Last week’s wicked rainstorms and Monday’s cold wet snow in the Pikes Peak high country have left a heavy blanket of snow on the north face of the peak. It won’t be long before it will be time to get out the winter gear and begin tromping through the deep snow on a pair of snowshoes. The best time to get out the winter gear and check over equipment to assure it is ready to go at a moments notice is in the late autumn before the snow begins to fall in earnest.
Decking on snowshoes should be checked for cracks and bolts on the claws need to be tightened. Gor-tex shells, gloves and wool hats need to be pulled out of storage and placed at the ready. Winter athletes will not be disappointed this year if new gear is on the want list. Awesome new models are available from Atlas, MSR, Redfeather and Tubbs. There are snowshoes for deep snow in the backcountry, running and racing, men and women athletes and even beginners.
For backwoods enthusiasts looking for new snowshoes and struggling to find a suitable snowshoe design, the intended usage must be kept in mind. For deep snow and rugged high country hiking on difficult terrain, athletes may want to look for a model that has both and front and real claw for maximum traction on various types of terrain. Bigger shoes are better for maximum floatation on deep powder. Beginners that will be hiking on the packed trails of well traveled Nordic centers can get by with smaller shoes with only a front claw. Runners and racers require the smallest shoes with just a front claw for maximum mobility and speed.
From the Redfeather snowshoe company, the Alpine Ghost is the model to have for winter nature lovers and photographers that need to slip silently and invisibly through the back country. Based on the popular Alpine design, the Ghost sports a nifty camouflage coloring to provide stealthy concealment from wary wildlife. Redfeather is also boasting the Conquest Silver model, which according to the official website is the model “voted “The Best Snowshoe Bargain” by Backpacker Magazine” and touted as being “virtually indestructible””. Redfeather also has the Hiker, a model made for winter hiking and “voted “The Best Snowshoe Bargain” by Backpacker Magazine”.
The REI sporting goods outlet is advertising several new models from Atlas, MSR and Tubbs, including the popular Atlas Elektra series for men and women, the MSR Lightning Ascent and Revo models, and the Tubbs Frontier and Wilderness models. Snowshoes from the Atlas have the additional benefit of women’s models especially engineered to work efficiently with a woman’s stride.