Finally! Nugara brings us a much-needed snowshoeing guidebook for the Canadian Rockies and literally takes snowshoeing to new heights. The book covers areas from Waterton Lakes National Park to Banff National Park and shows easy to difficult snowshoeing routes with a heavy lean towards the latter, Nugara’s specialty. With the explosive growth of snowshoeing and the evolution of snowshoes (racing, recreational, mountaineering), this book comes at an excellent time.
The 60 snowshoe routes are grouped by area with route names on page tabs for quick reference. Each route lists level of difficulty, hazards, elevation gain, distance, time, additional gear, if required, and map reference numbers in a highlighted box followed by a trip summary and detailed directions. Most of the routes are accompanied with stunning photographs, some with the routes highlighted in red. Many of the routes have extensions that can be added to make the trip more challenging or to add viewpoints so, in reality, there are far more trips than the 60 listed.
Nugara also includes sections on technique, etiquette and avalanche safety. Maps at the back help readers locate routes and appendices provide even more trips over and above the ones listed in the book, though only in list form, with the exception of the Wapta and Columbia Icefields which is covered in appendix A.
Although the beginner snowshoer will find 16 easy to intermediate routes listed, this book will really appeal to the snowshoe mountaineering crowd who has avalanche and backcountry experience. Nugara points out helpful snowshoe techniques on slopes; traversing, ascending and descending, as well as when, and when not to, use your snowshoes when mountaineering.
In all, this is an excellent reference book for all snowshoers who plan to visit the Canadian Rockies region. Lots of great ideas and inspiration for those of us who haven’t gone to the limits that Nugara has on snowshoes. Perhaps the only two improvements to the book would be adding more easy routes and color-coding the tabs by region in order to find the routes a little faster. I will certainly add this one to my outdoor guidebook reference library.