Atlas Elektra 11 Series '08
Atlas Elektra 11 Series ’08
Photo Courtesy The North Face

I’ve been looking for snowshoes for me and The Evil Hypnotist for years, now.

Last winter, we decided to get off of our flabby, Prissy-lazy buts (butts?!) and actually get out and exercise… except the snowshoe hunt was sorely unsuccessful.

You see, when I snow-shoed as a kid, I used the same kind of snowshoes that Ruby used when she was a kid. They were the old, wood and catgut lobster-trap-looking things (and I’m pretty sure the old-fashioned lobster-traps were probably made out of catgut, too) that my school had… and that my Dad had.

I think snowshoeing was the only sport other than cross-country running that I truly loved as a kid… and the passion for cross-country disappeared around the time I hit teenage-hood and took up smoking (cough…*). Snowshoeing stuck with me, though.

Once I grew up (Ha! I said “grew up”!) and got married, I didn’t get the chance to snowshoe, even though I lived in the Middle of Nowhere – that’s a real place, you know – mainly because I didn’t own a pair of my own.

When Ky was being home-schooled in Grade 5, it was decided that snowshoeing would be the winter Physical Education Activity… until she flat-out refused. So I didn’t bother to waste the money on even one pair, let alone two.

And then… once in Grade 8, back in the public school system, Ky was forced to put on a pair of snowshoes – and yes, they were the “old” wood and catgut jobs – probably on account of the flat-broken-ness of our public school system.

And she fell in love with the whole idea of owning a pair of her own, and even said she would swallow the embarrassment of snowshoeing with her mother.

Except we couldn’t find anyplace that sold the damned things. All we could find were the new-fangled aluminum and nylon-strappy things no matter where we looked, and truthfully, we both thought they seemed really crappy.

For something so freaking expensive, they really looked cheap.

We also heard (a couple of my really rugged Boys-at-Work agree with this) that the aluminum ones are only good on groomed trails – something to do with the holes punched into the platforms – they bog down if you want to make your own path through virgin snow. Which would suck, because neither Ky or her Non-Embarrassing Mother are the kind of people to stick to a trail while wearing snowshoes.

We are the kind of people who would get bogged down… and probably freeze to death, to be found in the middle of the bush, rotting over our expensive-but-cheap-looking groovy-cool snowshoes, come the Spring thaw. If we were ever found at all, that is.

So, we started searching for used catgut snowshoes… but the only ones we could find, although affordable, were never in good repair, which is when it started to dawn on me, that catgut snowshoes probably require maintenance that I am not equipped to deliver…

What happens if/when the catgut gets old and stringy and starts to rot…? I would assume it needs to be replaced. Not that I have a shortage of cats around here, but I’m not sure exactly how to gut a cat. And if I did manage it… then what!? I haven’t a clue, and if I did, I doubt I could stomach it.

This morning though, unable to sleep, I began my search anew, for a pair of non-cheap-looking, groovy-cool, affordable, not-wood-and-catgut snowshoes.

I think I found a winner. No holes to fill with snow and bog us down. They look sturdy. They’re ON SALE!

I found them online at The North Face, and since I doubt I’ll make it to Vancouver before next winter hits, I’m going to buy two pair, condemned house, lawyer bills and all.

Click here to check them out. There’s a cool little blurb on the home page, by the way, about the retail outlet – founded the year I was born, so you know why they’ve been around this long… 1966 was an incredibly good year. 😀

Fun Fact: I typed “snowshoes” or a derivative of the word 17 times in this post. Count ’em up, if you don’t believe me.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” – Paul Simon