Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

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Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

Postby ianhopkins » Tue 22 Jun, 2021 4:59 pm

Gday',

I am trying to seek some advice about walking in the Australian snow, like the current conditions in Jagungal Wilderness.

I've spent a bit of time down there but never in proper snow, and am keen to try it out soon. I'm pretty happy with all my gear for it, except for what to wear on my feet.

How necessary are snow shoes? Could you manage with something like trail runners and microspikes?

Thanks in advance :D
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Re: Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

Postby slparker » Tue 22 Jun, 2021 6:58 pm

Whilst I am unfamiliar with the Kosci region, I occasionally snowshoe on the Bogong High Plains and Mt Bogong.

Snowshoes, or skis, are required in off-trail snow because of postholing, and in steep or icy terrain for traction.

Trail runners and microspikes do not work off trail as you will posthole terribly. I personally wouldn't trust them on steep icy terrain (if this is where you are headed) as snowshoes have more reliable traction and crampons even more so.

If you're sticking to groomed trails, I have worn trail runners without microspikes without any issues.

I bought tubbs snowshoes from Mont and they are great, MSR also are highly regarded. I chose the tubbs because the retention system is light years ahead of MSR and the traction is about the same.

Snowshoeing is laborious, if you can manage to learn how to ski then that is a better option for backcountry, IMO.
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Re: Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

Postby ianhopkins » Tue 22 Jun, 2021 7:16 pm

Thanks so much for the detailed response, that's great. I was thinking to give snowshoes a go as I can hire them for really cheap for a couple of nights to see how I like the whole winter camping thing. If it's something I can see myself getting into then I'll look into XC skiing!

Thanks again
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Re: Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

Postby Zapruda » Tue 22 Jun, 2021 7:46 pm

It’s a tricky time of the year when guessing snow conditions in Jagungal. It could be patchy or covered. This early in the season also means that the there is no base and most of the snow is sitting on the vegetation waiting to be broken through. Horrible conditions for snowshoes, skies and walking.

Reports seem to indicate that cover is good at the moment and a few keen beans were out skiing and shoeing in Jagungal this past weekend.

I generally ski rather than snowshoe but I’m pretty happy snowshoeing in trail runners and thick double socks. Works well for me but I can’t speak for others. Gaiters help to keep the snow out of your shoes/boots.

Give snowshoeing a go to get a feel for the snow and all the additional things you have to do while making camp etc and then look to get some skiing lessons. Jagungal is backcountry skiing paradise. So many fun and rolling undulations. Once you ski you will avoid snowshoes at all costs.

I’ve never felt like I’ve needed Micro spikes in the alps. Later in the season when walking on drifts where spikes could be used are easily avoided or traversed on a more gentle approach.

Have fun!
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Re: Snow shoes for Kosciuszko

Postby ianhopkins » Tue 22 Jun, 2021 8:54 pm

Thanks Zapruda, great information. I'll wait until there's a reasonable forecast and then give the snowshoes a crack and see how I get on!
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