SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: how much snow to snowshoe.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
oldnolder Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2236
Joined: Jun. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 9:28 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We don't get a lot of snow here. I am wondering how deep the snow needs to be to switch from boots to snowshoes.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
buzzards Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1993
Joined: Apr. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 9:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My humble and personal opinion:
Less than 8 inches:you are just wearing snowshoes to show off.
8-12 inches: Six of one, half dozen of the other
12-16 inches: Shoes come in handy, but as long as you are wearing gaiters or something to keep the snow out of your boots, they still work.
16+ inches: Better use snowshoes, boots become more and more problematic.


--------------
Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
Ride, said pleasure,
Walk, Joy replied,
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
Tigger Search for posts by this member.
Woods Pouncer
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11755
Joined: Apr. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 10:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For traction alone, I will wear snowshoes. On steep hills, I find it much more pleasant to walk in  my snowshoes vs. slipping and sliding up in my boots. Mind you, I have some serious traction with my MSRs. It's like wearing mini tractors. I also like the fact that they are so narrow, it barely affects my gait.

Six inches is enough of an excuse for me. Heck...I've even wore them across sections where there wasn't any snow at all.


--------------
If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 4
hoosierdaddy Search for posts by this member.
Trophy spouse
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2844
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 11:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depends on the type of snow.  

The depth of snow may not matter too much if it's hard & crusty and will support some weight.  Boots would be fine.  If the snow is not consolidated and you're postholing a bunch, then snowshoes may help ease your walk "a little".

Heck, I've sunk to my hips with every step in soft, fluffy snow even WITH snowshoes before.


--------------
God, I am going to regret this someday!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
hikerjer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 10635
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd say if it's easier walking without them, then don't use them.  If they make walking easier, then break them out.   In winter, I often carry them lashed to my pack but don't actually use them.  Nice to have along just in case though.

--------------
"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
OverUnder Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 260
Joined: Jan. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Strap em to your pack to start.  Your level of annoyance (slipping/post holing) with hiking will dictate when to strap them on.  If you never get that much snow maybe consider the boot chains like yak trax instead.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
nogods Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6219
Joined: Sep. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 1:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

in the ADK eastern high peaks region snowshoes are required by regulation whenever  there are 8 or more inches of snow on the ground.

Wearing snowshoes even when there is only 6 inches may not be necessary for your personal travel, but even 6 inch postholes can become annoying and dangerous for subsequent hikers if there is a hard freeze.  

Hiking is not always about you.  Sometimes you have to put in a little extra for the benefit of the rest of the hiking community.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
MsDoolittle Search for posts by this member.
Don't mess with a girl and her shovel
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 13501
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 3:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Nov. 27 2012, 8:21 am)
QUOTE
For traction alone, I will wear snowshoes. On steep hills, I find it much more pleasant to walk in  my snowshoes vs. slipping and sliding up in my boots. Mind you, I have some serious traction with my MSRs. It's like wearing mini tractors. I also like the fact that they are so narrow, it barely affects my gait.

Six inches is enough of an excuse for me. Heck...I've even wore them across sections where there wasn't any snow at all.

This.

Hell, I'm clutsy enough without snow/ice on the ground. If there is a reason for me to wear them, I will.

I haven't made the leap to purchase crampons yet, and the Yaktrax will come out if there isn't much snow but I know the trail is going to be icy. But usually, if there is snow on the ground, enough to cover the rocks, the snowshoes are on.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
hikerjer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 10635
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 5:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Nov. 27 2012, 1:19 pm)
QUOTE
in the ADK eastern high peaks region snowshoes are required by regulation whenever  there are 8 or more inches of snow on the ground.

Not saying it's necessarily a bad idea, but how can they impose such a requirement.  And who is they and by what authority?  Just curious.

--------------
"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 23582
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Nov. 27 2012, 5:02 pm)
QUOTE

(nogods @ Nov. 27 2012, 1:19 pm)
QUOTE
in the ADK eastern high peaks region snowshoes are required by regulation whenever  there are 8 or more inches of snow on the ground.

Not saying it's necessarily a bad idea, but how can they impose such a requirement.  And who is they and by what authority?  Just curious.

It sounds like something they can cite against violators who were caught by way of requiring assistance.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42794
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 5:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

State law: 6 NYCRR 190.13(f)(3)(vii)

§190.13 Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park
f. Miscellaneous restrictions.
3. In the High Peaks Wilderness Area, no person shall:
vii. fail to possess and use skis or snowshoes when the terrain is snow-covered with eight or more inches of snow;"


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Rangers have police authority.

"Regulations and Enforcement
State laws contain mandates to protect the public health and safety. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) implements and enforces these legislative mandates, which are the fundamental source of DEC's powers.

