Snowshoes

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Snowshoes

Postby sarge » Fri 30 May, 2008 10:25 am

Can anyone recommend light, reasonably priced snowshoes?

Have had the 'yowie' brand snowshoes recommended to me but they are an insane $300 per pair (why so expensive?). Have had a look at some snowshoes on ebay via US they are a lot more reasonably priced (even taking into account postage) but I hesitate to buy from an overseas seller not know exactly what I am looking for.

Needed for bush tramping in tasmania and victorian highlands.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby frank_in_oz » Fri 30 May, 2008 1:04 pm

Hate to brag but I picked up 2 pairs of Yowies on ebay early last year, second hand but hardly worn for $60 per pair.......

Have kept an alert for them ever since and have never seen second hand ones come up.

Used them in the Walls etc last July. They were great on open snow but a pain on narrow , half snow / ice covered tracks because of their width. Can't wait to use them again.....
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby sarge » Fri 30 May, 2008 2:11 pm

$60 a pair! Lucky....!

i think the yowies are popular in Aus due to their compact size which aids bushwalking - i.e. length of yowies is 46cm compared to an average of around 65cm for the more standard snowshoes.

I may have to bite the bullet and get yowies...need 2 pairs too! (groan)
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby Damien » Fri 30 May, 2008 5:57 pm

Might be cheaper to buy them from the UK and get them sent over.

http://www.buncup.com/commerce1/store/p ... .jsp?id=78,

£89.95 = $185.00

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Re: Snowshoes

Postby corvus » Fri 30 May, 2008 8:30 pm

Yowies are great especially the pair I got some years back free for assesment purposes ,mine are the early model and I agree that they are not so good in shallow Snow but I have kept them on to assist on ice covered tracks and despite wear and tear on the replaceable cleats they were excellent performers.
Sheesh they are a bit expensive now :shock:
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby alliecat » Sat 31 May, 2008 4:37 pm

HI,

These aren't snowshoes - more like snow chains for hikers - but on icy tracks they might do the trick:
http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=YAKTRX. About the yowies - they are expensive but if you are going to walk on snow a lot, I think they'd be worth the price.

Cheers.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby Damien » Wed 11 Jun, 2008 10:48 am

I was doing some research on what people think of the Yowie's and it seems that the guys over a ski.com.au aren't exactly big fans of them due to their width and some issues they had with the 1st gen Yowies. The snowshoes that seem to be the most popular with those guys are the MSR Lightning Ascent which retail for $260 USD. You can get them cheaper if you look around. Places such as Basegear have a 20% off coupon and Moontrail / Moosegear both give you bonus points to spend elsewhere. It might be worth giving them some consideration seeing that they retail for $500+ here in Australia and the Yowie's will be costing $300/pr however you look at it. Personally, i'll be grabbing the MSR Lightnings as soon they're necessary as I plan to use them a fair bit in the NZ snow.

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Re: Snowshoes

Postby sarge » Wed 11 Jun, 2008 12:26 pm

I had a look at the MSR Lightening at our local paddy pallin store. They are very long (63.5cm) and while probably suitable for ski activities I doubt they would be as effective for hiking bush trails.

I have found some shorter LL Bean wintersport lite snowshoes (marketed in the US as 'youth' size) that are 44.5cm long and hence a little easier to manouvre through the bush trails.

Either way it is definately cheaper to look in US at the moment. My shoes cost $80 in the end including postage (via ebay).

We are also getting a pair of the shoe snow chains for icy trail walking.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby thelummox » Sun 15 Jun, 2008 12:47 pm

Sarge,
I imported a pair of US made Red Feather snow shoes two years ago for a mid winter Overland crossing. Carried 'em the whole way, and not enough snow to make them practical. However I've met others who were able to use them extensively in other years. A compromise that I also have is a set of instep crampons for walking boots. They offer excellent attachment to the boot and four points for use in snowy/icy conditions. And they don't weigh much. Mine are mfg by Salewa and were ordered through Mountain Designs.

My snowshoes cost me $300 landed, as opposed to $600 plus here, so shop wisely. The main thing to consider is the weight you intend to carry, as this significantly affects the floatation you get from the shoes. The heavier your tare weight, the bigger a shoe you need to carry you. You also get what you pay for, so if you can buy it new on Ebay for $50 it's going to be crap. Key things to look for are the quality of the buckle/binding system and the attached crampon plate underneath. Do some research in the US. Start with the Red Feather site as I remember they had really good info about usage and styles, as some are designed for running type activities whilst there are specific models for long distance pack hauling type trips. It's a good starting point for info anyways. And if nothing else, I've started doing some snow shoe trips on the Main Range and three day hut hops. I actually enjoy it more than cross country touring with a big pack.

http://www.redfeather.com
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby cherryw » Sun 22 Jun, 2008 7:01 pm

Hi all

Have tried yowies and they are great. Used them on frozen snow and the cleats on the bottom worked a treat. Just bought a pair from Mountain Design for $208 but we had to buy 2 to get this price. Mountain Design's price was $259 less 10% for members (membership free) and after some haggeling got 20% off for 2 pair. Paddy Palin have them for $279ea less 10% for members (membership costs), if you want you can price match Paddy with Mountain Designs. You can also buy them online from the manufacture but at $300 a pair you can get them cheaper else where.

