Making the Most of March

It was a frost on the whiskers kind of day, with temperatures hovering near 1 F (-17 C) and a brisk wind – but the sun was out and the trails were calling.

One of my frosty skiing buddies! Photo: M.Kopp

I tried not to whine too loudly as we bundled up in layers from top to bottom and braved the borderline frigid weather for a 10-mile (16 km) rolling loop through the foothills of the Rockies. Unlike my canine companion, a.k.a winter-loving hound, I don’t always find it easy to get going when temps dip below a certain point.

My attitude rapidly turned positive as the forest closed in to block the wind and a short climb warmed chilly toes.

March is a fantastic month to get outdoors, because even though the temperatures can still tank, the sun is starting to pack a light punch and daylight hours are increasing with impressive speed.

We passed snowshoers close to the parking area, but only a handful of other skiers as we shuffled along the outer leg of our loop trip, dipping through thick aspen groves and lichen-encrusted spruce forests and sliding past dried cow parsnip heads drooping under the weight of winter’s snow.

A picture perfect day!

How to enjoy the outdoors in a sometimes windy and cold March:

  • Sleep in and start later, when temperatures have risen a few degrees
  • Dress in layers from your core and legs, to feet and hands
  • Put lip balm, contact cases and camera batteries in pockets close to your core to keep from freezing
  • Pack a thermos with hot liquids (licorice tea is my personal fave)
  • Pick an elevated lunch spot (fallen tree) out of the wind and in full sun
  • Throw on an extra warm layer as soon as you stop moving
  • Take along a scarf, neckwarmer or face shield to cover your face if the wind persists
  • Don’t forget goggles or sunglasses help protect the eyes

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