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Thread: Snowshoe advice

  1. #16
    Member The-Green-Man's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Nottingham, NH
    One thing I can't stress enough is the crampon: I bought a pair of Tubbs mountain 30s simply because they have an aggressive crampon. They've saved me several times when on ice. I've seen people slip and slide all over the place on the shoes with less agressive crampons... Even to the point they had to turn back...

    I can't comment on snowshoe size other than err on the small side. Manuvering in the woods and around rocks is difficult with larger shoes.

    I'm in a difficult spot on account of my weight. I weigh 260 Lb WITHOUT an overnight pack. I've had problems an un-broken trail after 3-4 feet of fresh powder simply because I sink like a rock! I think anyone would without monsterous snowshoes on...

  2. #17
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
    Jericho, VT
    I think to pick snowshoes, you have to tell us what you want to do. Snowshoes are not a "one product does all" gear choice anymore.

    Plastic MSRs are great for climbing steep packed trails up mountains; but they are really not a very good choice at all for easy hiking in the woods over rolling terrain: they are small, clunky, and make a lot of noise.

    The flip side is that all snowshoes work "pretty well" and as long as your aren't set on climbing mountains, you can usually put them on your feet and start walking more or less. The bigger they are, the more you will float in deep snow; the smaller they are, the lighter and better they may be following someone else's trail.

    Bindings are a major difference. Some bindings pivot freely, so the shoe will drag on the ground at the heel. Other binds are wound tight and designed to hold the back of the shoe up. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, although in many ways the "best" binding is often one that does a bit of both. Free pivot is good because it doesn't throw snow all over the back of your legs, but it much harder to walk backwards in; also can be better on steeps because the shoe will stay parallel to the slope. Active/tight bindings are much better for backing up, running, jumping, and kicking steps.

  3. #18
    Senior Member WinterWarlock's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Rochester, NY

    A "quiver" is required....

    So what all this means is - buy several pair!!

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

    Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #19
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Here and there Avatar: Ice Ice Baby...
    These are "Biomechanically Engineered to support a woman's stride." Who knows. They look like great shoes. The binding system on these is a rubberized nylon, basically one pull for the foot and one for the heel.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start


  5. #20
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Manchester, NH
    At least they aren't PINK.

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  6. #21
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    New Hampshire
    I am surprised it took 16 replies (michaelb) to mention the question -- What do you want to do with them. Once you answer that, better answers can be had

    I will say that the most-recommended shoe for winter peakbagging, when I asked last year, was the MSR Denali Ascent, which I have, and which you can have now from EMS for $99.98--They only have them mail-order. I drove to Peterborough this weekend and picked up a replacement pair and one extra for a friend...

    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Nobleboro, Maine Avatar: Even my shadow hikes!
    If you're climbing, I'd definitely go with the crampon, like The-Green-Man mentioned. The most aggressive crampon I have seen so far is the Viper/Python combo by Tubbs. I have some with the Vipers only as the Python is new, and they are awesome, much better than my MSR's for traction. My favorite snowshoes out of the 8 pairs I own are my Atlas 1025's, they are nice and narrow (they're women's), have a great binding, and awesome traction, especially on the steep stuff. But, if I had to buy a new set, I'd be torn between the Tubbs with the Viper/Python combo or the Atlas 1225's.

    A lot of mine have the nylon webbing for a binding material, and it's not a problem with ice and snow, in any conditions, and they go easily on/off with mittens as well.
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.

  8. #23
    Senior Member spider solo's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by MadRiver
    yes, partly true about the marketing.... but it's a link to one of the best standbys that TNF has had for years at about the same price for several years now.
    The Denali Jacket....finally in colors other than black, black, black, nice to see some colors. Looking for a black jacket and black snowpants and black overmitts etc etc. I could never find anything in my pack....

    Thinking about snowshoeing ...I would probably recommend a ladies snowshoe if a companiy were offering one, but would not hold out as the only reason.
    Usually guys shoes are built so you feel like your waddling like a duck esp. if your new to why increase that motion... when it could be narrower for women . You can look at the shoe and there should be a difference in how the right and left shoes are shaped so when your feet are falling in stride the two shoes will nestle closer together with out the wadling.

    Perhaps easier too think of when thinking about the old wooden shoes...esp like the Maine and Michigan style snowshoe.
    Not so with a Bear paw style or a modified bears paw...they opted for oval and a lot of modern snowshoes just fell into that generic style and are only now getting back to shaped snowshoes (but marketing is probably the reason).
    Racing snowshoes with the scalloped shapes to the extreme spectrum of possibilities.

    When I go north to visit our friends, all have the same shape snowshoe but diiferent sizes. One size for the Mr another for size for the Mrs and yet another for their little boy when he was young.

    So to have womens snowshoes is not a new concept....
    Last edited by spider solo; 02-12-2008 at 06:42 PM. Reason: rewrite
    "you've got to stand for something'll fall for anything"

  9. #24
    Member Maria's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Ok, to answer the question of what I want to use them for.

    Well, as I said I'm really new to winter hiking - but think ultimately I will want to do the same kind of terrain in winter that I do in other seasons: Adks, Catkskills, VT, local stuff here in Rockland/Putnam counties if we ever get enough snow.....(sigh) Since I love to xc ski, if the terrain is rolling or even simple backcountry, I would rather just strap on my skis.

    The other thing you see is the fishtail at the back of some snowshoes, but the MSR doesn't have that. I'm thinking of the MSR Women's Lightning Ascent - like the idea of keeping things as light as possible - but now that people are talking about Atlas...I'll have to think about it some more.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Pittsfield, MA
    I think the two lightweight snowshoes would be the MSRs and the Northern Lites. I do like the idea of the MSR Lightning Ascents for certain slide climbs due to their serrated frame, acting somewhat like a crampon in some situations. Not a replacement for true crampons but in some mixed rock, ice, and snow, may be useful. If I was to buy another pair, I would consider the lightning ascents, but I am quite happy with my NLs, they have taken a beating, having survived the rocks on North Brother in Baxter and I have used them extensively this winter in peaks in ME, VT, NY (Catskills, ADKs) and not a sign of any failure. The plastic nub things on the frame joints are wearing but they are simply plastic and can be expected to wear with what I've been putting them through.

    As with most snowshoes, there is a learning curve as to what conditions it excels in, what kind of traction you can get by simply walking versus a more forceful walk. I certainly have to be a bit careful on the descents with the NLs, as opposed to my old Sherpas but I don't mind the learning curve based on the 36oz claimed weight of the pair.

    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

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