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Thread: Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoe

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoe

    I was pretty sure I was replacing my broken Tubbs Flex Alps with a pair of MSR Lightning Ascents this season.....and then I wasn't. I did a quick review of this year's models and came across the Mountaineer. The feature that particularly caught my eye was a very aggressive heel crampon that seems like it would go a long way toward addressing the problem of securely descending in snowshoes (although if you like riding the tails of your shoes to "ski" descending I suppose this feature would be a buzz kill). I don't see any other brand with this feature.

    The downside of this though is this model has a tubular frame versus the torsional decking of my Flex Alps. It also does not have the serrated side edges of the Ascent or Flex Alps either, which I assume is unneeded with the aggressive heel traction. I'm still not sold on the MSR binding system either. It looks like a pain in the ass and not nearly as convenient or secure as Tubbs bindings. Tubbs also advertises a limited lifetime warranty now versus 3 years for MSR, which is another big plus. (I could have sworn Tubbs was a 3 year warranty when I bought my first pair but I couldn't find the receipt or any packaging to verify so I could be wrong).

    Does anyone here own a pair of the Mountaineers that could comment on the heel crampon versus the "normal" toe crampon and serrated side rail set up as well as the side hill performance with a tubular frame versus the flexible decking?
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    I only own the Atlas 1230's which are comparable. Rear crampons haven't been noticible, to me. I can still ski down fluffy snowy trails with them. Packed trails, the crampons bite in very well. I just walk. Never used anything else other than 5 foot wooden snowshoes when I was a kid that belonged to my Grandfather. He used them to smuggle booze across the border during prohibition. They are on pretty rough shape at this point, but my brother still gas them hanging in his garage.

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    I started with Yukon Charlies from Olympia Sports and eventually graduated to Tubbs Mountaineer 25s. This upgrade was a year or two before the FLEX ALPS came out.

    If you are primarily traveling on packed trails, I would suggest buying a non-tubular design be it FLEX ALPS or REVO ASCENT or even the LIGHTNING ASCENTS . I always feel like the packed trail width is slightly more narrow than my shoes, even though there are all supposedly 8" width.

    I like my Tubbs Mountaineer 25s for their durability and as a "single make/model/size compromise" for the entire continuum from packed on-trail to unconsolidated off trail. The crampons have plenty of bite; never sidehilled with a shoe with the edge ridges so I don't know how much those help.
    Last edited by Tom_Murphy; 10-30-2018 at 04:22 PM.

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    Side hilling on tube frame snowshoes just plain sucks. They slip and slide really bad. And if the snow is soft the crampons do you no good at all. Downhill the tubes make for an entertaining ride.

    I use MSR modulars but am not a fan of the strap binding system if wearing light shoes or trail runners. With heavy hikers or double boots I don't notice the straps. The bindings are very secure though.

    Tubbs did have a modular model with Boa bindings.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    I started with Yukon Charlies from Olympia Sports and eventually graduated to Tubbs Mountaineer 25s. This upgrade was a year or two before the FLEX ALPS came out.

    If you are primarily traveling on packed trails, I would suggest buying a non-tubular design be it FLEX ALPS or REVO ASCENT or even the LIGHTNING ASCENTS . I always feel like the packed trail width is slightly more narrow than my shoes, even though there are all supposedly 8" width.

    I like my Tubbs Mountaineer 25s for their durability and as a "single make/model/size compromise" for the entire continuum from packed on-trail to unconsolidated off trail. The crampons have plenty of bite; never sidehilled with a shoe with the edge ridges so I don't know how much those help.
    I always wonder if the side rails matter. I have Flex Alps now (broke the welding in toe pieces) and in bony conditions I still slide around. Maybe it would be worse without them but with an aggressive toe and heel crampon I'd think that would be better. I rarely use snowshoes on a packed trail. I'd be in spikes or crampons depending on the grade. I think I am going to try these out.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    I have owned a pair of Tubbs Couloirs 30's for a number of years. The underside looks almost identical (if not exactly) to the Mountaineers. I can't compare to any of the smaller shoes as I've never owned any. As mentioned, side-hilling is rough, especially on the ankles. Of course, in any soft deep snow on a sidehill or going uphill, the crampon just doesn't matter, but I did want something with sizable surface area for either breaking trail or bushwhacking, and I've been overall quite pleased with them for either. Other than the aforementioned deep powder, on steep slopes, which no shoe will conquer, I've found the traction to be great.

    I also really like the binding, it's fairly simple to get in and out of them. Again the Mountaineer looks similar to the Couloirs. The plastic decking is starting to develop a crack, however. I suspect this is not an uncommon problem.

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    A FYI, take a look at what NH Fish and Game and the large majority of volunteer rescuers use for snow shoes on rescues, 20 year old Sherpa's or their Canadian replacements. They run the long versions.

    They appear to value durability and flotation over the latest technology. Hard to break a Sherpa.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 10-31-2018 at 06:14 AM.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    A FYI, take a look at what NH Fish and Game and the large majority of volunteer rescuers use for snow shoes on rescues, 20 year old Sherpa's or their Canadian replacements. They run the long versions.

    They appear to value durability and flotation over the latest technology. Hard to break a Sherpa.
    The beauty of the Sherpa is that with the right parts it is very field repairable.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    The beauty of the Sherpa is that with the right parts it is very field repairable.
    When my Tubbs aluminium rail snapped while breaking trail in heavy wet snow, I didn't have a repair kit. Is that kind of failure field repairable?

    FWIW, I ended up doing a hack repair at home (fitted a thicker pipe inside the rail and clamped it down). It held for several trips, but I never totally trusted it and switched to the Flex model the following season.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
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  10. #10
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    When my Tubbs aluminium rail snapped while breaking trail in heavy wet snow, I didn't have a repair kit. Is that kind of failure field repairable?

    FWIW, I ended up doing a hack repair at home (fitted a thicker pipe inside the rail and clamped it down). It held for several trips, but I never totally trusted it and switched to the Flex model the following season.
    I think you answered your own question. Just remember to bring your repair kit.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #11
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    A FYI, take a look at what NH Fish and Game and the large majority of volunteer rescuers use for snow shoes on rescues, 20 year old Sherpa's or their Canadian replacements. They run the long versions.

    They appear to value durability and flotation over the latest technology. Hard to break a Sherpa.
    Still have mine and they are in great shape. Lost a few hooks on the bindings, I used a leather tool to create an opening too thread the webbing through, that fix has never failed. Have the "full" crampons too, killer snowshoes. With the full crampon, you don't have to switch off as much on windblown terrain above treeline.

  12. #12
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    The Sherpas with the Tucker Claw and the later heel crampon conversion were some great shoes. The standard binding fit almost any size shoe.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I think you answered your own question. Just remember to bring your repair kit.
    Oh boy, I don't know if I could have done the same work in the snow and cokd though. Maybe some pre-cut pipe and some ring clamps. I did have to hammer the ends back to round though, at which point I think I'd be better off using a pipe cutter.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
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