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Advise on snow shoes for alps approaches?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 im off 13 Mar 2020

Planning on visiting mont blanc next week or so. 

Anyone recommend snow shoes for walk ins to routes?

Decathlon cheapest?🤔 they have a wide choice.

I know....skis better but on a budget.

Or hire in chamonix?

1
 d_b 14 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

I would hire unless you plan to use them a lot. I have some tsl ones that were reasonably priced and effective but I use them so rarely they don't justify the space in my cupboard.

 jon 14 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

Most shops in Chamonix rent them.

In reply to im off:

I think snow shoes are ok for gentle slopes but are horrible for steep ones .... descending especially.

 d_b 14 Mar 2020
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

The tsl ones I got aren't too bad for steep ascents as they have riser plates and plenty of spikes on the bottom. Not a lot of fun for descent though.

We found that we could keep up with people on skis on the uphills, then as soon as it came to level ground or downhill they were gone.

 HeMa 14 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

No worries which to pick. Resorts and thus lifts will be closed from Sun onwards in France. 

In reply to d_b:

Yes, with skis you can get a glide in to lengthen the stride but snowshoeing you just step. I felt that in deeper softer snow it's easier to slide/ push the ski forward but with snowshoes you have to do a more exaggerated lift which is more tiring.

 Doug 15 Mar 2020
In reply to HeMa:

If the email we had yesterday from our Mairie is correct, not all French ski resorts are shutting as our local area is planning to stay open for another couple of weeks & it looks like all the stations in the Champsaur are open

 Doug 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Doug:

to late to edit previous post

Seems events have overtaken the email from our mairie & it seems that all non-essential public spaces are now shut (although its not clear quite what that includes). See https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2020/03/14/edouard-philippe-annonce-la-fermeture-de-tous-les-lieux-publics-non-indispensables_6033110_823448.html .

although the chairlift I can see from here is still running...

 Stairclimber 15 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

There is a new design of snowshoe that works better going downhill. The footplate operates through a 'hollow'.

This may be irrelevant given the midnight change in circumstances in France where only food shops and pharmacies will be open.

Serre Chevalier has definitely closed for example. Moving lifts may give a false impression as restaurants and safety people do essential close down work,

 Denni 15 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

In the States, our local backcountry club used things called Crossblades for approaches to fairly decent sized hills and they liked them. Not sure how good, bad or indifferent they are but they're still using them.

A couple of the ski patrollers on our local smaller resorts used them as well for flitting around the place as they have a "skin" side which you unclip, turn it over onto the "ski" side.

https://newatlas.com/crossblades-snowshoes/41567/

 d_b 15 Mar 2020
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

I agree. My only real reason for using snowshoes is that I'm not a particularly good skier and don't get enough free time to remedy the situation.

 Toerag 16 Mar 2020
In reply to im off:

I'm guessing your approaches could well be on deep virgin snow, in which case definitely get ones that will handle your weight to prevent you plunging too deep.  I use MSR Denalis with the add-on tails most of the time - I'm 85kg in my pants.  Biggest problem with them is the length gets in the way if you're amongst rocks and trees but I'm tall so will find it easier than someone short I guess. Aside from the straps perishing, the MSRs are excellent.


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