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Snowshoes

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a question: could using snowshoes be a better option for backcountry skiing, instead of using touring boots and bindings? The idea is to climb using snowshoes and ski down the hill with alpine boots and bindings and make no compromise for the skiing part.
What are the pros and cons?
Is it possible to use the snowshoes together with the ski-boots, or with normal walking winter boots only?
If this would be a good idea, how do i choose a pair of snowshoes?
post #2 of 17
Use alpine treckers and skins to your alpine skis... The best solution if you still want good skis and good bindings!
post #3 of 17
Lots of snowboarders who don't want to invest in a split board use snowshoes for ascents. The difference is, snowboarders can use their soft boots for the ascent in snowshoes and their eqpipment is lighter and less bulky. You will carry on your back, a heavy set of skis, alpine bindings and alpine boots as you ascend, and snowshoes and your hiking boots as you descend. Add to this any extra mountaineering equipment, food, water and clothing (you will be shedding layers), and you will have a substantial and bulky load both up and down. IMO, any benefit of having traditional alpine equipment for the trip down is offset by carrying all that gear. Snowshoes are not very good on steep traverses or ascents, skis with skins are a much better option. Given all the extra weight to carry, this is not an acceptable option for most of us to use in longer touring, and its a lot to carry around even in lift assisted touring.

Oh, and stay out of the skin track.
post #4 of 17
Being a splitboarder you can take my advice with a block of salt.

From what I have seen with todays AT boots and bindings you don't sacrifice much if anything. You can get burly AT boots and the new Naxo NX21 and Fritschi Freerides seem plenty bomber. You might notice a difference if you are riding hardpack/icy conditions, but the reason you are going bc is to ride untracked lines right?

Snowshoes are a pain in the arse and force you to carry a lot more weight on your back. Still from time to time I find myself doing stuff where snowshoes are useful. Since I am just using them for climbing I use Verts. Nice and light and climb up way steeper terrain than snowshoes or ski's with skins can. A review for them is here: http://www.earnyourturns.com/mfgs/dy...?articleID=228

You can get them here: http://www.patrollersupply.com/gear/manufacturer_95.asp

I think patroller supply is the only place you can get them now.
post #5 of 17
Great reply killclimbz! Something else to add to my shopping list :
Looks like a really neet thing to stick in the pack on days when posthole bootpacking is looking like a possibility. I had not seen the Verts before. Just to add, these don't look like a great solution for a long approach, but for a climb, I'm seriously thinking about this.
post #6 of 17
One other comment on this topic - I ski with a gal who hadn't yet converted from a snowboard to a split board last season... she used snowshoes on the uphills. It was a huge hassle for her, not only because of the steep/deep/sidehill problems mentioned above, but also when it got windy. She was trying to move with a big sail on her back. Yuck.

I've had the same effect packing skis.

I ski everyday with my AT gear. I break out the resort gear only rarely... primarily when the conditions are really crappy and I need rock skis inbounds. Yes, there's a smidgen of sacrifice with AT boots/bindings, but drop some cash on zipfits and good insoles and those sacrifices are so tiny you'll hardly notice them. And the benefits are through the roof.
post #7 of 17
Another reason for skiers to hate snowboarders is that they use snowshoes to climb on our uptracks and totally screw them up for using skins.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Another reason for skiers to hate snowboarders is that they use snowshoes to climb on our uptracks and totally screw them up for using skins.
Anyone who uses the uptrack with snowshoes or booting it for that matter. At places like Berthoud you get plenty of both. What really ticks me off is there will be an established boot pack and some jack asses will decide to use the skin track to hike instead. I wouldn't say that snowshoes totally screw up the skin track all the time, but I know what you mean.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Great reply killclimbz! Something else to add to my shopping list :
Looks like a really neet thing to stick in the pack on days when posthole bootpacking is looking like a possibility. I had not seen the Verts before. Just to add, these don't look like a great solution for a long approach, but for a climb, I'm seriously thinking about this.
They work for long approaches as long as you are climbing. Ups and downs they are not so hot. The fixed foot position is the main reason. Try walking downhill with a piece of plywood glued to your shoes.

Verts are perfect pack items and are super light. Especially when compared to regular snow shoes. In some situations, especially around steep slopes, they are the best option. I have been really impressed with how well these things work. Fairly inexpensive too.
post #10 of 17
Alot of the skin tracks around here are very steep. Some are dictated by the terrain and some are just set by the first skiers of the year (or the day), which tend to be the more hardcore types that just want to climb as straight up as possible. We also have very large temperature swings from day to night, so the skin tracks tend to melt and refreeze resulting in a steep track where you can just barely maintain traction in many sections. Once the snow shoes or snowboard boot climbers break up the skin track the traction is hosed. I hate to whine, but there is almost no worse feeling in the world than being on a steep slope when your skins break loose and you start going backwards in the track taking out your friends climbing behind you.

