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According to at least one report snowshoeing is the fastest growing outdoor winter activity – could the growing number of baby boomers taking to the trails have something to do with this, I wonder?   Maybe not. After all, snowshoeing was the traditional way of moving over snow covered territory and has been around for thousands of years.  As a sport, it caters for all types of enthusiasts, from those who just want to wander through winter forests along pristine snow covered pathways, to those who like the challenge of the back-country and even those who snowshoe competitively.

Snowshoes work by simply distributing your weight over a larger area and so preventing your feet from sinking too deeply into the snow. This quality is apparently known as flotation.

It didn’t take me long to settle on snowshoeing as my winter pastime.  Its relatively inexpensive – the only outlay is for a good pair of snowshoes; it can be enjoyed virtually anywhere there is snow (and in Calgary in winter that is usually everywhere), opening up parks, forests and mountain paths which are usually inaccessible for other hikers; AND they don’t slide! Well, generally don’t, but that’s another story.


Having tried downhill skiing, cross country skiing and skating I rapidly discarded each as leaving me with the unpleasant sensation of being completely out of control.  Snowshoes keep me grounded while allowing me to explore this wonderful new white world I’ve adopted.


So far I’ve been snowshoeing at Nakiska, in Turner Valley, on Powderface, along the Elbow river, through a community park, and around the acreage.  Beyond stepping on the back of the shoe once or twice and falling on my face, it has been an easy skill to accomplish and satisfies my desire to spend quality time out of doors, regardless of the weather.

Hiking in the snow

If that’s not enough to convince anyone to try their hand (foot?) at this sport, snowshoeing is a low impact, high cardio workout, burning up to 600 calories an hour.  See you on the snow!

February 14, 2011 - Posted by | Hiking, Living in Canada |

1 Comment »

  1. Snowshoeing is my favorite! (in winter)

    Comment by sharkbytes | December 12, 2012 | Reply

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