snow shoes

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pickelltree
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snow shoes

Post by pickelltree » Mar 01 2009 9:55 pm

i am getting ready for yosemite and i believe there might be a need for some snow shoes at some higher elevations. renting for 5 days will cost almost as much as buying a pair. so i am looking for advice on snow shoes, i have never used them and just have done some simple searched on the internet about them. does anyone have experience with them and can share some different features that i should make sure i get when i buy. i am planning on doing day hikes and backpacking depending on weather and i weight between 150 and 180 with a pack

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PaleoRob
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Re: show shoes

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 01 2009 10:15 pm

I like my Atlas ones, but they do kick a lot up and soak your butt if you're not wearing something to stop it.
MSR has some nice ones.
I think jhodlof probably has the most experience on this board with snowshoes in his epic summit trips, though.
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azbackpackr
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Re: snow shoes

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 02 2009 6:37 am

I have used snowshoes a bit myself, climbed Gorgonio and San Jacinto, etc. I would say you don't want the cheap ones with buckle straps but instead you should spend more, make sure they have the easy clamping-in type of bindings. As Rob said, Atlas is a good brand. Also Tubbs. And always ALWAYS ALWAYS wear gaitors whenever you are in the snow to keep your feet dry: the knee-high ones. (Say, "Yes, Mother!") OR makes some--you can buy them through Campmor catalogue, for example. Cold, wet feet will spoil your day quicker than anything. If your boots may not be totally waterproof, try treating them with Sno-Seal goop or Camp Dry spray.

I bought a cheap $60 pair of snowshoes last winter and never used them after taking one look at the bindings, which are cheap plastic, with buckles. I prefer cross country skiing, but of course in some areas skiing is less practical. I kept the snowshoes, thinking I would use them to dayhike with a friend who doesn't ski. I still might...
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Re: snow shoes

Post by BobP » Mar 02 2009 7:42 am

+ 1 for Atlas.

Also, check these out. Tubbs Couloir 25 Snowshoes are 30% off at REI. $175 plus tax free shipping if you pickup at a store. Tubbs is a major brand.
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Re: snow shoes

Post by Hoffmaster » Mar 02 2009 8:29 am

Your choice of snowshoe should be determined by the type of terrain that you'll be snowshoeing in. If it's steep, snowshoes with a tubular frame are not ideal. I would check out the MSR Denali Ascents or the Lightning Ascents. They're pricy, but either of them should suit your needs. I have worn the Denali Ascents on Humphrey's and I thought they were awesome.
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Re: snow shoes

Post by Jim_H » Mar 02 2009 10:44 am

I recommend any snow shoe that is going to be used on upslope climbs for extended periods of time have a heal elevator. Make sure the shoes have a pin in the starting buckle that goes through a hole in the strap at both ends so that they are firmly anchored during the trip. Someone on the Whitney trip in December had basic Denali's and they do not have that pin at both ends, it is only in the fastening buckle. His straps kept coming undone. He also lacked a heal elevator and climbing was a little more tiring for him.
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pickelltree
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Re: snow shoes

Post by pickelltree » Mar 02 2009 11:18 am

great info, i am going to look for one with a heal elevator and maybe not tubes, should i worry about the weight of the shoes at all? is the pin in the back something you get with the shoe shoes or is it a part of your boot?

i have some gaitors mom,

thanks

i would like to find a used pair, i'm sure someone has a pair of them in their garage collecting dust.

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te_wa
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Re: snow shoes

Post by te_wa » Mar 02 2009 11:42 am

sierra trading post has a few nice pair below retail. recreational seem to be round at the back, sport/endurance/racing ones are very light, small and are severly tapered like teardrops. Id look for something in-between.
i researched them briefly for an upcoming trip but still, i think the price is out of my range for something i may only use 1-2x a year. YMMV.
:D

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Re: snow shoes

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 02 2009 2:07 pm

I watched ebay to try to buy some good ones, but they always peaked up at the last minute to close to retail prices, so why bother, right? I've given up on ebay for good quality stuff--you always have to play that last minute bidding game.
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Re: snow shoes

Post by Jim_H » Mar 02 2009 3:31 pm

Sounds like we need to start a gear Co-op where we only rent quality equipment to highly active HAZ members. REI rents the cheap ones, as do the stores in Flagstaff.

MSR prices the Denali Evo Ascent at $199.95 on their website. It is a little steep for a week of use, and you might be able to boot most of the time if the snow consolidates in 2 weeks. The base model Denali is the one that has no elevator and lacks the pin. The pin is part of the buckle that attaches the strap to the shoe. It shouldn't need to be adjusted unless something breaks and its the spot the strap will originate from. The next model up is the Denali Evo and then the Evo Ascent. Their website is funny, in one spot the Evo has a heal elevator, and in another it does not. I can't tell about the pin. I have the Evo Ascents. They are worth the money if you use them a lot.

If you buy used ones, make sure to look at the hinges on the shoe. If you walk at an angle to the slope you start to torque those hinges and can damage them. Last thing you want is the hinge to pop out or rip when miles from snow free terrain.

Gators are absolutel necessary in fresh snow, but they become a hot nuisance in consolidated snow. I haven't used mine on the Peaks in 2 weeks. Anything below 8000' in Yosemite should start to consolidate very quickly with full sun and warmer temps, which is becoming pretty common in mid-march. The rain/snow line from the current storm in the Sierra is rather high, and that rain will make an excellent crust to walk on. A crampon might be more useful than a snowshoe. Watch the weather Yosemite. If you have more than a few days of warm sunny days and freezing nights the crust might be thick enough that you won't need a snowshoe.
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Re: snow shoes

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 02 2009 4:02 pm

I wear gaiters year-round. I wear those short OR ones at all times when hiking. If I don't, I always get rocks in my socks. If my feet got too hot I wouldn't wear them, probably, but I have been lucky to not have that problem.
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Jim_H
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Re: snow shoes

Post by Jim_H » Mar 02 2009 6:52 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I wear gaiters year-round. I wear those short OR ones at all times when hiking. If I don't, I always get rocks in my socks. If my feet got too hot I wouldn't wear them, probably, but I have been lucky to not have that problem.
Year Round!?! I guess you can do that to guard against other things besides snow. I have skipped them on my last few climbs because the snow wasn't that deep, and the other layers I had on underneath were making my legs really hot. I wear knee high goretex gators.
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te_wa
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Re: snow shoes

Post by te_wa » Mar 02 2009 7:20 pm

rocks dont dare enter my shoes, they'd die from the fumes :sl:
the only gators I wear are Manolo Blahnik loafers ;)
:D

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big_load
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Re: snow shoes

Post by big_load » Mar 02 2009 7:41 pm

I almost always wear gaiters in snow. I also often wear short Coolmax gaiters in the desert, because I don't stop to pick out the pebbles, I just keep going until they destroy my feet.

Anyway, I use Atlas snowshoes (1130). No matter much flotation you have, you'll eventually find snow soft enough to sink into. Mine are a little older, so they don't have the heel lift like today's model. That's a nice feature.

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azbackpackr
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Re: snow shoes

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 03 2009 6:04 am

Rocks in my boots, hitchhikers in my socks, snow in my boots. I wear gaiters. Glad to hear about the various types of snowshoes as I didn't know any of that info. Years ago I even wore the old bearpaw wooden ones. They worked ok.
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pickelltree
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Re: snow shoes

Post by pickelltree » Mar 05 2009 6:42 am

i bought a pair of Denali Evo Ascent . yah for rei 20% member coupon. now i just hope they get here before i leave.

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