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rup
12-22-2008, 04:05 PM
Looking to buy snowshoes first time. Was going to do this last year, but lack of local snow put the idea on ice.

What features do I look for?? wtc

I'm 5'-9", 180 lbs.

Robs
12-22-2008, 04:23 PM
Good crampons (more than just the toe, we're talkin all the way around) and a televator, a thing that flips up that your heal rests on. It really helps a lot when climbing.
I got the MSR Lightning Ascent, and they're great, but I think the Denali Evo Ascents would work just as well, and are a lot cheaper.

Lawn Sale
12-22-2008, 06:52 PM
It really depends on what type of hiking you want to do with them. If looking for a mountaineering snowshoe, I'd look to the new Tubbs Mountain or the Atlas 12 series. The Tubbs has the most ruthless crampon setup (Viper/Python) I've seen on a snowshoe yet, simply amazing.

DougPaul
12-22-2008, 07:45 PM
There have been many prior threads asking for recommendations on snowshoes. Search and ye shall find.

Most snowshoes these days are a bit small for deep powder, however trails tend to get broken out pretty quickly.

FWIW, I have and am happy with MSR EVO Ascents. Relatively light weight, rugged, good traction.

Doug

Little Rickie
12-23-2008, 12:00 PM
There have been many prior threads asking for recommendations on snowshoes. Search and ye shall find.


I did that and then rented several times until I determined what I liked. Evos!

dug
12-23-2008, 12:21 PM
As Doug mentioned, bigger isn't better in the mountains. Caution any advise that tells you to get the 30" snowshoes...no matter your weight. Most trails are broken out so quickly that the old-school deep powder shoes are cumbersome in the mountains. I once watched someone take about 15 minutes just trying to turnaround inside the broken out trough because they had these monsters that a salesman told them to buy.

Now, if you are planning to spend time in open fields or tracks that are typically not broken out, then this is more valid. In the woods, on the trails, you need a more flexible shoe. Now, I opted for RedFeathers several (15?) years ago because their binding system was much less rigid and allowed me to climb over, under, and through scrubs and trees easier. I lost some ability to toe-kick into the hard surface on a trail as a result. It's a trade-off.

adktyler
12-23-2008, 12:48 PM
There have been many prior threads asking for recommendations on snowshoes. Search and ye shall find.

Most snowshoes these days are a bit small for deep powder, however trails tend to get broken out pretty quickly.

FWIW, I have and am happy with MSR EVO Ascents. Relatively light weight, rugged, good traction.

Doug

There are times when you need bigger shoes, and this past weekend I was really glad that I had the 6'' tails (http://www.gearbuyer.com/products/msr_6_inch_tail_for_evo_ascent_snowshoes.html) for my Evos!!

DougPaul
12-23-2008, 01:05 PM
There are times when you need bigger shoes, and this past weekend I was really glad that I had the 6'' tails[/URL] for my Evos!!
Of couse--no single snowshoe is optimum for all snow conditions. If you mostly hike trails, then the modern small designs are a good choice. If you mostly bushwack, larger snowshoes may be a better choice. (Some traditional designs are up to 5 feet long--like wide skis that don't slide very well.)

The tails are a relatively cheap way of having one and a half pairs of snowshoes. If you are a serious powder hound, then you will want something with more flotation.

The tails also result in the snowshoe being somewhat unbalanced--the binding is too far forward when the tails are in use. This can result in tip dive.

Doug

bikehikeskifish
12-23-2008, 01:22 PM
What if you are the one breaking out the trail?

I can't say I have noticed an appreciable flotation difference between:

Denali Ascents
Denali Ascents + 4" tails
Denali Ascents + 8" tails
LL Bean Tubbs 30" flat-country shoes.

The tails do make the shoes more unwieldy for sure. I compared them last winter over the same loop under the power lines nearby my house. At 6'3" 200# w/o gear, I'm probably not going to get much flotation on any shoe, except maybe a 36" which wouldn't get used much in the Whites as it is way too wide. Even the 30" Atlas shoes are a bit wide - although when you need them is when you're breaking trail which wouldn't be as bad as trying to fit them into a narrow, preexisting track.

Tim

BobC
12-23-2008, 01:41 PM
Seeing that that original poster is from NJ and said that last year there wasn't even enough snow for snowshoes, I'd say either the MSR Denali Evo Ascents or the MSR Lightning Ascents should be fine. As to whether to buy the optional tails for the Evo Ascents, I'd even question the need for those if there wasn't much local snow last year.

adktyler
12-23-2008, 01:45 PM
The tails also result in the snowshoe being somewhat unbalanced--the binding is too far forward when the tails are in use. This can result in tip dive.

Doug

Yes, I found the same thing to be true. But I also found that if you adjusted your technique a little to accommodate, by putting more weight further back on the shoe, it would balance the whole thing out.

adktyler
12-23-2008, 01:50 PM
What if you are the one breaking out the trail?

I can't say I have noticed an appreciable flotation difference between:

Denali Ascents
Denali Ascents + 4" tails
Denali Ascents + 8" tails
LL Bean Tubbs 30" flat-country shoes.

