#schmittastic! So cool is snowshoe hiking on the Schmitten

And: What you always wanted to know about hiking in snow!

Skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ski touring, …

Are you one of the winter sportsmen and women who just want to try every type of snow sport? A winter without spending every free day in a snow-covered landscape is simply impossible for you?



Guided snowshoe hiking tours on the Schmitten

Anyone you would like to try snowshoe hiking should go on a winter-hiking-and-snow-shoeing guided hiking tour on the Schmittenhöhe : because it is the best way to get to know the sport and because the guides have the most interesting insider knowledge which you would miss out on when on a solo tour.

 

On a snowshoe hiking tour with Resi

One of the snowshoe guides is Resi, a hiking guide. The former ski instructor has been a snowshoe guide on the Schmittenhöhe for the past 13 years now, and she knows the mountain like the back of her hand . Her passion for this sport is palpable from the first minute: from the big smile while greeting you at the lower terminus of the Sonnenalm lift to the farewell.

 

Let’s go: So cool is a snowshoe hiking tour on the Schmittenhöhe

The guides decide on the route of the tour depending on snow situation and weather. A popular route is the Hiking Trail 28, which leads from the Sonnkogel to the Schmitten or the Sisi Chapel. The hiking tour to the chapel takes around 2 hours – without a break. If you still haven’t had enough by then, you can continue and extend the tour to the Panoramaalm.



Having checked cable car ticket (tip: there is a designated ticket for snowshoe hikers) and equipment, the tour starts with an uphill ride on the Sonnenalm lift to 1.380 metres above sea level and continues then to the Sonnkogel lift. Boarding the 2-seater chairlift, Resi recommends to look out for a tree with bananas at beam 12. This tree is part of the “Galleries on the piste – Art in the mountain“ art project and is a monument against genetic manipulation. But there is more: sometimes you can see chamoises nibbling on the trees along the lift line. You couldn’t feel closer to nature anywhere else.

Once arrived at the top, the snowshoe hiking fun really starts! Having put the snowshoes on and adjusted the sticks to the correct height, Resi gives an overview of today’s hiking tour: the route leads from the upper terminus of the Sonnkogel lift to the Schmitten, meaning a difference in altitude of around 200 metres.



Data and facts about the snowshoe hiking tour on the Schmitten:

  • Duration: meeting point at the InfoCenter Schmittenhöhebahn at 9:45 am, finish at around 1:00 pm  
  • Level: two separate hiking tours for beginners and the advanced; twice a week. Information can be found in the Zell am See-Kaprun event calendar.
  • Costs: free of charge in connection with a valid cable car ticket. To hire the equipment, only the ID card must be left as a deposit.

Apart from the extraordinary objects of the “Art on the mountain” project, there are many other highlights along the way, as Resi tells the participants. For example, halfway through the hiking tour there is the Salersbachköpferl – a small hill which is a perfect photo spot, offering an amazing vista across the landscape.

 


#schmittastic fact No.1: The diversity

Snowshoe hiking is just as diverse as you! Whether deep snow, on the piste, on steep passages or flat sections: the large snowshoes are the coolest way of moving around. Thanks to the snowshoes you will not sink into the snow completely and you glide elegantly through the landscape. And the best is that, on a guided tour for the advanced, you decide whether to opt for deep snow or the piste.


#schmittastic fact No. 2: Technique is everything!

This applies also to snowshoe hiking! At the front of the shoe, beneath your toes, are prongs similar to a crampon which provide grip in the snow. This is especially useful when walking uphill or when it is icy! For walking downhill, the hiking guide recommends to put your weight on the heels because it makes your tread steadier. When walking, the end of the snowshoe in front should be positioned at the tip of the snowshoe behind. With a bit of practice, you will take the next deep snow slope downhill quickly and skilfully.


#schmittastic fact No. 3: Shoe & Stick

The equipment is of course provided on a guided snowshoe hiking tour on the Schmitten. The guide knows exactly what shoe size will fit you, and he will show you how to adjust the sticks to a height that suits you. Because the height of the sticks varies depending on body height and whether you walk uphill or downhill. “It is more comfortable when the sticks are a bit higher when taking a steep descent because your tread is then steadier“, says snowshoe guide Resi.


#schmittastic fact No. 4: The clothes

The most important criteria for your clothes on a snowshoe hiking tour: The clothes should be warm and should protect you from cold as well as wetness. Especially the legs – up to the knees – are often covered by (deep) snow when hiking. Resi recommends gaiters or sturdy high ankle boots. Functional underwear beneath ski trousers or ski touring trousers and – depending on the weather – a ski or softshell jacket is especially recommended! A hat or headband protects the ears against the wind, and sunglasses protect the eyes against the sun.


#schmittastic fact No. 5: Everybody‘s Darling

Whatever your age: Snowshoe hiking is ideal for any age. Thanks to the low risk of injuries, hiking in snow can be enjoyed well into old age. And if you want to burn more calories, then just walk a bit faster on a tour. What else makes snowshoe hiking so cool? Well, there are quite a few things! For Resi it is clearly the tranquillity on the mountain and the feeling to glide across the snow as if by magic. Sounds good, or?


Snowshoe hiking on the Schmitten

If this has got you in the mood to explore the Schmittenhöhe on snowshoes yourself, then you should schedule around three hours for the guided hiking tour. Or even better: use the snowshoes all day and continue hiking alone after the hiking tour with a guide. How often do you get the chance to discover the wintry landscape so intensely without any hurry?

 

I pack my rucksack …

If you go on a snowshoe hiking tour, you hardly have to think of anything because the equipment is available directly on site. But you should still bring a small rucksack with drinking bottle and perhaps a little snack – best is a muesli bar. As with any other sport, liquids are important for our body and provide energy also when hiking in snow!

 

Tip: You only need to return the snowshoes at 5:00 pm. Thus, you can use them free of charge all afternoon. How about extending the guided snowshoe hiking tour by going on tour on your own? Important is: Stick to the hiking trail and do not hike in closed-off terrain!