Friday, February 12, 2010

The Swiss Are Well Groomed



When it comes to hiking, snowhoeing, and cross country skiing. In fact, Swiss attention to trail quality is probably the finest in the world; expertly constructed and regularly maintained, they allow hikers of all abilities access to high meadows and spectacular mountain terrain.

That said, snow conditions are quite variable throughout a winter hiking tour. Although the town and ski area will try to keep grooming up to date, their priorities can be flexible. If clearing the villages and the local roads of snow and opening the lifts for skiers is a priority, they may get to the winter hiking and snowshoeing trails later. As such, what looks good on a map may not be so good after a heavy snowfall (or a prolonged period of warm and sunny weather).


Also bear in mind that fresh snow will affect the amount of time that it takes to hike a trail. Six inches of snow could add a half hour to a two hour hike, a foot could add an hour and two feet could double the time the outing will take. Always inquire at the hotel for advice and, regardless of what is said, proceed conservatively.

We also recommend that hikers carry snow safety equipment when venturing beyond the standard groomed hiking paths; This includes a beacon, probe, shovel, and the knowledge to use them safely and effectively.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Fantastic blog!

I just started a hiking blog at http://www.ultimatehikingblog.blogspot.com

You should check it out! The latest article is about the Cinque Terre!