It’s Time to Snowshoe! Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing

BY ANN PARK

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I wear?
A:
The first mistake most people make is to dress too warmly. Snowshoeing is pretty hard if you’re going uphill, and you will work up a sweat. Dress in layers so you can adjust. Remember, the weather can change. If it gets windy, it will feel much colder. Don’t forget your gaiters. They will keep the snow from filling up your boots.

Q: Do I need to have poles?
A:
They help with balance for beginners, and they also allow you to use more of your muscles to climb. But, if you don’t have them or don’t like to use them, you’ll be fine without poles.

Q: What kind of terrain can I walk on in snowshoes?
A:
Almost any type. That’s the joy of snowshoes. Areas with lots of brush or uneven rocks under the snow are more difficult to walk in.

Snowshoeing Safety Tips:

Always dress for the weather, carry emergency clothes and supplies, drink plenty of water, and carry extra food. Be aware that if you climb up onto a ridge, it will very likely be much colder and windier than the rest of your route. Use the buddy-system and keep an eye on your friends. Watch for changes in the weather. It can be dangerous if visibility is suddenly reduced. Don’t get lost. Keep an eye on your location. Always make sure you have a safe route back to your car.

Suggested Trails

Beginners –flat or gentle slopes
• Bonneville Shoreline Trail
• Pioneer Trail
• Set track at the Nordic Center in Ogden Valley

Moderate experience – steeper terrain
• Coldwater Canyon Loop
• Ben Lomond Trail or Lewis Peak Trail (Start at North Ogden Divide)
• Malan’s Basin

Advanced Trails
• Ben Lomond Peak
• Cowboy’s Paradise
• Ridge routes

START WITH SHORT TRIPS AND EASY TERRAIN. GET USED TO YOUR GEAR, KNOW YOUR LIMITS, AND PROGRESS GRADUALLY TO HARDER TRIPS.

Avalanche Safety Tips:

Check the avalanche forecast in advance and avoid high-risk terrain (especially if snow conditions warrant extra caution).

High-risk terrain includes areas that are steep, clear of trees, have lots of rock under the snow, or have signs of previous snow slides.

Here are some great local resources for more info and forecasts:
www.instagram.com/ogdenavalanche
utahavalanchecenter.org

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