[Cdt-l] Snowshoes

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Wed Dec 23 20:00:49 CST 2009

A couple quick thoughts on snowshoes vs. skis on the CDT... I agree that 
skis would work well in many cases, and could save you considerable 
effort. But, snowshoes are generally lighter and easier to take on/off 
and store/carry. Plus, you can strap snowshoes onto any type of shoe... 
whereas with skis, you need a special shoe or boot. If your path takes 
you over miles of snow, then over miles of trail, back to snow, and a 
mix in-between, I think it'd be a lot easier to manage everything with 
some snowshoes.

Also, snowshoes take basically zero skill, and chance for injury is low. 
If you're faced with a steep uphill or downhill on skis, you really need 
to know what you're doing, lest you smack a tree, snap a knee or worse. 
Snowshoes also work in a greater variety of snow conditions. If you're 
faced with a crust of jagged ice covering 5 feet of slop underneath, or 
really bad suncups (not an uncommon situation in late spring / early 
summer), it can be really hard to turn on skis...

I've been really happy with MSR snowshoes. Their Lightning Ascent's are 
lighter than their plastic ones. The nice thing about all of them is 
that they hold an edge from any direction, and are more durable than 
some lighter varieties.

Paul Magnanti wrote:
> In the Rockies, why not get skis?  Wide open areas perfect for kicking and gliding. 
> A good pair of backcountry skis with fishscales (perfect for beginners) and some boots
> cost less used than most snowshoes. (Harder to find used snowshoes in good condition).
> Snowshoes make more sense in the heavily wooded East than the Rockies IMO.
> I've hauled 50 lbs (wine and marinated pork roast add up in weight) on skis..so they
> can be used for backpacking quite easily.
> I plodded on snowshoes..I switched to skis and now I glide. :)
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