Thursday, September 4, 2008


Snowshoes have arrived! They are a pair of MSR Lightning Ascents, 25". I got them for a killer deal on

As for initial impression, they look pretty beefy. The crampons have dull points, as necessary, and there are a lot of them. There is a heel and midstep crampon in addition to the rotating toe crampon. As for weight, the left weighs 848 grams and the right is 854 grams, for a total of 1702. MSR's listed weigh is 1701, so its pretty damn close.

I tried them on with my hiking boots (mens size 9), liner socks and SW Mountaineer socks. They fit well and snugged up my boot nicely. The Televator bar rested just 1/2 inch from the heel of my shoe when lifted.

I'm concerned about one thing though - the rotating hinge is held together my a pin with a key-ring like ring holding it together, much like old-school external frames were held. I'm going to head to my local hardware store and pick up some small washers and rings (4x of each) and pack them in my repair kit. Initially, I'm weary of them because they are facing the ground and could be subject to damage my rocks.

I haven't tried walking in them, because I just put them on to test fit. I'll do that more when the snow flies. There is a farmfield near my apartment that is open to people in winter to do walking, CC skiing and snowshoeing. I figure it will be my training ground.

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