Tracks and Trails / News & Press / Snowshoes: Your First Steps

Snowshoes: Your First Steps

Snowshoeing in the Alps

Snowshoeing using the latest lightweight equipment has opened up a whole new world to those who previously thought mountain walking was only a summer activity. Snowshoeing is neither technical or complicated and allows access to a wonderful snow covered playground. You don't need any prior experience to snowshoe in the Alps, just some warm clothes and a sense of adventure! With a little guidance you can soon pick up the skills: we regularly see whole families wandering through magical snow covered forests or across high meadows enjoying the views normally only afforded to mountaineers or skiers. There is also the myth that it's all hard work. Indeed, if you happen to have to break the trail it’s a bit of a workout, but if there is a trail already there, and there often is, then it's really no harder than normal hill walking.
It’s often overlooked that we have been snowshoeing far longer than we have been skiing - historians generally believe that snowshoes were invented around 6,000 years ago in Central Asia. A little closer to home, inhabitants of the Caucasus used to attach flat leather under their feet and the Armenians used round wooden surfaces. The aim of course was to travel on the surface of the snow pack rather than sinking knee or thigh deep.
A century ago snowshoes looked a little like something you might use for an early game at Wimbledon, and I do have friends who constantly tease when I suggest I am off for a spot of snowshoeing. 'Oh, getting the tennis racquets out then?' But snowshoes have come a long way since the French first referred to them as raquettes. Today's snowshoes are made of modern lightweight materials and come in many shapes, sizes, and colours. They are a pleasure to wear and without doubt a fantastic way to move around a snow covered landscape. For the fashion conscious you can easily tailor your snowshoe collection (let's face it, one pair’s never enough!) to match your winter wardrobe.
In the Alps snowshoeing has been credited with being the fastest growing winter activity. In France alone the latest figures show two million people snowshoeing on a regular basis. More people in the Alps have taken up snowshoeing than any other winter sport, with annual sales now at 140,000 snowshoes each year. Snowshoeing with Tracks and Trails is the perfect way to explore the mountains and valleys of the Alps - a magical experience of silent forests, beautiful mountains and stunning view. Join us this winter and enjoy fabulous snowshoeing in Chamonix or try one of our explorer trips to Italy or Switzerland. Find out more about our snowshoe trips this winter here.


Media Coverage

Trail Running Magazine - Gear Review

Get fully kitted up this summer with all the best trail gear available.

As part of the June/July 2014 Trail Running Magazine bumper gear review trail running guide, Julia Tregaskis-Allen, was asked to test 4 of the best poles currently on the market. You can now download the full article here:

TR Kit on Test.pdf 547.40 kB

Trail Running Magazine Feature

Trail Running mag went off-road in Chamonix with the Torq Trail Team and guided by Julia from Tracks and Trails this summer. Reviewed here written by Claire Maxted of Trail Running Magazine Julia led a 3 day camp for a group of endurance runners on their first Alpine trails & altitude experience.

Read our full article:

BMC Gear Review 2014

Lindsay has just been featured in the British Mountaineering Council magazine, Summit! Now, you too can kit yourself out like an International Mountain Leader. Never, thought she would be held up as a 'model' example of mountaineering chic!

Download article:

Adventure Travel Magazine - Mountain Trail Running

Mountain Trail Running

Tracks and Trails running guide, Julia Tregaskis-Allen, was joined by journalist Sarah Stirling in the mountains for a 'recce run' across the Jura. Sarah, a freelance journalist, writing for the Adventure Travel Magazine explored the trails both by foot and by bike scouting out Julia's next guided running trails.

You can read Sarah's article here where she finds out about this charming, friendly, historic mountain region of France.

Inspired? Join us on the full run week Trail Run the Monts Jura




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