Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back to Winter for the Spring Solstice

Quinn on skis! At a yurt!
Arriving in Tahoe after their best snow of the season, the e-tour made its way to Hope Valley Outdoors for an event with some local elementary school children. Hope Valley Outdoors is a backcountry ski yurt that provides rentals, guiding, and school outreach. Along with Joyce, who runs the yurt, we introduced kindergartners and fifth graders to the Leave No Trace principles. We talked about Trashing Your Trash and how to protect our favorite wild places and wildlife in the winter wonderland of Tahoe. We romped around in the snow playing a frigid version of Okay/No Way where the students ran to through a foot of powder to answer questions about appropriate outdoor behavior. After we were done teaching them, these students taught us a few things about how to cross-country ski! Thanks for the trade!

As the season winds down, it's important for everyone to keep in mind Leave No Trace when adventuring in winter environments. One great resource is the new winter recreation plastic reference card from Leave No Trace. As winter transitions into spring, it's a very sensitive time for ecosystems. While a deep layer of snow creates a durable surface that protects vegetation below it, while it melts it creates muddy conditions where trails and plants are vulnerable to damage. So make sure that you are extra careful to not trample budding flowers when you head outdoors and be sure to Plan Ahead and Prepare so you know the conditions of trails before heading out!

Happy Spring,

Quinn & Frank

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