Schneeschuwandern – the winter hiking alternative

Winter in Austria is cold. I think I’ve reiterated that time after time, and will probably continue to do so… because… well… it just is! I hate the cold – my body’s not made for it. But I do like exercise, I do like sun and I do like fresh air. And just because it’s snowy outside, doesn’t mean that physical activity has to stop.

Since hubby and I are not exactly dedicated to all that’s required to go skiing on a regular basis, we found a great alternative – Snow Shoe Walking.

I know, it sounds super gay (and I definitely mean that in the 90s way that wasn’t offensive) when compared to skiing, but it’s actually the perfect thing for us. We love hiking, and this allows us to hike in winter even when deep snow engulfs every inch of the mountains.

snow shoe hiking

We purchased a pair of snow shoes in our second winter together and haven’t looked back since. Ours were relatively cheap, they clip in to normal hiking boots, and the only other thing you need is suitable gear and a different attachment for your Nordic walking sticks. Snow shoe walking is fun, healthy, free and it can really get your heart racing.

I have to admit that when I’m trekking up a slope that skiers are freely floating down, I do feel a bit grumpy, but the feeling of accomplishment when reaching the top, breathless and full of life, is worth it. Snow shoe hiking is not so good for steep downhill sections (cue squealing and out of control sliding), but uphill you can traverse unbelievably steep snowy slopes through picturesque treescapes that you wouldn’t otherwise have be able to.

And when you’ve tired yourself out, you’ve definitely earned a visit to a Gasthaus for a hot wine and strudel – bliss!

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