I believe that the Hoks had two big advantages over my partner's nordic touring skis when breaking trail in deep snow on the BWCA lakes.
First, you have a lot rocker on the front of the Hok that causes the ski tip to glide up and over the snow, whereas my partner's skinny skis burrowed straight ahead under the snow when he broke trail.
Second, the Hok provides a lot of float with 110 mm underfoot, so I did not sink down like my partner did with his skinny skis.
Although this is a minor advantage at best, I was able to staddle downed trees on the portages without having to take off my Hoks.
My partner was the same height and weight as I was, and we carried the about the same weight in our packs, so we had a pretty good real time comparison. However, we should have switched gear to get a better one-to-one comparison.
In the past, I have used Karhu 10th Mountain BC skis (68/55/60), NNN BC bindings, and Alpina BC boots in the BWCA. Those are great if you are not breaking trail or the snow is consolidated.
Jeremy: About 20 years ago, I took my BC skis mentioned above to the SHT. That trip lasted about 1 hour, before I concluded that long skinny skis had no place on the SHT. I walked back to my car, got out my snowshoes, and had a good trip.
If I was not busy the next two weekends, I would take advantage of this cold and snowy weather and take the Hoks to the SHT.