Protecting the Public and Environment
DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers protect New York's natural resources and people.

Environmental Conservation Police Officers

The ECO's mission encompasses two broad enforcement areas: fish and wildlife; and environmental quality. As such, ECOs will check hunters for compliance.

ECOs are sworn Police Officers authorized to enforce all state laws, with special emphasis on enforcing New York's Environmental Conservation Laws, including those relating to environmental quality, hunting, fishing and trapping and protection of natural resources...
Forest Rangers

Forest Rangers protect the state's forests and the people who use these natural resources from all kinds of dangers and often conduct wildland search and rescue operations.

Forest Rangers are sworn Police Officers authorized to enforce all state laws, with special emphasis on Environmental Conservation Law and the protection of state lands and the public using state lands. Along with that, Forest Rangers also"
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
hikerjer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 10635
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 6:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks High Sierra.  I've really never heard of anything like that before except maybe requirements for PFDs when floating.  I don't really know what I think about it.  Is it possible that such a requirement will just encourage people to venture further into the snowy woods than they are actually capable of doing safely, especially newbies?  Or could it be the snowshoe rental shops in the area just have a strong lobby in the state legislature?  Maybe in the future, they'll be requiring us to caryy PLBs when we venture out.   Kind of seems like overkill to me.  JMO.

--------------
"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42794
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 10:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Nov. 27 2012, 3:54 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks High Sierra.  I've really never heard of anything like that before except maybe requirements for PFDs when floating.  I don't really know what I think about it.  Is it possible that such a requirement will just encourage people to venture further into the snowy woods than they are actually capable of doing safely, especially newbies?  Or could it be the snowshoe rental shops in the area just have a strong lobby in the state legislature?  Maybe in the future, they'll be requiring us to caryy PLBs when we venture out.   Kind of seems like overkill to me.  JMO.

It turns out New York State does a neat thing. There are records that lay out the logic underlying the rules! Like this one: http://docs.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2009/sep16/pdfs/rules.pdf

Maybe Nogods can snag the one for the snowshoe regulation?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
hikerjer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 10635
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 12:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Nov. 27 2012, 10:45 pm)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Nov. 27 2012, 3:54 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks High Sierra.  I've really never heard of anything like that before except maybe requirements for PFDs when floating.  I don't really know what I think about it.  Is it possible that such a requirement will just encourage people to venture further into the snowy woods than they are actually capable of doing safely, especially newbies?  Or could it be the snowshoe rental shops in the area just have a strong lobby in the state legislature?  Maybe in the future, they'll be requiring us to caryy PLBs when we venture out.   Kind of seems like overkill to me.  JMO.

It turns out New York State does a neat thing. There are records that lay out the logic underlying the rules! Like this one: http://docs.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2009/sep16/pdfs/rules.pdf

Maybe Nogods can snag the one for the snowshoe regulation?

I've put it on my future reading list. :p

--------------
"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
fifeplayer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2745
Joined: Dec. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 12:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Nov. 27 2012, 6:54 pm)
QUOTE
I don't really know what I think about it.  Is it possible that such a requirement will just encourage people to venture further into the snowy woods than they are actually capable of doing safely, especially newbies?  Or could it be the snowshoe rental shops in the area just have a strong lobby in the state legislature?  Maybe in the future, they'll be requiring us to caryy PLBs when we venture out.   Kind of seems like overkill to me.  JMO.

(There aren't that many snowshoe rental shops in that area...I know of three. It's a pain if you don't bring your own.)

Chalk me up as one who likes it for several reasons:

1) Personal comfort: Postholes are absolutely miserable to walk through/around.

2) Safety of other users: Most of the trails to get to the peak-bagging are primarily xc ski trails. Postholes aren't just uncomfortable for them, they're exceedingly dangerous if one is clipping along at a good pace.

3) The hidden benefit is that rarely do people get "stuck" in the backcountry when there's an unexpected snow...they're already carrying 'shoes with them.

Yeah - it's governmental enforcement of "be nice." Meh. There're bigger fish to fry if you want them. The usual enforcement is that you have to have them with you and wear them only when conditions are appropriate. I tend to switch to crampons when there's a rock-solid crust instead of sloppy snow, and no ranger's ever stopped me for it.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
WalksWithBlackflies Search for posts by this member.
Resident Eco-Freak Bootlicker
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 9841
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Remember, too, that eastern snow has a much higher moisture content, and tends to get slushy, then icy, then solid. So any postholes may last for months.

