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Fun, safe and easy to learn, snowshoeing is a great way to explore the mountains. With their gentle forested slopes and soaring peaks, including the mighty Mulhacen, Spain’s stunning Sierra Nevada are ideal snowshoe territory.
You tried it with tennis rackets when you were a kid, now try the real thing! Snowshoes have been around for thousands of years – they were originally made of leather and wood – and they’re still one of the best ways of covering large tracts of snowy ground relatively quickly. The idea is simple: disperse the walker’s weight over a larger area and they’ll be less likely to sink (known as “flotation” in the trade). That’s it. So long as you can walk, you can snowshoe!
The Sierra Nevada are the perfect spot to try out this easy and fun activity. Snow-clad ridges, sparkling mountain lakes and vast plateaus make this a hiking paradise, as well as one of the best places in southern Europe for birding and wildlife spotting – the biosphere reserve is home to golden eagles, wild cats and the nimble-footed Spanish Ibex. During the winter months there’s abundant snow, which means great trails starting pretty much right outside your door. You can learn the ropes in one of the easily-accessible snow bowls to the north of Valeta (3,394 metres), before ascending some simple peaks. Whatever your standard, an experienced guide will be on hand to keep you abreast of the snow and weather conditions.
Anyone can enjoy snowshoeing – it’s probably the easiest equipment-based Alpine pursuit there is! As long as you’re relatively fit, enjoy walking and experiencing stunning scenery and fresh air, you’ll love snowshoeing. It’s a great family activity, but it’s equally fun for serious hikers who want to get off the beaten track – not hard when you’re surrounded by fresh, unspoilt snow! If you fancy trying something a little different – and getting a fascinating insight into how ancient people would have traversed the mountains – this is the trip to snow-choose..! (sorry!)
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