I went on my first snowshoeing adventure with France Outdoors on 20th February 2013. Including Vincent, the guide, there was 9 of us on the trip. The first part of my journey was snowshoeing from the village of Nevache up to about 2,500 metres to rendevous with the group at the mountain hut.
Snowshoeing is like walking but with an additional shoe to grip you to the snow/ice. The Snowshoes enable you to move unhindered in a snowcovered, mountainous terrain. For those who have tried skiing and snow boarding and are not that way inclined, snowshoeing is an excellent alternative. It is a chance to experience the mountains, the snow, the wildlife and tranquility of the Alpine peaks in a different way. (I go skiing every weekend and thoroughly enjoy the sport, but you do not get the same sense of nature as you do when snowshoeing or hiking. There are no ski lifts, no restaurants, no queues and very few people).
When I arrived at the mountain hut in the early evening, a log fire, hot tea and cake were waiting in the common room. What a treat! The meal was amazing and just the kind of food to heat and fill you up. Believe me, no-one was left hungry. Dormitories are not everyone’s ideal, but I have to say I slept like a log. There’s nothing like physical activity , fresh air and good food to make you sleep.
Up and atom for breakfast and out of the hut by 8 a.m. It was freezing, and I was so glad I had two pairs of gloves. It did not take long however before I was undoing zips and removing layers (walking uphill sure does get your blood flowing). The scenery from start to finish was stunning. The blue sky, bright sun and glistening snow were pure delights. The panoramic of the mountain ring was spectacular and the feeling of peace was second to none. At the highest point of the trek (in metres), we sat on a plateau and had our picnic lunch (it was better than a roadside picnic table, let me tell you).
After lunch we descended through the valley and back to Nevache. Around every corner the mountains looked different and the trees created new silouettes. You really cannot beat the great outdoors. My first attempt at snowshoeing was a success and my experience of the mountain hut was thoroughly enjoyable. For the details of the trip, click here.
- Art and History of Snowshoe Making in the Northeast (allisoneteague.wordpress.com)
- The Fourth Season