Making Alaskan Style Snowshoes


5 Day Class

Instructor: Maureen Chambrone

Friday through Tuesday, February 16 – 20, 2024
Friday: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm; Saturday – Tuesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

10 X 56 Alaskan style snowshoes have been a very popular and traditional style with both the Athabaskan and white trappers and explorers. They are excellent snowshoes for breaking trail through the deepest snow, a world that would be unreachable otherwise. There is a peaceful beauty in walking through the Alaskan winter on silent wooden snowshoes and all your senses are truly awakened. Now you can explore this world with snowshoes you have finished yourself.

In this class we will start with bare Alaskan birch frames already bent to shape. Using mallets and chisels you will make mortises and cut and carve the cross members that hold the shape of the shoe. Using small drawknives and spokeshaves you’ll round the frames and then smooth them down with scrapers. You may sand them if you wish. You will drill holes around the frame and lace twine for the snowshoe lacing to go through. Tails will be lashed with twine. At least one day will be spent lacing the snowshoes with a nylon lacing.

I will give a short presentation on gathering the birch and bending it so you can see the process it took to get the raw snowshoe you will begin with. In the end I will discuss binding options and will bring a couple types for sale. I will also discuss the process of varnishing, something you will do at home to finish your shoes.

You will go home with your very own pair of snowshoes that will just need to be varnished. And then your deep snowy backyard is yours to make trails through and explore. Not to mention the vast wilderness beyond…

Making Alaskan Style Snowshoes