Snowshoeing

The White Outdoors

SNOWSHOEING

Snowshoeing is an easy way to discover a different dimension of the mountains in wintertime, allowing us to explore the stunning white mountains in a diverse and safe way, far away from the chaos of ski slopes and lifts. You will be lead by trained and certified guides, as it is better to be prepared and have the right skills to practice winter sports; snowshoeing is the best way to experience the emotions offered by walking in nature surrounded by snowy and quiet landscapes. It’s the perfect opportunity to put yourself to the test and discover breathtaking views where the password is “Yes, I’m going to work hard,” but it’s also “I’m going to relax” … even at night! Have you ever experienced snowshoeing in the moonlight or with a headlight?

It is definitely a green and low cost winter sport par excellence, especially compared to skiing, in addition to being easy to learn… All it takes is one outing to learn how to snowshoe and learn the basic techniques in order “to float on the snow”. Over time you can also learn the tricks of the trade to optimize your stride when going uphill, make your downhill more dynamic and adapt to the various blankets of snow. One thing for sure is that you will have loads of fun with snowshoes.

Tips for snowshoeing

We recommend wearing layers keeping in mind when and where you will be snowshoeing.

Really heavy winter wear (such as ski suits) do not allow you to perceive the cold or heat well while exercising, so you could risk sweating or getting chilled easily.

Base layer: your first layer will touch your skin, so it needs to allow your skin to breath correctly but it should also needs to be suitable for low temperatures. We do not recommend using natural fibers like cotton that keep in moisture.

Second or mid-layer: it should be one or more layers of turtlenecks or long sleeved shirts. You can also layer up with a  waistcoat or technical jacket. A thermal hat will be necessary.

Third layer: the most outer layer is the most important one since snowshoeing is done in the winter. We recommend wearing a waterproof and windproof jacket (also known as a shell jacket) that is made out of Goretex. A down jacket is also usually worn, which comes in different weights and models that once folded won’t take up much space in your backpack. You can also find other similar outer layer jackets made out of synthetic material.

For the lower half of your body, we suggest long mid-weight trousers made out of a technical material that will allow you to move freely (summer trousers are not heavy enough). You can also  wear lightweight waterproof trousers to put over your trousers or wear thermal underpants.

Warm winter ergonomic hiking socks.

There are many different types of snowshoes and snowshoe poles: they are chosen based on your weight. It’s possible to rent this equipment.

Footwear: we recommend wearing footwear made out of Goretex with your snowshoes so that your feet are protected from the snow or cold. Be sure to choose boots that offer thermal protection.

Gaiters are very useful to prevent snow from entering your boots.

An ergonomic backpack with straps that can wrap around your waist; a 30-35 litre capacity is suitable for a day snowshoeing trip.

A backpack cover in case it snows or rains.

Unlike the summer where walking poles are not necessary, snowshoe poles on the other hand are necessary and they should be equipped with snowbaskets so the poles do not sink into the snow.

Here is a list of some accessories and tips that we think are important for this winter activity.

Bring a hat to protect your head from the cold and wind.

Buff headgear are highly recommended and they can be worn as a neckwarmer or as a lightweight hat.

Gloves are an indispensable accessory for both the winter and the snow. Low temperatures can cause problems for your extremities, such as your hands, so it’s important to find the right type of gloves.

Be sure to have sunglasses with a filter category of 3 (all sunglasses should have the category written on them, ranging from 1 to 4). This level is ideal for most outdoor activities. For snowy and windy environments, it’s best to have wraparound style glasses as they protect your eyes laterally.

Sunscreen and protective lip balm, which give you protection from UV rays and from the wind as well.

Your water bottle will be very important. A thermos is almost a must so  you can bring hot drinks which can give you some relief in very cold weather.

Packing food is very personal and you need to consider your needs and tastes.  Keep in mind that dinner will be served in the various tourist facilities (i.e. hotels) hosting us, so the food that we are talking about regards the meals that you will eat during the outings. You should therefore choose the food and the quantities keeping in mind that a heavy backpack could have a negative impact on your trip. So it’s a good idea to evaluate the quantities, weights and sizes. Energy bars are a good option because they take up little space while providing an adequate amount of energy. If you choose more traditional foods, it’s better to choose foods rich in carbohydrates.

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