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Snowshoes for Adk High Peaks

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  • #16
    I use MSRs, but Tubbs definitely seem to make a respectable snowshoe too. In terms of improving snowshoe design for the future, it would seem like a good strategy would be to reduce the amount of parts/components in the snowshoe. The more the snowshoe is a whole unit with less intricate parts, the less stuff there is to break.
    For example, snowmobiles.
    Today's snowmobiles have so much stuff that can break on them and zillions of parts, it's ridiculous.
    I always rode a 1987 Yamaha XLV 540 and it never once broke down. Ever. It was almost indestructible. There were like 5 parts to the entire thing (I'm exaggerating but it was so simple that even I could work on it).
    So in my view, less intricate parts = less that can break, fall off, and go wrong.
    My all-time favorite snowshoes (not for deep powder though) are MSR Evo's. They epitomize what I am talking about. They have few intricate parts and not a lot of things that can break and go wrong. They are extremely tough. I bushwhacked Sentinel Mountain in the winter with these and beat the hell out of them on this trip and they made it without breaking.

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    • #17
      We’ve used MSR EVO Ascents for Five seasons in ADK High Peaks. Recommended: get the “snowshoe maintenance kit” aka repair kit, for whatever snow shoe you buy, and carry it. It made what could have been a very frustrating moment on trail a few weeks ago into a simple delay as repair was easily made with the replacement cleavis pin, split ring and washer handy in our pack. (Note: the repair was on our “second string” military version of EVO Ascents that we keep around for guests that had not been used that many times. Our First String EVO Ascents are in their 5th season of light use. They have each needed a replacement binding strap—which we also carry—but otherwise are going strong.
      46/46, 20/46w "I only went out for a walk, and concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." John Muir

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      • #18
        I did the entire W115 on MSR EVOs. They are not perfect, but I never thought of replacing them.

        Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

        Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
        Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
        Past President Catskill 3500 Club
        CEO Views And Brews!

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        • #19
          Back in the day I rented sherpas. I remember thinking they were bombproof.

          https://www.snowshoemag.com/2007/02/...ory-of-sherpa/

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sherpa-Snow...4AAOSw9she2q44

          Any thoughts on those?
          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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          • CatskillKev
            CatskillKev commented
            Editing a comment
            The Sherpa product led to the Tubbs product.Tubular aluminum frame with an axle attached into the lacing with the yokes. Its called rotating toe cord. You'd have to add a heel crampon to a Sherpa to get it up to speed, and I suppose their toe crampon is not too great either.

          • Bunchberry
            Bunchberry commented
            Editing a comment
            I did Marcy on one trip and Algonquin on another. I remember the grip was pretty good. They also had a lot of float.

          • FoulHooked
            FoulHooked commented
            Editing a comment
            Pretty sure some models had heel crampons or "cleats", and there was an aftermarket upgrade for the forefoot crampon that was much more aggressive. Not as grabby as say the Tubbs Mountaineer, but still perfectly adequate for high peaks climbing. I never used a pair but used to hike with someone who loved theirs.

        • #20
          Originally posted by KV Streamer View Post
          We’ve used MSR EVO Ascents for Five seasons in ADK High Peaks. Recommended: get the “snowshoe maintenance kit” aka repair kit, for whatever snow shoe you buy, and carry it. It made what could have been a very frustrating moment on trail a few weeks ago into a simple delay as repair was easily made with the replacement cleavis pin, split ring and washer handy in our pack. (Note: the repair was on our “second string” military version of EVO Ascents that we keep around for guests that had not been used that many times. Our First String EVO Ascents are in their 5th season of light use. They have each needed a replacement binding strap—which we also carry—but otherwise are going strong.
          I have EVO Ascents and prefer them. An old pair of Lightnin are my backups.

