/ Taking Skis on a Snow-Shoeing day.

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Xharlie 27 Nov 2019

A group of intrepid snow-shoers have invited me to go out with them in the general Algau area and I'm wondering if I can suggest a route that would be suitable for me to go with them but on my touring skis, instead.

I hate hiking down-hill and can only imagine that hiking down-hill with snow shoes on is going to suck even more. (One of the reasons why I love ski-touring is precisely this: I actually love hiking and ski-touring is like hiking just with a fun down-hill.) That said, I've never actually tried snow-shoes -- just watched a lot of other groups slogging about in them, always wondering: "why don't they just take skis?"

I'd argue that touring skis and snow-shoes probably go at the same pace up-hill and, if the gradient of the route is mostly monotonic so that you're not having to pull skins off and put them back on every five minutes, there's no reason why the two modes of transport aren't compatible. Skis will be faster on the way down but sitting and waiting every few hundred metres, watching the view, is preferable to trudging. (I'm an anti-social bastard, anyway, so missing some of the banter is hardly a concern. I go to the hills for the peace, not the inane chatter.)

I can't imagine that safety will be an issue. Avalanche risk management applies to both and the terrain we tackle is hardly going to be "advanced" in any way.

Has anyone, here, tried this? If so, got any route suggestions? If not, got any opinions, speculation or advice?

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Stairclimber 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

You quite often get skiers accompanied by snow boarders ascending on snowshoes so in principle, no problem. Route choice is key as a  snow shoe trip through the forest can be quite magical in its own right but a pain on skis. Steep big open slopes can be quite difficult to descend on snowshoes .

I suggest you ski with skiers and snowshoe with snowshoers if you want to keep your friends. On skis, during the descent, you will either completely abandon your group or get very cold and frustrated. I also suggest going out in winter as part of a group requires accepting some responsibility for looking out for each other.

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Xharlie 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Stairclimber:

> I suggest you ski with skiers and snowshoe with snowshoers if you want to keep your friends.

Did I say they were friends? They're family -- I'm stuck with them.

Nevertheless, I'll take what you say as good advice and ponder it.

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TobyA 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

I suggest the vast majority of people who snowshoe in places you could ski, do it because they can't ski. I agree that skiing is much more fun, but it will be hard sticking near a group on snowshoes if you are on skis, unless its very rolling ground where having to put on and remove skins all the time will keep you behind!

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Frank R. 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

Done that about two times, can still be fine - depending on the group, terrain and route, of course

On undulating terrain with just short up and down sections, they could be even faster than you having to put skins on and off - although why'd you take skis there in the first place?

If they are family, why not just rent some snowshoes and keep everybody together and happy? You will appreciate your skis even more the next time you go touring...

Or you could plan the tour gently uphill most of the time, ending with a piste and a good path down for them nearby, where you'd just ski down safely and wait for them at the lower lift station, downing a few Bieren

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Doug 27 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

if its gentle, rolling, terrain why not just use nordic style grip wax on your skis ? Obviously works best on nordic cambered skis but also works on alpine (single) cambered skis.

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TobyA 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Doug:

And there are more sort of ski-sort of snowshoe products becoming available.

I got a pair of these when I was still in Finland https://www.snapperhead-inventions.com/products/backcountry-ski

And in recent years Skinbased have come out with ski-shoes that I suspect ski better and faster than my Marquettes.

Apologies to Xharlie though, these obviously aren't the solution to your issues!

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Toerag 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

> A group of intrepid snow-shoers have invited me to go out with them in the general Algau area and I'm wondering if I can suggest a route that would be suitable for me to go with them but on my touring skis, instead.

> I hate hiking down-hill and can only imagine that hiking down-hill with snow shoes on is going to suck even more. (One of the reasons why I love ski-touring is precisely this: I actually love hiking and ski-touring is like hiking just with a fun down-hill.) That said, I've never actually tried snow-shoes -- just watched a lot of other groups slogging about in them, always wondering: "why don't they just take skis?"

....because (like me) they can't ski, or there's lots of non-skiable stuff and they don't want to carry skis and have to walk it in skiboots.  Hiking downhill with snowshoes isn't too troublesome. You should give it a go as it is a great way to give another dimension to your hiking.

