Snowshoe vs barebooting

Mike P.

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As others mentioned it seems silly to whine about the condition of the trail, are you expecteing it to be groomed for you?

I do belong in the snowshoes are a necessary evil. If you are not post-holing making 0 - 4" hole regularly, mandating show shoes or getting all lathered up about it goes against the whole hike your own hike mantra.

For those people who don't glissade, glissader's make the trails an icy chute but it's a proper decent technique. people going up afterwards just may need their crampons.

Why don't we ever talk about why all the winter hikers pack down the snow so much that come Spring time, the last place snow melts is on the trail (hence the monorail effect come April & May) if no one was winter hiking, there would be no monorail & in many cases trails would melt sooner since they get a bit more sun.

While some people post holing cause a greater percentage of winter hikers grief, all wiinter hikers (still a small number) are causing the 3 season hiking population (a much bigger number just not fanatical enough to be on VFTT) more grief.

"Adapt & overcome" people
 
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Stan

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Another sure sign of winter ... the perennial postholing imbroglio.

I am less inconvenienced by postholers than I am in pity of them. The wasted energy, the risk of injury ... I've tried to imagine what the resistence is to snowshoes, outdoor tools that have served mankind from prehistoric times.

Is it the affordability? Is it a sense self reliance? Is it the desire of a more challenging hike? Curious minds want to know.

There are also those bothered by the track left by glissading.

Personally, there are things to get more upset about. I'll let you know what they are when I have some idle time to think about it.

Meanwhile, when I hike I expect things to be ... well ,,, less than some false sense of what an ideal trail should be. That's life on the trail. That's life period. Roots, rock, bugs and mud don't deter me in the summer ... I'll be damned if I give a few bumps and grinds much thought in the winter, either.
 

DougPaul

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I am less inconvenienced by postholers than I am in pity of them. The wasted energy, the risk of injury ... I've tried to imagine what the resistence is to snowshoes, outdoor tools that have served mankind from prehistoric times.

Is it the affordability? Is it a sense self reliance? Is it the desire of a more challenging hike? Curious minds want to know.
I have noticed that a lack of snowshoeing skill is correlated with postholing...

(This anecdotal conclusion was reached back when I was an outing club leader and often knew who the postholer was and what his skills were.)


One can often save energy by using snowshoes when one only sinks in a couple of inches. But those who only use them as a last resort will never discover this...

Doug
 

The Hikers

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Perhaps the cure for all these trail complaints is to mandate a series of bushwacks to be taken first.
Thereafter, any kind of a trail will seem wonderful
 

Mike P.

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One can often save energy by using snowshoes when one only sinks in a couple of inches. But those who only use them as a last resort will never discover this...

Doug

Assuming I'm not slipping back with each step I'm taking or expending extra effort into kicking steps & my normal step clears the ground by several inches, please enlighten those of us who don't gleefully don our snowshoes at the first sign of snow how strapping 2-3 pounds on our feet is easier than not strapping them on. (Sarcasm can be a mouthful)

Last I read, (I forgotten the exact numbers but suspect someone here has them) every pound on your feet is equal to approx. 3 pounds on your pack. So how does adding two pounds or so to each foot going to easier than carrying 4 pounds on my pack when I don't need the advantages that weight provides on my feet, it seems silly. Maybe Kobe should have worn ankle weights + his sneakers on 12/25.;)

Personally, I'd say for me I'd have to postholing several inches, over four in packed conditions, 6-8 in powder since you easily stride through (if you have to kick through it, it's not easy) powder, before snowshoes on my feet would be preferrable to snowshoes on my back.

Since we are all built a bit different maybe those of us built more like a beast of burden find it easier to bear the load on our back while the gazelles have a greater percent of their strength in their legs so wearing heavy footwear is not so bad.
 
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Carmel

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i can't believe i'm posting this...but...

i assume why a lot of people post hole is because they probably don't own snowshoes...

i also went winter hiking multiple times before i even knew what post holing was

lastly, a lot of times people don't realize that they are aggravating other people...until it is pointed out to them. For instance, I had gone winter hiking a bunch of times and seen the big holes and never actually thought to complain about the holes that everyone else complains about until it was pointed out. once someone pointed out the whole "postholing" thing...now I notice everytime. Kind of like someone at work who has an annoying habit and you never notice, but once someone points it out...the annoying habit that you never noticed before can drive you into the looney bin...

-carm

P.S. I do not own snowshoes...

P.P.S. However...I have borrowed them many times...
 

DougPaul

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please enlighten those of us who don't gleefully don our snowshoes at the first sign of snow how strapping 2-3 pounds on our feet is easier than not strapping them on.
Improved and more predictable footing saves energy. You also put less energy into compressing snow.

Doug
 
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sardog1

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Improved and more predictable footing saves energy. You also put less energy into compressing snow.

Doug

Yup. My stride with snowshoes is significantly longer than my bareboot stride in the same conditions, so I'm taking fewer steps to cover the same distance. Fewer steps, plus the easier balancing from the "(i)mproved and more predictable footing," is less work expended to cover the same distance, even if I'm lifting the snowshoes each step. I know this from long, long experience of snowshoeing (and from some experience looking for postholers who were in trouble . . . )
 

dug

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I've often found if there is any slippage at all, a snowshoe will be more beneficial since each foot stride is like on a sidewalk. A heavy, clumsy hunk of aluminum aside. Add a little slipping and sliding, even for a few inches, and it can be a drag in boots.

Now, more importantly, how do I go about mandating taller hikers pass the trails before me?
 

Kevin Rooney

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Heck, and I thought Imbroglio was some kind of pasta
In some circles I think it is. And for dessert they usually serve balaclavas, which is the how the rest of us eat baklava.

Amazing what you can learn online in your spare time, isn't it?
 

forestgnome

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Improved and more predictable footing saves energy. You also put less energy into compressing snow.

Doug

I'm not the technical/physics type, but I cannot agree more with results. I find wearing my 36" Tubbs to be far more comfortable and enjoyable than even a slight slippage of barebooting on a packed trail. My stride is longer and normal, and each step is firm as if I'm walking on pavement. The foot lands on a flat surface (the snowshoe). I can walk over hiker and moose postholes like they don't even exist.

There is no question about it; it's far more comfortable and enjoyable for me. Just my $.02.

happy trails :)
 

forestgnome

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As Roy mentioned, we have this discussion every winter, and it's unlikely people's minds are going to change as a result.

I would most respectfully point out that this is true for veterans, but there are always new folks reading these pages and , as Carmel stated, they may be completely unaware of the issue until they read/hear about it. Such is the reality for veterans of any pursuit; we must remind ourselves of the value of seemingly pointless discussion of basics.

happy trails :)
 

adktyler

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I would most respectfully point out that this is true for veterans, but there are always new folks reading these pages and , as Carmel stated, they may be completely unaware of the issue until they read/hear about it. Such is the reality for veterans of any pursuit; we must remind ourselves of the value of seemingly pointless discussion of basics.

happy trails :)

Thanks! I for one, appreciate it :)
 

Oldmanwinter

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I have been scolded in the past while wearing crampons and carrying my snowshoes. There was three of us in the party ascending a trail, two were wearing crampons and one was wearing snowshoes when we met a VFTT user and longtime hiker descending. We were leaving footprints (not postholes) about 1 inch deep. We politely took the speech under advisement and moved on. I will wear my snowshoes instead of postholing but not necessarily while leaving footprints.
 
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