Snowshoeing

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Thread: Snowshoeing

  1. #1
    Greg's Avatar
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    Snowshoeing

    Maybe this is a stupid question. Last year I picked up a pair of Redfeather Hike Series snowshoes. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of snow even down my way, I didn't get the chance to use them. This winter I'm determined to. My question: is there any technique for snowshoeing or do you basically strap them on and go? I'll be sticking to mostly flat trails for now. Any advice?

    I ski double black diamonds.

  2. #2
    Hey Greg.

    Ah...Snowshoes. In a nutshell. Yeah...strap them on and go. Experience with them will do more than anything I may say...but hey...

    It may take 1-2 hours to get use to them. General placement of strides, how much to lift (distance) on certain terrain and getting use to the addtional space your feet take up at breaks....sounds strange but if your with others it could be a bit of a CF.

    Not familar with your model. I am assuming it has a claw/teeth and cleat/brake (usually attatched mid/rear of the bottom of the show.). The claw/teeth can really pull you up some steep sections and learning to trust that aspect also comes with experience/time on snowshoes.

    You'll may find well tramped out trails that you probaly don't need them. Make it a point to bushwack...you will really see how well snowshoes displace your weight over a large area of untouched/deep snow.

    Even with them on you may posthole or hit a "spruce trap". In these cases be patient getting your leg out. I have had to take some off to get my leg out and it's a pain digging/searching under 5+ feet of snow for a snowshoe.

    They are a blast man...really fun.

    I was going to talk about sliding/skating on trails/snow with them....but alas me thinks that would open a can of worms.

    Peace

  3. #3
    Greg's Avatar
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    Hey Jaytrek. Thanks for the advice. HERE are my snowshoes (the H30 model, I think). Click on the 360 view link and use the slider to look at it. I think from that you can see the claw/teeth and cleat/brake as you describe them. They should be fun to try out.

    On a related note - any recommendation for good winter boots to use with them?
    I ski double black diamonds.

  4. #4
    Greg, I use my Koflach plastic winter mountaineering boots with my snowshoes but for low level woods tramping, that's a bit of overkill. I think you'll have good results using something like the Sorel-type snow pac boots. As far as the technique goes, it's pretty much straight forward walking. You'll find that after about 2 minutes it becomes as simple as breathing. Modern snowshoes are so easy to maneuver that there is practically no learning curve. You'll be an expert "right out of the box", so to speak! Have fun...it's a good family activity. We just bought my wife her first pair and she plans to keep active straight through the winter, mostly on easy terrain on some of the nearby trails in north-central Mass.

    Max
    "Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can." Virginia Reed, Donner party survivor

  5. #5
    To get going on snowshoes is trivial. Just put them on. The only basic skill you really need to learn, beyond keeping your balance, is not clunking them into each other, or even worse, stepping on one with the other. As a skier you should be fine.

    The more advanced skills are still pretty easy. Some tips:
    • Kick the toe of the cleat/crampon into a slope as you ascend, letting the rest of the shoe dangle along the slope. You'll find this incredibly easier than kick-stepping with boots.

      When descending on packed snow, if you stand straight or lean back, which is what your balance is going to want you to do, you're going to end up skiing down the slope and falling. Keep the weight on the front of your foot so that cleat bites in.

      Descending in loose snow or off-trail is wicked fun. Huge, soft, puffy steps. Whee!

      Unless it's dry, snow will accumulate atop the shoes. Knock them clean every so often.

      Breaking trail sucks!
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  6. #6
    You will find out, like the others said, in less than an hour you'll be close to an expert. When I started, I climbed a precipitous slope to test the shoes and my ablities. It was so e-z, and great fun! I was happy to learn that 'shoeing is so very natural, and a piece of cake. We can do it!
    ____________________
    The wind cannot shake a mountain. Neither praise nor blame moves a wise man." -- Buddha

  7. #7
    Thinking about it further. The truth is: You won't be an expert in an hour -- But definitely you will feel so very comfortable 'shoeing!
    _________________________
    "No legacy is so rich as honesty." -- William Shakespeare

  8. #8
    Greg's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input everyone. I'm looking forward to it. Now all we need is snow! Does anyone ever snowshoe with a kid carrier? If there are any snowy days this season where it's warm enough, it would be cool to take my daughter along.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  9. #9
    Hey Greg.

    BTW...like others I go with Koflach but any Sorrell type boot will do.

    Obviosly, by your avatar, you have been outdoors with your little one. Great picture by the way.

    Not telling you how to hike and probably(sp) telling you something you already know.....get to know the snowshoes first. You may take a spill or what not...and though your expertise as a moderator/mentor/founder would be greatly missed...I dare say my ability to see that little grow up (thru pictures on this board) would be effected.

    Jesus...sounds like I'm preaching...I'm not man...really. I just have a personal opinion on those child carriers...but by no means do I look down upon those that use them in the outdoors...esp. the exp. people...which obv. you are. Not that you need my approval.

    Been a long day.

  10. #10
    Greg's Avatar
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    I certainly value your opinion, Jaytrek. I definitely wouldn't consider taking Abby along until I'm confortable with the snowshoes. I will also be sticking to flat state forest and parks. I don't plan on going anywhere with significant elevation or exposure with her...
    I ski double black diamonds.

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