Where in the SW are you located? I live in El Paso, TX and have done a few winter hikes but am no expert. My first few times was actually in the Guadalupe Mtns (saw your other post) but they were only overnighters. There was no snow on the ground but temps dropped to single digits one of the nights. I still dont have snow shoes but would like to get some for this season. I went on a 3 day trip in the Lincoln this past winter and didnt think they received much snow so didnt bother to get snow shoes and that was a big mistake. We ended up only staying one night since there was no way we where going to finish the trail in 3 days post holing it. :)
Ha forgot my avatar pic was taken on Guadalupe peak. I forgot about that trip, that time there actaully was snow on the mtns but pretty much only on the Northfacing sections. It also wasnt more then 3-4 inches.