composite snowshoes come in 1 size (typically 8" x 22") and offer the option of adding 4" to 8" tails to help you stay afloat on snow. Why does size matter? It's a key factor in getting the right amount of flotation.
Snowshoe sizes and shapes vary as follows:
Recommended loads are based on light, dry snow conditions. But consider that on powder snow you need bigger snowshoes to stay afloat than you would on compact, wet snow. In other words, a powder-happy Utah snowshoer may want a larger size than a same-sized snowshoer in the wet snow of the Pacific Northwest.
Packed trails, brush and forest call for more compact shoes, which are easier to maneuver in tight spaces. Steep or icy terrain is also best explored with smaller snowshoes. Open areas with deep drifts require larger snowshoes.
Tip: Get the smallest size that will support your weight for the snow conditions and terrain in your area. As long as you have adequate flotation, smaller snowshoes will be much easier to handle.
Your weight, including equipment, is referred to as the recommended load or carrying capacity on snowshoe specs. This is a major factor in determining the right size. In most circumstances, a heavier person or one with a heavily loaded pack will require larger snowshoes than a smaller person or one carrying gear just for the day.
Snowshoes allow you to travel across snow-covered ground without sinking or struggling. They require much less effort than walking with regular snow boots. To do so, snowshoes provide "flotation" by spreading your weight evenly over a large, flat surface area. This flotation allows you to hike, climb or even run. Generally, the heavier the person or the lighter and drier the snow, more surface area of a snowshoe is required.
Historians trace the origin of snowshoes to Asia sometime between 4,000 and 6,000 B.C. As recently as the 1950s, snowshoes were still constructed from wood and rawhide.
Today, most snowshoes have aluminum frames and synthetic decking. These decks usually feature nylon or Hypalon rubber so they can be light and responsive. Another style of snowshoe, popularized by MSR, features a frame with an integrated hard decking material. This composite (or, plastic) decking supports weight on its own and is stable and durable. You can attach a 4" to 8" tail to these for extra flotation in deep powder. Both frame styles work well.
Snowshoes secure to your boots with bindings, which usually consist of a platform and nylon straps that go over the foot and around the heel. Two types are common:
You don't need to buy special footwear to go snowshoeing. Most snowshoe bindings are built to accept a variety of footwear styles, from hiking boots to snowboard boots. A few are made specifically for running and lace up snugly, while others are made for plastic mountaineering boots and secure with ratcheting straps.
Although your weight provides some traction by pushing snowshoes into the snow, snowshoes feature tooth-like crampons or cleats for greater grip. Recreational-style snowshoes will typically offer moderate amounts of traction, while backcountry snowshoes will generally have more aggressive crampons for steep, icy conditions.
Also known as climbing bars, these wire bails can be flipped up under your heels to relieve calf strain on steep uphill sections and save energy on long ascents. This feature gives the feeling of walking up steps and prevents exaggerated calf and Achilles strain.
Q: What kind of boots should I wear with my snowshoes?
A: Any waterproof hiking boot or insulated winter boot should work just fine. For long hikes, avoid loose-fitting boots with removable liners as the liners tend to eventually pack down and leave your feet cold. Consider wearing knee-high gaiters, too, to keep snow out of your boots, especially in off-trail or deep snow conditions. For details, see the REI Expert Advice article about How to Choose Gaiters.
Q: Where do I place my foot in the snowshoe?
A: Your foot should be centered with the ball of your foot over the pivot point of the snowshoe. This placement gives you the most natural feel when you walk and helps you maintain a normal gait.
Q: What makes a "fitness snowshoe" different from other types of snowshoes?
A: "Fitness snowshoes" are generally made with lighter materials, minimal traction and a tapered tail. This creates a lighter snowshoe that is easy to run with and helps you to maintain a normal gait. Some women's snowshoes have these same properties and can be double as fitness snowshoes.
Q: Can I use my alpine ski poles for snowshoeing?
A: This is not recommended. For most snowshoeing outings, poles should be adjustable for your comfort and safety. Trekking poles outfitted with large snow baskets work fine. Snowshoe poles are essentially the same thing as trekking poles, but with snow baskets already in place. You can switch these out to smaller trekking baskets for summer hiking.