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wayward son
09-24-2005, 10:02 AM
Hey everyone! I'm not trying to rush thru this beautiful early fall weather, but I'll be visiting LL Bean in Freeport in a couple of weeks on my way to Acadia for vacation (finally!) :) At Bean I'll be looking at a pair of Pathfinder snowshoes, 26'' for $119. These I'm planning on using for the Adirondack high peaks this winter. My question is: are these good enough for what I'll be using these for, or should I be looking at other models (ie more expensive)? Of course, budget is a concern, but the purse strings could be loosen for the right deal.

BrentD22
09-24-2005, 02:13 PM
Check out IME consigment shop, rental shops selling off their old rentals, and the internet (ebay, ect) for used ones. With $100 you could most def purchase a very nice pair although used.

What do other winter hikers think about purchasing used gear?

Tom Rankin
09-24-2005, 03:50 PM
Check out IME consigment shop, rental shops selling off their old rentals, and the internet (ebay, ect) for used ones. With $100 you could most def purchase a very nice pair although used.

What do other winter hikers think about purchasing used gear?

I'm pretty tough on my snowshoes, so I doubt anyone would want to buy them. I'd rather have a pair I can trust.

You mentioned being ready to do the ADKs. I have a pair or MSRs that I can attach 2 different 'flotation tails' onto, making them either 4" or 8" longer. This can be very useful in different snow depths.

See you out there!

Rick
09-24-2005, 06:14 PM
You don't mention if you are visiting the high peaks to just hike some trails or whether you are planning on climbing them in winter, but I would rather have at minimum, a pair of Backcountry snowshoes rather than recreational snowshoes when climbing peaks.

My Sherpa snowshoes have taken a beating over the years and look horrible but are still hanging in there. I bet there are a dozen folks on this board who have broken good snowshoes while climbing peaks, I wonder how quickly the less expensive recreation version would fail??

If you were just tolling around some of the lowland routes and well traveled routes, you could probably get by with the recreational. However, keep in mind that you are required to wear them (a whole 'nother can of worms) while on the trails and if they are sloppy, uncomfortable or have bindings that keep falling off or don't let the 'shoe track straight or stay straight on your feet, they will hinder more than help you.
Good Luck

injektilo
09-24-2005, 06:27 PM
I'll second the MSR snowshoes. The attachable floatation tails allow you to tailor the shoe to the conditions. I've also had more than one person recommend MSR's over the traditional aluminum frame shoes... the plastic deck design that MSR uses is supposed to float better. Not sure how true it is but I've been very happy with mine.

Good luck with your purchase.

Lawn Sale
09-24-2005, 08:34 PM
The Pathfinder 25 should have the steel pin.

I have several snowshoes:

Tubbs Pathfinder 25, steel pin, 57 ounces (3.56 lbs)
Tubbs White Mountain 30, steel pin, 85 ounces (5.34 lbs)
Tubbs Approach 30, nylon strap (haven't weighed them yet)
Tubbs Pathfinder 36, steel pin, 96 ounces (6.03 lbs)
Atlas Elektra 1025 (25"), nylon, 58 ounces (3.64 lbs)

When using a heavy pack and breaking trail, the 36" is the only way to go. Otherwise a lighter snowshoe is great.

I also have some old wooden ones and some magnesium military ones with aircraft cable for webbing, which are indestructable, but heavy.

My older brother has the MSR snowshoes with the additional tails, but doesn't like them much because when you're in deep snow it pitches you forward because all the additional floatation is to the rear, not evenly distributed.

DougPaul
09-24-2005, 10:49 PM
My older brother has the MSR snowshoes with the additional tails, but doesn't like them much because when you're in deep snow it pitches you forward because all the additional floatation is to the rear, not evenly distributed.
I have also observed tip dive when using the 4in tails. Haven't tried the 8in tails, but I'd expect the problem to get worse. (Maybe if you have big feet, you can keep the pressure point far enough aft... :) )

Otherwise, the MSRs (non-lightning) are great--very good traction. A little noisy on crust. (Haven't tried the lightning model, so no opinion.)

