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Misadventures in Winter Golfing

In 2010 I made a deal with my husband that I would take golf lessons for one month. If I liked it, great! I would buy clubs and take up the sport at a leisurely pace. If I hated it, he would have to leave me alone and never say another word about it. Well, as it turned out, I was halfway decent and with a little coaching and practice, I would probably break 100.

Going to the driving range was a blast. It was covered and in a heated facility. I didn’t have to be wet, or cold, and I didn’t have to walk anywhere. I didn’t even think about what I needed to wear. Fast-forward to Super Bowl Sunday, 2011: My first day of “winter” golf. It was to become the worst day of golf that I have ever had.

The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its copious amounts of rain and overcast winter weather. Having said that, it does not stop people from golfing in the winter because the golf courses in the PNW are open all year around. This is precisely why I found myself golfing on Super bowl Sunday. When I got dressed that morning, I thought I was being sensible for the rainy weather. I dressed in layers, wearing my Patagonia capilene, a Helly Hansen waterproof softshell, regular khaki pants, wool socks and leather tennis shoes. However, by hole number 3, I was starting to get concerned.

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It wasn’t long before my softshell was no longer repelling the rain and my shoes were starting to take on water.  By hole 9, I was MISERABLE and screaming at my husband. I was having a hard time focusing and my swing was suffering. I was starting to get cold, my jacket was starting to stick to me, and my glove was wet. By hole 14, my pants were soaked up to my knees, my jacket was saturated, my shoes and socks were so soggy that I could barely walk, and I might as well have just thrown my leather glove away. I think I even started crying and may have attempted to murder my husband with my golf club. golf2I won’t reveal what I shot by the time the day was over. I had a total meltdown and vowed never to be that wet and miserable on the golf course ever again.

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After that disaster, I learned to be proactive. Now I make sure to wash my softshell in Tech Wash frequently. I treat it with Softshell proof when it starts showing the smallest sign of wetting out.  I purchased a sweet pair of saddle style golf shoes from Adidas and religiously clean them with Footwear Cleaning Gel and treat them with Waterproofing Wax for Leather. I have also treated my leather golf gloves with Waterproofing Wax for Leather and my fabric and leather gloves I treat with Glove Proof. My husband also has gotten into the habit of making sure all of his gear is cleaned and waterproofed, especially his shoes.

I haven’t been that wet and miserable since. I can happily say that I have not attempted to throw my clubs at my husband, or anyone else. I also have yet to break 100, which now I cannot blame on being wet and miserable.

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Learn to snowshoe with Get Going! snowshoeing workshops

Picking up a new sport can be intimidating sometimes, with all the new skills to learn and gear to buy. But for those looking to get out this season on snowshoes, Nikwax is partnering with Snowshoes.com and REI to help promote this super fun and fast-growing winter sport.

The crew from Snowshoes.com, an online guide to staying active in winter, will be bringing its popular Get Going! Workshop to REI stores across the country. These totally free workshops will feature an introduction to snowshoeing technique, a guide to local places to go, and products from sponsors including Nikwax, Atlas, and Tubbs snowshoes, GORE-TEX and more.  This is a great opportunity for everyone, from those who have never strapped on a pair of snowshoes, to intermediates looking to upgrade their equipment, find new places to explore, or meet other local enthusiasts.

Instructing students on all aspects of the sport will be accomplished adventure athlete and performance coach Julie Hudetz, an avid snowshoer and adventure racer with several years of experience teaching the Atlas Explore Winter Women’s Workshops and the W.L. Gore Dressing for Success Winter Workshops.

The tour kicks off Nov. 12, 2012 in Fort Collins, CO, and continues through January 17th, with several stops all over the country. Check out the upcoming dates below, stop by, and get out there!

  • Nov. 28 – Bend, OR REI, 6:00pm
  • Nov. 28 – Salt Lake City, UT REI, 5:30 and 7pm
  • Nov. 29 – Portland, OR REI, 7pm
  • Dec. 3 – Saratoga, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 3 – Reading, MA REI, 5:30 and 7pm
  • Dec. 4 – Berkeley, CA REI, 7pm
  • Dec. 4 – Framingham, MA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 5 – Sacramento, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 5 – East Hanover, NJ REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 6 – Manhattan Beach, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 6 – NYC SoHo, NY REI, 5:30 and 7:00pm
  • Dec. 10 – Redmond, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 11 – Issaquah, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 12 – Southcenter, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 13 – Seattle, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 19 – Clackamas, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 20 – Eugene, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 2, 2013 – Santa Fe, NM REI, 6:00pm
  • Jan. 3 – Albuquerque, NM REI, 6:00pm
  • Jan. 4 – Denver, CO REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 7 – Lincoln Park, IL REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 8 – Brookfield, WI REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 9 – Madison, WI REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 9 – Reno, NV REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 10 – Bloomington, MN REI, 5:30 and 7:00pm
  • Jan. 11 – Maple Grove, MN REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 15 – Portland, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 16 – Olympia, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 17 – Seattle, WA REI, 7:00pm


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Glen Young is another member of the Nikwax Faction Team. His non-profit organization, Direct Experience International, provides hands on learning, adventure, and travel to help his students grow. His programs take place all over the world and we would like to share his Mt. Rainier climbing experience with our readers.

Direct Experience International space

As has become the tradition the past three years, after finishing a month at elevation in Peru, I returned home to the United States for some high elevation escapades.  And as has become the tradition since living and working around the Seattle area, I focused my adventures on Mount Rainier.

I met my climbing partner Bonom at the Seattle airport after he flew-in from the Bay Area, and the two of us raided nearby grocery stores for all the items we thought we might crave on a high altitude exploit.  Our decision-making was informed by an expedition we did in Nepal the year before, and it didn’t take long before we realized that carrying twenty-pounds of food per-person, per-day was a bit heavy.  So, we cut-out a bunch of goodies, eyed the pile, shrugged our shoulders, and set-off for Rainier.

Heading to our first camp

In previous years we had both climbed the standard routes…

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