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Thread: Are MSR snowshoes too small?

  1. #16
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Hampshire
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I really enjoy the stability a snowshoe provides and rarely carry spikes these days.
    I too prefer snowshoes when there is enough snow, even on packed trails... However, when it's very rocky (above treeline for example), it's cheaper to wear out, sharpen, and replace microspikes than snowhoes, and it's less awkward as well.

    I've been atop the Adams/Madison combo in some form 3 times this winter and Madison was best bare-booting, Adams in spikes, and snowshoes for the snowfields that surround the cones. Granted it is a below average snow year in 2020... (so far)

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

  2. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH
    Where snowshoes size factors in is off trail/trailbreaking. I was out last Wednesday with folks who weigh less than I but had shorter snow shoes. There was about 6" of fresh powder on breakable crust with variable depth of snow pack below. We were a mix of on trail and off trail. It was obvious that I was not breaking through the the underlying crust as often as the others when off trail. I did a lot of trail breaking as long as someone pointed me in the right direction No doubt if I had my short shoes I would be having a rougher time and would have wanted to trade off more often. I had my short shoes on this weekend while cutting trees on my property and I was breaking through more often. Chainsaw work with snowshoes is dicey at best and short shoes tend to be more maneuverable. I have a pair of much larger and wider shoes for breaking trails in hardwoods. They have great flotation but not very maneuverable plus they lack rotary claws so not so good going uphill.

    I was out on Starr King yesterday AM and it was a sidewalk. The shoes and microspikes were in the pack but conditions were fine for barebooting, no kittens were harmed. I put the on microspikes on the way down. I tend not to wear snowshoes in hard snow like that as I find it can fatigue the bindings and snowshoes more. Add in a bit of overnight powder and its a different story.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Colchester, CT
    I need to head up north! I've been hiking in Sneakers this winter in New London and Tolland Counties. Looking at old scout guidelines where we told parents kids can't show up in winter without boots.

    As being the largest one to answer, being 10% heavier & being at times close to three bills when adding a winter pack, in past years, I've been on the MSR's without tails on the packed trails, even with a few inches of new powder. Heading off trail when needed was a bit of an issue but not bad for once or twice a trip.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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