The tails do make the shoes more unwieldy for sure. I compared them last winter over the same loop under the power lines nearby my house. At 6'3" 200# w/o gear, I'm probably not going to get much flotation on any shoe, except maybe a 36" which wouldn't get used much in the Whites as it is way too wide. Even the 30" Atlas shoes are a bit wide - although when you need them is when you're breaking trail which wouldn't be as bad as trying to fit them into a narrow, preexisting track.

Tim

I found that the tails helped much a bunch, but I am also 5' 8'' and 145lbs, so that could factor into the equation a lot. I used the 6'' tails up Street and Nye this weekend on my Evo Ascents, and took them off on the way back down (to make butt-sliding not cramp up my legs). I ended up post holing though many of our pre-existing tracks, which kind of sealed the deal of the benefit of the tails in my mind.

rup
12-23-2008, 08:13 PM
BobC:

Not much snow last year near home where I would practice / test runs. But pleanty of snow up north.

ps - what's the advantage of tails?

pps - are hiking boots ok, or are real winter boots necessary?? I imagine they are for a serious / long hike. Where's the 'cut-off'?

Kevin Rooney
12-23-2008, 08:17 PM
...ps - what's the advantage of tails?

Adds some additional flotation.

DougPaul
12-23-2008, 08:30 PM
pps - are hiking boots ok, or are real winter boots necessary?? I imagine they are for a serious / long hike. Where's the 'cut-off'?
If you don't use real winter boots, you risk trenchfoot or frostbite. Neither is pretty...

Your boots will get damp/wet from the inside and/or the outside. (No, Goretex linings will not keep your boots dry.) If it is not too cold, you may be able to keep your feet warm enough while you are moving, but could get into trouble if you have to stop or have problems with a stream crossing. Carry booties so you have some backup if you wear summer boots. (But you cannot travel very well with booties.)

Back when I was a college outing club leader, we would reject people who wanted to come on trips without adequate equipment, including boots. (The club also rented K-boots so adequate footwear was available.)

Good boots are cheaper than new feet.

Doug

weatherman
12-23-2008, 09:34 PM
Just my $.02 as a current (and hopefully former, in 2 days!) big Tubbs 30" snowshoe lover... they were phenomenal for breaking trail in deep stuff, which I discovered was wicked fun, also for going off-trail in deep snow, which is a feeling you'll never get any other way! They also doubled as good snow moving tools for winter camping. The only thing I didn't like about them was their soft aluminum crampons, which got real dull real fast. I haven't seen the new Tubbs Mountain, but they seem intriguing.

But as others mentioned, if you're mostly on packed trails, get something smaller, with excellent traction, and try one with an "elevator" bar. I hope there will be a pair of those under the tree.

And do get some kind of winter boots. Sorel type are just fine for non-crampon use, and not super expensive. Your feet will thank you. Just make sure they are rugged enough to not disintegrate under the punishment of rocks, ice, water crossings, etc.

Weatherman

bikehikeskifish
12-24-2008, 06:39 AM
And make sure they don't get crushed when you tighten your snowshoes around them either.

Tim
(I have a pair of Columbia Ice Dragon IIs which work well for me...)

Chip
12-24-2008, 08:40 AM
BobC:

Not much snow last year near home where I would practice / test runs. But pleanty of snow up north.

I'd check out local flee markets/tag sales/Goodwill Stores for cheap, used gear. If you're lucky you'll find a couple different sizes and styles for under $50. Someone here mentioned finding Yukon Charlies at TJ MAx or Marshalls for like $40. If you can get out on some different sizes and styles you'll have a better idea of what you want/need going forward.

FWIW: (and this will be obvious if you read the other snowshoe threads) MSR's are either loved or avoided. MSR, Tubbs and Atlas are normally top rec's with Red Feather, Crescent Moon and Yukon Charlie getting honorable mentions.


pps - are hiking boots ok, or are real winter boots necessary?? I imagine they are for a serious / long hike. Where's the 'cut-off'?
I have a pair of Montrail Olympus hiking boots (heavy duty leather hikers, waterproof) that I use in winter for local stuff and day hikes. Overnight or more serious conditions I wear koflach degre's.

BobC
12-24-2008, 08:45 AM
BobC:

Not much snow last year near home where I would practice / test runs. But pleanty of snow up north.

ps - what's the advantage of tails?

pps - are hiking boots ok, or are real winter boots necessary?? I imagine they are for a serious / long hike. Where's the 'cut-off'?

Ah, I get it.

Well you've already got a lot of comments about the snowshoes themselves but I will make a comment on the boots. You definitely want something that's warmer and more waterproof than three-season hiking boots. But otherwise my winter boots are not that different from my regular boots. Some people like plastics and that might be good for more serious winter mountaineering. I use Merrell "Thermo 6" boots in the winter, and in fact I even use them into the spring when there's less snow and a lot of water, because they're so much more waterproof than my Vasque Rangers.

dug
12-24-2008, 10:30 AM
What if you are the one breaking out the trail?



Wait an hour.....

adktyler
12-24-2008, 10:31 AM
Wait an hour.....

Or practice your swimming skills. You'll need them.