Friday, 7 February 2014

Why it's a great idea to take the kids snowshoeing

Snowshoeing with young children

 

Snowshoeing is a fantastic activity for the whole family, including very young children. As soon as kids can walk confidently, they can take part. We have taken families with children as young as three on guided walks, with great success.


Snowshoeing is fun! 

 

The best reason to take the kids snowshoeing is because it's fun! Expect lots of enthusiasm, smiles and laughter. Don't forget the camera!

Snowshoeing as a safe activity for kids 

 

Where other winter sports and activities are often too dangerous to include younger children, snowshoeing with an experienced guide is a very safe activity for kids of all ages and abilities. As your mountain guides we aid parents to teach children about mountain safety while snowshoeing.

Snowshoeing for family fitness

 

With even the youngest members of the family being able to take part in an active winter sport, everybody can improve their fitness, build their confidence and have fun together. Snowshoeing burns calories, improves stamina and builds muscle tone. Walks are tailored to suit all capabilities and fitness levels, from leisurely strolls on level trail, to steeper inclines for a more demanding family workout.

Everyone's included! 

 

From toddlers to teens, from early twenties to elders, snowshoeing is a truly inclusive activity giving the family or group an excellent way to enjoy the snow together. Pack a picnic and a Thermos flask full of hot chocolate, and experience a magical day out in the mountains, exploring the forests and spotting local wildlife. All in all, as an inexpensive family outdoor pursuit, snowshoeing really is a fantastic way for families to make memories together.





To hire a snowshoeing guide for a few hours' walk, book a catered snowshoeing holiday or for any enquiries, contact us here.


Indie Lyndale is an experienced International Mountain Leader, former president of BAIML (The British Association of International Mountain Leaders), First Aid trainer and owner of Indie Outdoors, an outdoor pursuits company.






Thursday, 16 January 2014

What will I need? Snowshoeing Equipment - Essential Kit List

Getting prepared for your snowshoeing expedition


I have been leading snowshoeing walks in the Pyrenees and the Alps for 15 years now and what I choose to wear and carry is of paramount importance.

Snowshoeing is extremely demanding on your clothing as the external temperature could be well below freezing, but you soon warm up inside as walking is so aerobic. This means that you really need something that keeps you warm when you want it to, but that lets you breathe and cool yourself down once your body temperature increases. Our favourite snowshoeing clothing comes from the P├íramo range – It’s guaranteed, fantastic quality, high-performance clothing for outdoor activities from an ethical, environmentally friendly company.

Indie, International Mountain Leader

Here is a list of equipment you'll need for your guided snowshoe walk.

Kit List



You will need


Snowshoes and poles

Warm clothes including jacket hat and gloves (Layers are best)

Thermals

Waterproof trousers and jacket

Walking boots

Sun glasses

Sun screen

Day sack

Water container

T shirts (it can be quite hot at times)

You should have


European Health Insurance (was E111)

Winter insurance including off-piste winter walking with a guide

Extra chocolate /goodies for your packed lunch

Last but not least, don't forget a camera to record your experience! It is a good idea to invest in a waterproof digital camera or waterproof case for your phone, so you won't worry if you drop it in the snow.


To find out more about Snowshoeing, to book a holiday, hire a guide or for any questions, please contact Indie Snow, Snowshoeing guide & International Mountain Leader



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Snowshoeing as an eco-friendly winter sports activity

Environmentally-friendly winter sports holidays

Snowshoeing has been growing in popularity in recent years with more and more people discovering what it has to offer as an exciting and eco-friendly alternative to other winter sports. Choosing an environmentally conscious ski chalet is an excellent first step to reducing the impact of your ski holiday but the sport itself has a long way to go before it can be considered a low impact activity.

Why Choose Snowshoeing?

Snowshoeing is for the independent minded. It’s for those who want to strike out into the winter wilderness with nothing but their four limbs and a sturdy bit of plastic strapped to their feet, for those who want to hear nothing but the satisfying crunch of walking in snow and see nothing but mountains, trees and sky. Snowshoeing offers the chance to escape the crowds and set off along your own trail leaving nothing but footprints and taking nothing but memories as they say (or more likely, photographs).

Snowshoeing can be a bit of fun, a serious mountain adventure, a good form of cardiovascular exercise and a chance to get closer to nature. Snowshoes are also an excellent way for amateur naturalists and photographers to explore the winter landscape.

What Makes Snowshoeing More Eco-Friendly?


Infrastructure

Snowshoeing does not require the use of cable cars and ski lifts to reach the mountain tops and only one return journey (often possible by bus) is required to access your walk. Whilst benefiting the local community financially, the infrastructure required for skiing and snowboarding has a huge impact on the landscape, environment and culture of the areas it affects. Just look at a photo of a ski resort taken at the beginning of the 20th century, to see the dramatic changes to the landscape skiing has had.

Appreciation

It is hard to appreciate much more than the tears streaming from your eyes, the pounding of your heart and the adrenaline thumping through your body whilst skiing at 30mph. Whilst making your own trail through the deep powder between the trees high up on some rarely visited alp on snowshoes you have plenty of time to appreciate your environment. When taking a guided snowshoe walk your guide will also be able to tell you all about the flora, fauna, culture and even geology of the area you are walking in, deepening your appreciation, and therefore respect, for the environment you are in.

Manufacture and tuning

Although I have no reliable data I think it is reasonable to assume that the smaller, simpler and lighter snowshoes have a smaller carbon footprint in their manufacture than skis or snowboards. Snowshoes also do not require maintenance in the form of edging or waxing and rarely require repair as they are simple and sturdy. Most brands of ski wax are also undesirable pollutants which remain in the environment after the ski season is over.

