We get an impression of driving against the tide when we arrive at Siviez at 5pm. The parking place, which was joyously agitated all day, is henceforth deserted. Here we are, four friends at the foot of the pistes at the hour when the majority of holiday-makers savour their hot mulled wine by the ﬁre. Our guide, Anita, welcomes us with a broad smile, already wearing her snowshoes and four pairs ready to be put on. All equally novice in the matter, we count on our guide, Anita, to initiate us. With her help, we equip ourselves and launch out onto the snowy slopes.
Departure snowshoes on your feet
At ﬁrst, our steps lack a little assurance on the powdery slope which suddenly seems rather steep. Hiking on snowshoes is accessible to all and requires no previous experience. « Walk as normally as possible. The most common error, not to be made, is to have the legs wide apart », Anita explains. Another trick: on really steep slopes, plant your heel then roll the movement forward to your toes. These pieces of advice given, we gain conﬁdence. All that remains is to admire the splendid decor which surrounds us. It is so captivating, moreover, that we forget the effort. However, we soon have to take off jacket and gloves, which is moreover encouraged by Anita : « When we stop, you will very quickly feel cold ; keep a layer to add on ! » She lets us proﬁt from the quietness of the place, while dispensing here and there some explanations about animal tracks or about the differences between the trees of the region.
A scenic and relaxing walk
Then, far away, a wisp of smoke rises. We go in its direction and discover a little spot arranged for us in the meantime by Anita’s accomplices : a snow-bank with blankets and a ﬁre await us. The sun disappears little by little behind the mountain. We then live a privileged moment in the heart of nature and really far from the stress of every day.
After all your efforts, a reward
Out of her backpack, Anita takes a wooden board which she had wrapped in aluminium foil, a cheese which she places on it and her grandfather’s scraper. That is all she needs to prepare delicious wood-ﬁre melted raclettes for us which she places on a piece of bread. She has not forgotten the inescapable gherkins and white wine.
A raclette cooked on a fire
The atmosphere changes at the moment of the descent. Night has fallen. It’s time to get out our head lamps. Whereas, during our ascent, we laughed and chattered, silence takes over in order to live fully this magic moment. In the dark, we hear nothing but the sound of our footsteps in the snow. We only ﬁnd our words again at the foot of the piste, at the moment of separation, happy to have shared such a moment of conviviality !