On Top of the World without Skis
Snowshoeing in Les Gets
by Caroline Rowland regular half term family group
I love the mountains, the fresh air, the views and the exercise but truth be told, skiing has always made me feel sick to the stomach. Why was it that when the 12 or 16 members of my family and friends group were all buzzing with excitement about skiing year after year, that I just felt dread? Perhaps it was the speed; that I didn’t learn to ski early enough; or was just too scared. Whatever it was, ‘it’ caused me distress.
The good news is that I have found an answer – not to the question itself but in how to enjoy my holiday, like those around me were doing. I found the answer in ditching the skis. The answer was snowshoeing in Les Gets. Those seemingly pretty useless plastic devices strapped to my already huge feet mean freedom! They’re way more useful than I’d given them credit for. I could still be out there in the beauty of Les Gets. I could be up high, feeling as though I’m on top of the world, walking on the icing on the world’s most spectacular cake, absorbing it all but with no skis and no dread. I could still be working hard physically (if I chose to be) or taking a more leisurely path through some of the most amazing trails. So I’d missed the big spill when one of my kids tried a spectacular jump but that saved my stress levels and didn’t matter quite so much when my day had been filled with enjoyment (and sometimes a little spill of my own!)
You might relish the solitude of snowshoe walking on your own, but I usually prefer to be with others. I have been known to ask people carrying snowshoes towards the lifts if they would like company or prefer to be on their own, I’ve joined snowshoe guided walks by ESF (generally more sedate than my usual pace) and have also been guided and entertained by Jane’s friend, the ‘Silver Fox’ on some stunning routes in Les Gets and the surrounding area. For me, there is life (and a better one) without the stress of skiing!