12
Feb
2014

St. Valentine’s Snowshoes

MSR Snowshoes

Don’t let me down, don’t let me down / Don’t let me down, don’t let me down
Nobody ever loved me like she does / Oh, she does, yeah, she does
And if somebody loved me like she do me / Oh, she do me, yes, she does – 
Beatles

Now, she said they were a Valentine’s Day gift. Of course, I think she was really just tired of watching me break snowshoes. Or she was tired of hearing me whinge on about it while I was limping along behind her like zombie extra from the Walking Dead.. But I mean, Really!?!??! I’ve broken 3 pairs this season!!  That is total B.S. Or maybe she was feeling guilty because she was sporting her new MSR Lightning Axis snowshoes while I snapping bargain basement shoes like pretzels in her wake.

Originally I didn’t really know if I would even like snowshoeing. I’m not a winter person. Of course the truth about many self-acclaimed, “winter people” is that they are not “winter people” either. They just found coping mechanisms like skiing or snowshoeing to survive.  I was looking to be that sort of “winter people”.

I bought my first pair of snowshoes in January of 2011.  By the end of 2012, I was digging snowshoes. It’s better to be outside snowshoeing across a windswept field with a -45 windchill, than to be stuck indoors and pretending to care about Super Bowl commercials. And that brings me to this winter, not more than a month ago, when my faithful Wisconsin-made Redfeather snowshoes gave up the ghost.  I wasn’t doing anything strenuous, just putting them on.  A rubber part on the bindings simply broke away.  The shoes were trashed.  I got by that day by tying the cloth bindings through another part of the shoe.  The next two pairs of snowshoes were borrowed… and both snapped the first time out.  Now tell me THAT’S good for your ego! How gravitationally challenged am I that 30″ shoes can’t take the pressure?

Well, the reality is that we are not easy, groomed trail hikers. We wear our shoes to go off trail. Waaay, off trail. We wear them to cross streams and work our way through thick brush, broken quartzite and sandstone.  We’re climbing ice and sliding down slippery slopes.  Most low-cost snowshoes simply can’t take that kind of pressure. If fact, that’s exactly why she got MSR snowshoes for Christmas. She’s leading hikes all over the place, all winter long. I knew she’d kill herself or kill her old snowshoes sooner or later. And as if to accentuate the point, I was snapping snowshoes just following her around!  Frustrating!

I’m not sure if buying me new black MRS Lighting Ascent snowshoes was an act of love or an act of mercy. OR maybe she just wants me to keep up and stop complaining. What ever the reason, I’m glad to have that monkey off my back..  (Thanks dear!!)

I hope your listening MSR, because if these snowshoes snap…..

fist-shake

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, Your lady has good taste!:) I’ve got MSR Lighting Ascent snowshoes too. I’ve had them for about 4 years but I don’t bushwack snowy forests – you never know what you can fall into or how deep you can fall into from some of those wind swept drifts. Where we live in Canada we don’t usually snowshoe flat trails. Often mountain trails or hills. My MSR’s have been great, no problems. But, you may curse those straps a lot or a little. They take longer to put on. Sometimes a strap comes loose with those bindings, but I think they are made that way so you can shake your foot loose if you fall into a hole and get stuck in some bushes underneath. I like them though. They have done me good. One tip I learned the hard way, if you strap the toes too tight, the toes go numb – Duh! I’ll be interested to hear more of what you think of them:) Good or bad. Happy trails!

  2. LOL! Yeah, I’ve made my toes go numb too! The best straps I’ve seen are on very cheap snowshoes. they have a simple strap with a quick release.. I just wish they had those bindings on these shoes!

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