ugg ladies slippers Beaver Creek Reserve offers winter fun with snowshoe
FALL CREEK Rick Cournoyer of Eau Claire studied with uncertainty a knot on his near completed Ojibwa style snowshoe in a workshop Saturday at Beaver Creek Reserve, north of Fall Creek.
Soon, Jim Schwiebert, a naturalist at the reserve and instructor of the class, approached, staring at the knot with the same skepticism.
going to have to work the knot backward, Schwiebert decided. The men got to work. Just a few minutes later, the pair celebrated the final product of Cournoyer first snowshoe to his four classmates, who were still only about halfway done with theirs.
The exchange took place during a two day workshop at the reserve, where those who are interested can sign up to make their own wooden snowshoes. The class is offered twice a year, once in December and again in January. Registration is between $190 to $210, depending on the style of snowshoe the maker chooses.
It was Cournoyer second time taking the class, which Schwiebert said helped explain how he completed his first snowshoe before the others.
Cournoyer said he originally took the class last year to learn how to repair a broken foot plate on a pair of wooden snowshoes he had at home. He returned this year to make a different style than he did last year.
fun to actually put it together and make your own snowshoes, Cournoyer said. far as going out and snowshoeing, I just like to get out in the woods at the right time and kind of go off the beaten path a little bit with these types of snowshoes, so you get out where it quiet. in the class can choose from three different styles of snowshoes: the Green Mountain bear paw, the Alaskan trail shoe and the Ojibwa style.
The Green Mountain bear paw is shorter than the others, as well as round tailed and toed, which makes it more maneuverable and ideal for tight turns.
In comparison, the Alaskan trail shoe is larger and has a round toe and pointed tail, used ideally for breaking trail. Lastly, the Ojibwa style is advertised as the most versatile of the trio, comprising a pointed toe and tail, making it easier to break through brush and snow.
of these keep you on top of the snow, Schwiebert said. kind of a misconception about the snowshoes. You don walk on top of the snow. You sink down a certain amount. weekend workshop consisted of five people, which is smaller than usual, Schwiebert said. In the past, there have been classes with about 15 people the maximum for instructors to handle.
job is to walk around, watch how they lacing and try to catch mistakes before they get too far into the pattern because everything has to weave in and out to lock together to be solid, Schwiebert said. if they don do that weaving right it not going to be solid and then we have to have them tear a bunch of stuff out and start over again. It frustrating for everybody. speculates fewer and fewer people are making their own snowshoes now, because it easier and cheaper to purchase an aluminum set from a nearby store.
Sonny Zentner of Altoona is one of those who own a pair of aluminum snowshoes. He worked on a pair of Alaskan style snowshoes for the first time on Saturday. It something he said he has always wanted to try but had never gotten around to it. After missing last year registration date, Zentner said he made sure not to miss this one.
great to have the instructors with guidance because it a little more than just tying your shoes, Zentner said.
Zentner said he spends a lot of time outdoors, including out of state in Idaho and Montana. He already has a trip planned to Montana in February, where he hopes to break in his new snowshoes.
they offer a number of styles of shoes, I thinking about signing up next year to make another style, Zentner said.
Jess Fredericks of Clayton also owns a pair of aluminum snowshoes, but making her own, she said, has been on her bucket list. Fredericks snowshoes a lot during the winter, particularly on her farm where she raises alpacas.
love something you can do in this part of Wisconsin to get up and get yourself moving when you feeling cooped up, Fredericks said.
Saturday was her first time making snowshoes. Staring down at a color coded illustration of the intricate weaving process, Fredericks said she struggled with getting the rhythm of it in her head.
the patterns wasn something I was prepared for, Fredericks said. tougher than it looks. There more detail involved than you think. said she plans to use her newly handmade Ojibwa snowshoes for hiking with her dogs on the farm. They will also come in handy for checking on her alpacas and playing with her nieces and nephews, she said, calling it work and recreation kind of thing. others interested in making their own snowshoes, Fredericks said to in with an open mind. tell you right on the description to come with some patience, so I believe that to be true, Fredericks said. be willing to try something new. Take on a challenge.