We got a dump of perfectly dry powder over the last couple of days. Everyone was headed for the outdoors. Disagreement over the best way to enjoy the beautiful conditions lead to some people going snowboarding, others downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ski touring or, as Håvard, Christian an me decided, snow shoe touring. We didn't even reach consensus in our small group of three though, so Håvard was on skis while Christian and me were using snowshoes. Worked out surprisingly well.
We started from the town of Einsiedeln just after sunrise at half past eight and headed up the ridge towards Schwyz. The avalanche danger on the weekend was significant, so we decided on a safe route staying below the tree line. We still climbed every summit on our way. At some point I even lost track of how many (minor) summit crosses we had already passed.
Luckily for us most of the trail was already broken in and we could take advantage of a nice compressed path through the deep snow. Otherwise we would have never been able to hike the whole distance. The parts we did have to lead ourselves were extremely exhausting. Especially on steeper slopes we were plowing through waist high snow. At the end we probably compressed an estimated 5.3 gazillion metric tonnes of the fluffy white stuff. Fortunately it was well below freezing and the snow dry and light.
Breaking out of the woods at some point we crossed ways with another group of snowshoe hikers. We earned us some looks of disbelief and admiring comments when answering where we were coming from and where we were headed.
Håvard, probably steeled by Norwegian winters, was wise enough to bring a gas stove. Thanks to him we could refill our (partially frozen) water bottles by melting snow and enjoy a hot coffee in the shelter of a woodshed.
It started snowing and getting dark just as we set out on the final, but arduously long, descent towards Schwyz. This was mostly boring "Kilometerfressen" on minor roads that served the occasional farm on the hill.
Congratulations on Christian's first ever snowshoe tour! Definitely not your typical entry level easy going warm up route ;-)
~22km, ~1200m up, ~1500m down, ~10.5 hours of hiking