When you head in to the mountains you will need a specific kind of snowshoes. Those small, lightweight snowshoes that you go running in, or walking along nicely packed trails wont cut it in the mountains, what you will need is a good pair of mountaineering snowshoes. The steep, uneven terrain that you find in the mountains necessitates a specific kind of snowshoe. If you don’t have that snowshoe, you may find yourself sinking in to the snow a lot, or else on your back a lot.
Mountaineering SnowshoesWhat to look for when you're looking for mountaineering snowshoes.
- Maximum Weight – One thing that you definitely need to pay attention to when buying mountaineering snowshoes is the maximum recommended weight. You need to account for your weight, and you also need to account for the backpack that you will likely be carrying. Getting a pair of snowshoes with attachable tails might be a good idea.
- Crampons – The other thing that your mountaineering snowshoes should definitely have is a good set of crampons. You might not always have a good, solid contact with uneven ground, and you need to be sure that whatever portion of your snowshoes that does make contact with the ground can give you the grip you need to stay on your feet.
Best Mountaineering SnowshoesSome of the better mountaineering snowshoes to choose from.
- MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes - First up, a great pair of what are actually plastic snowshoes, not the traditional aluminum frame and nylon deck combo. Plastic is good in two ways, the first being that it's typically cheaper. Plastic snowshoes also weigh less, on average. The Evo Ascents weigh 4 pounds 1 ounce or 1.84 kilograms, but only have a maximum weight of 180 pounds, though there are attachable tails that will improve that to 250 pounds. They also have plenty of crampons, for traction, and a heel lift bar for going up without leg fatigue. A very solid, lightweight mountaineering snowshoe.
- MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes - Something different from MSR, the Lightning Ascent snowshoes are another great option for mountaineering. They're made with a aluminum frame that has crampons on the underside, so that you get traction all along the outer rim of the snowshoe. They come with a heel lift bar, and in three different sizes, the largest carrying a maximum of 280 pounds and weighing 4 pounds 7 ounces, or 2.01 kilograms. There are also attachable tails available to boost that maximum weight capacity, and a women's version.
- Atlas 12 Series Snowshoes - Finally, a fairly traditional looking snowshoe from Atlas. These have a high quality aluminum frame and nylon deck, and the standard heel and toe crampons with heel lift bar for going up steep slopes. They come in three different sizes, the largest of which carries a very impressive 300+ pounds. The largest size also weighs 4 pounds 10 ounces or 2.09 kilograms, making them the heaviest snowshoes on the list. Still, a great choice if you like that classic snowshoe look for a mountaineering snowshoe. They also come in a women's version.