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Old 12-19-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
tenderfoot
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MSR Evo?

I have rented snowshoes for a few high peak ascents. I think I have rented the basic MSR Evo once or twice (22"), Tubbs tube framed Wilderness (25") and MSR Lightning Ascent.

The Evo's seemed to do well. I sort of remember liking the metal rails they had, seemed easier side stepping on ice rather than the tubes. But different hikes, different slopes and weather. Evo's are short but offer "tails". ANd of course they are inexpensive - at $140 less than half the $300 ascents.

I had a much larger pair of Atlas but sold them because they seemed way to big for high peak trails.

I am curious what others are wearing for use in ADK. High peaks and otherwise. I am 215lbs.

I am shying away from brands other than MSR and Tubbs - looking for well reviewed brand names but maybe that is short sighted.

your thoughts?
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:42 AM   #2
Hear the Footsteps
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I have EVO Ascent
I'm about 180#. They are not great in deep snow. The Ascent are the plastic ones with televators. The decks have been durable but I'm on my third set of bindings. After a hiatus of a year or two MSR is making the Ascent again. I also have the tails. I don't like the tails as they seem to put me forward off balance. And the tails make the shoes too long - I've lost a tail before from stepping on it because the fastener wasn't tightened enough. I'd love to see a way to put more surface in the front but doubt it'll be done.

The Lightnin Series are the ones with a metal surround on the deck. I have the older type - now my spare pair. When hiking the old style Lightnin the tails would cross and grab. The new design seems to make the tail end narrower - maybe this would solve what I didn't like - grabbing when tails crossed. As to durability can't say about the new ones -- the old ones in my experience are not as durable as the all plastic EVOs.

I'd like to see a slightly longer EVO made. Maybe 25 with 2" more in the front and 1" more in the back. But, I doubt that'll happen since MSR seems to have evolved into preferring the Lightnin version.
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:17 PM   #3
DSettahr
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I'm still rocking a pair of Denali Evo Ascents (the predecessor to the current Evo Ascent model). I like them. I agree that they aren't great in deep snow but there still probably isn't any significantly better snowshoe for the High Peaks. At this point, the 46 are so frequently traveled even in winter that deep snow should rarely be an issue for any of the traditional routes to any High Peaks summit (with the possible exception of going immediately after a storm with significant snow accumulation).

I do also have the tails but I rarely find that I need them in the High Peaks (for reference, I am about 190-195 pounds). I do agree that they put you slightly off balance but I personal have never found the tails to be as cumbersome as others seem to.

I don't own an alternate pair of snowshoes at the moment, but have considered buying a separate set of old school wood and leather snowshoes with significantly greater surface area, particulary for overnights into other areas of the Adirondacks that get significantly less use and where the trails are less likely to be broken out.

EDIT: Funny enough, not long after making this post, I got a work-related phone call asking if I was available for a project that will involve about 200+ miles of off trail snowshoeing between the beginning of January and the end of March. The fates really want me to buy a pair of old school snowshoes, I guess.

Last edited by DSettahr; 12-20-2018 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:51 PM   #4
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DSettahr,

I think I read that you did the Northville Lake Placid trail in winter. Was that with the Ascents?
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:56 PM   #5
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Yeah, we did whole thing over 4 separate trips across 2 consecutive winters. 4 of us did the entire trail (minus the Northville to Benson stretch, which hadn't been constructed yet), although a few additional folks tagged along on individual segments so we actually had 8 people for the Benson to Piseco section, and 5 people for the Lake Durant to Long Lake section (which was done as a day hike).

Of the four of us that did the entire thing, two of us had Denali Evo Ascents, while two had similar snowshoes that were about the same in terms of surface area- I.e., smaller and designed somewhat more with mountaineering in mind rather than deep backwoods powder. These kinds of snowshoes worked OK for the NPT but not great- we were definitely aided by the fact that we never had any fewer than 4 people to alternate breaking trail responsibilities, and if we'd had fewer people for this I think we would've seen a significant drop in the amount of miles we were able to traverse each day. Still, we averaged only about 5 miles a day across the entire trail, and I'm sure that our choice of snowshoe (in addition to the shortness of day and general overall difficulty of our undertaking) contributed to this. If I was to hike the NPT in winter again, one of the first things I would change from what we did would be to look at alternate models of snowshoe with more surface area.

I've also done other, shorter overnight trips elsewhere in the Adirondacks with the Evos and have continually noticed their shortcomings in deep power. A close friend and I have a story that we like to frequently tell about the Siamese Ponds Wilderness where, after spending an entire day breaking trail from Puffer Pond to Hour Pond, we could literally see the Hour Pond Lean-to only a few hundred feet ahead through the woods, but were nearly to exhausted to take another step (we ended up dropping our packs, packing out the last few hundred feet of trail, then grabbing our backs and carrying them to the lean-to once there was already a well-packed out trail).

I think if you're only going to get one pair of snowshoes for use in the Adirondacks, the Evos (or a similar model) are definitely the ones to get- their advantages in mountainous terrain outweigh their disadvantages in deep, unbroken snow, I think. But if you snowshoe a lot in the Adirondacks, especially in areas where trails are not frequently traversed and broken out, then IMO a second pair of snowshoes is probably worth considering (as I currently am). I guess snowshoes are just another piece of gear like packs, sleeping bags/pads, tents, etc.- if you go outside enough, you'll end up getting multiple models, each with their advantages/disadvantages and corresponding niche appropriate uses.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
I have rented snowshoes for a few high peak ascents. I think I have rented the basic MSR Evo once or twice (22"), Tubbs tube framed Wilderness (25") and MSR Lightning Ascent.

The Evo's seemed to do well. I sort of remember liking the metal rails they had, seemed easier side stepping on ice rather than the tubes. But different hikes, different slopes and weather. Evo's are short but offer "tails". ANd of course they are inexpensive - at $140 less than half the $300 ascents.




your thoughts?
https://www.backcountryedge.com/msr-...SABEgIqifD_BwE

Evo ascent $199

I have different pairs for different situations, Evos w/tails for most applications...but I bought my Lightning and Tubbs at garage sales used for peanuts.
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