Snow Shoes/Poles....what do you recommend ?


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Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 31, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Want to get my own pair this year. What do you think? Just want to get out and enjoy the winter's beauty. Peace and Joy, lynne
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 31, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
Hey Craig, thanks for your info. How's the cacti business? Any great plans for the new year?

For the hiking I want to do snowshoes may be the way to go. Some snow doesn't hold and I'm not a proficient skier. Cheers, Lynne :D

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 31, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
I use red feathers (brand name)

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
Poles = Leki's

Got a pair I've used for 25 years. Not the lightest but they rock.

the last bivy
Dec 31, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
so Linnie! let's go out with snow shoes! First of all you need a very warm boot cuz standing in snow all day is cold! An insulated boot is best and it doesn't have to be expensive. Snow shoes come in several styles and sizes. The women's specific ones are nice because our gait swings from the hip ;) and brings the two inside edges of the snowshoes together when we walk. Women's have a design that accommodates that with the base set a little to the inside. Good snow shoes are right and left specific. The length is specific to your height and to the weight they carry, yours plus whatever backpack weight you expect to usually carry. A thin narrow tail makes running or moving faster, easier but also does not offer as much float in deep snow. Snowshoes have a crampon bottom that pivots with your step. Heavy duty crampons facing both forward and a set facing backward are best for steep ice and heavy loads. A lighter crampon is fine for flatter ground. Plastic crampons are a waste of plastic and do not work well. The strap will be a combo of webbing and soft plastic with either a threaded buckle (less expensive) or a ratchet buckle as on a snowboard boot. The ratchet is easier to take on and off with gloves in the cold and snow. Any poles will do as long as they are adjustable because the terrain will demand adjustment in the length of your poles. They should have a snow basket which is removable and replaceable. You can usually find a decent pair for about $100 new.
There ya have it!
check craigslist and sierra trading
See ya soon

oh ps , there is a plastic deck snowshoe on the market by MSR that is way lame. They are designed light and packable but not good for the long haul, or even a day hike.

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
hey there, say, lynne, luckypink and all...

say, one year when i lived with some woods and field out back, i got my first and only snowshoes... had no strap, as they were cheapest for me, then, so i had to add my own--worked well, though...

well--mine are just those old fashioned looking things with the long tail, that you see in the old movies... wooden, too, however:
they actually worked nice for me... unless of course, i wanted to turn around FASTer than should, or, go backwards, :))

don't get to use them anymore, as the woods is too far for me, (not that far, but as to gas-money only)...

IF it snowed enough, i could have fun with them in the backyard, though, :)) the first year i moved in, could have, but i was too busy moving in...

the last year and this year, the snow is not really deep enough to even use for fun... though i DID one year use them at the grandkids, before i ever moved in here...

not sure if these are considered GOOD now a days, as there is so many
newer types, but they did actually work..

not sure WHAT OR HOW??? the tail works--perhaps someone can explain MORE...
but they were narrow for to go through the thick trees, and it DID do that really good... had to go through some, to get to the field...


have fun, lynne and let us know how it goes....


Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
Snow Shoes/Poles....what do you recommend ?

I recommend that you learn to ski

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
You might try looking at You can get Redfeather or Atlas womens snowshoes for around $100.00 and usable poles from Black Diamond or Komperdell for $50.00. They have a discount ending tonight at midnight MST for 35% additional off and free shipping.
You can have a lot of cheap fun and pick up Skiing later as you gain winter travel confidence.

Boulder, CO
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
what GLillegard said.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:49pm PT

MSR are kind of pricy, they they are light!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 31, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
Howdy to all and thanks for your response. Mo, ya got me dialed. Appreciate.
Happy New Year, lynnie

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
hey there say, lynne...

here's a link:

this is neat:

snowshoe bindings:

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Dec 31, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
I've used several types. MSR has been the best - they stay on, they handle icy conditions well, and they side-hill well. I use the MSR Denalis. Avoid anything that has the Tubbs tubes - those slide. If you get a lot of snow or plan to carry a load, consider getting the extended tails, too.

For poles, you can use cheap ski poles unless you plan to get into some serious places. I'm spoiled. I like Black Diamond poles with the flintlock. These stay at the length you set. All the other poles that use a twist lock system tend to collapse unexpectedly. AFter buying and trying several twist types, they all had the same problem. I'll never use those again.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Dec 31, 2012 - 10:30pm PT
There are different types, meant for different conditions. They differ in weight, side traction devices, binding, etc.

