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Low altitude hikes and snowshoeing, ideal for the winter months.

Winter is perhaps the most complex season for going to the mountains. Snow can make even the simplest hikes difficult, and it's never easy to predict exactly how much snow you'll find on the route, at what altitude, and whether the snow will be firm or soft. It also matters that, even if a mountain seems bare from afar, a tiny cove in the shade can hide a gully filled with snow.

Even going with snowshoes is not easy. You need to know which itineraries are popular and which are not, at what height the snow starts, etc...

Perhaps our advice, in winter, is to accept the inevitability of finding snow or ice even at low altitude. Rather than snowshoes, which are really only useful in deep, soft snow conditions (still a tiring condition for walking, even with snowshoes), we recommend buying light crampons, which give extra grip to your boots when needed, without weighing too much on your backpack.

Are you looking for Lapland conditions, with clear skies and snow-laden trees? For that you have to go to the mountains immediately after a heavy snowfall, when the snow has cleared the skies of moisture and pollution. After just a couple of hours of sunshine, most of the snow falls from the trees — the time window for those magazine shots is really narrow.

If you are instead looking for an hike with a refuge, keep in mind that the alpine refuges usually open from June to September, but some of the most popular or easily accessible refuges also open on winter weekends. However, it is always better to call before leaving, or check on the refuge website.

In this section we have collected some excursions that are well suited for the winter months - either because they are at low altitude and accessible all year long, or because they are suitable for snowshoeing.

Usual recommendations: warm clothes, gloves and hat, safety crampons, and a careful eye on the weather forecast. In winter more than ever.




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