Snow shoes? | High Sierra Topix  

Snow shoes?

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar

Snow shoes?

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:00 pm

As winter is approaching, I need to start thinking about what I am going to do for training and exercise. In the past, I have just done low elevation hikes or skied. This year I would like to be a little more adventurous and do some snow hikes in the local mountains and some sierra day hikes. I am planning on getting a set of microspikes and snow shoes.There are many types of snow shoes and microspikes which gets a little overwhelming. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations such as small spikes vs crampon style? I am 220# and 6'6" tall and will be hiking in the local hills of Big Bear and Mt. Baldy. I am assuming that I need 30 " or maybe 35" trekking snow shoes.
Last edited by overheadx2 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Location: huntington beach
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: microspikes

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:19 pm

Check out their Symbioz line, some of my friends love these new snowshoes.
http://www.tsloutdoor.com/product-listing-snowshoes/0
For the micro's, Kahtoola's: https://kahtoola.com/product/microspikes/
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: microspikes

Postby EpicSteve » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:59 am

Ditto on the Kahtoola Microspikes - a great product! Easy to put on and take off; once they're on, they stay put; provide very good traction; very durable. Heavier than some other traction devices, but they work a lot better and are much more durable, per my own experience and many reviews I've read. Still a lot lighter than crampons. A tad pricey. They should probably provide a bit more traction under your heels but other than that, they work great.

I love my MSR Evo Ascent snowshoes with removable flotation tails, but they're designed more for mountaineering than general trekking. MSR makes similar snowshoes that are less aggressive though. I've also heard a few good things about Tubbs and Red Feather, but I have no personal experience with those brands and haven't really read up on them.
“I don’t deny that there can be an element of escapism in mountaineering, but this should never overshadow its real essence, which is not escape but victory over your own human frailty.”

- Walter Bonatti
User avatar
EpicSteve
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:49 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: microspikes

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:49 am

I would vouch for Red Feather snowshoes. I have a pair and have used them many times in various conditions and they have never let me down. I have a buddy that has the MSR kind and they work well, but he always complains about the tail being so wide, it sometimes collects snow on each step and then flips it up onto his back. The Red Feathers I use have a very narrow tail so they don't have the same issue that the MSR ones do.
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." --Jeff Lebowski

Some pics of native salmonids: http://flyguydave.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Fly Guy Dave
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 426
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:27 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: microspikes

Postby Ikan Mas » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:46 pm

I used my Kahtoola's on a large snowfield backpack a couple of years ago around the Three Sisters in Oregon. Lots of this stuff:

Image

We were a couple of weeks early and the meadows on the west side were all snowy. I probably did 7 of the 14 miles that day with Kahtoolas on. They are relatively light, stayed on my boots, and helped a lot with traction. They also seemed to be pretty durable; no broken straps. No problems with walking on rocks or logs.
User avatar
Ikan Mas
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:43 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: microspikes

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:36 am

Thanks for the input. I got my Kahoolawe micro spikes yesterday, now I just need to get some snow shoes. There seems to be a lot of debate about sizing. I am 6'5" and 220#s and will be carrying about 20 to 30 #s most of the time. theoretically in need 30" shoes, but many articles are saying that is to big and cumbersome. Most recommend some one my size get 25" shoes unless it is fresh powder which I dont think I will be in most of the time. Also, any suggestions on tail type? Wide, narrow? Tail additions?
User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Location: huntington beach
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Snow shoes?

Postby Bluewater » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:18 pm

I used microspikes for two days this weekend in San Gorgonio. Like a others have said they are very useful on ice or snow covered trails. I used them for some moderate climbs but wouldn't use them for anything steep.

For snowshoes I use two different brands depending on the conditions. MSR Lightening Ascent 30" are good when I need excellent traction for side hiking or steep terrain. They have a bar that can be raised to support the rear heel. I find this to be essential for steep uphill climbs. They are easy to raise and lower as needed and provide great uphill support. I am 6' 195-205 lbs and if I could do it again I would just get the 25". They would be fine on the Sierra cement. I did like having the extra size when breaking trail in 1-2 feet of fresh powder last year, but I would rather just use the tails when needed.

For mild terrain I like the Northern Lights snowshoes. They are the lightest functional snowshoes I could find. Amazingly lightweight but they don't have as much traction as the Lightening Ascents. They also don't have the heel lift. I used these on a five day trip in the Sierras last year and my calves were sore for a week from the uphill:)

I hope this helps. Have fun!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Location: Laguna Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Snow shoes?

Postby KathyW » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:17 pm

I switched from Atlas snowshoes to MSR snowshoes a few years ago and I'll never go back. Now I look at folks who don't have MSR snowshoes slipping around and with tons of snow balled up on their snowshoes and remember what it was like when I was wearing Atlas snowshoes.

I have the MSR Lightning Ascents, but I hear the other models are good too.

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/snows ... s/category
User avatar
KathyW
Founding Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:19 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Snow shoes?

Postby HikeSierraNevada » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:20 pm

Count me as another MSR fan. I have 4 pairs for the family of the original model Denali Ascent (pre-Evo) with televators (heel lift). As described above, the heel lift is AWESOME for steep climbing. Most models of MSRs also have removable tails that clip in to the back to add additional float for fresh powder. Based on your size and weight, you might want to go with this setup. For Sierra cement you won't need the extra float, but for fresh snow like this weekend, you probably will want to add some length. Its nice to have the option. The tails used to come in two lengths, but don't bother with the short tails (if they still make them), if you need a tail, you need the long ones.

The MSR design is bulletproof. The binding system is easy to use even with gloves on, but the rubber straps do wear out after several seasons. No big deal, you can buy replacements, but don't wait until they fail - buy an extra set after about 5 yrs and put it in your pack.

Did I mention the great traction the MSR's have? I think someone else already did.

Kahtoola microspikes are also amazing for Sierra Cement or a hard packed snow trail. Great for getting on the trail early season.

Happy Trails.
User avatar
HikeSierraNevada
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:36 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Snow shoes?

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:22 pm

Thanks for all the help, I bought the wife and I some micro spikes and picked up some very nice Tubbs on sale for 96.00 on STP. Took them to big bear this weekend and hiked a fun XC hike to Gold mountain and then picked up the PCT for a fun 7 mile loop. I was able to use them at times and they seemed to work really well and very comfortable to use.
User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Location: huntington beach
Experience: N/A


Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests