What better way to experience the winter mountains in the Alps than a snowshoeing adventure? Escape the crowds, climb over high passes and marvel at the winter landscape, sample delicious local food, and just generally have a brilliant time!
The Chablais is simply a winter playground of high alpine pastures, forests, jagged ridges and peaks. Geographically it lies in the Pre-Alps between Lake Geneva in Switzerland, and the Mont Blanc range in France.
And snowshoes are the best way to explore this wonderland. Nowadays they are a great high-tech piece of gear that you strap your boots into, made of light materials, with spikes on the front and bottom which allow you to ease through the snow.
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Lindsay Cannon is a fully qualified International Mountain Leader, BASI Nordic Level 3 Ski Teacher, Nordic Walking Instructor, Trail Cycle Leader, Yoga Teacher and co-founder and director of Tracks and Trails, an activity holiday company specialising in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
When not in the mountains she works for BBC television as a Producer on adventure racing programmes. Her...
Enjoying the views
Standing on a high pass in the winter taking in a view of sparkling snow-covered mountains that stretch to the horizon.
The sound of silence
Walking through a landscape that is silent in its winter cloak of ice and snow, and hearing nothing but the soft crunch of the crystals under your feet.
Going against the crowd
Leaving the crowds behind, and feeling quietly satisfied that you have chosen a winter activity that means no lift queues, no noise, no terrors on the piste, or the need to hire kit or buy expensive lift passes.
Leaving no trace
Seeing your tracks laid out behind you and realising that you were the first person to set foot on the snow since the last snowfall, a pristine environment there for your enjoyment, but knowing you will leave no trace of having been there when the snow and your footsteps melt away.
Sampling local cheese from the farms we pass in the mountains is a real treat. Not to mention the local Savoyarde dishes that our small family-run hotels prepare for us each day.
Best times to go:
The Chablais mountain range in France is best explored from mid-January to the beginning of March. This is usually the best time for snow cover offering a real winter wonderland experience.
It is generally not too cold at this time, but cold enough that the high passes have a plenty of snow, all the better for taking those stunning photographs.
Also, the days are getting a little longer allowing more time to make the journey and savour the ice crystals sparkling in the trees, the snow flying around your feet, and the spectacular mountain scenery.
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