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Instructor Spotlight

Gus Bekker (continued)

“People want to go for a hike in the winter,” Bekker said. “They’re hikers in the summer and they’re like ‘How can I keep doing this in the winter?’ And the answer is snowshoeing.”

Physically, the transition from hiking in the summer to snowshoeing is easy, Bekker said. But people are hesitant for other reasons: they don’t know where to go, they don’t know how to dress and they are worried about safety on the trail.

Bekker covers all of that in class. Class takes place Thursday evening, with a Saturday field trip to a nearby snowshoeing site. The field trip is designed for people who’ve never snowshoed before.

“It’s not something rigorous – it can be as you do it more – but at our level, anybody can do this,” he said. “I’ve never had anyone not enjoy the Saturday field trips.”

Students can bring their own snowshoes if they have them, otherwise snowshoes will be provided. They can wear sturdy hiking shoes or work boots for field trips and will be instructed on what else to pack.

Bekker said snowshoeing has become an increasingly popular way to stay active in the colder months. He even brings his dog with him.

“One of the coolest things about snowshoeing is that you can carry on a conversation with people, you’re walking,” he said. “The main reason I enjoy snowshoeing so much is the utter stillness and quiet of being out in the winter.”