About Ian Spare

Ian is a UK Mountain Leader and an International Mountain Leader (IML). He runs SwissMountainLeader and in winter he's a snowshoe guide in the Swiss Alps and runs trips from Chalet L'Epicea his own B&B in Leysin


Snowshoeing in Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps

The Schwarzhorn peak above Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps is a great place for snowshoeing. Grindelwald itself is a short train ride from Interlaken which is major destination for visiting travellers. In summer and winter, the … Continue reading

No Such Thing as Bad Weather: Snowshoeing in Less-Than-Ideal Conditions

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900)

This isn’t the … Continue reading

Winter Clothing Tips From a Snowshoe Guide

Regular readers of Snowshoe Magazine will have seen my pictures from around the Swiss Alps before but may not have realised that, in winter at least, snowshoeing is my work. I’m an International Mountain Leader (IML) and I lead groups … Continue reading

As the Snow Melts…

When I’m out guiding groups on snowshoes we often end up talking about snow and how it varies around the mountain. With that in mind I snapped these photos from the balcony of our chalet – in Leysin, Switzerland – … Continue reading

Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard Hospice: A Night with the Monks

Working as a snowshoe guide here in Switzerland means I get to go to some amazing places and share those places with lots of interesting people. But out of so many great trips there’s one that is very special. The … Continue reading

European Snowshoeing Conditions for January 2012

Normally here in Switzerland we start to get snow falling around November and it starts to build up to a reasonable snowpack during December. In the lower winter sports destinations Christmas and New Year’s Day can be slightly patchy but … Continue reading

Morpho Snowshoes: Le Style Français

SuperTrimalp Carbone

Home for Morpho Snowshoes is Thonon-Les-Bains in France on the shores of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Chablais massif of the European Alps. It’s an idyllic place to be for lovers of the outdoors offering sailing, skiing, … Continue reading

Taking the ‘Light and Air Cure’ in the Alpes Vaudoises

The mountains of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland lie in the alpine group we call the Bernese Alps and are often referred to as the Vaud Alps or Alpes Vaudoise in French. The highest point in the area is in the Diablerets massif at 3210m. The landscape of the area is dominated by views of the Diablerets, the nearby Grand Muveran (3051m), and the triple peaks above Leysin with their distinctive triple limestone summits named Tour d'Aï, Tour de Mayen and Tour de Famelon.

Snowshoeing in the Jura Mountains on the French-Swiss Border

The Jura mountain range runs along the French-Swiss border with some lower foothills just inside Germany in the north. On the Swiss side of the border the mountains drop steeply, often with impressive limestone cliff faces, down to a plateau which rises again to meet the main Swiss Alps.

European Snowshoeing Destinations: The Aravis, France

The Chaîne des Aravis, or Aravis range, is a range of mountains in the Haute-Savoie department of France close to the Swiss border and Geneva. The mountains are sub-alpine and part of a larger group known as the French Prealps, which run from Geneva towards Albertville (the site of the 1992 Winter Olympics). The high point of the range is the Pointe Percée, at 2752m.

From the Zinal Glacier to the Swiss Jura Mountains: Exploring the High Alps on Snowshoes

Sitting here in Switzerland in the summer, the winter seems a long time ago. It's more than 30 degrees Celsius (that's 86 degrees Fahrenheit if you're in North America) and it's only 9 a.m. So, a great way to cool down is to look back at some trips around Switzerland and let the snowy landscapes cool the room.