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 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. 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, gave a short introduction in snowshoe hiking. “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.
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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 had gotten the hang of the technique and were enjoying nature. About halfway, we halted by a small hut to enjoy our 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 winter day. This hike was not about speed nor altitude, and we made several stops underway, to enjoy the views and to get info from our guide. Before we headed down the mountain again, Sebastian gave us some instructions on how to walk downhill with snowshoes. Moreover, how to safely cross and walk in the ski slopes. A last time, when we left the forest behind, the route offered a brilliant views of the valley. 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.