Have you heard of trail sledding?

Combine snow hiking with sledding and you get trail sledding. Find out all about this sport that is physically demanding as well as thrilling for young and old!

Have you heard of trail sledding?

There's more to the mountains in winter than just skiing:why not take the opportunity to explore the mountains in a new way, thanks to trail sledding!

Whether you love nature, enjoy a thrill or are simply curious to go on a new mini-adventure, trail sledding is made for you!
It is the subtle combination of snow hiking (with or without snowshoes) and sledding. Escape onto the marked snowshoe trails to reach the summits with their breathtaking landscapes.
For the descent, put on your best smile, sit back and enjoy! You're sure to have plenty of fun!

Is there no better way of combining sport with pleasure? It's a very popular activity for families, friends or even business seminars.

Have you heard of trail sledding?

Who is it for?

For everyone who loves snow and nature. It's a sport that is suited to anyone, whatever their age or ability. It's up to you to choose the route according to your physical condition. Preferably choose relatively gentle slopes if you are with your children. If you are used to it and especially if you have all the recommended equipment, head off for some more challenging slopes (with the permission of the ski resort, naturally).

Have you heard of trail sledding?

The equipment you need

When climbing:

- It's preferable to have a good pair of warm and waterproof après-ski snow boots. You can also take snowshoes and poles if there is powder snow!
- Cross-country skiing or hiking trousers that are not too warm but waterproof, or ski pants in which you can walk comfortably.
- To protect your hands from the cold, some fine hiking gloves will be perfect.
- A backpack with 30 to 40L of capacity for taking the descending equipment during the climb and the ascending equipment during the descent.
- Bungees or straps to attach your sled during the ascent.

When descending:

- When sledding, you need to use your hands a lot to slow down and change direction. However they are quite close to the snow, so it's best to wear a good pair of waterproof ski gloves/mittens.
- It can't be emphasised enough, but a helmet is essential for all types of winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, sledding, etc.) both for you, as well as for your children.
- Ski goggles to protect your eyes from UV rays and maintain good vision even when you pick up speed.
- Sled with sturdy brakes for steering on the snow-covered slopes.

Have you heard of trail sledding?

"In short, you need breathable clothes for the ascent, and warm and waterproof clothes for the descent"

How to carry your sled when ascending

There are several ways to carry your sled when trail sledding

Either you get lucky and someone is waiting for you with the sleds on the way up
Or it's up to you to carry them and this requires some organisation.

1 - Using a bungee, it's easy to hang the sled to your backpack
2 - Using a strap, drag the sled along behind you
3 - Do you have a shovel sled? Simply hang it to your backpack with a carabiner or put it inside the backpack.

SAFETY REMINDER

Before setting off, you must find out about the weather forecast and snow conditions. In the mountains, the weather can change quickly. To avoid taking any risks, make sure the weather is stable as well as the snow covering.

You can do this by consulting the "bulletin d'estimation du risque d'avalanche" (avalanche risk assessment bulletin) on the Météo France website for a detailed analysis of the risks on each mountain range, or ask the tourist information office and the guides that are closest to the starting point of your hike.

Have you heard of trail sledding?

In France, different coloured flags inform skiers of the level of risk. For more information, please carefully read our article on safety when ski touring. If you are in any doubt whatsoever, call the ski resort. They will can show you a path to take or tell you whether trail sledding is allowed or not.

How to choose your route

The marked snowshoe trails are perfectly suited to trail sledding. However, for the descent, you will need some clear terrain, like a piste (when the pistes are closed and/or the ski resort allows sledding on the pistes) or a wide open space without trees or rocks.

Tempted to go on a mini-adventure?

Some mountain guides offer excursions over several days. Over 1, 2 or 3 days, often involving a hiking circuit, you will discover the joys of snow hiking coupled with the joys of sledding. In the evening, you can sleep on the side of the mountain, in a mountain refuge, to recover from the day.

An original and friendly excursion awaits you.

Check with the tourist information offices to find out if mountain guides offer these types of escapade.

Have you heard of trail sledding?
Have you heard of trail sledding?

Jean Baptiste, sled product manager

"Trail sledding is physical (effort required on the way up) and fun (descent on types of snow)/Trail sledding is a SPORT!!

Why did I start trail sledding? First of all, because I have always felt a certain frustration when snowshoeing during the descent phase. It's the pleasure of pushing yourself physically and exploring snow-covered woodland scenery combined with the joys of going downhill.

Trail sledding is the minimalist or discovery version of ski touring.

It is also much more affordable and accessible."

the culinary treat!

In Switzerland and Austria, there are marked trail sledding circuits. You can snowshoe up to the restaurant at the top of the slopes, treat yourself, then go sledding in the middle of the day or in the evening with a headlamp. The culture of the wooden sled is much more widespread in the ski resorts of the German-speaking countries, to the delight of both locals and tourists.

In France, some restaurant owners offer this kind of culinary excursion. So, check with the tourist information office where you are staying.

Have you heard of trail sledding?

There are dozens of ways to enjoy the mountains without having to ski. Thanks to the magic of the snow, there are many solutions to have fun and have a good time. Trail sledding is a sport to be enjoyed to the full.
Put on your boots and your snowshoes, load up your sled and see you at the top of the piste.

Share your trail sledding experiences with us!