Snowshoeing is winter bushwalking over snow with the aid of snowshoes.
Like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing gives you the freedom to explore the backcountry in winter without sinking deep into the snow. While you don’t travel as far or as fast on snowshoes as you do on skis, with snowshoes you can traverse icy conditions or terrain such as heavily wooded areas and steep slopes that most skiers avoid or can’t even enter. Snowshoes are also easier to carry during those annoying occasions when the snow runs out and you have to walk to the next patch of white stuff.
Snowshoeing is an increasingly popular activity in Australia and the ANUMC. This popularity is due in part to the simplicity and accessibility of the activity. Snowshoeing requires less skill than skiing and, because you don’t race down mountainsides, there’s less chance of serious injury. Most people find keeping their balance and hence carrying a pack on snowshoes easier than on skies (just don’t try walking backwards!) Beginners in particular who have never before been to the snow often find snowshoeing the ideal way to confidently experience the breath-taking beauty and solitude of the Australian Alps in winter.
In addition to day trips to popular locations such as the Rams Head Range there are usually a few overnight snow-camping trips to places such as Cascade Hut, Whites River Valley and, for the more adventurous, the Main Range. Trips are weather and snow dependent so planned trips don’t always go head but when they do they’re great fun!
So this winter, why not strap on a pair of snowshoes (available from the gearstore) and head for the hills.
Gear for Snowshoe Trips
- Pack: big enough to carry everything inside
- Waterproof liner
- Snowshoes with ski/walking poles
- Sleeping bag (4 season, well waterproofed)
- Thermarest/sleeping mat
- Waterproof/windproof jacket
- Waterproof/windproof pants
- Waterproof gloves
- Fleece/wool gloves
- Fleece/wool top (or two)
- Fleece/wool pants
- Down jacket
- Thermal underwear (wear a set, carry a spare)
- Warm socks (two or more pairs if they fit, plus spares for camp)
- Waterproof ski/hiking/snow boots
- Warm hat
- Wide-brimmed sun hat
- Sunscreen/lip balm
- Personal first aid kit
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Candles for illumination in the huts
- Money for transport and dinner on the way home
- Camera (optional)
- Change of clothing/footwear (to leave in the car)
Gear per tent
- Tent (4 season) with snow pegs
- Ground sheet
- Stove, spare fuel and cooking gear
- Maps & compass
- Toilet paper & trowel
- Food & Water
Group gear (Trip leader to organise):
- Group first aid kit
- Mobile phone
- Snow shovel