A week conquering a new winter sport across three magical mountain ranges is both challenging and exhilarating – with hot springs and hikes providing the icing on the cake
‘You lift one foot and you put it down,” says Alf, my guide. “Then you lift the other foot and you put it down.” For the newbies in our group – me included – these simple instructions are reassuring. At least snowshoeing has no complex manoeuvres to master; no vertical take-off, double-twist snowplough, or whatever it is that skiers get up to. You just strap on your strange footwear and walk. Phew.
The strapping on part has its challenges, though. As I crouch in a squall of windblown snow, my gloved fingers struggle to adjust the ratchet clasps. And when I finally get to my feet, I tread with one snowshoe on the rim of another and immediately hit the deck again. Alf hands me my poles. “Better not use the loops,” he says. “You might break your wrist.”