"Leave the Snow Shoes in the Car"???

MadRiver

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show me a snowshoe track up shoestring or landslide gullies on mt. webster and i'll show you someone who doesn't know how to climb.

That at least explains why the beginning of the Webster Cliff Trail to the cutoff with the Saco River Trail is so postholed. After the cutoff there was only one set of posthole tracks made by a female, who I assumed, was an ice climber because the tracks were coming down, and there were no corresponding tracks going up. I simply put on my snowshoes and made a new track. About a half mile later her tracks took a sharp left off the trail and headed straight up the mountain, or down the mountain, as the case may be. It wasn’t until later when I encountered two huge trees blocking the trail that I understood why she left the trail. From the looks of her tracks, her trip down wasn’t very pleasant. Note to ice climbers, if you do hike down the trail, the blowdowns are several hundred yards past the new rock slide area. It will be awhile before the mess is cleared by the professional crew. They are too large for this lonely adopter to remove.
 

Barbarossa

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I finished my day in the woods yesterday by snowshoeing on an abandoned railroad. When the snowmobilers came whizzing by, I stepped aside and we exchanged waves.

Lesson learned: Don't wear an iPod while hiking.
 

dr_wu002

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What I don't get is that most of the time when I see evidence of someone barebooting, I think it's funny! Usually it's, "why would anyone bareboot this trail -- it must've taken then forever..." And there has been occasion that postholes are annoying but that's just how it goes. The monorail in late spring is annoying. Spruce traps can be annoying. icy trails can be annoying. mash potato snow can be annoying. Falling through an ice bridge can be annoying. Walking a post holed trail can be annoying. It's one of the "risks" you assume when you go out for a hike. For the most part though it's not wide spread and thankfully the government (state or federal) hasn't jumped in to "save" us yet...

-Dr. Wu
 

dug

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What I don't get is that most of the time when I see evidence of someone barebooting, I think it's funny! Usually it's, "why would anyone bareboot this trail -- it must've taken then forever..." And there has been occasion that postholes are annoying but that's just how it goes. The monorail in late spring is annoying. Spruce traps can be annoying. icy trails can be annoying. mash potato snow can be annoying. Falling through an ice bridge can be annoying. Walking a post holed trail can be annoying. It's one of the "risks" you assume when you go out for a hike. For the most part though it's not wide spread and thankfully the government (state or federal) hasn't jumped in to "save" us yet...

-Dr. Wu

Snowy bums can be annoying...no love for that one? :D
 

leaf

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That at least explains why the beginning of the Webster Cliff Trail to the cutoff with the Saco River Trail is so postholed. After the cutoff there was only one set of posthole tracks made by a female, who I assumed, was an ice climber because the tracks were coming down, and there were no corresponding tracks going up. I simply put on my snowshoes and made a new track. About a half mile later her tracks took a sharp left off the trail and headed straight up the mountain, or down the mountain, as the case may be. It wasn’t until later when I encountered two huge trees blocking the trail that I understood why she left the trail. From the looks of her tracks, her trip down wasn’t very pleasant. Note to ice climbers, if you do hike down the trail, the blowdowns are several hundred yards past the new rock slide area. It will be awhile before the mess is cleared by the professional crew. They are too large for this lonely adopter to remove.
When I climb Shoestring, I park along the road about 0.5 miles from the Webster Cliff trailhead and there's usually a climbers path straight up the mountain into the gully, so i don't touch the saco trail. although if you want to link up landslide and shoestring - you can park across from the willey house and use the saco river trail, so yeah, climbers probably use that so that may explain why it's postholed out. after i top out, i take the webster cliff trail down, as does all the climbers i see. not sure why she'd be walking straight down the mountain unless she bailed out of the climb? how did you know the track was from a female? anyway, the webster cliff trail descent makes for some awesome boot glissades!
 
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Tom Rankin

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What I don't get is that most of the time when I see evidence of someone barebooting, I think it's funny! Usually it's, "why would anyone bareboot this trail -- it must've taken then forever..." And there has been occasion that postholes are annoying but that's just how it goes. The monorail in late spring is annoying. Spruce traps can be annoying. icy trails can be annoying. mash potato snow can be annoying. Falling through an ice bridge can be annoying. Walking a post holed trail can be annoying. It's one of the "risks" you assume when you go out for a hike. For the most part though it's not wide spread and thankfully the government (state or federal) hasn't jumped in to "save" us yet...

-Dr. Wu
Yeah, but a lot of things you just mentioned happen naturally. Postholing can be prevented! :p:D
 

dr_wu002

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Yeah, but a lot of things you just mentioned happen naturally. Postholing can be prevented! :p:D
Sure, but how do you prevent it? Laws? Cops on the trails? Both of those are completely ridiculous that tax payer $$ would be needlessly diverted to make hikers more comfortable. I guess you can speak up but I rarely ever see the person that postholed the trail so you might not have luck there. Rant and rave on a website? I doubt that's going to change people's feelings -- anyone that hikes in winter probably has some vague idea that there's such a thing as snowshoes and they're relatively inexpensive. In the grand scheme of things this is all pretty irrelevant.

WWGD? Has anyone spoken to our famous privy guru for advice on this topic?

-Dr. Wu
 

leaf

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i'm going to start an anti-monorail campaign! i hate monorails! clearly the result of snowshoe tracks. if we all postholed, i bet there wouldn't be any! :cool:
 

MadRiver

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not sure why she'd be walking straight down the mountain unless she bailed out of the climb? how did you know the track was from a female? anyway, the webster cliff trail descent makes for some awesome boot glissades!

