My name’s Hilary Sharp, I’m an International Mountain Leader (Trekking Guide) and for the last 25 years I’ve run my own business guiding snowshoeing and hiking in the European Alps.
I wanted to showcase our European Alps, in the snow, and give an idea of what we get up to over here in the winter.
My photos show snowshoeing in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps usually far away from the ski resorts and often in lesser known mountains. These lesser known mountains are far from the crazy busy summits of Mont Blanc or the Zermatt peaks.
The snow conditions dictate where we hike and in early season. When it is cloudy and snowing, we usually take to the forests where we can savour the beauty and muffled silence of snow-laden trees and marvel at the animal tracks which all tell a story.
Once the snow is stable and the days are longer we can head up above the forest to the “alpages” – summer meadows, the true Alps in fact. Here we always have superb views of the surrounding peaks and we can often aim for summits in the 2000 – 3000m range which give great snowshoe terrain.
Our snow varies but in the Alps we usually can find soft fresh snow for our descents. The descents are often quite wild. With good, light, maneuverable snowshoes you can bound down the slopes at a fair speed. Most of the hiking here is quite hilly and we’ll do sizeable climbs (700 – 900m is common) to then enjoy spectacular descents.
Most of the places don’t feature in the travel brochures…that’s why they’re so good…no crowds, no queues, no noise – and endless slopes of fresh snow!
If you’d like to know more come and join me – Trekking in the Alps offers scheduled trips from January to April and I am also available for private guided snowshoeing