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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 8:29 am 
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Joined: June 24th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Kent Bridge, Ontario Canada
I'm looking into buying a set of snowshoes.
Anybody have any suggestions? Interested in the 'non-traditional' style. I was thinking of the MSR Denali Classic.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 9:30 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario canada
I own the Denali Hikers and I love them. Good traction for icy trails and hills, they are light and easy to walk in due to their relatively small size. One drawback would be that they don't perform well in deep snow.

john


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 11:53 am 
What type of situations do you plan on using snowshoes in? Depending on how much you weigh, and how much you might be carrying in a pack, the snowshoes you mention won't be much good to you in deep snow.

If it's just a day trip on existing trails then would probably be OK.

Mike D.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 1:13 pm 
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Joined: June 24th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Kent Bridge, Ontario Canada
I planning on using them Central to Northern Ontario. I'm guessing the snow to be around 2-5 feet deep. I thought the tails that are available with the MSR would make them a versatile pair of shoes.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 1:51 pm 
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I have the MSR Denali's with long tails. They are ugly, noisy, clunky & very effective as long as the snow isn't too deep & soft.

I used them for a trip in Algonquin for a week in Feb 98. They supported me & my pack (total of about 220 pounds) & gave enough traction to easily pull my 40 pound sled up slopes. That winter didn't have much snowdepth though. 3-5 feet of snow may have been a problem.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: madkanuist on 2001-10-02 14:55 ]</font>


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2001, 6:50 pm 
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Joined: June 27th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Ontario Canada
I have the MSR Denalis with long tails, and they're great at climbing, and easy to walk in (narrow), but they're not good in deep powder, especially with the extra weight of a pack. I am in general quite happy with them.


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2001, 2:31 am 
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Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Don't know much about the non-traditional snowshoes, but I have this advice for winter tripping if you go in the north where you will get deep snow that may stay in powder form all winter (like last year): Get the largest size possible, and don’t worry about the weight rating. In deep powder you will need maximum floatation. If you travel on lakes and rivers: The deep snow pack insulates the ice and weighs it down, causing water to flow up on top of the ice but under the snow, forming the dreaded slush pockets. The snow actually floats on the liquid slush. Last year in NW Ontario, by early to mid February, most small and mid-size lakes were total slush shore to shore, lasting right through to late March. The snow had not thawed, so it was fluffy and had maximum insulation ability. It could be minus 30, with liquid slush under the snow on the lake ice. Step off your shoes and you punched through the snow into liquid slush. If you get a thaw, then the air content reduces in the snow, and sometimes the slush will disappear through freezing. We did not get a midwinter thaw last year in NW Ontario. Without maximum floatation you sunk through the top snow layer and the slush would instantly coat the shoes and toboggan and freeze solid. Also, the larger wider shoes will pack a better float (trail) for hauling a toboggan if there is slush. If the shoes are too small, they punch through deeper, and the slush oozes up to coat the toboggan behind. Bad news.

I use two pair of traditional shoes on trips: A big 14x48 pair for cruising and hauling, and a smaller but wide bearpaw model for around camp and bush whacking. I strap whatever pair I am not using on the toboggan. Even the 14x48's are too small in the really deep powder, and I am looking for an ever larger design.

Another problem with the design of the synthetic (non-traditional) shoes that I have seen, is that they are often too narrow (e.g. 10 inch max) to pack a trail without a snow ridge in the middle. The snow ridge left in the center of the float (between the strides) causes the toboggan to tip over sometimes, if it is at all top heavy. My shoes are a 14 inch wide traditional tear drop shape, which has enough overlap with my gait to pack a flat float.

Something to consider.


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2001, 10:24 am 
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Joined: August 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Cheltenham, Ontario Canada
I think the best are likely Sherpas, followed by Atlas and Tubbs if you want day-in, day-out performance. MSR is turning into a whiz-bang marketing group, IMHO, and should focus back on function.

kk


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2001, 4:15 pm 
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Quote:
On 2001-10-03 11:24, Kerry Knudsen wrote:
I think the best are likely Sherpas, followed by Atlas and Tubbs if you want day-in, day-out performance. MSR is turning into a whiz-bang marketing group, IMHO, and should focus back on function.


Dunno. I would rate the MSR Denali's as all function, no style. When I did the Algonquin trip in '98, one of my friends used snowshoes of the Atlas & Tubbs style. It was one of those makes but forget which.

His snowshoes were about the same weight as my MSR's, had about equal floatation, much worse traction, problems with ice buildup on the aluminum cleats & on the binding straps. He declared my MSR's to be ugly & noisy but better.

The third member of our group wore traditional snowshoes. They had better floatation, partly because they were much larger, partly becaue the wearer was 40 pounds lighter. They had very poor traction on slopes. He forgot to varnish them before the trip & wet snow caused the webbing to sag, unravel & start to rot. They stank terribly in the car on the way home.

For deep soft snow I have Faber Mountain Hikers. They are large & light with a wood frame & plastic deck. They have great floatation, gosh awfull traction & probably won't last long.


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2001, 8:21 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: London, Ontario CANADA
From my oberservations last winter,

Another helpfull hint to to get a wider than shoe width sled to pull. That way things ride in the whole groove of your breaking trail rather then within the mound between the footed section.

If you can find an old fly or tarp too, wrap all your goodies up on the sled and tie them down! You don't know how much energy you will save not having to look back down a hill to realize the load was lighter now because your 66Lbs of water just went sliding back from where you came!

This incident works with everything you have on your sled ( olive barrels, stove, etc...)

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