> I'd argue that touring skis and snow-shoes probably go at the same pace up-hill and, if the gradient of the route is mostly monotonic so that you're not having to pull skins off and put them back on every five minutes, there's no reason why the two modes of transport aren't compatible. Skis will be faster on the way down but sitting and waiting every few hundred metres, watching the view, is preferable to trudging. (I'm an anti-social bastard, anyway, so missing some of the banter is hardly a concern. I go to the hills for the peace, not the inane chatter.)

If you're in the Allgau a lot of it will be below treeline so you're just going to get bored watching trees. You'll also ski so much faster than them. Maybe get them to take the thin 'bum shield' sledges so they can go faster on the descents?

> Has anyone, here, tried this? If so, got any route suggestions? If not, got any opinions, speculation or advice?

How long do you intend to be out, and how wide is your 'Allgau area'? I've relatives in the Ammersee area so can tell you what I've done further east in winter, and in the Allgau in summer which might be doable on s-shoes / skis .

Snowshoeing I've done:-

Hoernle 'massif'. Deffo doable on skis as far as Stierkopf and popular with x-country skiers. You've got 4 summits that poke above the treeline nicely. The full traverse descent to Oberammergau via Drei Marken through the woods beyond the Stierkopf isn't skiable, and even a pain in snowshoes in places. Carrying skis through the woods would also be a huge ball ache so you'd be better off doing an 'out and back' to the Stierkopf from the hut. There's a lift up and hut with decent food at the Hoernle end. If there's enough snow you could ski down the pistes below the hut to your car and the s-shoers could rent toboggans to go down the toboggan run. The hut has a website with webcam.

Laber - I followed the 'skiroute' round the north side past the Soilasee. Doable with skis as far as the Soilasee, but the section from there up to Laber itself was very steep - I almost had to do 'kickturns' in my snowshoes going up (deep powder). I didn't see any ski tracks there. The hut and lift were shut when I went. The ski slope below the lift can suffer avalanches.

Wank - The ultimate mountain for those with a juvenile sense of humour, you can go on the Wankbahn and eat/stay in the Wankhaus.  I went up Sankt Anton - Daxcapelle - mittelstation - west ridge, and down east then north down the old skipiste to the Esterbergalm then round to the west. The west ridge isn't doable on skis but the rest is.

Gunzesreid (near Sonthofen) - wanderparkplatz Saege - Birkachweg - Mittelberg hut (closed) - SW along ridge, then round the bowl to the Stubenalm (not labelled, food) and down the toboggan run to the carpark. Pretty much all doable on skis apart from maybe the bottom section up through the wood.

Of all those I liked Hoernle the best. More to follow.

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Toerag 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Things I've walked in the Ammergau:-

Purschling - walked this in summer, it's certainly skiable to a short distance beyond the hut.

Aggenstein - not really skiable, and the final sections up the mountain wouldn't be snowshoeable.

Lachenspitze - we did the VF, the normal path up the west may be snowshoeable and even skiable. The Saalfelder path from the Vogelbahn to the Landsberger hutte is snowshoeable and possibly skiable.

Things on my snowshoe hitlist to come.  Thinking about it some more, your best option would be to stick with your family on the ascent, then go your separate ways for the descent, as the others said you'll be too fast.

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Toerag 30 Nov 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Snowshoe hitlist:-

The entire chain from Hohe Fricke east to the Hohe Kiste

Simetsberg

That'll do me for my next couple of holidays. I can do those from the train you see . One of the German map types has snowshoe & skitour routes marked, can't remember which though.

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Toerag 30 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

There's quite a few potentially useful Allgau webcams, example here:-

https://www.foto-webcam.eu/webcam/nebelhorn/2019/11/15/1250

They normally organise themselves by distance from the current cam.

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GerM 30 Nov 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

Take your skis. Then if anyone ends up snowshoeing on a skin track you can go at the back to try to re-establish the track a bit.

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Toerag 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Toerag:

>  One of the German map types has snowshoe & skitour routes marked, can't remember which though.

Update - it's the DAV green ones.  http://www.stanfords.co.uk/germany-maps-atlases?q=&ExistingSearchID=42348313&FilterNumber=7&OptionId=2636&NewFilterState=1&viewmode=list&pagesize=20&orderby=0

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DaveHK 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

Taking Skis on a Snow-Shoeing day.

Like taking a gun to a knife fight.

Post edited at 16:55
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