Hello everyone, Steve here from Steve’s Country with part 2 of my snowshoeing adventure. Please feel free to stop by my blog any time for more adventures of all kinds! You will find lots about nature, the outdoors and plenty of photos too. Just click on my name, Steve, to take you there. We would love to have you visit. So, let’s see, I think we left off when I fell…
My nice slope was actually two dead trees that had fallen against the cliff edge many years before and had been so covered with snow that I couldn’t see any sign of branches that would have given it away. And one of my snowshoes got tangled in the trees twisting my ankle rather badly. There I was, lying in the snow with my snowshoe caught in the dead trees. Not exactly a good position to be in. So now what? First I had to get my snowshoe, and foot, free from the branches of these two trees. That wasn’t so easy since my snowshoe was in the air and I was lying on my back in soft snow.
Fortunately I was able to use one of the trees to pull myself up and undo the strap on my snowshoe to free my foot. I had to put my snowshoe back on since the snow was soft and deep on that ledge. And now? I had to figure out what to do since there was no visible way back up. And it was at least 20 feet down to the next level. And who knows what might be hidden under that deep snow down below. So I figured jumping down was not a good option. Besides, that ankle was hurting quite badly, jumping would likely make things worse. It was 1 pm when I left, it was now 2:30, so I still had about 2 hours of daylight left.
I wasn’t really sure what to do so I brushed the snow off a rock and sat down so I could look over the situation. I figured the only way off this ledge would be to climb up. But that granite was so nice and smooth, except for some lichen growing on it. Hmm. I noticed a small twig sticking out of the snow. And a little beyond that a small balsam was also barely showing itself through the snow. Now if they were anchored strongly enough I might be able to pull myself up. Problem. The first one was just too high for me to reach even with the help of my snowshoe. I looked at the broken trees. Just might work.
I put one up against the rock, checked the branches to make sure they were strong enough to hold me, then I took my snowshoes off and started to climb. I figured I just might be able to reach that first twig. I was almost there when, SNAP! That broken tree broke again. And I tumbled down and…I slid through that soft snow to the edge of the cliff! I stopped right at the edge! That was just too close. I was afraid to move. But I could hardly stay there, so I rolled over slowly away from the cliff edge. Unfortunately I hurt my knee, opposite leg to my twisted ankle, which was now throbbing quite badly. I had to get out of there quickly before my knee and ankle got too swollen and stiff.
It was now windy which made it feel even colder. Well, I looked at the other broken tree. Why not? What choice do I have? It didn’t seem as solid as the last one and the branches were smaller, but it’s the only way to reach that twig. I was hoping that twig was actually bigger than it looked. With the tree in place I started to climb again, but I still couldn’t reach that twig. I had my snowshoes strapped to my arm, so I reached up with one snowshoe and tried brushing away the snow. It was working. And that twig had some little branches on it! Now if I could just hook my snowshoe on there. Did it! But it just wouldn’t stay. Now what?
I climbed just a little higher and stood right on the top of that broken tree, hoping that it wouldn’t move, and I could just reach that little shrub. I took my mitt off and grabbed that shrub tightly with my bare hand and pulled. Amazingly it held and soon I had my other hand on the little balsam tree. By pulling and sticking my feet into the snow I managed to get up to the next level which was just a small ledge not much bigger than me. I sat in the snow to rest a bit. My knee and ankle were quite swollen by now and the pain was getting worse. There was a large pine at the top not far from me. It wasn’t so steep now as I struggled through the snow finally making it to the top.
But I still had a long walk back and there was no way I could use my snowshoes now, my ankle was very swollen and paining badly. And my knee was also throbbing terribly. So, without the snowshoes, I had to walk and push my way through snow that was nearly waist deep at times. I headed in the direction of one of my old snowshoe trails. Walking would be easier then, those trails get hard after a bit and it’s like walking on a sidewalk. It was 3:30 pm when I finally found the trail. It took a long time to get back home, it was nearly dark. Normally it wouldn’t have taken that long but I had to walk rather slowly. It took a few days for my knee and ankle to return to normal, but soon I was feeling ready for another snowshoeing adventure!
Well, I do hope you enjoyed this true tale from the far north, have a wonderful day everyone and God bless!
Steve. ©2021 Steve McLeod. (photos used here are not from this adventure, though they are mine)