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August 16, 2022
Before you hit the trails to try out your new Powder Paws Snowshoes we highly recommend reading this article on tips and tricks to help you get more comfortable with your new super sized feet. There are a few techniques to learn that can make it much easier navigating challenging terrain.SNOWSHOEING UPHILLWhen climbing hills with deep powder, you are going to want to kick your toes into the snow and firmly push down on your front leg to compress the snow which will help create a step. By creating a step of hard-packed snow it will prevent the snow from collapsing when you put weight on it which can throw off your balance. Using your trekking poles to help you push up onto your front leg will also assist in your stabilization. When snowshoeing in hard-packed conditions use your foot and stomp down hard using your weight to push your crampons through the snow giving you the traction to prevent you from sliding down. When ascending a steep slope it can be much easier to angle your way up in a criss cross pattern instead of charging straight up hill. On steep ascents use the heel lift that is incorporated in all our snowshoes for men and women. Your heel comes back down and rests on an elevated bar above the heel of the snowshoe which helps keep your feet in a more natural position thus causing less muscle fatigue.
SNOWSHOEING DOWN HILLWhen descending, you will want to avoid icy terrain as it can be dangerous when you fall. You will want to adjust your trekking poles so they are longer and you will be keeping them out in front of you. Keeping your legs bent and shifting your weight back can offer you more stability. In addition, planting your heel first with each step will help maintain a far greater balance.CLIMBING OVER OBSTACLESWhen climbing over obstacles such as fallen trees you will want to climb up to the obstacle with both feet and when you step onto the obstacle make sure you step on it placing your crampon directly above the obstacle. Once again, make sure you use your trekking poles as stabilizers for extra support and balance.DANGEROUS OBSTACLES TO AVOIDWhen adventuring out in the winter elements, everything all covered in loads of snow, it can sometimes be easy to forget that there can be hidden dangers that lie beneath. Besides the obvious risk of avalanches in the steeper terrain (that we cover in our other blog) there are a few other risk factors to be aware of.
TREE WELLSTree wells are deep pockets of soft snow that form at the base of tree trunks. These pockets are the leading cause of non avalanche related snow immersion deaths. These pockets can be very deep and can easily bury a grown adult. The unsuspecting victim that falls into these traps is typically buried head first and without the help of a partner to dig them out, it can be critical. Tree well related deaths are completely avoidable by steering clear of trees in deep snow conditions and always going with a partner. Bringing along the proper gear, such as a snow shovel, is also extremely important. If you fall into a tree well it’s important not to panic and while your partner is digging a tunnel to you, try and create some breathing space between your face and the snow.BURRIED CREEKS
Snow bridges can form over creeks and should try to be avoided at all costs. Getting wet in cold temperatures can be very dangerous and that is why we recommend avoiding crossing any creeks, if you can. In addition to the risk of getting wet there is the risk of a sprain or a break if you were to suddenly slip into the creek. Having an injury such as a sprained ankle that prevents you from walking out and back to your vehicle also presents many challenges that you don’t want to face.CORNICESWhen in mountainous terrain following the ridges is often the easiest route. These ridges can often have cornices which are big slabs of snow overhanging off the edge of the cliff. When walking on these cornices they can easily give way with the extra weight. When your snowshoeing it can be very tricky to spot these, as the deep snow conceals the true edge of the cliff. It’s best to stay clear of the edge of the ridge and look for fracture lines in the snow.We hope by being aware of your surroundings and following these snowshoeing techniques, can guarantee a safe and fun adventure!