All throughout history, man has had to find a way to sort out the demands and the complications nature has presented in order to survive. Winter is one of the most uncomfortable seasons for men and it is in those sites where there is plenty of snow where the primitive tribes found out a way to move about easily: snowshoes.
Today, many winter centers all round the country (including beautiful San Martín de los Andes) offer visitors the chance to practice snowshoeing. Every year, new curious people and even expert skiers get back in contact with nature through this practice, just like our ancestors used to.
Upon entering the snowed ground, the snowshoes provide an unsuspected kind of pleasure. The sensation of stepping on soft powder snow is unique. Most circuits invite visitors to mingle with nature, capture its sounds, its feelings and experiences. Of course all this would not be possible at a higher speed.
Subiendo por el Arroyo Partido
En la mesa de nieve, el chocolate caliente
Pasos cortos y lento
Akita nos acompaña en cada ascenso
El silencio del bosque nevado
Disfrutando la nieve nueva
Emprendiendo el retorno
Year after year, this activity summons more and more followers. They choose the philosophy of the mountain in the winter, away from the hustle and bustle of the ski centers.
We shared this experience with a group summoned by Lanín Turismo. We embarked upon a tour that covers more than 10 kilometers along the 7-Lake Road. On the way uphill, we saw valleys, mountains and rivers immersed in the Andes Mountain Range until we got to an exceptional site known as Arroyo Partido (Parted Creek).
Snowshoes are over 6,000 years old and they were the method used by man to cover long distances across snowed lands. The technique is simple: it consists in walking one step at a time without getting the legs too much apart. Snow creates a very particular acoustic effect. Absolute silence and footsteps are the great protagonists and may be heard by everyone around.
Sceneries are amazing here and there, as every clearing, every creek and every spot with untouched snow open up as a special different curtain to show a new scene.
This kind of experience is certainly worthwhile. Snowshoeing is second to none. Participants may enjoy this outing with friends as they share anecdotes and sensations managed only in this situation, within a group and at such a slow speed that it seems as if it would never end.
Maybe it is in these small details where the magic of this ski variation resides. It only requires strong will and an urge to have fun as long as it lasts.
Pablo Etchevers Jorge González
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