          It's good to check the split rings from time to time. I probably should get in the habit of doing this each trip but I haven't. I do look often enough to see wear and tear. When I see the split rings are looking worn I replace them. Eventually I bought a bag of split rings (100 pcs.) from McMaster-Carr. I've given some split rings to hiking buddies and still have many left. Most of the failures though have been the rivets on the binding and the metal fatigue failure of the web under the binding. I bought a box of pop-rivets and replace those myself. Fixing the web is harder and I repaired that once too but other failures occurred soon after.

          Twice I've bought a pair of replacement bindings from MSR. I know some send back for free replacement (if that's possible any more). I find it just as easy to buy them because over all time to back to normal is less. Last I bought then it was $50 with free shipping. Though I wonder if spares are even available this year given what's been said of snow shoes being completely sold out. Since I keep the old bindings I also have the straps from the old bindings; so, now I have lots of spare straps too.

          -Twice when I have looked at home the split ring was down to part of one ring.. The second time was this season.
          -I had a split ring, clevis, etc. vanish once. That was with Lightnin shoes. It was at Herald Square in the Santanonis. I 'limped' back to the Trailhead having only climbed Panther.
          -A buddy had split ring failure once too and I was prepared that time with spares.

          Don

          .

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          • MJK
            MJK commented
            Editing a comment
            My main shoes for 4+ seasons(1200+ miles) were tubbs flex vrt. I replaced all lost rivets and clevis pins and rings with stainless machine screws and locknuts. I have never had a repair fail and some have lasted longer than the original parts. I carry a stubby driver and a ratcheting wrench to repair because I don't have the greatest manual dexterity in the cold, no way could I manage a tiny split ring. If I go back to MSRs I will probably preemptively replace the pins with screws.

          • Hear the Footsteps
            Hear the Footsteps commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice to know the lock nuts work, thanks. I'll add to my kit for in the field missing rivet repairs.

            Are you using the lock nuts with the nylon inserts or the ones with the external lock washer type. The external lock washer type arrives with a MSR repair kit.

            Don
            Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 01-27-2021, 01:34 PM.

          • MJK
            MJK commented
            Editing a comment
            I use the nylon ones

        • #21
          My wife has Evo Ascents. I'm still using an old pair of Northern Lites with a homemade "enhanced" crampon. Thinking about some upgrades:

          Does anyone know if the new "Paragon" binding can be bought separately anywhere?

          Does anyone know if the frame width of the "Paragon" binding is close enough to the frame width of the "TriFit" binding on the Evo Ascent so as to be able to retrofit a pair of Evos with the Paragon?

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          • MJK
            MJK commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes they are the same. https://imgur.com/6bqfLxR

            Those Evo's are from right after they dropped "Denali" from the name and discontinued the original, c. 2012. The straps looks a little different but they haven't changed that much.

          • tcd
            tcd commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the info! Very helpful photo!

            Now I have to see if I can round up those paragon bindings separately from the very expensive snowshoes they come with...

          • MJK
            MJK commented
            Editing a comment
            That might be a tougher nut to crack. I read some reviews before I bought the Lightnings and one of the reviewers asked the horse about that very thing. They got a hard no.

            I would like to thank you for inspiring me to put the lightning binding on the evo deck. I do not like the Lightning frame at all.

        • #22
          I started with MSR Denali Classics (no televators), and did many Catskill and a few ADK peak. My wife got a pair of Tubbs Flex Alps and they looked so good, I got a pair also. But I still use the MSRs once in awhile. I bought them all at the Cascade Ski Center. I also bought some replacement straps for the MSRs from them; $1 each.
          Mike

          ADK 46r #8003; 6W
          2nd round: 16
          SL6r #596
          Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

