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Which Snowshoes?
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Pete Gillander
(moresnowdays) - F
Which Snowshoes? on 11/06/2009 12:19:00 MST Print View

Not sure if this is the right place for this, so feel free to redirect me.

I want to get back into snowshoeing this year. I had a pair of old racket style military snowshoes. Worked well, but bindings left allot to be desired. Last year I bought a pair of Tubbs. Nothing special, but didn't like them. The sounded like I was beating on drum walking on hard pack with the tight plastic decking material. So now I want to bight the bullet and get something really good.

I'm about 5'8" and weight about 215 pounds dressed. I don't usually carry much with me, mostly go for the afternoon hike for excersice. Usually in the Tugg hill or Adirondack areas of Central NY. Could see anything from ice to moderate powder. Mostly through the woods, and some moderate climbing. I like to go as early and late as possible in the season, so snow is sometimes thin.

I really like the Crescent Moons Gold series 10, although I don't care for the red color, I really like the binding. Although I haven't seen them in person, and single pull binding seems nice after previous snowshoes.

I also really like the Northern Lites Rescue. Much better colors, with actual purpose to them. It would be nice to have a light pair. From the computer these seem less gimic and more real application in design. My concerns here are lack of traction and durability with aluminum crampons.

The above mentioned are my favorites, but I think the MSR lightening ascents are still in the running.

Bare in mind that I haven't seen any of these in person, but from reviews these seem like good options. Can anyone talk me into the super lite Northern lites, or should I stick with Crescent Moon's that I actually did order before discovering Northern Lites? Or other?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Which Snowshoes? on 11/06/2009 13:03:58 MST Print View

> although I don't care for the red color,
Who cares what the colour is, as long as they are light and work well for you?


Pete Gillander
(moresnowdays) - F
Re: Re: Which Snowshoes? on 11/06/2009 13:45:38 MST Print View

I agree, color is last on the priority list completely. Kinda wish I didn't mention that one.

I'm not in debate because of color, but because the Cresent Moons haven't yet arrived. They can easily be exchanged or returned. So, are the Northern lites better all around, or only because of their liteness? Are the MSR lightning ascents best all around, or only for traction? Or are Crescent moons gold series 10 the best all around with the best binding?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Which Snowshoes? on 11/06/2009 15:28:20 MST Print View

I really like the northern lites. Great float for the weight. The bindings are simple but they work well. Color isn't that important, but I found bright colors where useful when I took off the snowshoes in camp, and then forgot exactly where the were. since we were stomping around camp I couldn't just backtrack my path. Doh!

The built in crampons with the northerlites are ok (there was only one time that I was deeply concerned)... but there have been some traverses that I really wished I had a shtiffer binding and a more traction oriented snowshoe.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Which Snowshoes? on 11/06/2009 16:42:37 MST Print View

"Are the MSR lightning ascents best all around, or only for traction?"

If you're going to be running into ice or hard snow on anything other than flat, or nearly flat, terrain the Lightning Ascents would, IMO, be your best bet. They have very aggressive crampons and teeth on the frames and are not that much heavier than the Northern Lites, maybe 12 oz or so. They are a technical snowshoe, designed for hard snow/ice on high angle terrain, whereas the Northern Lites are more of a "touring" snowshoe. That said, you can safely use the Northern Lites on pretty steep terrain with proper technique, as long as the snow is soft, IME.

Pete Gillander
(moresnowdays) - F
Crescent Moon series 10 gold on 11/06/2009 17:12:05 MST Print View

Thanks for the posts and some interesting points! Any chance anyone have experience with the Crescent Moon gold series 10? Any thought why they might not be the best choice? Don't seem to find much about them on the net.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Crescent Moon on 11/06/2009 17:56:06 MST Print View

I own a pair of Crescent Moon Gold Series snowshoes and have used them extensively for two winters.

The bindings attach and release very quickly and hold tight. Flotation is good.

I have used them in a wide variety of terrain, even side hills, and have been pleased with their performance.

They are a very high quality snow shoe.

Pete Gillander
(moresnowdays) - F
Re: Crescent Moon on 11/06/2009 19:42:57 MST Print View

Sounds good, I had one curiosity with the Crescent Moons. I've read they tend to throw snow at your back as you walk because the binding doesn't freely rotate. The advantage ofcourse is mobility.

Is the snow throwing much to be concerned with these in actual use?

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Crescent Moon snowshoes on 11/06/2009 20:29:54 MST Print View

Not sure I understand what you have read about them not being free to rotate. The bindings on mine move quite freely. I have not experienced the snow throwing as you described.

Pete Gillander
(moresnowdays) - F
Re: Crescent Moon snowshoes on 11/06/2009 20:41:28 MST Print View

I think you basically answered my question. What I meant by not being a freely rotating system is that the binding is on a pivot strap. It has some tension on it causing the tail to lift at some point as you pick up your feet. The other style mounts the binding on a metal rod that it slips around, and the tail of the snow shoe will not lift to follow the foot.

Some say that the pivot strap system, like the Cresent Moon's, sometimes has enough tension that the tail of the snowshoe actually snaps up to the heal of the foot when lifted. The result is the snow on the tail of the shoe is then thrown up at the persons back or legs.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
'shoes... on 11/07/2009 04:33:25 MST Print View

Pete - if you're looking at the MSR Lightning Ascents, check out the Denali Evo Ascents's as well. I myself have the LA's, and have climbed in the ADK's with them...mine are fine but I know plenty of folks with problems with them.

Here are a couple of good threads discussing snowshoe options in the ADK's...