These days, trails are broken out the the currently popular narrow snowshoes. Unfortunately, this makes it rather awkward for anyone using wider snowshoes.

Doug

Remix
09-24-2005, 11:02 PM
Regarding the length of the snow shoe, I must respectfully disagree with Kevin *if you are going to go off trail*. If you are going to bushwhack through deep uncompressed snow, and the manufacturer recommends a 36" shoe for the weight of you and your gear, you are not going to get as far in a 25" shoe.

Ive been there, done that and have a set a short shoes and longer ones for bushwhacking.

But if you are going to be staying on trails and not out overnight in blizzards, then I consider Kevin's advice valid.

KevCon223
09-25-2005, 08:53 AM
I use the MSR Denali Evo Ascent with the 6'' tails and have never had a problem (so far). They give you the option of removing the tails on dense snow (it's like having two different types of snowshoe's in one). Very reliable and fasten securely.

DougPaul
09-25-2005, 09:28 AM
I use the MSR Denali Evo Ascent with the 6'' tails and have never had a problem (so far). They give you the option of removing the tails on dense snow (it's like having two different types of snowshoe's in one). Very reliable and fasten securely.
I now have the same, but haven't tried the tails yet. My guess is that they will also exhibit tip dive. Only shows up in certain snow conditions.

If you are considering MSR Denali Classics (cheaper), make sure that the toe hole is big enough. I wear a leather double boot with supergaiters and the front of the hole was rubbing on and damaging the gaiters. This required me to mount my boot too far back which was inefficient. The newer Evo Ascents have a larger toe hole which cured the problem.

Doug

wayward son
09-25-2005, 12:17 PM
[QUOTE=Rick]You don't mention if you are visiting the high peaks to just hike some trails or whether you are planning on climbing them in winter, but I would rather have at minimum, a pair of Backcountry snowshoes rather than recreational snowshoes when climbing peaks.

Thanks for the wealth of advice! I knew I could count on fellow vftt members. Rick, actually I plan on doing both. I would like to hike into Avalance pass, plus plan small day hikes up Noonmark, Cascade, Wright, Phelps, etc. Nothing too extensive and no bushwacking. I've been using a pair of wooden Catpaws made by Carl Hielman of Brant Lake since the mid '80s. Their use, besides trips up Blue and Bald mts., have been relegated to Finger Lake trails - short, steep hills, but nothing like the high peaks. Also, they don't have crampons. Kevin, thanks for the insight on the bindings. I'll have to examine the shoes when I visit LL Bean and quiz their staff if I have any concerns. They are pretty knowledgeable. I just checked into Campmor's website. They have a pair of Redfeather backcountry 25'' shoes on sale for under $120. Does anyone know anything about this brand? I don't like to buy anything without without really seeing it. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks again everyone!

Rick
09-25-2005, 03:01 PM
Wayward, I had a pair of Redfeather Backcountry's (The older Red and Black Model) for about 4 years. They were nice and seemed to be built from good materials. I just didn't like the hard plastic ATB ratchet binding they came with. I found the hard plastic straps cut into my pac boots a little too much and caused compressed insulation leading to cold spots. I see that they have gone back to nylon straps. Looks like they could do a great job for what you have in mind.
Cheers
Rick

spaddock
09-25-2005, 06:01 PM
I use the MSR Denali Evo Ascent with the 6'' tails and have never had a problem (so far).

Another vote for the MSR Evo's. At 230lbs I used the tails with fresh snow, otherwise I went without. Loved the traction. For the ADK's I think they are superb. If I was hiking in deep powder all the time I'd probably go for something else.


-Shayne

snowshoe
09-26-2005, 05:59 AM
I have been using the MSR classics since they came out and love them. I like to use the MSR for snowshoeing more rugged areas and bushwhacks. They climb great, strap on with ease and you can chage the length. When I do more powder snow and when trails are not broken I use the Tubbs alt 30" They seem to float better and climb well. Although I did put a steel crampon on the Tubbs to help with climbing. For really deep snow I use my wooden shoes 36" Nothing floats better than the old wooden shoes. You can now get them fitted with crampons.