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LTR - Redfeather Pace Snowshoes - Gail S

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  • woodswoman
    Coy, Here is my LTR for the Redfeather Pace Snowshoes. This was a very fun test! HTML: http://tinyurl.com/3a3lbs LTR text only: Long Term Report: Redfeather
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2007
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      Coy,
      Here is my LTR for the Redfeather Pace Snowshoes. This
      was a very fun test!


      HTML:

      http://tinyurl.com/3a3lbs


      LTR text only:

      Long Term Report:
      Redfeather Women's Pace Snowshoes
      May 1, 2007


      Locations and Conditions

      During the Long Term Test Period, the Redfeather
      Women's Pace Snowshoes were used primarily for day
      hikes and runs in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
      Areas included the Noquemanon Trails and the
      surrounding bush in Marquette County and off-trail
      hikes near the village of South Range in Houghton
      County. Locations ranged from and included conifer and
      deciduous forest communities with many rock
      outcroppings to small peaks. Elevation ranged from 600
      ft (183 m) to almost 1500 ft (457 m). The conditions
      for snowshoe outings mostly hovered in the 16 F (- 9
      C) to 40 F (4 C) range. Sky conditions included
      clouds, snow, and a bit of sun.


      Field Usage

      Great Traction

      During most of the entire testing period, Snowfall has
      been consistent and over 230 in (5.84 m) of snow has
      fallen this winter. Early March brought a period of
      very warm temps making the snow very wet and sticky.
      During one 40 F (4 C) day, I made a trek to the top of
      Whealkate Bluff, a 1500 ft (457 m) peak that towers
      over a small village that lies at 1100 ft (335 m).
      Most of the height is directly vertical so its always
      tough to maintain traction year round on any surface
      of the small peak. In fact, the bluff was used in the
      past for motorcycle race climbs and is sometimes used
      as a challenge for snowmobile climb events. The snow
      depth was still a couple of feet (0.6 m) deep and I
      sank maybe only a few inches (8 cm). I didn't use my
      hiking poles so it was a great test to see if I would
      be able to ascend and descent without significant
      sliding. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to
      maintain an upright position with little slippage. The
      sharp crampons really dug into the wet snow and
      provided great traction. To top it off, I didn't
      experience any build-up of snow on the crampons
      themselves which would of certainly hindered traction.
      I was very pleased with the performance of the
      snowshoes and no, I didn't run up and down the peak.
      My heart rate was high enough just getting to the top
      at an easy pace.


      Snowshoeing on the crust

      Middle March temperatures hovered around the freezing
      point. March 20 brought an additional 5 in (12.7 cm)
      of snow in the form of heavy wet snow. I snowshoed the
      day after it fell resulting in sinking to the crust
      underneath the snow. A few days later the new snow had
      already formed an additional crust layer. I snowshoed
      again partly on an ungroomed ski trail with numerous
      side trips off into the bush where no grooming of any
      sort had ever occurred. I sunk through the softened
      crust in some areas and in other areas that were still
      hardened by the nights freezing temperatures resulted
      in mostly floating on top of the crust. I was easily
      able to infiltrate through low brushy tree vegetation
      without getting hung up on the branches. As I
      descended and ascended numerous knolls and ridges off
      trail, I noticed that the heel plates were building up
      icy patches underneath my boots. Later when I removed
      the snowshoes, there was at least a half inch (1.27
      cm) of ice that had accumulated over the top of the
      plates. However, this is not an uncommon problem with
      these types of snow conditions as I've also
      experienced this with every type of snowshoe I've used
      in the past. Regardless, I was very happy that the
      crampons themselves didn't build up snowballs of ice.

      Late March snow cover made snowshoeing more difficult.
      Although more than half of the woods had good snow
      cover, I was forced to remove my snowshoes at
      intervals to avoid walking through a few muddy areas.
      This was OK though, as I was happy to be snowshoeing
      at all with the warmer temperatures threatening the
      early disappearance of snow for the season. If the
      muddy intervals were short, I just carried the
      snowshoes and for the longer times that I couldn't use
      them I just attached them to my day pack. I could of
      probably walked through the mud with them but I didn't
      want to unnecessarily mar them with exposed rocks.
      After several days of warm temps it no longer was
      possible to snowshoe, but that surprisingly changed
      quickly.


      Huge Blizzard ---Yeah!!!!

      Early April brought a surprise. A huge blizzard
      brought over four feet (1.22 m) of lake-effect snow in
      a couple of days. The almost bare ground was again
      deeply covered in a pristine white world of snow. The
      temperature ranged from 16 F (-9 C) to 25 F (-4 C) and
      the wind chills were significant with the 30 mph (48
      km/h) wind with 45 mph (72 km/h) gusts. I headed out
      on four consecutive days into the very deep snow.
      Since there weren't any layers of crust in the snow, I
      sank quite deeply with the snowshoes. Most of the time
      I sank approximately 1.5 ft (0.5 m) and in areas of
      drifts I sank to the top of my thighs. Of course, it
      was impossible to move forward in those areas so I had
      to back out of them. This is no reflection on the
      snowshoes because any of my snowshoes would of been
      buried in over four feet (1.22 m) of powder. I used
      the trails and old road beds around Mt Marquette on
      three of the outings. I ascended and descended an
      elevation difference of about 600 ft (183) from the
      bottom to the top. I again had another chance to
      snowshoe at Whealkate Bluff which is over 100 mi (161
      km) west of my home for another outing. Snow was again
      very deep and powdery. Snowshoeing was very laborsome
      but I didn't have any mileage objectives so covering a
      couple of miles (4 km) in a couple of hours was fine.
      During all of these outings the snowshoes performed as
      well as could be expected in these conditions. The
      forefoot straps and heel straps stayed in place and
      traction was excellent when descending and ascending.

