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A Natural Fit - How to Do It

posted: 03/03/2004
by Kellee Katagi

Keep It Natural: The ergonomic design of most modern snowshoes means you don't have to modify your stride. Lead with your heel and use a rolling motion from heel to toe, but avoid pushing off too much from your toe when running. Don't exaggerate your steps by lifting your foot higher than necessary, but use a strong arm swing for propulsion.

Going Up: To climb a slope, kick the front of your snowshoe into the snow and press down to make a stair step. Each step should be far enough above the previous one to prevent the snow from collapsing.

Going Down: On a descent, rely on the snowshoes' heel cleats for control. Keep your knees slightly bent and lean back, placing your weight on the heel cleats.

Traversing: When crossing a slope, kick the side of one snowshoe into the hill until you get a solid grip with the cleats. Swing your other heel uphill, then stomp down to secure the snowshoe edge and prevent sliding.

Poles:You'll get a better workout (and find it easier to balance) if you use poles when you're hiking. For runners, however, poles may get in the way.

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