Snowshoe Safety

There is a temptation to wander off the unmarked trails in search of new terrain and un-touched powder, however care needs to be taken as even though the terrain seems benign it can pose great avalanche risks.

 

Snowshoe trails are managed by the resort and use safe terrain and if you are not particularly experienced it’s worth sticking to these.

 

If you fancy getting well off the beaten track make sure you have a UIMLA guide with you who will have knowledge of the area and know where to go in order to avoid potential terrain traps and avalanche prone areas.

 

All our treks are lead by a qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader.

 

 

Snowshoe Safety

See our Snowshoeing Tours

We offer two snowshoeing holidays, Snowshoe discovery for those new to snowshoeing and Mont Blanc Snowshoe for a little more adventure. Both holidays are 8 days 7 nights including 5 guided snowshoe tours with full board accommodation in the Chamonix valley. We also offer individual day treks allowing you to choose your own itinerary at a date and time to suit your needs.

 

Click below for further details:

Snowshoe Photos

Take a look at our Photo Gallery for photos of the Walkers Haute Route taken each day to give you an idea of what you have to look forward to.

 

Snowshoe Photos
Snowshoeing Snowshoes Snowshoeing Aiguille Rouges from above Le Tour Mont Blanc Snowshoe
Winter treks

Snowshoeing

All you need to know about the snowshoeing giving you background information about this winter adventure sport. If you are looking for something new to do this winter why not try a different sort of activity in the mountains by having a go at snowshoeing.

Zoom Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

What is snowshoeing?

For those unfamiliar with snowshoeing it originated over 6000 years ago in central Asia using modified slabs of wood to help them travel on snowy ground. After the migration of Asians to Northern America the snowshoe evolved, a racket wooded frame with hide strapping spread the persons weight to prevent sinking which provided a essential piece of kit for hunters, traders and travellers in the snowy regions of the world.

 

Since the 1970’s snowshoeing has become a popular winter sport giving people the opportunity to trek in winter conditions and experience the truly stunning environment away from the crowds of skiers and snowboarders on piste.

Zoom Snowshoeing is fun

Snowshoeing is fun

Why snowshoeing?

  • It’s a great way to keep or improve fitness, walking in snow on snowshoes is a great cardiovascular workout which can burn up to 600 calories per hour even on the easy trails.
  • It’s a fun way to spend you day in the mountains in winter.
  • It gets you away from the crowded ski resorts into a quiet and tranquil environment.
  • It gives you the opportunity to see winter flora & fauna whilst trekking through a magical environment off the beaten track.

Who goes snowshoeing?

Basically anyone with who enjoys being in the mountains in winter, any age any level of fitness and experience. There are many trails to suit all levels of experience and fitness, from easy beginners routes to harder more challenging terrain.

Where & when to go snowshoeing?

You can snowshoe pretty much anywhere in the world as long as you have snow, snowshoeing is a very popular winter sport in North America and Canada and getting more so in the European Alps. Many resorts have marked snowshoe trails of various lengths, graded in difficulty from beginners to experienced. Information on snowshoe trails can be obtained normally from the tourist information office in each resort.

How to snowshoe

Very simple really, its pretty much just like walking using poles, the only thing to get used too your extra large feet and you’re a little extra attention with your balance. The snowshoe is fitted to your boots and is hinged at the ball of your foot. The snowshoe can be either used in a locked position (can be better for downhill to avoid tripping up by an over extended snowshoe) or unlocked for flat or slightly undulating terrain. The snowshoe also has a heel raiser at the back for use when going up hill.

 

Zoom TSL snowshoes

TSL snowshoes

Kit Needed

Depending on the temperature and time of winter season the kit you require is very much like when skiing. You will need layers with a waterproof outer layer, gloves & hat, day rucksack to put your layers in if you get too hot, walking poles with snow baskets, map or trail guide and of course snowshoes (see our kit list). There are many different types of snowshoes that can be either hired or bought in resort and prices range from 10 euros per day to rent to between 90- 150 euros to buy. Being based in the European alps my choice would be the French manufactured TSL snowshoes who are based in Annecy, other manufacturers predominant in Northern America are MSL, Tubbs, Atlas and Redfeather.

What about the weather?

Anyone with walking experience knows that weather in the mountains can be fickle and in winter the temperatures in the mountains can get very cold. Even when the weather is stable the variation of temperatures from the Valleys to the Cols can be significantly different. Which is why we ask you to take particular notice of the kit & equipment (see our kit list) needed for each trek.