Every day is a school day (Snowshoeing for stoopids).

Bobinson got some Red Feather Treks in for test from the US and has already had a shot. Finally I got a chance, strapped a pair on and had a wander about the Kilpatricks.
They’re easy to fit, light and after a few installation steps, walking was quite straightforward. I was mostly on easy angled slopes with soft snow cover of various thickness, and that was no problem at all. Uphill on steep ground was more interesting as I went between using the intergral crampon and walking sideways (all that I know of snowshoeing I’ve learned from watching Charles Bronson in Death Hunt).
Downhill on steep ground is a little hairy until you get a handle on it, but I’ll work at it if the snow keeps up its side of the deal and stays where it is. Going over ground which is a mix of deep snow and prominent grassy clumps was great, I just floated across. In general, progress was very good when I got into a rythym with the poles. Crossing a snow-covered boulder field raised an eyebrow, but my foot is free moving and hinged inside the cage so twisting an ankle would be more difficult that it looks.
It was great fun, maybe not so handy for general hill use but for a plateau crossing or a long approach they’ll be magic.
Hopefully I’ll be back with more before the winter’s oot.

The following text is from the Trek’s swing tag. It’s done nothing but endear me to them and fuel the grin.

What you hold here in your hand is freedom. Aerospace grade, powder-coated aluminium and TX35 vinyl freedom, compadre. You just take these bad boys out and fire up a mountain. Hike until you’re scared about finding your way back. Do this with reckless abandon and unbridled exuberance if for no other reason than you can.

Wouldn’t get that in the UK would you?

14 thoughts on “Every day is a school day (Snowshoeing for stoopids).”

  1. That looks so much fun. I have just the snowy plateau near me that will suit a pair of those ‘bad boys’. At the moment I could use a pair just to walk to work…

    That statement on the swing-tag would probably be enough to swing me if I was holding two different pairs and ummimg and ahhing between them ;-) Surely though the sentiments are mitigated elsewhere by the usual ‘WARNING: Snowshoeing is potentially dangerous and may lead to DEATH’?

  2. How about “WARNING: Snowshoeing is potentially frustrating and may lead to you wanting NORDIC SKIS!”? :O)

    Have a pair of Fischer Track Nordics on their way !
    See thats what I was doing on Carn Liath “Hike until you’re scared about finding your way back”.
    I was not lost !
    What poles did you have as I have ordered some bigger baskets to stop the poles sinking so deep.

  4. I used the Mountain King Expedition Carbons with the small baskets. I thought the big baskets would get in the road and catch on “stuff” as the placements would be unusually wide apart, but the wee baskets just filled with snow which compacted into icy lumps, so I’ll put the proper winter baskets on.

    No, you weren’t lost, no, no…

  5. Don’t know if the Mountain King poles will take a Black Diamond basket but they make one that has a reduced basket on one side which may help if you are worried about snow baskets getting in the way.
    Snow shoes are great fun, I’ve used them in the past in the Alps for getting around, only ever used the MSR ones though.

  6. The sayings are great on the Red Feather page
    “Weathermen who describe snow as bad weather are not, we reapeat, not eligible for menbership “

  7. I can vouch for the Black Diamond baskets. The little cut away section keeps them nicely out of the way. They don’t clump up with ice either and powder goes straight through ’em.

    I had a great day in the snow today but I was the ONLY person not wearing skis or snowshoes. I’ve learnt my lesson. The views were worth it but postholing for five hours (sometimes up to my hips) is just too much work. I will have to prise my wallet apart and shell out on something. How much are skidoos?! :-)

  8. The MK’s came with spare baskets, I’ll have a swatch tonight.
    Once I got into it I found I wasn’t waddling as much as I thought I would in the snow shoes, so I might be alright with the snow baskets.
    But, I do have handy blade in my pack for field adjusments.

  9. “Weathermen who describe snow as bad weather are not, we reapeat, not eligible for menbership “
    I quite agree! I’ve been berating anyone who’s been complaining about the cold weather and snow!

  10. As I blow my nose (again) and I cast an eye over the snow covered hills bathed in sunshine, I must confess to having no strong desire to see spring arrive early up here.

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