Compaction of snow

All winter sports activities cause some compaction of snow. This reduces its insulating properties and leads to damage to plant life with a knock on effect for animal life. Because fewer snowshoers walk the same route as each other, the amount of compaction of the snow on each route is reduced and the large surface area the snowshoe provides also reduces the environmental impact.

All in all, this exciting and eye opening activity is an ideal winter sport for those looking to try something new and with a lower carbon footprint.

Indie Snow


To find out more about Snowshoeing, to book a holiday, hire a guide or for any questions, please contact Indie Snow, Snowshoeing guide & International Mountain Leader


www.snowshoeingholidays.co.uk

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Snowshoeing Geneva

Morzine - A great place to snowshoe near Geneva

Morzine is only a couple of hours drive from Geneva and is the perfect place to try snowshoeing or to hone up your skills if you have done it before. It is suitable for everyone from young children upwards, pregnant women, anyone wanting an aerobic workout. Walks can be tailored to peoples requirements.

Snowshoeing is a wonderful outdoor activity. It's easy to learn, and will transport you into the winter wonderland of snow clad forests, frozen lakes and amazing views, away from the crowds. Just a couple of hours of easy walking will take you to fantastic wild places.

Introduction to snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a growing winter sport in the Alps and it’s easy to see why. Snowshoeing is easy, accessible, cheap and requires little equipment or training but allows you to reach the most spectacular vistas, the quietest forest trails and the most hidden valleys with ease. All ages and abilities can strap snowshoes to their feet and set off on the trail. After a couple of minutes you get used to the feel of the snowshoes on your feet and with modern adjustable bindings, your feet are snug and secure.

Where to go snowshoeing near Geneva

Geneva is a great place to live or visit if you like to explore the great outdoors from a base in the city. Morzine and Les Gets, part of the Portes du Soleil ski resort, are just over an hour away by car, and with the explosion of airport transfer services over the last ten years it is now possible to get a lift from the door of your hotel in Geneva to anywhere you like in Morzine in 1h 15mins and for around 40€.

It is possible to simply hire snowshoes from a local ski hire shop for around 15€ per day but it is often difficult to work out the start and end points of walks without a guide a certain areas are prone to avalanches in certain snow conditions. Hiring a guide can therefore make sure you get the best out of your day as they will know the walks like the back of their hand and can use their experience and training to virtually eliminate the risk of avalanches.

If you'd like to find out more about snowshoeing trips near Geneva, to hire a guide or for any questions, please get in touch! Contact Indie Snow, International Mountain Leader, Snowshoeing Holidays

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What is Snowshoeing?

‘Is that the thing where you wear tennis rackets on your feet?’ This is the usual response we get from people when we mention what we do out in the Alps each winter. And the answer? ‘Um… kind of.’ Snowshoeing is basically just going for a walk in the snow with specially designed devices strapped to your feet to spread your weight out and give you more traction on snow and ice, using metal spikes on the bottom. Their resemblance to tennis rackets has pretty much disappeared as the modern generation of snowshoes has been developed.

The reality of snowshoeing is that it is one of the most wonderful and enjoyable ways to spend time in the snow. It’s easy to learn, doesn’t require a high level of fitness, it's cheap and accessible to all and allows anyone to access the snowy wonderland of the mountains in winter.

So why should I go snowshoeing?

Snowshoeing is growing in popularity and becoming interesting to people of all ages and fitness levels, not just as a backup for those who don’t want to ski or can’t ski anymore. Essentially, snowshoes allow you to go for a stroll down a snowy path, trek across vast snowfields to reach a wintry summit, access the best off-piste runs with your skis strapped to your back or explore the forests, ridges and valleys looking for the perfect view or a rare wildlife sighting. Snowshoeing is silent, majestic and breathtaking.

Who goes snowshoeing?

Our clients have ranged from 70 year old ex-skiers who no longer trust their knees, expectant mothers not willing to risk skiing and parents with children as young as 3, to 20-somethings looking to improve their fitness whilst having a great day out. Snowshoeing can be relaxed, exciting or a real workout, depending on what you want to get out of it.

Why hire a guide?

Snowshoeing is not difficult, and you can hire snowshoes from a local ski hire shop for around 15 euros per day. Getting used to having big bits of plastic strapped to your feet takes only about half an hour or so of trying them out, so you might think 'Why can’t I just give it a go?' You certainly can, and if you live in a snowy environment I’d really recommend it. But if you are on holiday in a snowy area and want to get the best out of your day, it really does pay to hire someone to take you out for a half day or day. An experienced snowshoeing guide will know all the best routes, won’t get you lost, can take you to much more remote and exciting areas without risk, will understand and know how to avoid avalanches and can predict and avoid rapid and potentially dangerous changes in weather. We’ve spoken to people who hired snowshoes but no guide. They found they didn’t really know where to go, so just wandered around on well-marked trails which didn’t offer them the views and excitement of the real thing. For the full snowshoeing experience, we'd always recommend hiring a guide.

In conclusion, snowshoeing is an exciting, up and coming winter sport which is fun and accessible to all, so why not give it a go this winter?

For more information on Snowshoeing holidays, great places to go and hiring an experienced guide, check out the Snowshoeing Holidays website.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Warrior - Morzine Style

Here we have some lovely ladies demonstrating, in perfect synchrony, the yoga position known as the Warrior high up on a mountain in Morzine, wearing snowshoes.

The Headless Snowshoer!

We never seem to take our snowshoe walks too seriously. Here's one of our clients who decided handstands would be a good idea...in the snow!