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          • #23
            Jumping into this one a bit late but here's my 2 cents. I use the older model (2012ish) Tubbs Flex TRK for a few reasons. First of all, I'm a large mammal and I've found that for us 220-230+ers all those little pointy crampon teeth on the more aggressive snowshoes might as well be toothpicks when you start tangling with hard ice and rock, as is often found below snow. I like getting back to my car with the same number of crampon teeth that I left my car with. Also, they have a toe stop and it works. They have side rails. They aren't quite as aggressive as those on the Ascents, VRT, and Alps, but again, breakage is nearly impossible. They have a stupidly simply binding that has never once slipped, failed, or broke on me. Its a single pull system which means that when it does go, a hasty repair can be make with some Gear Tie material without further compromising the whole design...I keep a very small spool of it in my winter kit. Also as the name suggests, they flex. I absolutely cannot stand using "soft deck" snowshoes on trails because the outer metal hoop doesn't not allow the shoe to conform to a natural stride. There's other models that offer some degree of flex, but then we're back into the category of being prone to breakage. Lastly, they have televators which are very easy to lock into place without reaching down and wrestling with them, are in the right place, and work brilliantly. These snowshoes are bomb proof, which is why I've be using them for close to a decade with no issues.

            I'm not sure if the newer models are made with the same quality of materials or design, but I'll keep using these until either they or I finally break.
            My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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            • #24
              I have never owned a multitool. Would this one handle fixing an MSR snowshoe. It is the smallest one. I am not going out to the store to look at them because of covid.
              • Measuring only 2.25 in. in length and weighing less than 2 oz., the Squirt PS4 is easy to take along
              • Regular pliers, needle-nose pliers, scissors, 3 screwdrivers, wire cutters, wood/metal file, straight knife and a bottle opener keep you equipped
              https://www.rei.com/product/802322/l...ps4-multi-tool
              Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
              ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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              • FoulHooked
                FoulHooked commented
                Editing a comment
                don't know the answer to your question, but i was looking with this tool and ended up going with the gerber dime instead as it is cheaper and outdoor gear lab noted the PS4 pliers had some flex to them.

              • FlyFishingandBeer
                FlyFishingandBeer commented
                Editing a comment
                Hard to say without consulting a crystal ball, but my personal go-to is a Gerber MP600 multitool, some small bolts with cap nuts (something like this,https://www.buckleguy.com/cs7700-chi...SABEgIS7vD_BwE), a spare split ring, and a small spool of that rubberized wire "gear tie" material.

            • #25
              Originally posted by Hoser View Post
              Nivek in 4.2 thats exactly where I am. Trying to dial it in for the W46. Thinking going from 30 to 25 or so length, and maybe to the Evo Ascents (the $199 version). Foot slips forward at times in the Tubbs Wilderness when going downhill. Thinking the three straps would help with that.

              Anyone have comments on the narrowness of the Evo series, to save the hips a bit? Family of runners so hips are tight!
              You do need to replace a snowshoe that allows you to slide forward on downhills. Well, you don't need to, but there are snowshoes with toe stops, so that is why there are snowshoes with toe stops. If your binding allows you to slide forward and aft, then you are not getting the use out of the rotating toe cord, that is available to one lucky enough to have a rotating toe cord.
              I might be kidding...

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              • #26
                I’m really glad I stumbled into this thread. A few years ago I asked my wife for snowshoes for Christmas, she wasn’t sure that I was serious about wanting snowshoes. She bought me a pair of Flashtek. They seemed like decent entry level shoes, but I’m ready to upgrade.

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                • #27
                  Thanks to everyone who contributed since my OP. Based on this thread, talking to folks on the trails this Winter, and also a ranger, as well as noticing what people are wearing, going with the MSR Lightning Ascents, in a 25, down from a 30 in my current Tubbs. Once they get back in stock of course, even if it's for next season.

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                  • CatskillKev
                    CatskillKev commented
                    Editing a comment
                    12x42 GV snowshoes.

                  • Yury
                    Yury commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What is a weight of a pair of 12x42 GV snowshoes?
                    Is this "Wide trail" or "Mountain trail"?

                  • CatskillKev
                    CatskillKev commented
                    Editing a comment
                    7.31 pounds per pair, Wide Trail. You can shed a little by taking off the gizmo that allows your heel to be attached to the shoe, which is supposed to help you back up, but unnecessary. I did add a few ounces though by plugging up the hole in front of the foot with some heavy aluminum. So mine are getting up towards 8 pounds.
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