While sledding with the Grays at Snowhouse III on New Year's Eve a couple passed by us on the hill wearing snowshoes. Mine were in the truck, but I didn't really know where to put them to use so I asked what would be fun. It turns out Nina was a member of the ski patrol at White Pass and knew of an easy trail that would be marked not only with flags, but with glowsticks.
Umm, neat, but what's the point? The point was that with the trail glowing we could give night snowshoeing a try. Even James and Megan, who had no interest in going with us, thought this would be cool so around 5pm Amy and I said goodnight to Clara and piled into the car. It was about 20 miles to White Pass which took only an hour. Pretty good given the lousy road conditions.
We found the nordic center (a tiny yurt on the north side of the road behind the hotels) and got the scoop. The trail was all of 3km and basically ran around the lake. If we followed the glowsticks it was pretty unlikely we'd get into trouble even if it wasn't a patrolled area.
I was fully geared and Amy was pretty well provided for as well since we had Dan's equipment (he was unlikely to need it in California) so we headed down the trail to the first glowstick. At each stick we had to scan around for the next one. We chose to go clockwise around the lake and were soon in the very dark trees on the far shore.
Even though the trail was well groomed it was sometimes hard to see specifically the best path to the next glowstick so I turned on my headlamp (first time really using it in spite of taking it along on hundreds of miles of hikes) periodically to figure out which way we should go. Half way around we stopped for some long-exposure pictures which turned out splendidly.
The south side of the lake was much more open so we were able to navigate just by the light of the moon and soon found ourselves back at the yurt. Amy professed to have enjoyed the outing and I certainly loved snowshoeing in the dark. On the way back to the Snowhouse we talked about whether we ought to buy Amy a pair of snowshoes... is it too late for a Christmas gift?