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  • Lighweight snowshoes

    Recently we had a few discussions on what snowshoes to use in Adirondacks.

    CatskillKev for breaking a trail advocated GV Wide Trail 12x42 model with 7.3 pounds weight.

    On the other hand for a packed trail people used lighter snowshoes e.g.:
    Natlife used Northernlites race 7x18 at 1.75 pounds
    Trail Boss used Louis Garneau Course weighing 1 lb 10 oz

    I was happy to learn that snowshoes that are much lighter than my MSRs can be used.

    Could you please share your experience with such lightweight snowshoes and their pros and cons.

  • #2
    I'm in Northern Lites Elite 8X25.

    Pros:
    The light weight and small shoe are good for me, as I am a small person (145 lb.).
    They have been durable over several years.
    The binding has a reasonable amount of "return force" (as opposed to a totally free pivoting binding) so the snowshoe is less likely to get "flipped around."

    Cons:
    As with most snowshoes, there are design problems with the binding. In the case of this model, the heel strap lays flat on the snowshoe, with no upward angle to keep it on the heel of the boot. So unless you make it quite tight, it tends to slip down off the heel of the boot, and then you walk out of the snowshoe. It would be easy to design this better - it's dumb that they designed it wrong. I have not gotten around to a modification yet, but I will...
    That return force that keeps the shoe underfoot also throws snow up off the tails onto you back when walking. I think this is a tradeoff; no easy fix.
    The crampon is weak aluminum. Starts out fairly aggressive, but quickly wears flat. I successfully modified mine by mounting an old instep crampon under the ball of the foot - now they are quite aggressive.




    Comment


    • Highonlife
      Highonlife commented
      Editing a comment
      Have you ever tried Dions? I have the 121 model. You can interchange the toe crampon, they make one for ice, much stronger. I love them and I can't believe as many high peaks I have used them on, how well they have held up. I mean I use to wear the MSR lightnings and always had troubles with breaks, so far these have been excellent.
      And I too have the issue with the snow flying on the back but I will deal with that as I will not swap out the lightness.

  • #3
    In my opinion, you're doing something wrong if you're flinging snow at yourself. I mean we're all gentlemen here. If the binding is to blame, then I say its not worth it. Full rotation is fine with me.

    I get what you're saying with that lack of angle. It is annoying when you walk out of a snowshoe because of it.

    A toe stop is usually required to make a binding great, but sometimes small snowshoes don't need it.
    I might be kidding...

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by CatskillKev View Post
      In my opinion, you're doing something wrong if you're flinging snow at yourself. I mean we're all gentlemen here. If the binding is to blame, then I say its not worth it. Full rotation is fine with me.

      I get what you're saying with that lack of angle. It is annoying when you walk out of a snowshoe because of it.

      A toe stop is usually required to make a binding great, but sometimes small snowshoes don't need it.
      So after seeing your comment I got curious and wrote to the owner of Dion's about the snow kick back....he said this is normal for that type of hinged snowshoe, (actually elaborated more in my email) can't speak for the Northernlites but at least I got my answer for my Dion's. Thanks for getting my thinking
      Last edited by Highonlife; 02-13-2017, 06:21 PM.
      Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

      Comment


      • CatskillKev
        CatskillKev commented
        Editing a comment
        So, your Dion's don't keep rotating either (as in, like the northernlite)? Maybe its a running thing, where the manufacturer is afraid the snowshoe will over-rotate under the foot of the runner.

      • tcd
        tcd commented
        Editing a comment
        It may be a running thing, but for hiking it's more of a jumping thing. There are many occasions while hiking when the easiest way down a short little drop on the trail (like a three foot drop off) is to jump down, rather than trying to "slither" down. Years ago with my old Sherpa snowshoes (which were free pivoting) I had to be extremely careful when jumping off something that the shoes did not pivot in flight. Landing that way would give you a hell of a bruise on your shin, or worse. I was glad when I got a non-free pivoting shoe, and I tolerate the snow being tossed up in the back.

    • #5
      I snowshoed without a shirt today. Now that would be awkward if my snowshoes threw snow on my back.
      I might be kidding...

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by CatskillKev View Post
        I snowshoed without a shirt today. Now that would be awkward if my snowshoes threw snow on my back.
        Well it would keep you cool
        Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

        Comment


        • #7
          On Sunday, only about a half-mile out from the Loj along the Van Hoevenberg trail, I noticed the two hikers ahead of me had snowy pant legs. I watched their snowshoes tails kick up snow that subsequently fell on the back of their legs.

          I thought it was odd and looked at the back of my own legs and saw no accumulation of snow. I thought it might have something to do with the fabric's ability to shed snow. I didn't notice what brand of snowshoes they wore but they weren't MSRs and were of traditional construction (aluminum frame and synthetic deck).

          The theory that a "non-pivoting" binding causes the "shoveling effect" makes sense to me.


          Yury

          The Louis Garneau Course snowshoes I wore are racing snowshoes. They have very little traction. They are lightweight because they are tiny compared to what people normally use in the High Peaks. The tubing used for the frame is only 1/2" in diameter. I wouldn't use them to do any trail-breaking (like after a heavy snowfall). I don't think CatskillKev would even call them "snow squooshers" but simply "oversized boot soles"!

          What good are they in the High Peaks? <sarcasm>When the trail is so hard-packed that you barely leave a dent, but a regulation demands that you "possess and use snowshoes", ta-dah, you are compliant.</sarcasm>

          The Louis Garneau Phenom looks like it might be better suited to High Peaks travel. They weigh 2.2 pounds and, unlike the Course model, have a heel-lifter. The binding is more robust and it has a front crampon. The aluminum stock used to make the frame is not tubular but triangular so it provides a bit more "bite". The downside is they're priced way above most everything else (MSRP CDN$325).
          Looking for Views!

          Comment


          • #8
            Its interesting about the fully rotating axle (toe cord). To me, it is the key to the high-tech snowshoe, and all dozen plus snowshoes that I own have a fully rotating toe cord. So its interesting that some people don't like it. But anyway, it is a key feature of a snowshoe, one way or the other.
            I might be kidding...

            Comment

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