Image
see the cleats. This is Mt St Gwinear 2007

Image
The snow here is frozen. This is Mt Feathertop in August 2007

Happy hunting

Wayne
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby mike » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 11:22 am

i have been looking for snow shoes to use in the Walls in Tassie in early august and after looking around at Mountain Designs and Pallins in Adelaide and looking online I have taken plunge and ordered MSR Lightnings online from the US outlet backcountry.com which is based in Utah. They only had the 22" (55cm) model which could be a bit short for my 75kgs plus 20 kg pack but on reading reviews I figured shorter is probably better for Aust especially tassie conditions and we don't have deep powder so hopefully there is not really much compromise on floatation. Weight is about 1.4kg (3lbs 2 oz) compared to the Yowies' 1.18kg. Mountain designs don't have any yowies in stock australia wide according to adelaide and sydney stores. Sydney told me they normally retail them at $259.95 less 10% members. Pallin Adelaide don't stock yowies. MSR denalis (1.6kg) without tail extensions are in stock at MD and I think Pallin's . Syndey MD store retail MSR dens $299.95 less 10% member discount. They don't stock lightnings. My lightnings I got for 50% off (US$115/A$118.20 down from normal price US$230/A$236.43) + shipping US$99/A$101.76 making total cost A$220. Will let you know how they go.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby corvus » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 6:20 pm

The BWT Strollers have just completed the Circuit -Dove Lake ,Waterfall Valley,back via Rodway Track and Hansons Peak and the five of us used Yowies with Snow on the hardened areas actually on the track around 300ml and only slightly off track waist deep even with snow shoes .
It was a fantastic weekend walk with almost all Tassie could throw at us Winter wise and the Yowies performed well with the most snow I have experienced in this area for many years.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 7:48 pm

I've never tried the yowie style, but I was given a second-hand pair that look a little bit like the second from the left of these:
Image
(I don't weigh much, so don't need the really huge ones).

I've only used them twice, but they've been fantastic. The bit that your boots strap into is hinged to the main flat part, so that while the flat surface spreads your weight over a large area of snow, you can still move your foot in a very natural way, and walk perfectly normally. Ie, not matter what the angle of your foot, the flat surface is always flat against the snow when your foot is down.

They weigh very little, and I would always take them with me if I thought there was a good chance of deep(ish) snow. When walking in a group with others who didn't have any snow shoes, I spent most of the time waiting around for them to catch up wading through the snow, while I walked across the top of it. This was around the northern end of the overland track, particularly just around the west side of Cradle, where the snow is often quite deep.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby geoffmallo » Wed 06 Aug, 2008 8:25 pm

I've found my MSR denali ascents to be good for Aussie conditions. I put the extra tails on them when in very deep stuff (usually overseas). Lots of crampon grip for the more icy snow conditions we tent to get. The lightenings have even more. However the downside with lots of crampon grip is that you can sit on the back and slide down hills, or almost skate on them when going down. They just grip and stop. I've used some Atlas ones on bigger and deeper stuff in the US mountains and like them, but don't think they're the best for our conditions.

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Re: Snowshoes

Postby corvus » Wed 06 Aug, 2008 8:51 pm

The Yowies I use are 1st gen and the only difference between them and the latest ones as far I could see was the new ones had longer aluminium cleats.
Many years ago I used the long style Snow Shoes and for our conditions I really believe the Yowies suit Tassie better and as a plus you can descend steps wearing them :)
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby Bella123 » Fri 07 Aug, 2015 10:35 pm

Hi Guys

I know most of you have posted many years ago and might not even frequent this page anymore.

Would anyone be willing to sell or loan 2 pairs of snow shoes? My partner and I have planned to do the overland, we are communicating with Cradle Mt rangers as this is the most snow we have had in 30yrs. We are both AU mens size 10.

Its most likely we won't be able to walk, but if the weather does clear I want to be prepared.

Cheers!
Bella :)
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby CasualNerd » Sun 09 Aug, 2015 5:38 pm

Bella I was asking at paddy palin this week and it was only $25 for two days hire, plus deposit. I'm sure other places do similar.
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby Bella123 » Sun 09 Aug, 2015 5:43 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Snowshoes

Postby andrewbish » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 7:43 am

I have used Yowies for a number of winters in the Vic backcountry.
They are adequate - except for steep country, where their minimal cleats give you precious little grip.

They also tend to 'ball' at the cleats and use a Velcro binding that is not particularly resilient.
They're quite handy for sitting on in the evening.
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