Snowshoes

From WikiSki
Jump to: navigation, search

Snowshoes are designed to allow you to walk in soft snow without sinking in. After years of only having a few brands available, there are now over half a dozen brands on sale in Australia, so shop around. There are two main types of snowshoe. The first is the plastic plate style with a fixed heel which is best for snow on terrain that isn't too steep. The best known model is the Australian made Yowie Agility. Some American companies make racing models and these are beginning to appear in Australia.

The second type are the aggressive, heavily cramponed snowshoes with an external frame and a free heel binding. You can go just about anywhere with these including ice and steep grades. Examples are some models from Tubbs and the MSR Lightning.

Then there are compromises between these two styles, allowing limited mobility on steeper grades (although not ice) while being less cumbersome on flat terrain. The best known in Australia is the MSR Denali, which is a plastic plate with a free heel and a little extra cramponing.

Always use poles with snowshoes or you will move like Frankenstein's monster. Adjustable poles are especially useful as you can shorten them for going uphill and lengthen them for moving downhill.