This gear, whose origins are very ancient, live an unusual youth in the mountains and in Val di Fassa this winter, as it gives the chance to experience beautiful excursions on the snow to everybody
According to the results of a survey made last autumn by Skipass Panorama Turismo in 61 Italian mountain destinations, the mountain this winter - also due to the non-opening of the ski lifts - could welcome up to half a million more "snowshoe hikers" (+28,9%) than last winter. These are passionate hikers using snowshoes, practicing an ancient discipline which consists of rhythmically "floating" on the snow, like in a dance, even on several layers of snow. Thanks to a wide offer of itineraries, Val di Fassa - with its wide meadows covered in snow, its woods and its sculptural Dolomites - is perfect for the winter snowshoe hikers, who represent 15,1% of the people doing mountain outdoor activities at winter time in Italy (second in the ranking, after the Alpine Skiing only, with 58%).
Snowshoes are an ancient gear, whose origin is lost in the mists of time. It is believed that the first snowshoes appeared in 6000 BC in the cold areas of Asia, Canada and Northern America. They were used by hunters, explorers and soldiers. Even an ancient essay by Senofonte reports of similar gears used by the Greeks in the IV Century BC while going across the Armenian mountains covered in snow. In more recent times, they were made with tied birch-tree branches by the Native American and, for their functionality, also used by the gold hunters in the Californian Sierra Nevada around the year 1850. The object, thus, was already in use in Lapland, as reported by the beany frame hosted at the Västerbottens Länsmuseum in Umeå, in Northern Sweden.
Nowadays, the success of snowshoes is easy to understand: you don’t need any technic ability to use them, unless being trained to walk, and they don’t even cost that much. And their price is even lower, then, if you rent the equipment at one of the numerous ski and equipment rentals distributed along Val di Fassa, which offer the most modern types, easy to use. And with a pair of snowshoes, you can explore the land in the best moments: after a heavy snowfall or, even better, while the snowflakes come down from the sky.