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Snowshoeing – A spectacular snow experience

30. January 2017

“Snowshoeing is so much fun!” – That’s what all my friends told me. To be very honest, I wasn’t fully convinced. I prefer to feel fresh snow under my skis rather than under snowshoes. But as curious as I am and as much as I love new adventures, I decided to give it a try. I grabbed some snowshoes and discovered the white winter wonderland on a wonderful hike. And I have to say: I was not disappointed! Snowshoeing opens a door to a completely new world, it’s pure enjoyment!


Snowshoeing: this is how it works

There are a couple of steps you might want to follow to enjoy this experience as much as possible. First, you need to plan your hiking route. Would you rather enjoy a relaxed tour with a visit to a cosy, rustic little mountain hut or are you motivated to climb some peaks? The Olympiaregion Seefeld offers ideal conditions with many varied well-signposted routes, you will surely find the right one here! I decided to take a leisure route as I didn’t want to overtax myself the very first time.

By the way: our local mountain and hiking guides offer wonderful snowshoeing tours. A guided tour is a great experience especially when you’re new to the sport. Never leave the marked ski slopes on your own, there is a high danger of avalanches!

Last but not least, you need to dress for the elements to fully enjoy the adventure. Waterproof and warm clothes are just as important as hiking boots. You can wear your ski pants or softshell materials, they keep you dry and warm. It’s best to dress in layers. That way, you can easily put a layer off so you don’t start to sweat. Always pack something to drink as well as some snacks and a detailed map of the area. It’s also good to take a small emergency kit with you.


Strip on the snowshoes, ready, go!

Once you finished all the preparations, you’re ready to go! The great thing about snowshoeing is that it is relatively easy to learn. It doesn’t need a lot of practice and you will soon have figured out how to move on the shoes. You can trudge through the snow without sinking in. What a fun experience! You are surrounded by trees covered in snow and the peaks of the countless mountains around you are sparkling in the sun.

Your warm breath forms little white clouds in the air and your face gets all rosy from the cold and fresh breeze. Is there anything better? Take some time to soak up the magical scenery. What a feeling of happiness and contentment! Just go where the snow takes you. Finally, you’ve got time to talk to your companions or to just enjoy the silence and let your thoughts flow freely. Or are you up for a fun snowball fight? This awakens the inner child in us again!

A cosy cabin and a delicious meal

After a couple of hours in the cold, a cosy, little mountain hut is just the right thing. A hot chocolate, a coffee or a tasty Tyrolean meal are exactly what you need. They liven you up and bring back the energy. It’s perfect to cuddle next to the hot oven and to dry the wet clothes.

After having enjoyed a nice break it’s time to go back. But the way back is no less beautiful than the first part of your hike! Once more, you can take in the striking views – and maybe you can even spot a deer or a mountain hare? If you’ve got sharp eyes, you can find their traces in the snow.

After a wonderful day snowshoeing through the Alps there’s only one thing left to say: Snowshoeing is so much fun! It’s a magnificent adventure. Discover the silent side of the Alps far away from the noisy slopes and après-ski. An exceptional experience to remember!

 

Further link:
A snowshoe-hike in the Olympiaregion Seefeld


Snowshoeing: A short beginner’s guide

 

Snowshoes
There are two kinds of snowshoes nowadays: “Classics” and “Moderns”. Classics: These are snowshoes with lightweight aluminium frames, a good choice all hikers and walkers. Moderns: The right choice for alpine routes and more ambitious snowshoeing. They are made of pliable plastic and have strong straps.


The right size of the snowshoes

The size of snowshoes depends on the hiker’s weight including the rucksack, the length of one’s stride and the terrain you want to hike. Tall hikers need bigger snowshoes so they don’t sink in the deep snow.


The right shoes for a snowshoe-hike

Insulated, waterproof boots are best. They have thick soles, rubber/leather uppers and insulation. Leather hiking boots work well, too, but they should be waterproof.


What else do you need?

Poles: Poles come in handy on many snowshoeing outings. They provide you better balance and protect you from slipping or falling. They also give your upper body a workout.

Gaiters: these keep the snow out of your boots and protect your pants from the snowshoes.

Clothing: Layer your clothing so it can be adjusted to your activity level and the weather. Avoid cotton.

Always bring sunglasses or goggles! They protect your eyes from snow blindness.

Your rucksack should have fixations for the snowshoes in case you need to cary them. Pack something to drink and some snacks. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the cold. Never forget to bring a map of the area as well as a small emergency kit.


Before you get started: How to plan a route
Hike on your own: The Olympiaregion Seefeld offers a great groomed trail system with many nice routes where you can safely hike on your own. For safe snowshoeing, stay within the limits set by your physical abilities, the gear and the environment. Never leave the marked trails, there is a high risk of avalanche hazards!


Guided tours

Our hiking and mountain guides offer amazing guided snowshoeing tours, a perfect way to experience the untracked deep snow and the Alps safely.


Snowshoeing techniques

Our hiking and mountain guides offer amazing guided snowshoeing tours, a peSnowshoeing is relatively easy to learn and you will soon figure out how to move on the shoes. Your stance should be wider than normal. The snow can vary a lot: it can be icy, soft, deep or hard-packed.fect way to experience the untracked deep snow and the Alps safely.


Putting the snowshoes on

It’s easiest if you knee down. Tighten the straps and check again after a short while. If the straps are too loose, you might lose your snowshoes or slip and fall.

 

Pictures: TVB Olympiaregion Seefeld

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