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Dima

skis versus snowshoes

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Hi

 

I am new to winter climbing, so need input.

Skis seem to be fun and fast, but bulky.

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if you don't ski go for snowshoes. if you can ski at all or are interested in learning go for skis. as a skier i hate snowshoes, they are slow and limited in use.

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three of us went in to ice climb in Manning...one on snowshoes one on AT and one postholing cause he forgot his skis. The skiier was experienced (you dont need experience to snowshoe). Results: snowshoer was fastest going in and post-holer was fastest going out yellaf.gif

 

bigdrink.gif

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That experienced guy must have been like "experienced climbers" or "extreme skiiers" on king5 news reports I see sometimes...

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That experienced guy must have been like "experienced climbers" or "extreme skiiers" on king5 news reports I see sometimes...

 

True dat.

 

Even if you don't know how to ski I recommend getting skis and skins. The approach is much more enjoyable on skis that snowshoes. If you cant ski then carry them back down or leave your skins on for the downhill.

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Your only choice should be between bc skis (fish-scales, good for logging rds below tree line), tele skis (if 30% of your time is spent on flats), or randone skis (if you skin up all the way from the car to the summit, remove the skins, then ski all the way back down - randone is also good for ice and wierd conditions above tree-line.)

 

Short and fat and cheap is what you want for the back-country. Short and fat for turnability in thick trees and narrow gullies, cheap because real snow has lots of logs and rocks hidden and you don't want them to discourage you from having a good time.

 

Crampons on my tele boots work for everything except ice climbing. I bring randone gear if I expect to climb ice.

 

Skis also make great pickets, tent stakes and back-rests.

 

The times I've been out in realy deep snow, my skiis kick ass over those w/ slow-shoes.

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I never saw a place that I could not go on skis that anyone could do on snowshoes. Snowshoes do not work side-hilling. Once you know how to ski, it is far more versatile and faster than snowshoes. That said, snowshoes are easier to access with limited skills.

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Skis seem to be fun and fast, but bulky.

yep. a skiing setup will indeed be bigger and heavier. i much prefer to ski ... but every now and then snowshoes are fun just for snowshoe-ing's sake.

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they both have their application. coming from the sierra i never used to believe that snowshoes had a purpose, but now i do. the purpose is to slog through timber, or handle variable (bad) snow conditions with a heavy pack. that is, they are better than falling alot on skis. in open bowls skis will almost always rule. the uphill travel is smooth and rythmic, and you slide downhill. but if you have to go over snowy logs and boulders, snowshoes might be better.

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There are definately places where skis suck too. If there is thick brush -- bushwacking brush -- then snowshoes are clearly better. If there is inconsistent snow on a boulder field, then snowshoes are better. However, in most other cases, skis are better.

 

To say that one system is better than the other across the board doesn't take into account particular difficulties on certain approaches. My recommendation is to look at each approach seperately and then to make a decision based on the difficulties which a particular approach might provide.

 

The unfortunate answer to your question is that both items have their place in the backcountry. Which of course means investing cash in two different methods of movement...

 

Jason

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martin,

you have the mind of a true gear analyst.

 

Hey Husbands, shouldn't you be doing some "science" right now?

 

wazzup.gif

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Snowshoes suck if you want to ski. If you don't want to ski, snowshoes will keep you from postholing.

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