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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Snowshoe brands and sizes

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  • Ned Tibbits
    A comment has to be made here regarding snow-hiking the JMT and snowshoes: If you are going to be hiking the trail from May on, you do not need snowshoes at
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 15, 2013
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      A comment has to be made here regarding snow-hiking the JMT and snowshoes:
       
      If you are going to be hiking the trail from May on, you do not need snowshoes at all. The snowpack is being heated during the day and frozen at night, so it is quite solid to walk on in the mornings. You should have shoes with decent tread and hiking crampons for traction when the surfaces are slippery/icy.
       
      Come afternoon, when the snow surface is soft, you need to get off of it and onto dry ground because the hard snow surface present in the morning has disappeared and the potential for your footsteps/legs to suddenly fall through into the pack and get hurt, what we affectionately like to call “post-holing,” becomes huge.
       
      Planning is all it takes. Snowline during those “early-season” months is usually at or above 10,500, so there is only solid snow for a few miles before and after the big passes. Camp at snowline, snow-hike up to the passes during the morning hours, early-lunch on top, and get off the pass and the snowpack by 1:00pm and onto “dry” trail before you start postholing. Done deal.
       
      It is not common to receive a lot of fresh powder snow from April or May on, so the need for snowshoes to walk on that loose stuff is not needed. On Mountain Education’s Snow Advanced Courses like the “First-In” over Forester in May, we have occasionally gotten hit by a late season snow storm, but they usually don’t lay down a lot of snow. If you do get a storm that dumps a foot of more of snow, just  wait a day after the storm for the avalanche danger to pass and the pack to settle and consolidate and you’re “good to go.” (Take an Avalanche Course to understand snow crystal bonding and pack stability before going in anyway. What you know will help you make wise decisions out there. What you don’t know or understand about your environment can let fears and unnecessary concerns keep you from enjoying this great bumper season!).
       
      So, no need for snowshoes on the JMT during the months of May on...
       
      Yes, on not buying tubular-framed snowshoes for heavy use during freeze-thaw snow-hiking months. (We have had some bad experiences out there with these in the past!)
       
       
      Ned Tibbits, Director
      Mountain Education
      www.mountaineducation.org
       
      From: Allen C
      Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 9:02 PM
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Snowshoe brands and sizes
       
       

      MSR snowshoes are the way to go. The ones that are a solid piece of plastic are good, the ones with the metal frame all around with the hypalon deck are better. Don't get the tubular metal style (Tubbs/Atlas etc) ones though. Go with MSR for sure.

      Figure out how much your total weight (with pack) will be and that will tell you if you need the tails or not - based on their specs.

      --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "careycantril" <careycantril@...> wrote:

      >
      > Hey Everyone -
      >
      > Can anyone provide suggestions for types of snowshoe brands
      they have had success with in the past. Also, If I'm approximately 5'10 what size snowshoe should I purchase?
      >
      >
      Thanks
      >

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