--------------
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
nogods Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6219
Joined: Sep. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Nov. 27 2012, 10:45 pm)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Nov. 27 2012, 3:54 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks High Sierra.  I've really never heard of anything like that before except maybe requirements for PFDs when floating.  I don't really know what I think about it.  Is it possible that such a requirement will just encourage people to venture further into the snowy woods than they are actually capable of doing safely, especially newbies?  Or could it be the snowshoe rental shops in the area just have a strong lobby in the state legislature?  Maybe in the future, they'll be requiring us to caryy PLBs when we venture out.   Kind of seems like overkill to me.  JMO.

It turns out New York State does a neat thing. There are records that lay out the logic underlying the rules! Like this one: http://docs.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2009/sep16/pdfs/rules.pdf

Maybe Nogods can snag the one for the snowshoe regulation?

Here is the DEC's statement upon adoption of the regulation in 2001:

Section 190.13(f)(3)(vii):

QUOTE
Comment: Several comments were received regarding the requirement to possess and use skis or snowshoes when the terrain is snow-covered with eight or more inches of snow. All comments conceded that snowshoes or skis should be required to be worn when snow conditions warrant their use. However, some argued that some other criteria for when they should be worn should be considered, such as requiring such use when a hiker's foot sinks to a certain depth into the snow or "when conditions warrant."

Response: The Department maintains that possession and use of skis or snowshoes in the High Peaks is necessary to maintain visitor safety in case of sudden snow-related emergencies and to maintain safe trail conditions for all users. Winter conditions in this region are such that weather conditions change suddenly. Conditions vary greatly between trail heads and summits of mountains, making it impossible to predict, in many instances, whether skis or snowshoes may be needed in the back country. Snowshoes or skis are necessary for travel in deep snow.

Hikers who travel in these conditions without skis or snowshoes incur excessive risk to their own personal safety and also degrade trail conditions to a point where other individuals on skis are at risk from the "post-holes" left in the trail. The Department has considered concerns that in certain snow conditions the use of skis or snowshoes might not always be practical even though the ground is covered with more than 8" of snow. In these situations interior Forest Rangers can be expected to exercise appropriate enforcement discretion.

Changing the regulation so that skis or snowshoes need be worn only "when conditions warrant" would be unreasonably vague and would fail to provide sufficient guidance to allow users to make reasonable decisions regarding whether snowshoe or ski use was required. Such standards would be so unreasonably vague as to be difficult to enforce.

Requiring skis or snowshoes when a hiker's foot sinks to a certain depth in the snow might mean that in a given snow situation some people would be required to wear skis or snowshoes while others wouldn't. Furthermore, a particular person might be required or not required to wear skis or snowshoes over a checkerboard of trail segments depending on snow conditions. Such a regulation would be impossible to enforce.


2001-19 N.Y. St. Reg. 5

And on page 11, they discussed the adverse economic impact:

QUOTE
With respect to potential adverse impacts on jobs and employment opportunities, only those indirect and highly speculative impacts discussed below were raised during this extensive public review process.

...

The new regulations may also create a greater demand for certain types of outdoor sporting equipment, such as backpacking stoves, snowshoes, and cross-country skis. Local businesses which rent snowshoes and cross-country skis might have to hire new employees to meet any rising demand.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 18
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42794
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nogods-

Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 19
SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
Born to hike, forced to work ...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7107
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 11:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Nov. 28 2012, 1:53 pm)
QUOTE
Here is the DEC's statement upon adoption of the regulation in 2001:

Section 190.13(f)(3)(vii):

QUOTE
Comment: .... also degrade trail conditions to a point where other individuals on skis are at risk from the "post-holes" left in the trail. ....

Oops. :D

Depends, really.  In the Sangres, I've used postholes and broken the trail for others directly following but that was late Spring.  By the time we returned the sun had melted it pretty far down for backpackers who followed.  Eventually someone will need to break trail in Spring. Solo, I may need to consider carrying snowshoes, however.

... which will make a new pack necessary, etc... and so it goes...


--------------
Usually Southwest and then some.

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry Thoreau
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 20
quademire87 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 29
Joined: Nov. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2012, 5:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Usually if there's 6 inches here I end up wearing mine. In the state park I normally do little day hikes in, it's along a river valley and it's pretty flat and featureless from all other directions. So when the wind blows, which it never seems to stop here, all the snow plops itself in the trees there. I'm also typically the only set of tracks there during the winter, so I'm always breaking trail. In places more frequented, I can usually take the shoes off and walk over the packed snow.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 21
tarol Search for posts by this member.
Well I never!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11041
Joined: Mar. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2012, 5:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depends on the quality of the snow, not necessarily just the depth.  

Out here if hikers just need traction, they will often use microspikes.


--------------
Got elevation? www.tarol.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
20 replies since Nov. 27 2012, 9:28 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply how much snow to snowshoe.
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions