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Advanced Snowshoeing Techniques In Backcountry Terrain

city of rocks climbing guides The Backcountry Pros

Strapping on a pair of snowshoes and making tracks in the serene environment of the backcountry terrain can be an incredible winter pastime. Moving beyond basic skills, advanced snowshoeing techniques can empower you with the confidence to navigate diverse and challenging landscapes. This article will delve into essential advanced snowshoeing paradigm, from efficiently tackling uphill and downhill paths to understanding the intricacies of terrain analysis.

The Art of Ascending and Descending

Maneuvering uphill or downhill on snowshoes isn't as easy as it might seem. It involves mastering a set of techniques to conserve energy while maintaining balance.

Uphill Trekking Techniques

1. Kick-step Technique: This involves kicking the toe of your snowshoe into the snow to create a step before transferring your weight onto it.

2. Herringbone Step: This is useful when the slope isn't too steep. Stand with your feet apart, toes pointed outward, and walk diagonally up the incline.

Downhill Trekking Techniques

● Step-down Technique: Here, you lower your uphill foot to meet your downhill foot, helping keep your weight over your feet to prevent sliding.

● Glissading: Although not technically a snowshoeing technique, it's sometimes used in descent. It’s a controlled slide on your rear, an efficient and expedient way to navigate steep declines.

Understanding Terrain Analysis

When you venture into the backcountry, understanding terrain analysis is crucial for safety. A proper terrain analysis includes checking weather conditions, slope angle and aspect, snowpack conditions, and identifying potential hazards like cornices or stream crossings.

Proper Pacing and Rest Techniques

Maintaining a consistent pace during snowshoeing helps conserve energy. When needed, take rest breaks but refrain from sitting or lying down in the cold. Use equipment like snowshoes or hiking poles to take stress off your legs.

Navigating Deep Snow and Obstacles

In deep snow, simple techniques like lengthening your stride or using the kick step method can be beneficial. When faced with obstacles such as broken trails, downed logs, or rocks, try to go around them rather than going over them.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is advanced snowshoeing a risky outdoor activity?

With proper training, understanding of terrain, and safety gear, the risks associated with advanced snowshoeing can be significantly mitigated.

2. Can beginners attempt advanced snowshoeing techniques?

Yes, but they should do so under the guidance of an experienced guide or after acquiring advanced training.


Advanced snowshoeing involves a learning curve but with persistence, one can safely explore the beauty of backcountry terrain. From ascending slopes to navigating obstacles, the techniques mentioned can enhance your snowshoeing skills, making your backcountry expeditions more enjoyable and rewarding.

About The Backcountry Pros

The Backcountry Pros are renowned for their expertise in outdoor adventures, offering a variety of thrilling experiences for enthusiasts. If you're looking to explore the majestic Wasatch Range, their Wasatch Backcountry Skiing tours are a must-try, perfect for those who crave the excitement of skiing in pristine, untouched snow. For rock climbing enthusiasts, The Backcountry Pros provide an exceptional Utah Rock Climbing experience, guiding you through some of the most scenic and challenging routes in the area. They also offer comprehensive Utah Backcountry Skiing tours, ideal for both beginners and seasoned skiers looking to conquer the Wasatch Range's diverse terrain. If you're heading to Moab, don't miss the opportunity to hire a Moab Climbing Guide through them, ensuring a safe and exhilarating climbing adventure. Lastly, for an unforgettable experience navigating through the rugged landscapes of Utah, their Utah Canyoneering courses are second to none, offering both thrill and education in the art of canyoneering.


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