Snowshoeing in the Adirondacks – an Aussies POV

Early start

Early start

Since I began my semester abroad, my new friends would always speak of travelling to the Adirondacks on weekends and hiking, fishing and camping. The word Adirondacks itself sounded like some foreign language and I could barely even pronounce it initially. I had heard of snowshoeing but only on TV and in movies and I was under the impression snowshoeing was when someone straps a tennis racquet-like head to their shoe and walks through snow. Technically I was correct, but those were the “old school” style of snowshoes – they are more sophisticated these days.

I joined the SUNY Oswego Outdoor club with some friends and signed up for this snowshoeing adventure to Lake Placid, Adirondacks. I honestly had no idea what to expect or what it would entail but I was very eager to see part of the Adirondacks.

Beautiful snow capped trees

Beautiful snow capped trees

Lake Placid is located roughly 5 hours from SUNY Oswego so we left at 3am on Saturday to begin our journey. We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and various convenience stores on the way to use the bathrooms and stock-up on snacks. I found it remarkable that convenience stores in the U.S are reasonably priced and items are priced almost identical to their prices in Walmart. In Australia the prices are approximately 2-3 times higher in convenience stores.

Fortunately enough I was able to get several hours of sleep through the night during our travels so by the time we arrived I was refreshed, excited and ready to snowshoe. Once we arrived at the Adirondacks we layered up, fastened out snowshoes and set out on the trail. We were chasing Tabletop Mountain which is one of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. It was approximately a 7 mile hike with snow literally everywhere.



The hike up was difficult to say the least. It started off okay as it was mostly flat with small inclines but as we progressed the trees became thicker, the trailer thinned out and the inclines were steeper. About a mile before the peak was when the real inclines began and it was a struggle. In several places we resorted to getting down on all fours and climbing (scrambling) up the mountain as it was too steep to walk. The whole climb we were regularly stopping to take off layers as we were sweating, however once we reached the peak the wind had a strong chill and all these layers needed to be put back on to essentially prevent hyperthermia.

The view from the peak was breathtaking in my opinion. It was grey, cloudy and snowing heavily so it was hard to capture the outlook on camera, however I thought the view suited the atmosphere of the day and exceeded my expectations.



Once we had admired the scene for long enough we proceeded to slide down the mountain and go back to base. We had begun the hike at around 9:30am and were all back at the lodge by 5pm; it was a long day. Because it had snowed so much during the day it was a longer trip home, but I mostly slept so was not phased. When we arrived back to campus, myself and two friends went to late-night and ate our hearts out – it was fantastic.

I feel so lucky, blessed and privileged that I was able to go on this trip as it is so different to anything I had ever experienced or imagined I would do in my life.

Peace Out

K xx

Ski Trip to Bristol Mountain Ski Resort

Yesterday I went twilight skiing. It was awesome.

Beautiful views

Beautiful views

As a student from Australia, the idea of going skiing as a college related activity, is unheard-of. There are always posters around SUNY advertising upcoming events and I saw this ski trip to Mt. Bristol listed. I was in. I signed up for the trip, paid the small fee and was all ready to go with eight of my closest friends.

The mountain is only 1 hour 30 minutes from campus and besides not having cell reception for most of the way, the bus trip proved to be enjoyable. When we arrived I was so ready. I had been ready since I saw the trip listed and finally I was here.

I had only ever been skiing at Coronet Peak & Perisher prior to this trip so when I arrived and looked at my surroundings I was amazed. The flora and fauna was completely different to anything I had seen or skied in before, it was beautiful.

feeling very 80s with my beanie

feeling very 80s with my beanie

We skied between 4pm – 10pm which forced me to make productive use of the time (i.e. spend as much time on the slopes as possible). Some of my friends elected to take lessons before skiing, so whilst they were doing this I was exploring the slopes with two of my friends who, like me, did not need a lesson. We warmed up by skiing around 6 or 7 green runs until I decided I was comfortable enough to take on a blue. I was wrong. The sign indicated that there was a blue trail ahead, however it lied (or maybe I read it incorrectly) and there were only two track options – both black diamond runs. Fortunately it was still early in the afternoon (so I was not tired and my technique was fine) and the snow was powdery. I only fell over twice, ejected from my skis once, and most importantly did not get injured. I am glad that I challenged myself and went down this first diamond run as it gave me confidence, and desire to explore the mountain.

My friends and I all met up for dinner in the Rocket Lodge and it was perfect. It was this big wooden hut with long tables, a canteen service, and great vibes. We ate hamburgers, pizza and waffle fries – can I seriously be doing anything more American? I love it.