Climbing in deep snow with snowshoes is no picnic, so I can understand why the boarders are tempted to use the skin tracks, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
post #11 of 17
I guess my point at Berthoud is we have both skiers and borders booting there. I am surprised anyone tries to snowshoe or boot up the stuff around your area. I had a half season of using snowshoes and that was enough motivation for me to go split.
post #12 of 17
You can climb up from the top Coalbank Pass (almost 11,000 ft) and board/ski down to the road below where you started, and then do another climb from there and ride even farther down the pass. Same thing at Wolf Creek Pass where a 40 min. climb will allow you to ski to the highway up to 3 miles below where you started. It is not too hard to avoid the boarders in the backcountry, but on the passes where you get a lot of bang for your climbing buck there are limited routes for the uptracks so the boarders are climbing in the same tracks as the skiers. I guess it is human nature to take the path of least resistence, especially when climbing in deep snow.

All of the serious backcountry boarders I know use split boards, but I still see plenty of them on snowshoes or just walking in boots. The last couple of years they have started getting towed in by snowmobiles at Wolfcreek Pass, which has not endeared them to the skiers.
post #13 of 17
Well you're just jealous that you aren't getting the tow in at WC. I take it you are talking about the North Side of the pass. 'Biles are allowed on the road. I have more of a problem with the snowmo's than the towee's. I don't know about Coalbank, but I hardly noticed a problem with boarders or skiers booting the uptrack there before. Seemed that most of them were going out to build a jump. I am with you that snowshoeing in the skin track is lame.
post #14 of 17

Yea, that is right!

We at Hotel Fernblick are experts for  snowshoing! No matter if you rent or have your own ones.

There are 3 types of snowshoes available: Recreational Hiking, Aerobic/Fitness and Hiking/Backpackin - chose depending on your condition and preferences!


most important: choose your snowshoes according to the size available. They are usually measured in inches. The length will depends on your weight.

 

The most common sizes:  25 inches, 30 inches and 36 inches. Your retailer should be able to help you when deciding snowshoe length.

 

We would be happy to welcome you in Montafon in our Hotel Fernblick! Our hotel directors are teachers for snowshoeing!

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexosu View Post

I have a question: could using snowshoes be a better option for backcountry skiing, instead of using touring boots and bindings? The idea is to climb using snowshoes and ski down the hill with alpine boots and bindings and make no compromise for the skiing part.
What are the pros and cons?
Is it possible to use the snowshoes together with the ski-boots, or with normal walking winter boots only?
If this would be a good idea, how do i choose a pair of snowshoes?


I have snowshoed a couple times not gunna lie it kinda sucks and you hit any kind of hard pack (windswept ridge, ect) and they become pretty useless. Also depends on the terrain your tackling. Tackle a slope with a 50 degree pitch and snowshoes or skins are prety useless. You pretty much have to use crampons and just kick in steps. If you go to a mountain such as a popular 14er there is usually an established boot pack as many of the mountaineers don't ski. IN this case things are pretty easy goin for snowshoeing.

 

Can you do snowshoeing yes. Fun not particularly. Cheaper, very much. Recommendation, get bindings if you can afford them.I will be as soon as I have the cash

post #16 of 17


Hey lonewolf, you do realize you are responding to a thread from 5 years ago?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexosu View Post

I have a question: could using snowshoes be a better option for backcountry skiing, instead of using touring boots and bindings? The idea is to climb using snowshoes and ski down the hill with alpine boots and bindings and make no compromise for the skiing part.
What are the pros and cons?
Is it possible to use the snowshoes together with the ski-boots, or with normal walking winter boots only?
If this would be a good idea, how do i choose a pair of snowshoes?


I have snowshoed a couple times not gunna lie it kinda sucks and you hit any kind of hard pack (windswept ridge, ect) and they become pretty useless. Also depends on the terrain your tackling. Tackle a slope with a 50 degree pitch and snowshoes or skins are prety useless. You pretty much have to use crampons and just kick in steps. If you go to a mountain such as a popular 14er there is usually an established boot pack as many of the mountaineers don't ski. IN this case things are pretty easy goin for snowshoeing.

 

Can you do snowshoeing yes. Fun not particularly. Cheaper, very much. Recommendation, get bindings if you can afford them.I will be as soon as I have the cash



 

post #17 of 17

Nope redface.gif just saw that it had a recent post.

 

That's what I get for not watching out for the spammers nonono2.gif

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