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NOBO Snowshoes

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NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SeeDeeTee » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:28 am

Question for 2013 NOBO: Anyone planning on having snowshoes? Please let me know if you think they are necessary, which brands, etc. On the other hand, if you do not find them necessary do you think you will be postholing?
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby gg-man » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:33 pm

You will not need snowshoes regardless of the severity of the snow. I know of no 2011 hikers that used them and there is little chance that this year will comes close to 2011 levels. This snowshoe talk happens every year. It generally gets started by folks that haven't experienced the Sierra Cement. The only exception to the snowshoe need would be someone entering really early, say April or early May. I have been in the High Sierra, near Glen and Forester Passes during that timeframe in 2009 and 2010. Snowshoes were helpful because it was early enough that the snow had yet to harden.

Micro spikes, maybe. Ice Axe if you know how to use it. Snowshoes, no.

Edit... Just saw this was in CDT forum. The same would apply on the CDT as well.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SeeDeeTee » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:13 pm

I assumed any reader would realize this applies to CDT.

-OK, I might get microspites. Although in hiking/climbing before we always waited for sun to come up and soften snow before we started and never needed crampons (no microspikes back then). So I don't know, at $59 a pop on Campmoor I might think about it awhile. However, thanks ever so much on advice RE snowshoes! I have not purchased them, and will take them off my equip list. I had thought about how the snow would not be fresh snow and so this gels with what I was thinking. Thanks again.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SunnyWalker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:49 pm

By the way gg-man, you have experience on the CDT, in the snow?
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" -Rudyard Kipling
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby bearcreek » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:40 pm

There are a couple of spots in the San Juans where the trail is literally carved out of rock faces. Knife Edge in the Weminuche Wilderness is the most problematic example. (CO Segment 5, mile 16.5) If you hike across these places before the snow melts you will be kicking in steps with near vertical terrain below. Very sketchy. Snowshoes are worthless on steep hillsides, but some sort of mini crampon / ice axe combination can be extremely helpful. If you decide to carry an ice axe, stop somewhere in gentle terrain and practice a few self arrests before you try crossing anything steep.

The problem with snowshoes in the early summer is that the trail will be clear, then snow covered, then clear. It is a lot of trouble to stop every few hundred feet and remove or put on the snowshoes. I would suggest having some good waterproof footwear and near knee height gaiters, and plan on doing some postholing now and then. (Extra socks are a suggestion.)

The San Juans have 20% less snow than this time last year. Barring a lot of snow in March, this should be a good year for a mid June hike.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SunnyWalker » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:09 am

Thanks Bearcreek. I am not taking snowshoes but will stick with the Kahtoolah Microspikes. Had a chance to try them out here as we had a blizzard and then melting snow and ice and all. Wow, what a product, wish we had these 30 years ago. Opppppps, now I am not that old . . . . .
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" -Rudyard Kipling
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby STINGER » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:25 pm

Other than the 4-5 really fast ultralight nobos in 2011 most nobos used/carried snowshoes for the san juans. i was the second nobo into the san juans that year. The hiker infront of me already had shoes waiting in chama as he was thinking ahead. i entered around may 28. Postholed up to my chest for 2 days before bailing back to chama. got snowshoes and got back up in a few days. after the 4 days of waiting the snow had melted over 4ft in some places! still lots of 30ft drifts. during the time i waited for shoes that group of 4-5 went through without. definatley doable without.
If i had already owned a pair i would have had them ready for the san juans in chama. just made things a bit easier. 3 pounds of snowshoes for a small section(under 300 miles) beats fighting elephant traps all day.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SunnyWalker » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:20 am

I am keeping an eye on the snow level this year but planning on not purchasing the snow shoes. From experience in Mtn climbing in the Cascades I have post holed before, walked on the hard snow, and extensively an used ice ax. I have done glacier work and etc., and am confident in my abilities and knowledge. If worse comes to worse, one backs down and comes in. No use getting hurt or killed, ha, ha! I am set up at this point with Kahtoola Microspikes and an ice ax. So will sally forth when April comes from the border Crazy Cook with this equipment waiting at Chama. Now of course the Rockies are much bigger and awesome then the Cascades and before you write to tell me this I know it of course already. I have lived in CO and done some hiking there and loved it. Can't wait to return and can't wait to get on the trail. Right now I am working at local Wal-Mart to raise money for the trail. Each payday puts me closer and when I reach my goal I am off to the races be it April 1 or my "official" start date of April 15. See you all down the trail. So far I am informed that snow levels are much higher than last few years and so it is something to keep an eye on. Thankful for the snow though! Please, keep snowing!
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" -Rudyard Kipling
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby Ellie » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:05 am

I also picked up my snow shoes in Chama, and kept them strapped to my pack while I was in the San Juans. I did some post holing, but this was mostly a pain on side slopes down in the trees. I was better off with my micro-spikes, hiking early when the snow was hardest, and staying higher up if possible. I do know of three other hikers that carried snow shoes up in WY, around the Enchantment area I believe, and used them quite a bit.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SunnyWalker » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:16 am

Thanks for the info Ellie. I am thinking that I hear both pros and cons of course on this issue. I hate to posthole. I have hiked across the cement many times, then postholed too. I opt to be on the cement whenever I can work it out. I am thinking that if I try to purchase ss while on the trail, say at a town and have to wait for them I'll end up spending a lot more then if I get them now. So I am waiting on my REI gift card (smile) to purchase them. Any lightweight ss you recommend?
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" -Rudyard Kipling
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby Ellie » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:30 am

I don't think you can go wrong with a good pair of Tubbs. I would go check them out at REI, and see what you like. This is currently what I like.
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Re: NOBO Snowshoes

Postby SunnyWalker » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:04 pm

Tubbs-Thanks Ellie!
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" -Rudyard Kipling
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