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 Snowshoes 
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Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:58 am
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Location: Boston
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 Snowshoes
Went up Potash on Saturday and the mountain wiped me out sinking a foot every other step, I know heavy packed trails are fine with just micro spikes but trails not used often coupled with my size (6'-4" 245) lends me to think I need to invest in some snow shoes.
Based on the "guide" I should get 30" shoes, but from others I have read that the 30" are very cumbersome and your just fine with 25"

I was looking at the MSR products either 'Lightning Ascent' - 'Lightning Explore' - 'Revo Explore'

Suggestions - Comments?

Thanks


Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:55 pm
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Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Snowshoes
I've always been a Tubbs guy so can't comment on the MSR's but the Tubbs Flex Alp is an amazing snowshoe. They have a slightly bigger version than the standard 24 (I think it's a 28) but still the same style mountaineering shoe. I also have a 30 inch Tubbs shoe and find it a little too large and clunky for the average snowshoe track in the Whites, although if breaking trail after a big storm the extra floatation is nice.

I don't think you'll need a 30 no matter what brand you pick. Basically in the whites on popular trails all you want is a big enough shoe to keep you from breaking through the track. The floatation isn't usually much of an issue on well travelled paths that are trampled down after every storm no matter how much you weigh. I'm usually tipping the scales at 240 or so with winter pack and never go through on 24's. I think one of the long lost posters on here (Hoss) is about your size IIRC. Maybe you could dig us his info and PM him about it if nobody else in your weight class chimes in.


Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:29 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: Snowshoes
I have some 30" Atlas MTN snow shoes and i can pretty much go over anything with them. When i was 220lbs @ 5'11 (+pack) I could stamp out a trail with them like a beast. I could go off trail and not care. Loosely packed drifts would still have me going to my knees. If a trail was narrow I'd never knock my knees. I'd simply widen said trail. Perhaps my ankles got more strengthened by it. I also never broke any land speed records in them. Since i kept them in my trunk, they came in handy in blizzards. Id simply float above everything, no exception.


Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:49 pm
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 Re: Snowshoes
Flex Alp XL is 8x28" - I have them and use them when the snow is really deep. The important thing is the width - 8 or 8.5" max - any wider and it becomes a challenge to walk in the track made by the 8-8.5" shoes, which are the vast majority in NH.

Tim

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Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:56 am
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 Re: Snowshoes
bikehikeskifish wrote:
Flex Alp XL is 8x28" - I have them and use them when the snow is really deep. The important thing is the width - 8 or 8.5" max - any wider and it becomes a challenge to walk in the track made by the 8-8.5" shoes, which are the vast majority in NH.

Tim


ignore post. Hadn't had coffee. I was confused because I'd already mentioned the size, sort of.

http://tubbssnowshoes.com/snowshoes/flex-alp-m


Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:06 am
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 Re: Snowshoes
Granite Guy wrote:
bikehikeskifish wrote:
Flex Alp XL is 8x28" - I have them and use them when the snow is really deep. The important thing is the width - 8 or 8.5" max - any wider and it becomes a challenge to walk in the track made by the 8-8.5" shoes, which are the vast majority in NH.

Tim


ignore post. Hadn't had coffee. I was confused because I'd already mentioned the size, sort of.

http://tubbssnowshoes.com/snowshoes/flex-alp-m


and I mentioned the size exactly... :)

I also have the 8x24 Flex Alp for easier trail breaking and an 8x22 MSR Evo Ascent which really only gets used when the trail is broken, or as a loaner.

Tim

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Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:21 am
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Leg Burner
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 Re: Snowshoes
I'm 6'4", 220# (maybe 240 or so with gear) and wear 30" Lightning Ascents. I don't find them too big or cumbersome at all, and in fact almost always wear the 6" extenders on the back.

Smaller shoes might be OK if you're always walking on well broken trails, but breaking trail is much more fun (though much more work as well). Even if I did find 30" shoes cumbersome on broken trails (I don't, and especially not with Lightning Ascents, which are quite narrow), the tradeoff would be well worth it... At least for me. YMMV!

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Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:27 pm
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 Re: Snowshoes
Granite Guy wrote:
I think one of the long lost posters on here (Hoss) is about your size IIRC.


