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Thread: Bare boot it?

  1. #1
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    Default Bare boot it?

    So Iíve heard mixed things. I was under the impression you should be wearing snowshoes in the whites once the snow covers the trail. The last few weekends Iíve been up there camping Iíd say only 10% of hikers/campers Iíve seen were using snowshoes.

    Now Iím over the fact that everyone is aware that ascenders or trail runners have the right of way, or that everyone that steps foot on the hills understands what leave no trace is. Maybe Iím under the wrong impression.

    But regardless what are the rules for winter trail use? I canít stand post holing even 6 inches and I donít want to destroy the trail. This last trip was lousy with post holes. Some 3 feet deep. I love when my pack is at 25lbs for a winter trip. But if I have to bring everything I need Iím realistically looking at 32. Now I put my snowshoes on top and thatís a lot of weight on a small footprint. For sure there are many more day hikers then campers this time of year but are they in the right just using spikes? Short tall skinny fat. Theyíre all out there making holes.

    What are the rules? What are you opinions and interpretations of what happens and whatís right. Thanks



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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sethd513 View Post
    What are the rules? What are you opinions and interpretations of what happens and whatís right.Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No rules in the Whites on this.

    There are in other places, but not NH.

    Common sense prevails (or doesnít as you have observed with the postholes) though I sometimes chuckle at the folks who wear snowshoes when there is no reason to.
    Last edited by rickb; 02-17-2018 at 17:18.

  3. #3

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    If the trail isn't boilerplate, I prefer snowshoes. I hate digging in more than about a half inch, and if I'm barebooting I hate the even minor slippage that occurs. I would rather take weight hit of snowshoes than even a little slipping. I know others who don't mind stepping into it more, but it's just not me.

    I don't care one way or the other if the trail has been postholed before I get there, but I do know of others whose day would be totally ruined if they find a trail that way.

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    FWIW, skiers complain about both hikers and snowshoe users tearing up the XC trails because even snowshoe hikers mess up what should be their smooth previously broken ski track if they don't stay off to the side of the trail and out of the track. In places where there are no legal regulations, you know what you're getting into and just deal with it.

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    Yea, some idiots tore up the popular trails up Madison barebooting it when the snow was 3-4 feet deep and soft during the thaw. Then when it went sub zero a few days later these hole froze in place, making it hard for everyone.

    There's been a lot of melting going on recently and will get worse later in the week when we could hit 60 up here! It sure doesn't feel like the middle of February!

    Trails like the Valley Way and Air Line are packed ice right now. Get off on the side trails and you still need snowshoes. I did a couple of miles of side trails on the lower slopes of Madison the other day and was real glad I was using snowshoes or I would have been up to my knees in places.
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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    To my way of thinking the really agregious behavior is walking in a cross country ski track.

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    I was for sure understanding about the xc ski trail. But when Iím following a skier up a hiking trail and I find he takes a dump dead center of the trail I wanna ring his neck, but it isnít fair to others.

    My hike this weekend started at about 40 degrees and I was post holing right out of the parking lot so I through them on. Iím 180 lbs and 6 Ď 1Ē. There were a lot of smaller people but the post holes were all small shoe sizes and some deep. The further we go to the ridge the better crampons would of helped but heel lifters did the trick. On the way out everything froze solid and there was half an inch. But Iíd rather the weight be on my feet then back. No one had shoes on that day.

    I guess Iím glad to know there is no ďruleĒ just common sense for the whites. If we were day hiking and I had a light bag it would be one thing. But over night and over weight is another. It does suck though when others do what they want. It seems that this year with the mild weather everything but the ridgelines Iíve been on are very post holed out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    To my way of thinking the really agregious behavior is walking in a cross country ski track.
    On established tracks I would agree. Though I have been scolded by skiers who have followed my snowshoe tracks in narrow footpath trails as I am returning on the trail I have broken, insisting I not ruin their trail and walk in the woods along side their new track. Delightful conversations ensue in in the exchange of ideas.

    Post holing is not only an annoyance and signature of uncaring or ignorance, from my experience it can also be dangerous for snowshoers (if not other post holers). Post holes like to freeze up and many will act as snowshoe traps. I have seen twisted ankles, and heard of worse, from post holes hidden by fresh snow or from the slide into them. In some areas, NY State for example, there are rules about snowshoe use and fines can be levied on those who ignore them. Not being a skier, I am not sure how much interference post holes have on a ski track, but I'll wager they are not well received by that group either.

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    There are too many hikers now for proper etiquette. All you need is one asshat to mess it up for everyone, and statistically there will be several, or many asshats and almost zero chance that there are none. So posthole it doesn't matter anymore, that is what winter hiking is.

  10. #10

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    Thankfully in the Southeast we don't have any rules regarding how to backpack in the snow---then again, we get vastly less snow than in the Whites. 99% of all backpackers here don't carry snowshoes and on the off chance we do get a 2-3 foot dumping of snow it's every man for himself (or woman)---postholing, doing bung abseils(sliding down tough hills on our butts), crawling, weeping, tent hunkering for 3 days---whatever it takes. If we're smart we do bring microspikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    To my way of thinking the really agregious behavior is walking in a cross country ski track.
    agreed, but more than once I've broken trail through fresh deep snow on snowshoes, had cross country skiers use my track, then give me crap about hiking over their tracks on my return trip! I guess I'll just have to stick to virgin snow.

    I'd like to say just use your judgement, but lots of folks out there are missed school that day

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    I broke a cross country ski track on a popular local multi-use trail, being careful to stay to one side. Next day I came and someone had snowshoed over my track while there was a parallel snowshoe track next to it.

    Someone on the Facebook 4000 footers hiking group recently bragged about post-holing because he liked the workout. It was suggested he immediately join the witness protection program. Some people are willfully ignorant.

    In the Whites, snowshoes are always with me. On warm days the trail softens, snow shoes are needed when in the morning the trail was rock hard. Sometimes, like on Valleyway, snow shoes aren’t until towards the top where the snow drifts in. The bottom of the trail can get packed out.

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