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weedavie
2011-12-20 19:09:56
" 40 Miles of Elbow Room" from weedavie Expand pics
40 Miles of Elbow Room (Expand pics)
Snow Shoe Shuffle
Last year I took advice from kernowclimber and bought a pair of MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes (made in Ireland!). This was really because of the tons of powder that had fallen on my local hills and had at its most extreme resulted in a 10k traverse with 200 metre ascent taking 6 hours. Anyway I thought I’d just leave a note on the results for anyone similarly inclined.

On the positive side, they’re easy to mount, four rubber straps per shoe, just stretch and hook. They really work. They are good in deep snow but I particularly like them on the sort of crust that takes your weight then drops you through. They’ve a decent crampon, though you wouldn’t want to use it on anywhere you’d need the front points on a 12 point crampon. Also going down a steepish slope, it’s hard to believe fully that these great clown’s shoes are not going to set you sliding to oblivion. Actually they’re fine and you’re more likely to get frustrated that you can’t indulge in giant steps down the slope as they brake a bit too effectively and you’re likely to summersault if you get over-enthusiastic.

On the down side, snow conditions in Scotland and even more so Ireland won’t often justify them. So far this winter I’d carried them 30k before getting a superb day on Sunday. If the snow’s firm or shallow, why bother with them? That said, one of the carrying trips I’d followed a set of footsteps showing the marks of 10 point crampons - that was a real misuse of equipment. The shoes weigh about 2 kilos, so I’d be hesitant about carrying them along with crampons. I think roughly that’s take snowshoes in the Coomeraghs or Wicklow hills , crampons in the 12 Pins or the big Kerry beasts.

The trickiest bit is getting your mates to invest £250 in something that will take 10 years to justify in Scotland or longer in Ireland (less snow, shorter distances walked.) If you don’t get them to do it then you’re going to find yourself waiting for them to catch up. When they do they’ll be considerably hacked off that your efforts are not contributing to breaking the snow. After Sunday’s walk my mate Gordon posted this blog on the subject. It’s got pretty pictures of snowshoes in action. Myself, I nicked the photo above from him. I’ve generally felt intimidated by the sheer size of the Cairngorms in winter, as illustrated. With these yolks on your feet, the area comes into scale, even if you’ve got to do it on your own.
http://www.ga-highland-walks.co.uk/wenceslas-no-more/
Thanks Brenno. So.. by AdrianneB   (Show all posts)
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