      I continued to snowshoe for a few more days. The
      temperatures warmed and the snow compacted gradually
      so that I was only sinking 8 in to 10 in (20 cm to 25
      cm). It was really perfect and I did a couple of
      bushwhack treks through the forest. I weaved in and
      out of the trees and was delighted to find many
      occurrences of animal tracks and tunnels down through
      the snow where squirrels were searching for their
      caches. They were probably just as surprised as I was
      to experience so much snow so late in the season. I
      ascended and descended repeatedly to get around large
      rock formations. The snowshoes worked beautifully and
      there was only a build-up of ice on the heel plates
      due to the nature of the now warm and more sticky
      snow.

      My only small disappointment during the test period
      has been that I had some issues with the heel strap
      coming undone on both snowshoes at various intervals.
      I thought I had sufficiently snugged the rubber rings
      beneath the prongs insertion points. Through trial and
      error, I found it was best if the straps are super
      stretched so that the straps are very tight. That way
      the straps can't slip out of the prongs. During the
      field test period, I didn't seem to have an issue with
      them even though I have consistently wore the same two
      types of footwear in both periods. Looking back, the
      only thing that stands out is that every time the
      prongs slipped out of place, I was snowshoeing more
      aggressively on sticky or very wet snow (rather than
      deep powder). While this could only be considered a
      nuisance, I would much rather prefer that the
      snowshoes have ratcheted straps in the back or straps
      similar to the forefoot straps for more security. In
      my past experiences, such an arrangement was also
      easier to fasten or use. If the Pace Snowshoes were
      worn in a running race (as this is what they are
      designed for), this would most likely cause numerous
      delays in performance if a person had to stop and redo
      one or both of the straps.


      Final Thoughts

      The snowshoes have held up well during the entire test
      period. They were exposed to a variety of mostly deep
      snow conditions but removed if I encountered areas
      devoid of snow. This no doubt added to their great
      condition. The decking material, frames, bindings and
      crampons all have remained mostly unmarred.

      Overall, I have been very happy with the performance
      of the Pace Snowshoes (other than the minor
      disappointment with the backstrap issue). I will
      continue to use them for future winter outings for
      years to come. Throughout the years, I have worn five
      other pairs of snowshoes including two pairs of
      snowshoes that were designed primarily for running.
      The Pace Snowshoes have outperformed the others. The
      greatest attribute has been undoubtedly been the
      narrower profile and the perfect tracking system
      making hiking and running more efficient. I chose
      mostly to hike and run in deep unmarred snow making it
      a challenge for flotation, but this is perfectly
      normal for the decking size of the Pace Snowshoes. I
      didn't expect the snowshoes to keep me near the top of
      the snow. I prefer to make my own tracks and it
      provides an awesome workout. The balanced hinges have
      worked perfectly and the level of fatigue experienced
      in my feet and legs was remarkably low compared to
      other less efficient snowshoes that I have used. These
      are definitely a keeper!

      This report completes the test series for the
      Redfeather Pace Snowshoes. Thanks to Redfeather and
      BackpackGearTest for the great opportunity to test the
      Pace Snowshoes throughout the entire winter season.







      ***Gail***

      **There is a pleasure in the pathless woods** - Lord Byron

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    • Coy
      Edit: Redfeather Pace Snowshoes Tester: Gail Staisil Edited by Coy Starnes May 1, 2007 Hi Gail, I could not find anything to edit. It has been a pleasure
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2007
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        Edit: Redfeather Pace Snowshoes
        Tester: Gail Staisil
        Edited by Coy Starnes
        May 1, 2007

        Hi Gail, I could not find anything to edit. It has been a pleasure
        working with you on this one. Please upload when you get a chance.

        Coy Boy
        PS: You do get your share of snow!


        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, woodswoman
        <woodswoman2001@...> wrote:
        >
        > Coy,
        > Here is my LTR for the Redfeather Pace Snowshoes. This
        > was a very fun test!
        >
        >
        > HTML:
        >
        > http://tinyurl.com/3a3lbs
        >
      • woodswoman
        ... Thanks Coy, for all your work on this series. I love testing winter items as it is my favorite time of the year and there is always plenty of snow here. I
        Message 3 of 3 , May 2, 2007
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          > Hi Gail, I could not find anything to edit. It has
          > been a pleasure
          > working with you on this one. Please upload when
          > you get a chance.
          >
          > Coy Boy
          > PS: You do get your share of snow!

          Thanks Coy, for all your work on this series. I love
          testing winter items as it is my favorite time of the
          year and there is always plenty of snow here. I
          actually get a bit depressed when the snow melts.


          ***Gail***

          **There is a pleasure in the pathless woods** - Lord Byron

          __________________________________________________
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