Snow shoes at Scaramus revisited

I wrote this post six years ago, when we still lived in France.  Winters were winters there, as what follows testifies …. though there too, they’re no longer the affairs they once were when our Ariègeois friends were small, when schoolchildren marched to school down head-high channels excavated into the snow.  This winter here in England, we’ve celebrated the occasional crisp frost, and a couple of days of snow, quickly melted.

This is the Real Thing.

Scaramus, Plateau de Sault, Aude: February 17th, 2013

It’s only 7 o’clock, but  I can’t see me having a late night.  We’ve had a day of ‘raquettes’ – snow shoes.  Gosh it’s exhausting.  You strap great oval saucers of plastic, webbing, and toothed metal to your feet and spend some minutes feeling like an ungainly baby taking its first uncertain footsteps across the endless wastes of the living room carpet.

Booted and spurred.

But equilibrium returns, and without these cumbersome contraptions, how else would you walk across the undulating white snowfields of the Plateau de Sault, with views of snow-sculpted hillsides nearby, jagged snow-crusted peaks beyond?  How else could you enjoy the sound of the satisfying crunch and crack as feet break through the crisp crust of the surface snow?  Thank goodness for that icy layer.  We found our 5’ long batons, plunged deep below the surface, wouldn’t touch the frozen ground beneath.

And with a bright blue sky, a hot sun enabling us to walk wearing T shirts and summer hats, what better way to spend a February Sunday?

Click on any image to see it full size.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

23 thoughts on “Snow shoes at Scaramus revisited”

  1. It’s hard not to feel VERY nostalgic when I re-visit these photos. Even though, if truth be told, I wasn’t that keen on snowshoeing. It’s such hard work!


  2. Oh my, what a stunning landscape. I can feel the exhilerating energy through your photos. Exhausting though It must have been, I’m glad you got out and experienced this day, Margaret. And then shared it with us 🙂

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  3. We have snowshoes but haven’t used them in quite awhile–as you say, it’s hard work! But also an amazing way to really enjoy winter–your photos are gorgeous!

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  4. I didn’t think it was such hard work BUT on a recent day trip on our famous Swiss mountain train on the Bernina line ( ) we spoke to two sisters on a tour on snow shoes and having lunch at the table next to us. It seems it’s very force consuming way to ‘walk’ like that. But them, being Swiss, they were totally equipped with the ‘right shoes, trousers, socks, etc etc etc’…. 🙂

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  5. Such beautiful snow! I miss the winters in Michigan when I was growing up. Here, as I write in south central Missouri, we had a touch of snow which has now turned into freezing rain. I do not like freezing rain,

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  6. Wonderful photographs of such a gorgeous place! I have never skied, skated or snow-shoed and not likely to now! When we first moved to Suffolk the winters were much harsher with deep drifts and snow around for weeks; this is no longer the case.

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    1. Yes, winters really have changed, haven’t they? I haven’t skied either, but I have skated. We went from school, occasionally to Streatham ice rink: but it was awful. We nice grammar school girls were on the ice at the same time as a really tough boys’ school. You can imagine …..

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  7. Wonderful pictures! I’ve never tried snowshoeing. I can imagine it might be demanding. You’ve made me feel a little nostalgic too. I have skied a few times, but I was not very good at it.


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