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“A snowshoe is footwear for walking over the snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person’s foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called “flotation”” (Wikipedia)
A great activity for non-skiers or for skiers who want to try something a bit different during their week away, snowshoeing is a low risk, inexpensive way to access some lovely parts of the mountains and is a pretty good aerobic workout too.
Historically, snowshoes were essential tools for fur traders, trappers and anyone whose life or living depended on the ability to get around in areas of deep and frequent snowfall, and they remain necessary equipment for forest rangers and others who must be able to get around areas inaccessible to motorized vehicles when the snow is deep.
Snowshoes today are divided into three types:
- aerobic/running (small and light; not intended for backcountry use);
- recreational (a bit larger; meant for use in gentle-to moderate walks of 3–5 miles (4.8–8.0 km)); and
- mountaineering (the largest, meant for serious hill-climbing, long-distance trips and off-trail use).
Modern day snowshoeing is made up of casual snowshoers who hike trails for pleasure, the snowshoeing enthusiasts who trek through the backcountry, and the competitors who race.
In Chatel, snowshoeing is a very popular activity for skiers and non-skiers alike, and there are varying routes for all abilities. It’s also possible to enjoy evening walks, using head torches (and the light from the moon). Combine a guided walk with a good mountain restaurant and you have all the ingredients for a magical evening that everyone in your group will remember. Ask your NINE & TENNE chalet host for more information!