I think by the end of the night the only runs I had not attempted were the double diamonds, and skiing through the deeper woods. By the time 10pm came we were all fatigued and ready to go back to campus. We stopped at a McDonald’s on the way back and all went to sleep content.

wow pretty
Thankyou SUNY, you are awesome.

H2T: Pretty, Messy!

There are countless products out there that promise moisturized skin and hair, especially during the winter months. Between the lake effect snow, the harsh wind and the below zero temperatures, Oswego provides the perfect climate to leave your skin scaly and your hair dry. Rather than purchasing ANOTHER lotion and hair mask, I decided to make my own using some guidance (Thank you Google!) and some kitchen ingredients: A super ripe avocado and an egg.

The mixture made enough to cover my face and my hair. It was really simple and my skin and hair felt SO soft afterwards! Here’s how to do it on your own.

First you’re going to make your face mask! In a bowl, scoop out the avocado and the white part of the raw egg. Mix together until there’s a gooey, uniform consistency. The white in eggs are meant to tighten your pores, while the avocado naturally moisturizes your skin. After covering your face, mix in the yolk of the raw egg and apply to dry, combed hair. Let both masks sit for 30 minutes!

Afterwards, rinse your face first. Here is probably the most important thing to remember: RINSE YOUR HAIR WITH COLD WATER! Rinsing with water that’s too hot will cook the egg in your hair…yuck! Once everything is rinsed, shampoo, condition, and moisturize like you normally would!

Wishing you a warm and less scaly winter!

Winter Wonderland

Something that I find really funny is how different this year has been from last year, how different my perspective is. The main reason I bring this is up is because, obviously, winter weather is here, something that I dreaded for quite some time. I typically hate snow and everything else about winter. I like for there to be snow around Christmastime, but then I am done with it and am ready for it to be gone, which obviously doesn’t happen. It sticks around for another three months or so, and as time goes on, it becomes dirtier and dirtier and heavier and heavier until it becomes incredibly overbearing. By late February, there is barely any white left. Instead, the snow is dirty, and as I said, it’s piled just about everywhere.

However, that really isn’t even the point, because last year, I was tired of the snow even prior to Christmas. Usually, I am, because I simply don’t like the snow and don’t understand why so many people seem to like it so much. It’s cold and wet, and here, it blows in your face and just about freezes the skin from it. It’s not anything that I would call fun. As I said, though, this year, my perspective has been different. The other night, I was walking from Waterbury to Lakeside with a group of friends for dinner, and it was snowing. I think that it may have been the first real snowfall of the season, and it just felt so oddly peaceful.

It’s one of those rare moments in life that you can’t explain. It arouses a feeling that cannot possibly be put into words, mainly because even though you know you liked the feeling, you can’t identify it. I was just happy to be here, so unbelievably happy to be with my friends. We were having a great time joking and laughing about something, and for some reason that, as I said, I can’t really explain, the light snow really seemed to enhance the experience. It was a really nice experience, one that I have in one way or another captured, since, as I said, they don’t happen all that often.

I am, however, going to make one small complaint. Although I cannot recall which day it was (I think that it may have been Tuesday), there was one day this week that I went to Culkin for something, and outside of the building was completely packed with ice. Something that I completely hate about the winter is the ice. I am scared to death of it, because I am afraid that I am going to fall. That’s probably rational, yet I see so many people walk across it seemingly not afraid, and they don’t fall either. I remember when I was in elementary school, and the bus would be waiting for me outside of my house in the morning, and I would walk so slow down my driveway, which was embarrassing, but it was because I was so scared that I was going to fall.

I really do think that things like that should be noticed and that when they are, something should be done about them. I don’t think that that area had been salted at all, and at least that probably would have helped. I really don’t mean to complain about things that seem petty, but that really could be potentially dangerous. You couldn’t really see the ice. The only reason I knew that it was there is because I was being especially cautious and was therefore looking for it, but most people don’t, and actually, now that I think of it, there was one man who was just walking out of Culkin, and when he noticed that I was walking so slow on the ice, he said that he had witnessed four people falling on it that day.

Anyway, on another subject, I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of classes. This semester has really flown by, and trust me, that is something for which I am grateful. For the most part, I would say that I have had a really good semester, but there have been bumps in the road, as there are in just about everything, and I am ready for this break, as I am sure a lot of us are. I can’t wait for finals to be over and for this semester to be officially over. I am going to be writing blogs over break, as well, so for those of you who read, be sure to check every now and then.