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Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Snowshoeing on 03/06/2013 21:44:44 MST Print View

Hello. I've never tried snowshoeing (don't ski or snowboard either) but would love to go during weekend of 3/16. I live in San Francisco. Does anyone have recommendations for places closer than Tahoe that can rent equipment and possibly provide some basic training? If Tahoe is the place, would love to hear about any recommended spots.

Thank you.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Snowshoeing on 03/06/2013 21:51:55 MST Print View

I have a hard time understanding why a person would pay money to learn how to snowshoe. Typically the person knows how to walk. After about five minutes walking on snowshoes you will know what you are doing.

Sierra Club members sometimes go to the Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden to stay for the weekend, and I believe that they rent gear there on a daily basis.


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Snowshoeing on 03/06/2013 21:56:34 MST Print View

REI should rent snowshoes.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Snowshoeing on 03/06/2013 22:30:52 MST Print View

Maybe Tahoe Dave's (snowshoe package link at the top of the page):

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Re: Snowshoeing on 03/06/2013 23:47:21 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips.

Now I'm really going to show my ignorance. My understanding is that I should be set with a fleece base layer and a wind shirt (perhaps adding a down vest when inactive) for my torso. Is the same true for the lower body, fleece base layer and wind pants with DWR? This would be for a trek of a few hours...

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Snowshoeing on 03/07/2013 00:06:07 MST Print View


Not really an ignorant question because it is a question that deals with many issues that people continuously struggle with. The problem is that you're in cold temperatures, yet producing heat and moisture (which is not good) while exerting a lot of energy.

Its often a thin line to walk.

You have the basic idea down: minimal layers that breathe, which helps minimize excess moisture forming in the first place, and when it does, helps move it away from the skin to dry. Depending on temps, you'll want an insulating layer--vest or jacket--to help keep you warm while stopped. However, even when stopped, you may actually not need to don any extra layers. It all depends on conditions, and how long you stop. Your body is a heat producing machine!

Use the windshirt only when necessary. Again, depending on conditions, certain fleeces are all that's needed. As far as your lower body goes, you generally need less insulation than your torso. When temps are just below freezing, you can probably do well with a pair of regular nylon hiking pants, and an insulated pair of pants for extended breaks/stops. When I hike with temps below 20F, I wear a pair of powerstretch tights and my regular thin nylon hiking pants. Usually they're ok, rarely too cold, but once in a while a bit too warm. I don't need to ever wear more insulation except when more sedentary in camp with temps in the teens.

DWR isn't really needed on clothing if temps will stay below freezing. It gets a little more complicated when you get a mix of slop and frozen precip. That being said, I do enjoy being able to crawl under my tarp in the snow with pants that can handle such abuse without wetting through.

As I'm typing this, I just reread your OP that said a "trek of a few hours." Much depends on actual conditions, but a thin base layer, fleece top, nylon pants, and an insulating jacket should be fine for a few hours.

Hope this helps.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Snowshoeing on 03/07/2013 00:14:03 MST Print View

Call this place.

They can set you up with snowshoes, a trail, and locale-specific clothing advice. They're in the hope valley area by Tahoe, a beautiful area for snowshoeing.

Have fun!

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Snowshoeing on 03/07/2013 00:50:06 MST Print View

Sports Basement, at least the one on Bryant, has snowshoes for rent. I assume it's a group outing, or that you have some idea of where you'll go?

A few weeks ago I used only a light long sleeve baselayer (not fleece) and softshell vest with a down sweater in reserve. For my lower body I just used some GoreTex ski pants, no insulation that I recall. (I run hot; you may want more fleece, at least on top. Fleece pants are too warm for me.)

I'll also suggest gaiters or some other mechanism to keep snow out of your boots, and spare socks in the car.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Snowshoes on 03/08/2013 13:27:57 MST Print View

Hit up REI - 3 days for about $35 including poles. REI down here (South Bay) just changed up this year to MSR Evo (basically MSR Denali) and they worked well. No instruction needed; strap them on and go. Expect to walk a LOT slower than your normal pace though, so plan accordingly. :)

Closer places than Tahoe for you ... maybe Bear Valley (up Hwy 4 through Arnold) or go over past Twain Harte on 108.
Yosemite's an option as well, such as Badger Pass, but that's probably about the same distance for you as Tahoe.
Everything is about 3 hours, give or take a little, so just make sure you leave out early Sat morning to beat the traffic.

You have to get up pretty high this year to get snow (eg, around Arnold/Big Trees there was almost nothing below 6500') but past that you can find some. I haven't been up to Tahoe this year; you can hike just about anywhere in the National Forests so you don't need a fancy resort or anything.

Have fun!


Edited by moxford on 03/08/2013 13:30:06 MST.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Snow on 03/09/2013 01:16:30 MST Print View

Not this weekend, been snowing at about 5000 feet past few days. It's glorious. Tons of snow in the higher elevations.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Snow on 03/11/2013 23:50:49 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone. Thinking I will go to Hope Valley... Seems convenient since they can rent me everything on the spot. But I will check out the other suggestions.