View Full Version : why I like Winter hiking

2003-01-08, 01:40
nope, not the obvious lack of crowds,
not just the vistas that the spring summer early fall hikers miss,
it is that in a big way I feel safer in the winter, safer from what my co-worker asked, my answer was hypothermia!
It just that I can usually stay dry in the snow compared to rain and after 30 years of hiking I have seen too many hikers tend toward hypothermia when the temp is from 45-55 degrees and a rain storm and wind is thrown into the mix.....
of course one can always wake up to deep snow but that is rare and if the forecast gives any clue I would take snowshoes....instep crampons are always strapped to the back of my pack

2003-01-08, 01:45
How steady is the Temp in Mtn land? Nowadays the Midwest can have 40 to -10 F in the same month.

2003-01-08, 03:00
I think our weather is as variable as yours, but -10 is rare indeed. at my home the record low was -32 in 1982...i live 2.5 miles from Roan Mountain on the AT....but even in the last week I have seen it 40 degrees at 8 am and 15 by noon, blizzard like one hour and sunny the next.....unlike the floriday keys where you can literally see the weather coming, here you can't but a barometer is really handy

2003-01-08, 09:30
I live in western massachusetts, and our weather usually falls somewhere between 0*F and 35*F this time of year. Extremes do occur though. Temperatures as cold as -10*F are possible about once a winter. We also have occassional lulls of 40*F+ weather, but it's almost as rare as the negative temps.

I use 6-point instep cramp-ons for up to 8"-10" or so. And then I switch to my Atlas Snowshoes when it's getting close to a foot deep.

Right now western/central mass and southern vermont have alot of snow. I've been using snowshoes for almost 3 weeks now.

Although I purchased my new snowshoes just last year, I must say they can be awfully heavy after 4 miles or so. They have excellent durability, but I may supplement them with some of MSR's new plastic ones that weigh alot less. However, nothing beats Atlas' easy "binding" system, and elasticized spring system. The cramp-on system is nice too.

2003-01-08, 09:42
For me its the quiet as much as anything else.

One of my first winter hikes was to Gordon Pond, which about a mile off the AT, some miles south of Lonesome Lake, in NH.

We went early in the winter season, and were puzzled by the fact that beavers had chewed through trees not at ground level, but rather 20 or so feet up in the air. We did eventually figure that one out. The answer is quite obvious when you think about it: NH has some frickin' BIG beavers. ;-)

Rick B

2003-01-08, 09:52

I've been using the MSR shoes for 2 years now. Not as durable as Atlas, but the crampons may be a little better. Tractions is excellent - even use them in places where I may have switched to full crampons previously. Sidehilling traciton is excellent also. Though the binding looks chincy and requires tightening 4 rubber straps, it is actually very secure and accommodates any size boot easily. I use the 4 inch tails in deep snow and find the flotation quite adequate. I was using wooden 13x28 bearpaw shoes until recently, and the new shoes make hiking in snow so much less work!

2003-01-08, 11:43
We just got snowshoes for each other for christmas. Here in colorado they are a must if you want to explore the mountains in winter. We wanted something really lightweight so that it doesn't kill you to carry them, as well as because of the lightweight footwear principle. For a full snowshoe, northernlites seem to be best, which is what we got. I got the largest pair they had, as that was what they recommended to me when I called...

Check them out www.northerlites.com 46 oz (2.9 lbs) for 32 in shoes, with crampons. My wife got the small ones since she is rather petite, and they are only 35 oz (2.2 lbs)

We love them!