I lost the trail after the first two large blowdowns, so I’m just guessing that she might have encountered more obstacles. I’m assuming she was female by the size of the boot print and her pee stain.
 

Tim Seaver

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Indeed

This information is not written in stone, but rather ice and snow. Every spring the knowledge fades faster than my short term memory. It goes away with warm weather and a new group of hikers that do not have the benefit of our experience. It will continue on, as long as we have new hikers, equipment, and desire. It's a good thing I wrote this down, or I would have forgotten it already. :confused::eek:

Ah yes. This tale shall be told many times. The Cotton Clan will never be wiser. The Gorgons will never understand them. And so it is.

Blessed are the Clueless, they only hunger for Adventure.

"Why do they fight, father?", the boy asked. The old man chuckled softly and shook his head "It's always been this way, son...and probably always will be. The Gorgons may win this battle, but they don't understand...there will always be more", as he gestured to the Southern Shores of Massopotamia.
 

Tim Seaver

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I rarely see people carrying snow shoes on the Lions Head route - it's pretty much the norm unless it's really deep, and it attracts more climber types and less peak-baggers ( the climber types hate carrying snowshoes) I have worn/carried snowshoes one time ( maybe two) in that trail in over 20 years.

(Just to note that this particular trail isn't a particularly good barometer of snowshoe etiquette or necessity.)
 

Billy

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It's probably a virtual certainty that looking down your nose at new winter hikers and referring to them as "cherries" and "tourists" isn't going to get them to start wearing snowshoes. In fact, it might have the opposite effect once they see how fun and easy it is to piss you off.
 

skiguy

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I rarely see people carrying snow shoes on the Lions Head route - it's pretty much the norm unless it's really deep, and it attracts more climber types and less peak-baggers ( the climber types hate carrying snowshoes) I have worn/carried snowshoes one time ( maybe two) in that trail in over 20 years.

(Just to note that this particular trail isn't a particularly good barometer of snowshoe etiquette or necessity.)

Thanks for saying so....I totally agree. IMO this route much of the time is a giant white esculator. Good traing for the South Col Route!:D
 

sierra

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This thread comes up every year. I could only read the first page, Ive heard it all. MY stance is this, absolutly no law should ever be passed regarding equipment use in the backcountry, man you new yorkers I feel for and Im glad I dont hike there. I carry my snowshoes most of the time, if I dont think I need them, I leave them, Id rather bareboot or crampon or now I even microspike, I dont care if people like what I do or not and dont bother telling me if you think I need to be wearing snowshoes, Ill sik my dog on you so fast youll forget about me in a second. I never tell anyone regardless of what thier doing to the trail my opinion, live and let live, I love those absolute mental cases who can posthole for miles without loosing thier bloody minds, they make me feel superior to them as a mountain climber and I look down on them with pity and disdaine, they will like most of us learn eventually that they invented snowshoes a few years back, even if they never learn I dont care. I can hike a postholed trail with zero difficulty, why do some on this board seem like its so freakin tough, the first rule of mountaineering ADAPT to your terrain accordingly and try and do it with a little less complaining if you could. see you out there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

forestgnome

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Funny, I met a guy on top of Willey last year who is a serious mountaineer (done Denali and Rainier). We descended the WRT together. Half a mile from the car, on the Ethan Pond Trail, the snow became soft and we started punching through. He didn't want to put on snowshoes -- when I made a joke about the snowshoe police getting him, he rolled his eyes and said something to the effect that we were in the mountains, not on a groomed cross-country ski trail.

Again, not endorsing postholing. However, I think the ones who get their hackles raised over the issue MIGHT be in the minority (they're just very vocal about it), and I'm not convinced it has all that much to do with mountaineering experience.

Excellent points!

What's wrong with being a tourist? If you left Mass to be a climber or a mountaineer you are also a tourist. We like tourism.

I wonder how many of the posthole complainers wear MSRs, creating a track that makes other snowshoes impossible to use? Do they expect us to wear snowshoes that cannot handle real snow? Not gonna happen. Try MSRs in 3' of snow. What a joke. Thank heavens for microspikes.
 

Becca M

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As a newbie I didn't even know people snowshoed and I punched up a few trails-- I would have appreciated someone "educating" me kindly on the trail!!!

Now, in terms of equipment on the trail..... next thing I know I won't be allowed to mountain bike :eek: in a wilderness area!!!;) [JUST KIDDING]
 

smitty77

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Excellent points!

What's wrong with being a tourist? If you left Mass to be a climber or a mountaineer you are also a tourist. We like tourism.

Thanks for sticking up for us Massachusetts "tourists"! I'm mostly a summer tourist with only 26 years experience doing it and more than 100 trips under my belt. But apparently I have a lot to learn as I don't believe it necessary to wear snowshoes 100% of the time.

And while we're at it, what gives you winter "mountaineers" the right to form a 2 foot thick mound of snow in my "tourist" trail that takes about a month longer to melt than the rest of the mountainside? Not only does this wite ribbon of snow fly in the face of "leave no trace", but some of us want to hike in our trail runners without microspikes before Memorial Day, you know? We can solve all these problems if you just stay off the trails between November and April.

And for those of you who take life a little too seriously, my last comment was tongue-in-cheek. But the idea is equally abrasive and ridiculous.
 

leaf

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smitty.. you are gonna be the vice-president and treasurer of my anti-monorail campaign!
 

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