What will you be using them for (specifically)? Day hikes? Backpacking? Running? Higher-angle terrain?

For poles, they all do about the same thing, except for the poles that screw together to form avalanche probes. Mainly what you want are exchangeable baskets (you want to exchange a larger basket for snow travel than for hiking).

If you already have hiking poles, see if you can just get snow baskets for yours.

If you have the dough, you may want the weight savings of carbon fiber. But they're definitely not as durable as aluminum. Some people really like cork handles.

I have some unused MSR Denalis that I got on sale at REI. If you're in the SF Bay area and will pick them up, I'll sell them to you for what I paid (have to look it up, probably 25% off).
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 31, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
Snowshoes are the way to go if skiing down is too intimidating.

Locally, there was a time of lost but kooky souls just wanting to taste the hills... Lockstep, they plowed the good skiing snow back down to the road. Lately some cool has come about and the disparate tribes have come to abide each other.

Snowshoes are a wonderful way to get into the forest and have fun.

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
hey there say, jim and all...

i LOVE my snowshoes, still have them... i miss using them...

i never went far though, just through the trees and field...

i was always and still am, a dancer (for exercise and fun, and used to teach) so my leg muscles never got hurt or tire... but:
i never overdid it, either...

they are just those old fashioned looking kind though...
some folks find them awkward, but it just depends on what you are useing them for, as everyone says here..

i always had to add my own bindings, one year it worked great, but the year before, the stuff i used BEFORE i got some thing better, was too 'slippery' (it was a type of material strip that was too slick)...

various other stuff worked better, including inner tube stuff, and
even a bungee cord one year when i could NOT find the bindings, due to my moveing out of state, back to calif for a year...

THANK the good lord, i did NOT get rid of them, nor, got rid of my snow boots, as--i ended BACK in michigan, :))

will post a pic, in a few minutes...
*coures, you may not like this kind, :))

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:10pm PT
I have MSR Denali Lamas. Used to snowshoe a lot, couldn't break Redfeathers, but for backpacking on steep or icy areas, approaches near Whistler for alpine climbs in the winter, the MSR's worked much better.

Then I bought AT skis.

John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:24pm PT
I have MSR Ascents and Evos. Both are excellent... But it's a bad time of year to buy snowshoes. I bet you know someone who has a pair sitting around waiting for you to ask to borrow them :-)
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
Not around here John. It's New Year's Eve and there's a 6' base on the North Shore mountains, which are the first obstacles off of the ocean in Vancouver.

Pretty cool !

Neebs, good thing you kept the fun rigs. A good example of gear being only worth anything if you keep it for later !
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 31, 2012 - 11:33pm PT
Again, I appreciate .... and I mean Really appreciate all your thoughts on this subject. Want to be safe and get out there and enjoy. Smiles, LL

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
hey there say, lynne and all...

here is my pair... they are from cabelas... they were on sale the year that i got them... think they were about 75 bucks, but that about 8 years
ago... plus, tax, so it was a perhaps 80?? something...
no bindings...

there were not many left, that year, as the snow was bad...
(edit: folks must have been tempted to buy them more, :)) and--we actually SAW folks around here traveling down the street on cross country skiis, :O oh my)

EDIT: these are about $112.?? or something, now,
and without bindings:

here is mine... wow, i hope they are still okay?
do they need more varnish? it is recomended to put marine varnish on them every few years, but--i have not used them for about three years now, :(
edit: just remembered: they were called 'yukon' ones, back then...
(which are sometimes also called 'alaskan' ones)

cabela's made in canada... 10X46   (might be the alaska kind? now ...
cabela's made in canada... 10X46 (might be the alaska kind? now shown in there link???) could not find a name on it, just a number...
Credit: neebee

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:42pm PT

I had a fortunate encounter recently with a new guy on snowshoes who had an ice axe, a 100' light rope and an avalanche receiver. He was nicely prepared for the subtlties that traveling on snowshoes offer. He was also humble in the face of new experiences and terrain.

I think objectives can be different on 'shoes VS. skis.

Social climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 11:45pm PT
hey there say, jim...

yeah, it would have been like throwing part of myself away, :(

and see, god knew i'd be BACK here someday, and HERE i am...


soooooo glad, i listened to that gut feeling...
yeah--gear kind of becomes part of oneself...

just like the climbers stuff, :) for sure...

and--our musical instruments, too...

oh my, and me, i only did the snowshoes on private land, but i HAVE read of the 'never should snowshoes MESS UP ski trails' etc...

whewwww, things folks need to know, if they decide to just go out
cold turkey somewhere... there IS such a thing as 'ettiquette'

no matter how it is spelled or misspelled, ;))
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 12:08am PT
Jim Brennan,

Just want to get out there and wander happily. Much can be discovered on treks like this. My opinion...fasties miss much due to their muy rapido pace. Just my humble opinion of course. :D

Unless I have a guide I'll go shoe then learn ski's.

