If a brisk walk in the snow and a belly full of cheese is your idea of romance then this is a perfect date night in Switzerland. And if you are visiting Switzerland with out your sweetheart don’t let that be cause to miss out on one of my all time favorite winter sports!
The good news is that, depending on which mountain you visit, you do not have to be a winter Olympic athlete to enjoy a moonlight snowshoeing. I did one in Sarnen at Langis-Glaugenberg (Freddy Glanzmann Sport) in January. Langis-Glaugenberg is a popular cross county ski area and a beautiful nature preserve. They host night time cross country skiing as well and the paths are marked with little red candle lit lanterns that add to the ambiance of the evening. You will get your heart rate up but you don’t have to be super fit to do it. We walked for a while, and then stopped for Glühwein, and then on to the restaurant for some Swiss Aelplermagrone.
Back in February, we booked a private walk on Valentines Day at the quaint little hiking area known as Niederrickenbach just above the little village of Dallenwil in Canton Nidwalden. Our private guild took us on a lovely walk straight up the mountain. This time it was a bit more fitness reliant, but we could handle the challenge. It was exciting to push the capability of the snowshoes to the limit. For a novice the snow shoes do not provide automatic reassurance but I will testify that they really work! I tested a steep down hill, icy areas, and even ran a little and it all works. Following the hike we visited the quaint little authentic Swiss restaurant for cheese fondue and apple strudel.
Tip 1: On the night of a full moon book early!
Tip 2: This is tricky… resist the instinct to over dress.
I have been pouring sweat both times I went. Intuitively you might think that preparing to sleep in the outdoors and planning for a blizzard seems like the safe thing to do but when I showed up for the evening last week our guide was only wearing a long sleeved shirt (yes, he was Swiss and maybe immune to cold) no hat – no gloves – no coat. If you are caught in an avalanche you’ll be in trouble but play the odds.
If you look at the full moon schedule you can find a snowshoe tour being promoted on nearly every mountain in the area. Here is a quick list of some of the ones I have *contacted:
To book privately you can contact the gemeinde in the area for the mountain you want to hike.
*All the people I communicated with did so in English.