After Prague on snowshoes! Are they better than cross-country skis?

On snowshoes we have heard in recent years a lot of praise. The modern ones are said to be light, easy to handle, and do not require any special techniques and skills such as cross-country skiing. We found out all this with the photographer on the Internet and from friends, before we set out to try this ancient equipment in a contemporary dress on our own feet and hands.

At Czech Television

Our trek, as it is called today, a trip, a hike or in fact any movement on your own from place A to place B, we started in Kavčí hory, right next to the Czech Television building complex.

Here we borrowed equipment, ie quality snowshoes of French production of the middle category, and completed a short introductory briefing. We used our own sticks for so-called nordic walking, which, like special snowshoes, are telescopic, but have smaller plates, which turned out to be a handicap as they broke down.

Thanks to the simple and effective attachment of the shoe with a ratchet, we managed to put on the snowshoes without any complications. He just wants it exercise, during the course when we had to take off the snowshoes, we got it. So everyone can really do it…


Last check of equipment, temperature (five degrees below freezing) and heart rate (62 t / min). We run the timer on a smart watch and set off. Let’s face it, we forgot to ask for the right technique of movement on snowshoes in the pre-start fever, so we only have to figure it out during the march.

We take the first steps in the adjacent park, where it is snow as in Šumava. As completely inexperienced “snowshoes”, we lift our knees and we tread in such a stork style. We probably wouldn’t last that long, the snowshoes are light, but the steps increase and the legs become heavier. Gradually we find out that the ideal technique is a kind of moving the snowshoes slightly with the tip upwards, at the same time as lifting the heel, a quite natural creeping movement.

During the snowshoe trek, the temperature was quite pleasant ...

During the snowshoe trek, the temperature was quite pleasant …

Author: Robert Klejch


From Kavčí hory, the road leads to the Vltava, as we expected, down a relatively steep hill. There is a lot of snow on the sidewalk, which, unlike normal pedestrians, we welcome. It’s going great, the snowshoes don’t slip. We climbed one of the stairs, as well as the other, but the third gave us a stop sign, they are without snow.

A short test of (in) skill when taking off, a brief look at the beautiful panoramas of Prague and moving on. At the swimming pool in Podolí we cross the road carefully and we are on a popular bike path. Unfortunately, there is a decent layer of snow already on it. This is feasible for snowshoes, as it turns out, but given that we are preceded by pedestrians, it is not exactly ideal terrain. Fortunately, there is a deeper strip of snow on the road, where we do much better.

On Charles Bridge

We continue along the waterfront, through a tunnel under the Vyšehrad rock to the embankment. There is still enough snow, with a beautiful view of Hradčany on the left hand across the Vltava. When Charles Bridge is in sight, we have to take it off, the snow has run out.

It would be possible on snowshoes on Charles Bridge, but we didn't want to break the trail of cross-country skiers.

It would be possible on snowshoes on Charles Bridge, but we didn’t want to break the trail of cross-country skiers.

Author: Robert Klejch

A cross-country ski trail leads through the middle of the bridge through the snow, which we do not want to damage with snowshoes, so we have to overcome the famous monument with snowshoes in our hands. Until on the other hand, we are calling again at Kampa and we head to the Lesser Town side of the river. We walk past the service entrance of the Office of the Government.

Watch control: Temperature minus six degrees, heart rate 80 t / min (would like to add it), distance covered 5500 meters. There is enough snow here, so at a brighter pace we are currently passing the garden of Babiš Palace and continue along the waterfront to the Letna tunnel.

The final

We come to a complex of subways to Vltavská, where we have to take off. We climb the stairs to Bubenské nábřeží, put on and finish. The surface is again trampled snow, we choose a deeper snowdrift by the road. We are at the graffiti wall, about 300 meters from the finish, the snow on the sidewalk ends.

Zouváme a we’ll be at the editorial office in Komunardy soon. We are at the finish line after an hour, 53 minutes and 9.42 kilometers, of which 8.60 km on snowshoes. Conclusion: Great! It goes even around Prague, in the center with changing shoes, elsewhere ideal snow conditions.

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Trek parameters from a smart watch

Min. altitude: 183 m

Maximum altitude: 258 m

Distance covered: 9.42 km

Energy output: 643 kCal

Average heart rate: 86 rpm

Total movement time: 1:53:03

Used snowshoes: TSL Pioneer 325

We completed the route on snowshoes from the Vertigo Sports Prague 4 sports equipment rental.

Material: Frost-resistant composite plastic

Length: 59.5 cm

Width: 22 cm

Pair weight: 1.83 kg

Front fastening: Strap with buckles

Rear mounting: Ratchet

Shoe size: From 23 to 34 cm

Load capacity: 50 – 120 kg

Price: 3500 CZK

Rental: 120 CZK / day, weekend for 240 CZK (from Friday to Monday), for 7 days for 630 CZK (+ refundable deposit 1000 CZK). Chopsticks for 1 – 2 days (50 CZK), avalanche equipment 1 – 2 days (150 CZK) + deposit 4000 CZK, chopsticks 1 – 2 days (50 CZK) + deposit 300 CZK.

Time lapse: This is how the snow covered the main railway station in Prague Mall TV

Experiences from the Jizera Mountains

Colleague Martin Brejla tried snowshoes in the right snowy terrain. He went with his family to Jizerky, where they walked through the woods and hills around the Josefův Důl dam.

“As soon as we set off and catch the last snags, we find it’s great fun. Even with the deep and heavy snow around the river Kamenice, walking is surprisingly easy, the areas of snowshoes can solidly support even my 110 kilos of live weight. I can imagine that wading only in shoes would be many times more difficult. Up on the dam, cross-country skiers look at us a bit like exotics, but that’s not the case, after a while we disappear into the woods again, you can walk everywhere where there is only a hint of a forest trail or passage, “says Martin.

For the fifth year in a row, Ondřej Valenta has been the organist of the Royal Collegiate Chapter of the Church of St.  Peter and Paul in Prague.
The more fit his experience is, the better. Finally they managed to walk almost 18 km into the darkness, 6 of them a bit further in Albrechtice, where they conquered Malý Špičák with its new lookout tower! “It ruined us, none of it, but the weird thing was each had completely different muscle areas on his legs! Some thighs, another shins, other attachments on the back of the knee. But we will definitely do it again in the rest of winter! ”Concludes Martin Brejla.

Snowshoes are over 4500 years old

The oldest 4,500-year-old surviving finds come from Hotingen, Sweden, where rock drawings and even the remains of the first wooden “snowshoes” were discovered. The basis of these snow cakes was a supporting frame woven with wooden rods. Strings of strings and strings in a circular form are known mainly from the Eskimos. Today’s modern designs have their predecessors in the snowshoes of the Native Americans of North America. The second branch of development went from the so-called all-wood footrests to skis.

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