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View Poll Results: Do you support a snowshoe regulation for all units?
Yes 23 39.66%
No 35 60.34%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-20-2015, 05:35 PM   #41
rADK
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It is arbitrary. It is paternalistic. It is unenforceable. It is the government...honestly- what do you expect? Such are 99% of the laws governing conduct in the back-country.

With things like this there are three stages of a person's maturing opinion:

1. When we don't know better and try to support it.
2. When we know better and try to oppose it.
3. When we know better but don't give a ****.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:39 PM   #42
Justin
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Originally Posted by trent View Post
In an attempt to post w/o stirring up drama, I was climbing last Sunday with the fiancee. We found that microspikes were the most reasonable ans safest foot traction devices for the conditions at the time.

We saw this older guy wearing snowshoes struggling to climb up some steeper rocky parts to the point where it was starting to get dangerous. Meanwhile everyone else in those famous red microspikes kept climbing up through the rocks safely like it was nothing.

I think mandating wearing of them is stupid and dangerous.
Just curious where you were climbing, how much snow there was, and if it was more ice than snow in the situation that you described? You mentioned "steep and rocky".
I don't think the regulation is "stupid". However, not having the proper gear for the trip is pretty stupid. I think that it all boils down to making sure people are responsible and have the proper gear, so you don't put yourself and others at risk, especially in a high use area such as the High Peaks...and don't give the Ranger a hard time if he/she happens to question you, and you should be just fine.
I still think that if you have a snowshoe regulation, you should also have a regulation for ice traction devices, and other safety equipment needed for climbing mountains and using public trails safely and responsibly.

Last edited by Justin; 01-20-2015 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:45 PM   #43
Neil
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Mother of all snowshoes threads.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:47 AM   #44
trent
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Just curious where you were climbing, how much snow there was, and if it was more ice than snow in the situation that you described? You mentioned "steep and rocky".
I don't think the regulation is "stupid". However, not having the proper gear for the trip is pretty stupid. I think that it all boils down to making sure people are responsible and have the proper gear, so you don't put yourself and others at risk, especially in a high use area such as the High Peaks...and don't give the Ranger a hard time if he/she happens to question you, and you should be just fine.
I still think that if you have a snowshoe regulation, you should also have a regulation for ice traction devices, and other safety equipment needed for climbing mountains and using public trails safely and responsibly.
We did Big Slide Mtn. last weekend. The entire hike I don't think we saw more snow than 6"-8" deep. The 'steep and rocky' parts would be some little scrambles up open rock as you're approaching The Brothers. As we were taking a quick break, we were just watching this guy in showshoes struggling on the rock sections because there really wasn't enough snow for snowshoes to be helpful. Us and some other hikers also resting there were getting a little concerned for this guy. On this section in question, it was open with little to no trees, so most of the snow was blown away leaving only some icy rock to climb with awkward snowshoes on. Away from these rocky sections and back in the trees, the snow depth was still pretty low and the trail hard packed; didn't see anyone post hole at all all day long.

I probably shouldn't have fired up this old thread again. I just wanted to share my experiences with snowshoes vs. no snowshoes contemplation while it was fresh in my mind after a recent hike.

I like to compare the mandated ski/snowhoes regulation to something like this: It's illegal to stick your vehicles gas cap in the handle of the gas pump to have it pump automatically. If I am a responsible adult and if know I have 12 gallons of free space in my gas tank, I know I can responsibly have the pump fill without my hand on in for a few gallons as long as I keep my eye on the pump (especially knowing it will auto-shutoff when full as a backup). However, people have messed that up and now there's laws making it illegal. I understand why the law was enacted, but it's frustrating due to the people who've messed up in the first place. The law in a way punishes those who don't mess up and spill gas all over.

Back to skis/snowshoes. While I support the mandate because it might save the life of an idiot who never would have thought about bringing snowshoes with him on long hike into the HP region, it can at times be frustrating if I for example wanted to do a quick 1-mile round trip hike from the Loj to Mary Dam or something in sunny weather in the winter when there's barely any snow. That's a calculated risk which I'm sure would work out fine. But if I were going any father, or in an area with less people I would definitely bring them. And again, I understand why they have the law. It makes perfect sense and may (or may have already) save(d) lives. My point is at times that it's frustrating to have that broad law that may not cover every situation very well.

Here's another situation it didn't cover well... After descending down from Big Slide to the John's Brook Lodge area to take the pretty much flat trail back to the Garden lot for a few miles, the temp warmed up to about 35 degrees. I had my snowshoes in my pack and was wearing microspikes.

After awhile due to the snow warming and getting more slushly-like (think perfect snowman building snow), the snow started clumping up on the bottom of my boots/microspikes to baseball sized clumps about every 30 seconds of hiking. I was starting to get concerned about rolling my ankle since I was then essentially walking on round baseballs. Every 30 seconds I had to stop to pick out/scrape off this snow. Eventually I just took the spikes off so I could walk normally. To me this was safer than twisting an ankle out there but still had 2 types of traction devices in my possession if it did get slippery (it did not). If I came across a ranger I'm sure he would not be happy to see this. But I'd hope he'd understand why. For me though I'd rather risk the ticket than sprain my ankle a few miles from the trailhead.

Sorry, this post is long enough. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Tl;DR: I support reasonable measures to match the risk at the time while am opposed to broad requirements which don't always fit well.
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