Happy New Year and most powerful, fun adventures to All. lynnie
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:13am PT
Having been recently humbled, I humbly agree !

Social climber
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:16am PT
hey there say, lynne... you can do a fast search, too, on which kind of snow shoe, is best for you..etc...


well--happy new year, all... it is now 12:14...

got to get off line now and do some chores, as, the little boy
here will wake up early and his folks won't get him 'til noon, this
time... :))

god bless to all...

and lynne, do not forget,
we need a trip report--nope, not you tripping over, but tripping as to a great fun outting) :) and--pictures :)

Social climber
The land of ice, snow and rocks
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:17am PT
Got a pair of new red feathers from an ex. $50 and they are yours, if yer interested.

Escondido, CA
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:21am PT
Hey Lynnie, I recently inherited a couple pair of MSR Denali snowshoes. You are more than welcome to take 'em for a test drive if you want.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 12:24am PT
Thanks Baja Andy,

Happy New Year to you and your family. I'm off on a New Year adventure but will contact you about the snow shoes. Thanks Dude, lynne
John M

Jan 1, 2013 - 12:34am PT
What part of the world are you adventuring to Lynne?

Oops... did you mean a party? haha

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:34am PT
I think the msr snowshoes are the most efficient, and durable.
As for poles, go with bd, or leki

Social climber
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:42am PT
Disclaimer - I like to boot about in winter and avoid the weight and hassle of snowshoes. Nonetheless, as soon as I leave the packed trail I want a means of flotation as breaking trail through hip-deep snow is few people's notion of fun less'n yr of the De Sade clan.

Can't ski for shyte so snowshoes are the deal for this former Texan. Learning curve is nicely short and mainly consists of some horse sense about ambulation when your feet are a foot wide and a couple long.

Warm feet are nice so get insulated boots or size your mountain boots for the extra sox (my choice). Make sure you can keep your feet dry as well. A built-in gaiter on my boot top and snug guide pant cuffs works reasonably well for keeping the shnee at bay but a real gaiter is more bombproof and adds a bit of warmth you may want.

MSR snowshoes are the best in my experience for weight and reliability but especially for traversing slopes. Still any with a pivoting crampon up front and aggressive teeth under heel work pretty well too in going up or sideways. You just want them burly so to avoid backcountry breakdowns of the mechanical sort and bindings that work easily to avoid the emotional breakdowns of being unable to 'lace' your shoes with cold (gloved or ungloved) hands.

Like Seamstress says, all screwlock poles will fail eventually and the BD Fliklock (or comparable) are the highly recommended. Also, being able to easily and securely attach the snowshoes to your pack can save intense frustrations when it is time to carry those unwieldy suckers.

Wishing you all the best in the winter wanderlands....

PS - Start out with all hot liquids, even your H2O. Well, maybe not the whiskey...
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 01:07am PT
Never a funner place than here. Covers all the bases from gear to food and fluids....Love yo all, peace and joy tonight, a great night. Happy New Year.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 1, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Hey Lynnie... Just got back from snow shoeing and snow camping. Maureen has great advice. I can't emphasize enough that you should get women specific snow shoes. For years I had non specific. They were ok but I did a lot of stepping on them in stride. Then I would work to widen my stride. A couple years ago I got a woman's specific snowshoe (Atlas) and wow, what a difference! There are several manufacturers of women specific...DO IT.

Couple days ago on Glacier Point Road in Yosemite

Humping the pack...
Humping the pack...
Credit: SCseagoat

Happy New Year to you!

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 1, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Sounds like you may be set with shoes.

I used to teach snowshoe classes, and I must say that I came to be a fan of MSR's. Simple to use, and light.

As to poles, as many others have said, twist-adjustable poles are NOT the way to go, unless you tape them into place with the intention of not moving them for the day.

It seems that I've seen a pair of the lever-lock poles for sale at wal-mart (if you are into that) for about $20 recently. You would want to get snow baskets, though, I don't think most come with them.

If you are going for dirt cheap, plain-ol' non-adj ski poles will work.
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