How to Walk in Snowshoes
If you're interested in trying snowshoeing when you're in Thredbo, it's important to do so safely. One way to do that is by using the right gear properly. In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about snowshoeing techniques so that you can make your experience an enjoyable one!
Strolling on the Snow With Snowshoes
Snowshoeing is a recreational winter activity that allows you to walk on top of the snow, even with deep snow, rather than sinking. It is a kind of walking in which you stride over snow with the assistance of shoes that distribute weight across a larger surface, so you don’t sink down as far. It also provides traction so you can walk without slipping.
Snowshoes are essentially large shoes, or frames, with webbing or fabric stretched across them. The webbing or fabric helps to distribute your weight evenly, so you don’t sink down into the snow. Snowshoes come in different sizes and shapes, depending on how they will be used. Some are designed for walking on groomed trails, while others are made for backcountry use.
How to Put Snowshoes On
Before you begin snowshoeing, it is important to learn how to properly wear your snowshoes to avoid any accidents that might happen. To start off, find a level spot to put your snowshoes on. Don't put them on in the middle of a hill and make sure to avoid deep snow.
Next, open up the bindings and step into the snowshoe. The bindings should be tight enough that your foot doesn’t move around inside, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. There are many types of snowshoes and you should find one that fits your comfort.
Once you have the snowshoes on, stand up and walk around a bit to get used to how they feel. It might take some time to get used to walking in them, but soon you’ll be able to move around just like you would without snowshoes!
How to Walk in Snowshoes
It might look hard to walk in snowshoes, but it’s actually not too difficult once you get the hang of it. Just remember to take small steps and keep your feet parallel.
Practice on flat terrain first to get a feel for how the snowshoes work. Once you’re comfortable, you can try walking up and down hills. This can be tricky since you have to balance yourself with your upper body, but do not be discouraged as you can always get better with practice.
Remember to take breaks often, especially if you’re not used to walking in snowshoes. Difficulty depends on the snow conditions. It can be tiring at times but will surely be worth it!
If you fall as you walk in the snow, use a bench, log, or another object to assist. Do not try to get up without something to help you. A companion will be great if you're new to snowshoeing as they can be there to help you if you need it and make the experience safer.
Snowshoeing Techniques: The Basics
A beginner will have to know the basic moves to start off their journey in snowshoeing. Always remember to start things on a flat trail and a larger surface than usual.
Use your lead leg to take a long step forward, and then follow with your other leg. Make sure to keep your feet parallel when you do this. Your rear leg should be straight, and your lead leg should be bent. Practice this on a flat surface and use hiking poles for balance.
The farther you can stride, the faster it will be to walk in snowshoes. Then you can move in steep terrain once you get into your stride.
Your heel should be the first part to hit the snow when you stamp. This will keep you from slipping, and you can use your poles for extra stability if you need it or grab a friend’s arm.
The side of your snowshoe is called the “edge". Use it to help you turn or stop. To edge, simply lift your snowshoe up so that the side of it digs into the snow. This creates a “braking” effect that can help you slow down or stop. You can use this skill in steep terrain.
Snowshoeing Techniques: Turning Around
Changing directions can be tricky, especially if you’re on a hill. First, take little steps. Then, plant your feet firmly in the snow and turn your body around. Just think of turning a doorknob!
1. Step Turn
This step is done by turning the snowshoe perpendicular to your other foot. The outside edge of the snowshoe will catch on the snow, and you can use it to pivot your body around. Start it slow at first until you get the hang of it, and try it first on firm snow.
2. Kick Turn
This step is faster than the step turn, but it can be more difficult to do. You will need to dig your toe into the snow and use it to pivot your body around. Once you get used to it, you can use this move to quickly change directions even on fresh snow.
Snowshoeing Techniques: Ascending
Mountains or snow mounds will have an incline and it can be challenging to walk uphill with snowshoes because they are big and bulky. Just remember, safety first!
Following a snowshoe trail will help you as your guide. And once you’re at the top, remember to take a break. It’s tough work walking uphill in snowshoes but appreciating the scenery might be of help.
1. Stepping Up
Your lead leg should be the one that takes the first step up. Put your foot flat on the ground and then use your other leg to help push yourself up. You can also use your trekking poles for extra leverage. Adjustable poles can also work for this.
2. Herringbone Stepping
It might sound unusual, but the herringbone step is a great way to ascend hills. It’s also helpful when you’re walking through deep powder. Face a mound of snow head-on and then take small steps to the side. Your feet should be in a “V” shape, and you should be leaning into the slope. This will help you keep your balance and prevent you from slipping.
3. Side Stepping
Left or right, it doesn’t matter which way you sidestep. Just remember to keep your feet parallel and take small steps. You can use your poles for extra stability if you need it. Face yourself uphill and take a step to the side with your lead leg. Follow with your other leg, and continue the process until you reach the top of the hill.
4. Kick Stepping
This step is done by turning the snowshoe perpendicular to your other foot. The outside edge of the snowshoe will catch on the snow, and you can use it to pivot your body around. Start it slow at first until you get the hang of it
5. Traversing and Switchbacks
Zigzags are called switchbacks, and they are an efficient way to ascend hills. They can also be helpful when you’re walking on a slippery surface and will be good to do in challenging terrain where you might face soft snow, powdery snow, crusty snow, or extra feet of snow.
Start by facing the uphill side of the hill and take a step to the side with your lead leg. Then, follow with your other leg and plant it in the snow at a 90-degree angle. Use your edges to turn your body so that you’re facing the uphill side again.
Take a step to the side with your lead leg and repeat the process until you reach the top of the hill.
Traversing is a great way to travel across a hill or rolling terrain without going straight up or down. It can also help you stay up on slippery surfaces. This can also be a very good aerobic activity.
Snowshoeing Techniques: Descending
A slow descent is key when you’re walking downhill in snowshoes using your body weight. If you go too fast, you run the risk of falling. Safety should always be a priority. You can balance yourself with trekking poles and ski poles can also work for it.
It may look intimidating, but walking downhill is doable with snowshoes. You want to take smaller steps and keep your feet parallel. Smaller strides will help you stay in control and prevent you from slipping, and you can always use poles for extra stability if you need it.
If you think you're going too fast, use your edges to slow down. You can also do a herringbone step or kick turn to change directions. It's good to know other snowshoeing techniques that will surely help you.
2. Side Stepping
The edge of your snowshoe can be helpful when you’re walking downhill. Face the hill and take a step to the side with your lead leg. Then, follow with your other leg and plant it in the snow at a 90-degree angle. Stability is key when you’re side-stepping, so use your poles if you need to.
It may look like gliding, but step-sliding is a controlled way to descend a hill. Start by pointing your snowshoe downhill and then take a step forward. The front of your snowshoe will catch on the snow, and you can use it to slide down the hill. Remember to keep your weight balanced and your feet parallel. If you find yourself going too fast, use your edges to slow yourself down.
Go out and enjoy the snow!
It's finally time to pack your gear and hit the slopes! Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the winter wonderland. With these walking techniques, you'll be sure to enjoy your time snowshoeing.
If you want more information before you go on your snowshoe adventure, you may want to check out K7Adventures. They have different snowshoeing packages available based on your experience and fitness level.
Thredbo is the perfect place to start your snowshoeing adventure. With over 60 km of trails, there’s something for everyone. Beginners can try an easy stroll around Lake Crackenback, while experienced snowshoers can challenge themselves on Mount Kosciuszko.
Lantern apartments offer the perfect base for your Thredbo snowshoeing adventure. With a range of self-contained apartments, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay. See you on the slopes!
Book online at email@example.com and indulge in all the things this region has to off.