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Best Snowshoes for Catskills / Adirondacks Winter Hiking??

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Best Snowshoes for Catskills / Adirondacks Winter Hiking??

Postby islesrule7 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:47 pm

Looking to do some hiking / peak bagging this winter season in the Northeast...

Have done a bunch of summer hiking in the northeast and have cimbed Rainier and Baker, but never used snowshoes in my adventures.

Anyone have thoughts? I'm relatively new to the board. Much reading, little posting. Thanks!
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Postby erykmynn » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:59 pm

how is this a CA question :oops:
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Postby islesrule7 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:27 pm

Youre right about the gear... didn't realize that I was under CA. Sorry gents
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Postby jrbrenvt » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:47 pm

I agree this is not a California question, but I am here and the Adirodacks are my home base for hiking, so here is my 2 cents. The snowshoes I have had for the last 15 or so years are Tubbs ~25" long with built in crampons. I do not have a brand bias, I would want to inspect the shoe before purchasing it. I have never really needed anything much longer, but it depends on what you want to do. The snow conditions can be extremely variable. It depends on what weather system is there right now as well as the one that just blew through at the time. If it has not snowed since the most recent weekend, most of the popular mountain trails will be broken in. Check the east forum for most recent conditions. In general, early season is more icy and I would not venture in to the back country without regular mountaineering crampons. Later in the season the snow cover gets good enough where most of the time I don't use my crampons, just snowshoes. The crampons on the snowshoes are good enough most of the time. My snowshoes are old enough where the crampons on them have worn down to the point where I can not file them any more, so in the case of my snow shoes the crampons is the limiting factor to the useful life of the snowshoe. Hence I am looking for a new pair. I will be basically looking for a 22-25" snow shoes with embedded crampons, preferably a tough metal, not Aluminum that will wear quicker. Expect mostly snow but there will be many sections with just rock and ice, especially above treeline. If you want to take the path less traveled, and walk on untrampled snow, then longer snowshoes might become more useful. These are my preferences anyways.

Another consideration is even if you do not feel you need the snow shoes given the current conditions, folks in the Adirondacks get extremely upset when they see others walking on the trails without them during snow season, and are not always cordial about letting their feelings be known. "Post-holers not welcome". Especially anything out of Adirondack Loj. This is not so true in Vermont and New Hampshire, there its more use your own best judgement.

You can also rent snowshoes if snow shoeing is something you do not do all the time, this allows you to try some out before purchasing. There are snowshoes for many different conditions, picking the best ones for what you want to do can be tricky.
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