Here are some tips for you to enjoy this experience in a natural environment.

It is an appealing idea to go hiking during winter. Just like a lot of people, you are looking forward to putting on your snowshoes during the skiing holidays in order to explore the valley landscapes and snow-covered mountain.

How do you prepare well for hiking in winter?

Even if you are a seasoned hiker used to doing long hikes in summer, hiking in the mountains during winter requires some preparation. Above everything else, successful winter hiking depends on planning. You must first make sure that the path is passable, especially if you are considering hiking to the mountain or valley proper.

Given that the sun rises late and sets early, you must also pay attention to the duration of the journey. In essence, if you don’t want to find yourself in pitch darkness, you should allow for a sufficient margin just in case there are delays. As a precaution, always remember to take along a pocket torch. As for the rest of the equipment, take along enough water to hydrate yourself and don’t forget to take along your GPS (or your map and compass) because it is easy to lose one’s bearings when the snow covers the landscape. This last tip must be followed strictly: don’t be too adventurous and don’t venture outside the marked paths if you are not accompanied by a mountain guide. This way, you will not risk getting lost and you will obtain interesting information about the landscape you are going through.

Did you know? The 3 layers technique

To remain warm during hiking in winter, consider wearing an initial breathable layer in contact with your skin, a thicker second layer to conserve your body heat and lastly, an external protective layer that will help you to counter the wind and the elements. This tip also applies to your torso and your legs.

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Hiking in winter in snowshoes or skis?

Mountain hiking during winter is beneficial because one can have a variety of pleasant experiences. Depending on the type of equipment on your feet, your exploration of the winter landscapes will vary. If you prefer to spend more time savouring the snow-covered scenery and a greater chance of coming across wild animals, you would really love hiking in snowshoes. However, beware that in spite of its apparent calmness, this type of hiking is also a sport in itself.

Moving through the snow in snowshoes essentially requires a certain level of physical endurance and it is necessary to have a high level of skill before embarking on a journey of several hours. The other option for enthusiasts of long valley or mountain hikes is ski touring. Unlike skiing which is done on tracks, ski touring is accessible even to beginners and is a good way to get back into shape while enjoying the landscape off the tracks. Cross-country skiing is another type of skiing by which you can appreciate the mountain scenery

without having to slide at a very fast pace, with marked tracks where you can slide graciously on the snow.

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Where to go for hiking during winter?

France is one of the biggest skiing destinations in the world and it offers you great hikes in the heart of the Alps, starting from its main resorts. In Savoie, for example, you can explore the Arêches-Beaufort region in snowshoes or hiking skis and enjoy a superb view from Roselend dam, which is about 1 hour away from the skiable area of Les Arcs by road. From Valmorel, you can reach Mount Sulens in Manigod to admire a beautiful pastoral landscape, or explore the Chartreuse Mountains which Stendhal called the “Emerald of the Alps”. Further south, not far from the Italian border, put on your cross-country skis and stroll through the authentic villages of the 5 Queyras valleys in the Southern Alps.

Do you desire to hike in the French Alps during winter? Put on your snowshoes or cross-country skis and explore the mountain and stroll while you savour the breathtaking scenery of Mount-Blanc!