WanderingEng:

Yes! Summit of Gothics Mountain:

I have, so far, not killed myself snowshoeing. Gothics was probably my closest when I fell in some deep snow on the summit. I also slid into a tree on Big Slide (I was sliding intentionally but got out of control).

Reading these articles a bit, I'm also reminded of a short but steep section going up Wright/Algonquin. I fell down it two times while descending on snowshoes. It was exactly this:

    In fact, for some snowshoes that have teeth that are slightly angled, the downhill orientation interferes with getting a grip and can cause the snowshoe to lose traction.

The third time, I went down it backwards and did not fall.

    Snowshoes are designed for travel on flat terrain, do not let the cleats and teeth present on almost all modern snowshoes fool you.

I had someone tell me "MSRs are almost like big crampons!" No, they are not. I have crampons. I've crawled up icy slabs in both my MSRs and my crampons. One is one slip away from sliding back down while the other feels as stable as walking on a dry sidewalk.

Watching the weather is important. If there's a bunch of fresh snow, I'll leave my crampons behind to save weight. But if it hasn't snowed in a few days, and especially if it's been slightly warm on well traveled trails, I'll take snowshoes, Hillsound Trail Crampons (I've used Kahtoola Microspikes and prefer the Hillsounds), and strap crampons. I figure if the extra weight is the difference between making my summit and not, I shouldn't have been there in the first place. After my uncontrolled slide on Big Slide, I also bought an ice axe. I'm no pro with the ice axe, but I can definitely slow and stop myself. It's nothing like what one sees in a movie, but it keeps me safer. It also looks bad ass strapped to my backpack.

The other thing is springs can turn to ice. What's a trickle of water running down the trail in the summer is a sheet of ice that snow doesn't stick to in the winter.

On good snowy terrain, I'm wearing snowshoes and using trekking poles. On icy mostly flat terrain, the snowshoes are replaced with the Hillsounds. On something steep and icy, I'll use the crampons with the poles on the way up and one pole and the ice axe on the way down. The only problem is stopping to swap them around.

I use a Deuter backpack designed for snowboards to carry my snowshoes.

I think I've done Giant, Sawteeth, Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolf Jaw, Saddleback, Marcy, Algonquin, Wright, Street, Nye, Table Top and Phelps in the High Peaks in snowshoes. Some of those were officially outside winter but still gobs of snow.


posted by ButterflyEffect: 76 days ago