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Please come prepared to class!  you will need a coat, boots, hat, mittens/gloves, and snow pants if possible.  Anyone who needs something, please see me ahead of time so that I can be prepared to help you find something to borrow.  

This unit will be adventurous!  We will be snowshoeing, x-country skiing, and challenge activities.  

OUTSIDE DAYS - We will be going outside on days that it is 20 degrees and above.  This will be the days that we do snowshoeing, x-country skiing, and games outside. 

INDOOR DAYS - We will be in the gym only on the days where the weather is too cold or if it is raining.  Here we will be doing a variety of challenges.  Each class will be competing with the other clans.  Records will be set and hold until a new class breaks it.  Good luck!  

Snowshoe Class Skills:

Snowshoeing is relatively easy to do. Some would say if you can walk you can snowshoe. That being said,

 there are a few things we teach at Bonny Eagle.

 When walking into a wooded areas, keep arms up and don’t hold branches for other people.

Side to side - short steps to one side and then the other way. This skill is good to use on steep slopes for both

climbing and descending.

Spread toe turning - start with your feet together then separate your toes, keeping your heels together. make a circle.

teaches students good control of shoes and also a way to turn away from an object.

180 turns / this is easier with poles but the idea is the same. start standing with both feet pointing in same direction.

 turn right foot so toe is going in opposite direction and with one move bring left foot to meet right one.

Walking backwards - you use this when catching your toe under crust or under a branch. without poles step back

with knee up and back of shoe turned out. With poles, place tip of pole on front of shoe and push down while

walking backwards.

Falling and getting up - This move is fun and works well. After falling, remove poles so you are

not tempted to use them. Lay flat on back grabbing the toes of your shoes. rock side to side and using momentum,

roll onto your feet. using one leg at a time, place hands on knee and stand.

Bridging - While out on trail, we find a fallen tree that must be crossed. There are a couple of ways to do this.

1. use pole or hand to clear snow off tree. check for branches sticking up (really bad for shoes)

2. is to step up on tree standing with both feet on tree and then take big step off.

3. walk up to tree, stand parallel to tree and step over bringing other foot next to first. * be careful as snow next to

trees tends to be deeper. Check carefully. Bridging is when you have part of your shoe on tree and part on ground.

This creates an air space between and is a good way to break your shoes. even metal ones!

Lookout for show traps/ a snow trap happens in deep fluffy snow. if you see tops of small fir trees, stay clear of them.

What happens is that snow drifts on them and the branches keep the snow from packing. If you walk by one of these

traps, you may find yourself up to your waist in snow with your shoes on!

Crossing water/ No matter how cold it is, you will always find open water. It is best if you have poles to check

 conditions. Ease up to water and take a big step followed by other foot.

Snowshoeing Terminology

The part of a snowshoe that attaches to footwear. Bindings should control and stabilize the boot, and center the heel, to enable a comfortable, efficient stride in all types of terrain and snow conditions. A key feature of snowshoe bindings is adjustability and fit, as bindings should mold to the boot without creating pressure points.

Breaking Trail

The task of a lead snowshoer who steps or stomps through the snow to make a solid path or track for the others to follow. Breaking trail can be tiring, and typically burns about 50% more calories than following in the tracks of the lead snowshoer, therefore switching off the leader enables a rest period.


Snowshoeing through an uncut trail and bushes. May need to do this if following compass bearing

Bushwhack Course

A type of snowshoe course designed to be off-trail and to cut through untracked snow and bushes

Carrying surface

The surface area of a snowshoe; the larger the surface area, the more flotation and support for the snowshoer


Another name for crampon (see below)


Another name for crampon (see below)


Traction device that may be attached to a snowshoe’s pivot rod to prevent slippage in steep terrain or icy conditions. Crampons are typically located under the ball of the foot and at the heel; as the snowshoer is centered on the snowshoe, the snowshoer’s body weight fully ‘engages’ the crampon enabling the crampons on the underside of the snowshoe to penetrate the snow’s surface for security throughout the stride, whether ascent, descent or side slope traverse.Snowshoe Terminology (cont)


The solid piece of rubber-like material attached to the Snowshoe frame that provides flotation for the snowshoer. Modern snowshoes are ‘decked’ vs. traditional wood frame snowshoes that are ‘laced’. On balance, a snowshoe that is ‘decked’ can be smaller in size yet provide comparable flotation to a larger laced snowshoe.


The amount of loft provided by a snowshoe’s surface area. Two factors impact flotation; 1.) the amount of weight to be supported, body weight with gear, from poles and packs, to power bars and extra socks.; 2.) the second and more important factor to consider is the type of snow. Heavier, wetter snow, with a higher moisture content will support more weight. Conversely, lighter, drier snow supports much less weight. Therefore, the dryer the snow, the larger the snowshoe to support comparable snowshoe weights.


A controlled slide, in either a standing or sitting position, used in descending a steep incline


A climbing method used for moderate slopes with toes pointing out and heels together; often used by snowshoers with traditional wood frame snowshoes with the absence of toe crampons. Today’s modern snowshoes, with toe and heel crampons, enable uphill climbing with toes and heels aligned to the ascent

Kick Turn

A simple snowshoe maneuver to turn around and go backwards in a direction when conditions prevent a semi-circle. To perform a kick turn: plant your poles firmly at your sides for balance. Lift one foot, turn it 180 degrees, and place it down. Make sure your foot is planted firmly and then shift your weight down. Your feet are facing opposite directions. Pick up your second foot and swing it all the way around so it is parallel to your first foot – and start walking in the new direction.


The sharp and sturdy spikes or teeth on a crampon or cleat used for traction, especially with climbing. Also called spikes. The depth and penetration of the crampon’s points below the snowshoe frame is how traction is measured in a snowshoe. For steep ascents and descents, and variable snow conditions, longer, stronger teeth will maximize grip. In rolling terrain or packed trails, a lower profile ‘tooth’ optimizes efficiency and comfort at a walking pace.


Poles can be used to aid balance and enhance upper body strength and conditioning. Adding poles to snowshoeing increases metabolic rate and endurance.


The act of snowshoeing


Snowshoe running style in which you take weight off the snowshoe and shuffle it ahead. Used only on well-packed trails over moderately sloping terrain, this stride is best used for long-distance snowshoe runs or tramps

Side stepping

A climbing method used when slope is too steep for switch backing. The snowshoe side steps is used up the hill.

Snowshoe sliding

A downhill technique similar to a glissade, with the snowshoes acting as modified skis. The feet may take either a parallel or diagonal stance.


A technique used to pack down the snow with snowshoes. Packing the snow down makes it easier for those who follow especially if heavy loads are being carried.


A walking technique that differs with type of snowshoe. The snowshoer must adopt a gait to avoid hitting snowshoes together

Switch backing

A technique used to climb steep terrain. Rather then climbing up the fall line, the snowshoer work up the slope in a zig-zag pattern. This is a common technique used for snowshoes without crampons.