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Snowshoeing at Hirschegg

Sun from a clear blue sky and a fabulous winter landscape offered a perfect backdrop for snowshoeing at Hirschegg in Kleinwalsertal.

We were a group of 10 people that had signed up for a 2-hour guided snowshoe hike. Half the group were beginners with no prior snowshoeing experience. Nevertheless, we were in for a real treat.

Up and about

Those who didn’t have snowshoes were fitted with the necessary equipment in the local sports shop. Then, we picked up our backpacks, snowshoes and poles and headed for the end of the ski slope, about 100 meters from the Walserhaus in Hirschegg. As soon as everyone had strapped on their snowshoes, Sebastian, an experienced mountain guide, introduced snowshoe hiking briefly. “Practise makes the master,” Sebastian ensured and led the group out on the snow. Fresh powder snow on top of harder “older” snow gave our snowshoes a good grip. Soon the convoy climbed steadily up the hill.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Through the woods

Arriving on a ridge, we had a short break and got some info from Sebastian about the area. The views were nothing less than stunning. Surrounded by rugged mountains, forest-clad hillsides and picturesque villages, went continued our hike into the forest. After about one hour, the group got the hang of the technique and enjoyed nature. About halfway, we halted by a small hut to enjoy snacks and drinks. The view was amazing.

Downhill and home

As the sun rose higher in the sky, so did the temperature. Moreover, snowshoe hiking uphill gets you warm even on a cold day. This hike was not challenging, and we made several stops to enjoy the views and get info from our guide. Before we headed down the mountain again, Sebastian gave us instructions on walking downhill with snowshoes. Moreover, I learned how to cross and walk on the ski slopes safely. The last time we left the forest behind, the route offered brilliant views of the valley. Unfortunately, the last part of the hike came too soon. Just when everyone had mastered snowshoeing and could relish the fabulous winter landscape, we arrived back to the start. Nonetheless, everyone had big smiles on their faces, and I am sure that for most, this was not the last snowshoe hike in Austria.

For more info on snowshoeing, please see Kleinwalsertal Tourism.

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.