Snowshoeing 201

3 tips for conquering snowy hills and steep climbs

Snowshoeing is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other--until you encounter a slope. Get up, down, and across with these techniques.

Climbing Kick the toes of your shoes into the slope at about knee level to create a solid platform. Pause a beat, then shift your weight onto the uphill foot. The pause lets the snow firm up, making the step less likely to collapse. In deep, unconsolidated powder, extra stomping is often required.

Traversing When crossing a fall line on packed snow, kick your cleat in hard, letting the shoe or your ankle rotate so the crampons are perpendicular to the slope. In steep or icy conditions, cross at an uphill angle or face the slope and walk sideways.

Descending Exaggerate your forward stride by lifting your foot as if marching stiff-legged and land as solidly on your heel crampons as possible to prevent "skiing" forward.