Anyone Snowshoe or Cross Country/Touring Ski in Off Season? Getting Started Tips?

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lifeisgoodsteve

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Well, I found the next size smaller, 25", MSR Lightning Ascents which I pulled the trigger on. Figure if I'm falling through snow I'll work harder, lose more weight and then not fall through...(wishful thinking but going to give it a shot)

Then when I get a better feeling of how it goes with the shoes, explore the touring/xc skis. I do love the idea of covering more country and could enjoy some downhill elements from my experience.

Thanks for all the help and happy if this thread continues as a reference for anyone else in similar position.
 

Okhotnik

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I’ll contribute differently to the thread.

I got caught in an avalanche by myself in the spring of 2016 while photographing mtn goats and my desire to go do some snowshoeing and touring has diminished ever since then. That was the most miserable 24 hours of my life and I still suffer from the frostbite that I got after digging myself out. And hiking 3 miles back to the truck after broken skis prevented me from skiing out. I was buried waist deep and was wedged against hemlock and subalpine fir. I had some basic education in AVY awareness and now I consider myself somewhat educated and dig pits whenever I go in any sort of avy prone terrain.

Take classes and read up on what to do in that situation.

Snowshoeing is the most basic way to get back into the swing of things and definitely don’t have a mindset of going out and doing 10-15 miles your first day out. Take legs and endurance to do so. I enjoy snowshoeing when it comes to checking my game cameras and trap line these days. Tend to stick to cross country and touring on snowmobile trails and forest roads. I love going the morning after the groomer went through and having some great cruising miles.
I do both, but enjoy xc skiing more. Like you I ski fs roads, snow mobile trails. Most ski areas have xc courses
 

amassi

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We go a couple times a year, I rent snowshoes from rei and have a blast.

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Poser

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Clarktar

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All ski's are hard to find this year. Backcountry nordic touring ski's even harder.

My preferred deep snow skis are around 70-80mm wide and have detachable kicker skins for steeper uphills. Fischer Traverse/Excursion or Madshus Panorama series currently do that. For those that live close to Colorado, you can get Asnes skis in Boulder and they make a full range for backcountry touring. Longer is always better for covering ground, so I recommend the longest available if you aren't doing turns or in the brush.

Rossignol also makes the BC series, and I've actually seem some of those in stock. As far as I know they don't have the kicker skins, but that may or may not be important for non-steep touring.

It's all highly dependent on the local snow and terrain, so finding a good ski shop is the place to start!
I like the rossingal BCs. Yep no kicker skins.

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Clarktar

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Alot can be learned by reading the reports associated with these accidents.


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Wyobohunter

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Hi All,

Watching myself get more and more out of shape after hunting season is driving me to find some winter consistent exercise, preferably in the backcountry.

For those with experience, any main reasons to choose snowshoe v cross country v touring?

Any tips on getting started with the basic gear?

Terrain is mountains preferred over groomed trails. I used to be a total ski bum in college, but that was 30 years ago and have only been once since.

Thanks,

s
I have skis and snowshoes. My only tip is that skiing takes more practice but is a lot of fun and much more efficient. Snowshoeing sucks but in very tight cover it’s the only option. I only strap on the shoes if I have to. You see adds with people smiling while snowshoeing and I call b.s.

Get ski poles either way.
 
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lifeisgoodsteve

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Alot can be learned by reading the reports associated with these accidents.


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Read them and curious what you found to help avoid putting ourself in a dangerous situation?
 

Clarktar

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Read them and curious what you found to help avoid putting ourself in a dangerous situation?
I read the reports. I try to understand the details and context of the accident. Then I reflect on my routines, and processes when I recreate in areas that may have avalanche danger. I look for situations where I might be making similar choices and evaluate if there is a way to mitigate more risk.

So for me it is really a way to reflect on my process in the light of someone's else's experience and see if I might have been susceptible to the same outcome.

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seww

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All ski's are hard to find this year. Backcountry nordic touring ski's even harder.

My preferred deep snow skis are around 70-80mm wide and have detachable kicker skins for steeper uphills. Fischer Traverse/Excursion or Madshus Panorama series currently do that. For those that live close to Colorado, you can get Asnes skis in Boulder and they make a full range for backcountry touring. Longer is always better for covering ground, so I recommend the longest available if you aren't doing turns or in the brush.

Rossignol also makes the BC series, and I've actually seem some of those in stock. As far as I know they don't have the kicker skins, but that may or may not be important for non-steep touring.

It's all highly dependent on the local snow and terrain, so finding a good ski shop is the place to start!

Thanks for the tips!
I actually have a pair of Asnes back in Sweden that I bought used from a rental business. Got skiis, poles, bindings and boots for less than $200. Such a good deal.
 

seww

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What dimensions are you looking for?




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Well, I'd like them at least 75 mm wide, and 200 cm long. something along those lines, at least.
Did I mention cheap? And I think the 3-pin binding would be most durable and reliable and cheap :)
 

Catchfish

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All depends on use. I used to snowshoe when it was just me and I could go chase ptarmigan with them. Definitely need good cleats on the bottom, not a good feeling skiing down a mountain in snowshoes.

Last few years I’ve been doing a lot more xc skiing, I can go out the back door and follow my snow machine track and do a few miles. I have wax less ski’s, and got the taller boots mine have a built in gaiter in a NNN binding.

I stayed with this binding so I grab skinnier skis and hit the local xc trails. Sure is fun to cruise at 4-5 mph and run up hills and ski down. I feel like I can get more of a full body workout skiing than snowshoeing because I can change my style of skiing and work my shoulders more by poleing harder.
 
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lifeisgoodsteve

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Well, I've had a chance to get out for 3 short snowshoe hikes these past two weekends. 2 hikes were just testing them out on a snow filled forest road, so were easy slopes and varying degrees of snow depth, from packed to a couple feet. Yesterday was just off trail heading up a hill as I would if normal hiking. Snow was deeper and untouched.

For any other guys considering, here's my impression with this limited experience:
  • on forest roads with no big slopes, up to a couple feet of snow - comfortable and enjoyed the hike much better than post holing. Imagine skis would have travelled further faster, but still enjoyed the snowshoes
  • off trail in deeper snow (older and heavier) - heck of a workout going up as sunk in often 1-2ft even with the 5" tails I added for 30" total. Was able to go between trees in denser brush. Coming down was possibly more work than going up and certainly wish I had short touring skis (coming from my past downhill experience). Had to shuffle/slide/sidehill/fall on my butt in deep snow to get down when was steeper.
I enjoy snowshoeing but it also makes me very curious of those short Altai type or touring skis. I'm curious not for the excitement of the downhill "ride" but of the efficiency of travel to enjoy more beautiful backcountry time.

How effective are the short touring skis with skins for climbing off trail?
How about when navigating brush areas?

Thanks,

s
 
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Mattahall15

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Jan 24, 2022
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Petersburg, AK
Backcountry has a decent selection of used and affordable touring gear to get started with. Make sure you take some avalanche classes before going and know the limits of your gear. Nothing like resort skiing.
 
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