Some us in our family love to snowshoe just to experience the beauty of the mountains covered in a wintry white blanket. Others really need to be going a mile a minute in the snowy mountains:)
The featured picture is of our Japanese snowshoe guide, Yassar. He did not speak much English, but we really adored him because he worked so hard to help us understand the kinds of information he would communicate to his Japanese speaking groups during snowshoe tours.
One thing we did understand, was that one of the residents of their mountains was the Ussuri brown bear. On Wikipedia it states, “In Hokkaido, the brown bear has a diet including small and large mammals, fish, birds and insects such as ants. Recent increases in size and weight, reaching 400 kg (880 lb), or possibly up to 450 kg (990 lb) to 550 kg (1,210 lb), are largely caused by feeding on crops.” I saw on another site that the Ussuri are closely related to brown bears found in Siberia and distantly related to grizzly bears in North America. We do have brown bears (grizzlies) in the North Cascades of Washington State, however we three were happy it was winter and these big creatures were hibernating in their cozy dens for the winter. Yassar also plucked some bamboo leaves peeking out from the snow and made us an origami boat using one of the leaves!
Bundled up for the snowshoe trek!
Ready to go!
Snowshoeing in the mountains on Hokkaido was a different experience than in the Cascade Mountains of the Northwest. The trees and vegetation were unique and the snow was “oh so fluffy”. It felt so good to get outside and move around.