I’m not sure how this year’s snowshoeing is going to turn out with my bum arm, but I’m going to do my best to get out there in the snow. I have been looking forward to trekking through some good fresh powder since spring when I finally upgraded from a pair of secondhand snowshoes after several years of great snow adventures.
I had to give up on my trusty pair of Tubbs snowshoes because despite my best attempts to mend its broken strapping, it was time to let go and find a new snow travel partner. After a lot of internal debate and online comparison, I decided to invest in a new pair on the advice of a fellow hiking blogger, John, over at One Hike A Week and went with the MSR Revo Ascent. His advice that their warrantee policy made them worth the price convinced me to fork out the money. And if they last as long as they should, it will definitely be worth it.
When doing my comparison shopping, it seemed the biggest decision was between the MSR Revo and the MSR Lightning Ascents. Both seemed like quality showshoes with good traction. No matter what I read, it seemed that there was not a big enough difference (weight, traction) for me to justify paying over $100 more for the Lightning, so I went for the Revo. After a few trips out there this season, I’ll let you know what I think about them.
So, with the snow falling in the mountains, I thought I would re-share my snowshoeing advice here on the blog. But after reviewing my popular post, 11 Things I Have Learned About Snowshoeing, I realized there were a few things I have left off or have learned this year that I want to add!
As I mentioned above, MSR has an amazing guarantee and can be found at most REI garage sales at a steal if you are willing to stand in line and be the first one in the door. (There is one at a store near you this weekend!)
Short trails that end in a lake will get even the most curmudgeon teenager out and excited to be in the outdoors. Especially if it is safe enough to walk around the edge of a frozen lake. You will be the coolest parent ever.
It’s a good idea to warn folks who you take out snowshoeing for the first time that it is more physically exerting than just hiking. Like by a lot. If you don’t, they will think you are trying to kill them.
Snowshoes are great for powder (fresh snow). Not so good for icy conditions (compact snow). See #6 below.
There is a snow travel etiquette for groomed trails or otherwise. If you are on a trail or road and there are tracks from cross-country skiers, it is good karma to walk to the outside to avoid them. Yes, it could mean a bit more work for you but think of the exercise. And the karma.
Microspikes (or crampons) and an ice axe are sometimes better for snow travel when it is icy or compact snow, or the trail is steep, so it’s good to carry them, too. Don’t know how to use an ice axe (or proper snow travel safety)? Check out a class at REI or the Mountaineers.
In addition, I realized this year that there is an updated version of Washington Snowshoe routes from the one I shared last year, so if you haven’t bought the book yet now is the time to pick one up!
And because I am hoping to get my friend, Elizabeth, out on the snow this year and she lives down south, I picked up this book, as well. So many possibilities…
Now, if the shoulder healing would just get to moving on a little quicker so I can get out on my new snowshoes!
If you haven’t checked out my first set of snowshoeing tips, like how to check for conditions, head on over to 11 Things I Have Learned About Snowshoeing. Then, read up on some of my favorite snowshoes trips in the last few years on my Snowshoes page.
Editor’s note: I’m trying my hand at the whole Amazon Affiliate link thing, so if you decide to purchase some of the same things I have talked about here for your very own, the blog may receive a small compensation. But if you are like me and a bargain shopper, I will totally understand if you decide to stand in line at 5am to try your luck at the REI garage sale ones!