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Snowshoe or Backcountry XC

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was planning to add a second pair of XC skis to my existing skinny ones so I could get out more, and closer to home. After further thought and research I'm now thinking of foregoing the BC xc skis for snowshoes...as I don't won't any snowshoes at the moment. I would like to explore the forests where I live and I. The anger they're more accessible as the vegetation dwindles, and I thought snowshoes would give me more options. I still want a good workout though, to offset the lack of cycling I would do when the snow hits the ground.

Thoughts, advice or experiences on a scene XC ski vs only snowshoes? Anything I may not have considered?

Thx
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post

 Anything I may not have considered?

Thx

 

Altai Hok

http://altaiskis.com/products/the-hok/

 

Karhu Jakt
http://www.karhu.com/backcountry-hunt-classic-ski#.VC1p-ud0Ghg

 

IMO, if you're planning on a) scrambling over rocks  b) direct-line climbing steep stuff c) encountering a lot of frozen sun crust, wind crust or frozen potholed tracks   then snowshoes are the better choice.    

Soft snow, unsteep, wooded terrain - I'd go with the forest/hunt skis.

 

EDIT: and, if you go either the forest ski or the snowshoe route, please stop thinking of it as a workout - at least for the first few weeks.    Get out there, explore, see things in a new way, have fun.


Edited by cantunamunch - 10/2/14 at 8:29am
post #3 of 11

I don't know a lot about the Hok or Jakt, but I'll offer this.  Tuna is exactly right about the applications of each tool in the post above.  Snowshoes in deep stuff are WORK!  I would only go there if I were climbing, clambering, or dealing with crust.  Skis glide...... so even though you can get a good workout, they are faster, smoother, more aesthetically pleasing.  If your terrain is rolling and even somewhat open, most folks will prefer skis.

 

If what you want is a hard-as-you-can-make-it workout: Snowhoes

If what you want is a pleasurable tour experience: Skis.

 

You can get wide, short skis these days that have almost as much float as 'shoes, but glide.......

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

What you're saying makes sense, but I'm having trouble finding (in Ontario, Canada) BC xc skis that are much wider than my skinny track-set skis, but without really fat tips (vs waist) that are ideal for turning.  I won't be making turns.  

 

I want skis for navigating the trails where I live.  I've been on these 100+ times so I wouldn't call it exploring.  I like getting outside and enjoying nature.  I've done this in the winter by running/hiking.  Wanted to spice it up and have a new activity that drives the desire to get out there more often.  

 

Given that I have xc skis, and will use them at the local nordic centres, I was questioning whether it's worth it to invest in BC equipment...plus I'm having trouble locating the right equipment (I know it's not yet winter...but I've contacted those shops that sell skis and most have something along the lines of Fischer BC Country Crown...which isn't that much better for blazing my own trail than what I have already).  So I thought snowshoes are much cheaper, and would allow me to traverse the small forests in between the same trails I've been running/biking on.

post #5 of 11

Well, you can choose what you want, but I have been doing what you describe for years with XC-BC gear.  Right now, I'm on the Fischer S-Bound 98.  Yes, it has sidecut, but in soft snow that's not an impediment at all.  The ski glides well, provides float, and is short enough (179), that it's maneuverable everywhere except deep brush (and why would I want to go through a thicket to begin with?).  They are great on rolling trails, they break a path, and, for the occasional downhill, they are easily turned.  The fairly moderate sidecut (98/69/88) lets them track well, and the ski has a 1.4 camber.  I have a pair of fairly strong NNN-BC boots that are warm and only about as heavy as a light hiking boot.

 

My wife wanted to get into snowshoeing, so she bought a pair.  Now, three years later, the only time she has used them is when the snow conditions are so bad (frozen, broken-up crud) that I'm not sure I really have the interest in being out there to begin with.  I have xc skied 30-45 days a year for the last 10 years...and never once wished I was on snowshoes.  

 

Get a wide, "short-cut" or medium-length ski like the S-Bounds or the Madshus Annum.  Glide....don't plod. 

post #6 of 11

Err.. doesn't MEC stock skis in that category?  

http://www.mec.ca/shop/snowsports-skis-cross-country-touring/50006+50647+51705/


includes the Rossi BC90 and the Madshus Annum

prices seem to be relatively comparable to the snowshoe prices, at least on their website.

post #7 of 11
I agree with tch 100%.

Snowshoes are for Jame Hathaway bird watchers.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Err.. doesn't MEC stock skis in that category?  

http://www.mec.ca/shop/snowsports-skis-cross-country-touring/50006+50647+51705/


includes the Rossi BC90 and the Madshus Annum


prices seem to be relatively comparable to the snowshoe prices, at least on their website.

They do, and I've been looking at the Madshus Eon/Epoch/Annum. They have what I called above--fat tip relative to waist, but it seems like all three may be fine for intended use based on others comments. The Eon has the narrowest waist (62) and smallest differential between waist and tip. The Epoch and Annum are both fatter at the waist (68 and 78 respectively) but have tips of 99, 109. For skiing around the non groomed, not-too-hilly trails in my area I wasn't sure if any of these are as practical as the S-Bound 88/98...but I guess that's only one factor. I was hoping for the best float I can get, while still being able to kick
K and g Still learning...and these aren't cheap after you add xc bindings and boots...so I would like to make the right decision. Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Well, you can choose what you want, but I have been doing what you describe for years with XC-BC gear.  Right now, I'm on the Fischer S-Bound 98.  Yes, it has sidecut, but in soft snow that's not an impediment at all.  The ski glides well, provides float, and is short enough (179), that it's maneuverable everywhere except deep brush (and why would I want to go through a thicket to begin with?).  They are great on rolling trails, they break a path, and, for the occasional downhill, they are easily turned.  The fairly moderate sidecut (98/69/88) lets them track well, and the ski has a 1.4 camber.  I have a pair of fairly strong NNN-BC boots that are warm and only about as heavy as a light hiking boot.

My wife wanted to get into snowshoeing, so she bought a pair.  Now, three years later, the only time she has used them is when the snow conditions are so bad (frozen, broken-up crud) that I'm not sure I really have the interest in being out there to begin with.  I have xc skied 30-45 days a year for the last 10 years...and never once wished I was on snowshoes.  

Get a wide, "short-cut" or medium-length ski like the S-Bounds or the Madshus Annum.  Glide....don't plod. 

The Madshus Epoch are available through Mec, and their 99/68/84. Annum are 10mm wider, same price...I'm guessing the Annum give more float but less efficient, and a but heavier. I'm presuming either would be fine.
post #9 of 11
I see - so what you first had in mind in your previous thread was more like Fischer's E109 or the above Karhu Hunt Classic.     

Too bad Visu have stopped making skis - they had some really decent stuff in this exact shape at good price points.  So did the old (pre-Madshus) Karhu.   Older Alpina gear (Discovery frex) was the right shape but stiff - stiff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post

 They have what I called above--fat tip relative to waist, but it seems like all three may be fine for intended use based on others comments. The Eon has the narrowest waist (62) and smallest differential between waist and tip.
post #10 of 11

This vid is a few years old, so some of the specific products described may be hard to find.

Still, some good general info, and ORS might be a place you want to check out if you haven't

already.

 

 

http://www.orscrosscountryskisdirect.com/madshus-cross-country-skis.html

post #11 of 11

Maybe try some native traditional snowshoes? They are far superior to any modern style. Best float in deep pow is had with the long alaskan style with rawhide webbing. Maybe 11x60" Try a pair by lund or if you really want the best, hand made. This guy makes nice ones https://www.facebook.com/pages/Albert-Snowshoes/164258173624878

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