20

Yes, snowshoes can be very useful when mountaineering. The ideal conditions for their use are lots of snow and fairly gentle slopes. The deeper the snow, the greater the advantage snowshoes have over just boots. The steeper the slopes, however, the more difficult and dangerous it becomes using snowshoes -- ascending or descending. Be prepared to take them ...


19

I used to run outdoor orienteering constests in winter at a boarding school. The kids had to bring snowshoes, but whether they wore them was a team decision. At 2-3 inches no one wore snowshoes. At 8 inches almost everyone did. The big difference for me was the ability of snowshoes to bridge things you couldn't see under the snow. Rocks and pocket gopher ...


12

It depends on a lot of factors, and I don't think there are any general rules. As you've noted, snowshoes are mainly for deep, soft snow that you'd otherwise posthole in. If the conditions are icy, you want crampons. If it's 50% dirt and 50% snow, you want boots or microspikes. Some snowshoes have heel lifts and built-in crampons, which makes them more ...


7

A lot depends on the type of snow you get. Ojibwa regarded snowshoes as 'disposable' You made them for the current conditions, used them for a week or a month, or a winter, and threw them away. Heavy wet snow, like you get in Eastern Canada, you can get by with a small snowshoe. The 30" x 8" sherpas are just fine. Out here in western Canada when I ...


7

There are certainly use cases for snow shoes. However, I believe this is rather a niche when talking about proper alpinism and not just snow shoe hiking as it is always an addition to the normal equipment, never a replacement for crampons. If there is a lot of snow (to expect) and the terrain is suitable, most people will skip snow shoes and go directly for ...


6

Snowshoes are certainly useful in mountaineering and are widely used, at least in North America. Typically they are used on the approach and not so much on technical terrain. Many of the climbers I know own multiple pairs of snowshoes of varying sizes, to handle varying snow conditions. However, many climbers far prefer skis to snowshoes because of the ...


5

At your weight and height I would look for 23" snowshoes. When in doubt about size, it is usually best to lean toward the small size. Smaller snow shoes are easier to walk in, particularly in wetter or crustier snow. For powder you can easily attach floats to the back of the snowshoe to make it bigger and more supportive. MSR makes nice ones. Particularly ...


5

Because your foot doesn't pivot at the toe, but under the ball of the foot. Since the pivot is at that point, the front of the foot goes thorough the hole. This helps to anchor the snowshoe going forward, and also allows you to use your toes when climbing a slope too steep for the snowshoes to grip. You will notice that on most synthetic snowshoes, there ...


4

Some explanations come to my mind Freedom of movement Especially if you use the climbing aid, your toes will go through the plane of the snow shoe. The hole allows your toe box to get "through" the snow shoe. This can be seen quite nicely in this picture (source) I suspect one reason for the hole being big is that it should also fit bigger shoe sizes as ...


4

Depending on the route, you'll likely need a way to not sink into snow and give you more grip than boots alone. With ice or hardpack snow boots and crampons are great. Most folks with the experience would prefer at skis, Telemark skis, or a splitboard: they're substantially more efficient for longer snow travel than snowshoes (nicknamed "slowshoes"). But ...


3

In alpine conditions generally skis will work better. Below timberline skis work on broad trails. Narrow twisty trail and bushwhacking is easier with snowshoes. Snowshoes on a steep crusted side hill are double plus ungood. Note that snow conditions have a strong effect on both. In Eastern Canada snow is often wet and heavy. I have snowshoed there when I ...


3

It might help in places, but you'd be taking them on and off regularly as the snow is mostly patchy, and it doesn't address the bigger problem of meltwater. The highest part of the Serra de Estrela, roughly the part south of road EN 232 that runs west-east through Manteigas, does still have substantial snow in April. When approaching the highest part, it ...


3

The primary reason is to allow the tail of the shoe to drag, which is what keeps long shoes tracking straight. Replacing them with ski-style bindings which pivot at the toe accomplishes that too, but adds all of the drawbacks of skis. For example lifting your knee in snowshoes will always lift the front of the shoe, where as ski bindings require you to also ...


2

I believe key parts of your question concern both the size of the toe hole and the length of the pivoting, clawed sole plate. I suspect that an ideal adult snowshoe would come in different sizes, large, medium and small, say, and that the length of the sole plate and size of hole would be a closer match to each other for each size. However, to keep ...


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