He still lives, I hiked with him a couple weeks ago :) He's mentioned before that he felt he could probably get away with the 24s most of the time since there is plenty of traffic on the main trails, but he only has 28s so that is what he uses.

As a user of the Lightning Ascents that just recently bought a pair of the 24" Flex Alps, I am a huge fan of the Tubbs binding over the MSR. I had to be very careful and particular in how I tightened the bindings on the Lightnings to avoid weird pressure points on my boots, but I might be somewhat unique in this issue. The Tubbs binding is easy to use, but is a lot bulkier than the Lightnings and doesn't strap on the pack nearly as nicely. Traction is similar between them, I might give the slight edge to the Tubbs but I've only hiked with them twice so far and my Lightnings were pretty dull the last times I used them. My Lightnings are currently somewhere between Mass and Seattle to get the bindings replaced as the toe crampon cracked through at the rivet on one shoe, which is a common failure. It took 3 years of heavy use and abuse for mine to hit that point. Once I get them back, I see myself using both pairs of shoes in different scenarios, both are nice shoes.

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Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:23 pm
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 Re: Snowshoes
I recently made the photo attached here for another thread on vftt. It may be interesting to readers of this thread.

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.p ... post418979

Tim

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Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:35 pm
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 Re: Snowshoes
A couple of days ago (pre- heavy rains) I did Owls Head via the Brutus BW (is there any other route?!) and as those familiar with the route know, there's some serious side-hilling about 1/3 of a mile into the steeps. The side rail on my left Tubbs Alps Flex blew two rivets about 1/2 mile up. In addition to the sidehilling, the Televators were up, and in hindsight, that's alot of torque on the downhill side. To their credit, I was able to summit and get back to the trail where it was barebootable. I toyed with the idea of returning them to EMS where I'd bought them in 1/2013, but then decided against that. Most likely they would send them back for repairs and I'd be without them for the balance of the winter. So, I spent about $5 for stainless steel bolts, locking nuts and washers, and now have a few spares for my McGiver kit. On paper they seem relatively new, but in reality, they've probably been up 100 peaks, between being worn or carried, since I bought them. I'll bring them back to EMS in the Spring. Two or three more months into their 3-year warranty shouldn't make that much difference.

I've had good luck with Tubbs snowshoes over the years. My trusty Katahdin's are still serviceable, although a bit wide for today's narrow snowshoe track in the Northeast. When I moved back to NE from the Sierra a couple of winters ago, I bought a pair of MSR Evo Ascents as they seem to be worn by about 75% of the winter hikers. They worked well, and ride fairly easily on your pack. However - I found that adjusting the neoprene straps properly was nearly impossible for frequent hikers. For hikes longer than 10 miles the pressure points they created were excruciating. I remember coming off Isolation one dark afternoon and finally having to remove them about 3 miles out because - despite ibuprophen - I couldn't take the pain any longer. I sold them, and bought a pair of Tubbs Flex Alps - it has a great binding system, but is bulky to carry on your pack. The uphill track on them is amazing, but ... it also makes it nearly impossible to glide/slide down a hill as you can with less aggressive snowshoes, like the MSR's. As they say - there's no free lunch. The only negative is they're a bit long, and despite their name - they're not particularly flexible. If you watch their video, the flexion demonstrated on film cannot be replicated by your foot in snow, even hard-packed snow, but that's a minor point. Overall, they're great snowshoes, and I'd probably buy another pair. If you do 40-50 winter peaks a year, I think it's unreasonable to expect any snowshoe to hold up, year after year, without repairs. What was great for me in previous years (before Tubbs was sold to K2 and moved to China) was their headquarters was about 10 miles away from where I worked in Waterbury, VT and if I dropped them off in the morning they'd be repaired by the afternoon.

If you choose one of the mountaineering snowshoes from Tubbs, MSR or Altas I doubt you'll be disappointed. Each have their pros and cons, but if you're a relative newcomer to winter hiking, you probably won't know what particular fine points of each you'd rather have. So, make your best guess and pick one. They're not heirlooms, and sooner or later you're going to have to replace them anyway.


Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:42 am
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