Snowshoeing also includes a chapter on the history of snowshoeing, information on navigation and route finding, camping, gauging snow conditions, and winter safety, with emphasis on the dangers of avalanches. Part of the Mountaineers Outdoor Expert series. This thorough guide -- itself an updated edition of the classic -- offers a range of advice.
Los Angeles Times "If you plan to go far on snowshoes, read this book first. Patriot Ledger Quincy, MA An outdoor recreation handbook has to be well-written, and on a very popular topic, to make it through five rewrites. And that's the case with the late Prater's work, which has become a how-to classic on the sport. Lexington KY Herald Leader You won't find a more complete guide than this; it covers not only the latest techniques but also new materials and designs fueling the growth of the sport. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The fifth edition of the sport's best primer works as an introduction to the sport or a modern update Simply, if you have a question, Prater's book has the answer.
Snowshoeing : Gene Prater :
Syracuse NY Post-Standard Prater [and Felkley] offer tips, discoveries, and factoids that will make the snowshoeing experience more enjoyable. They help the novice pick the right kind of showshoes. The Olympian. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory AAC More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Mountaineers Books. Seller Inventory ZZN.
Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory n. Brand New Copy. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Book Description Mountaineers Books, Book Description Paperback. Completely revised, the fifth edition of Snowshoeing teaches you how to navigate through snow-clad woods, compete in races, and climb to new summits with easily-learned snowshoeing techniq. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability.
Seller Inventory Several animals, most notably the snowshoe hare , had evolved over the years with oversized feet enabling them to move more quickly through deep snow. The origin and age of snowshoes are not precisely known, although historians believe they were invented from 4, to 6, years ago, probably starting in Central Asia. However, the "traditional" webbed snowshoe as we know it today had direct origins to North American indigenous people, e.
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III, pg. In , Italian scientists reported "the oldest snowshoe in the world" discovered in the Dolomites and dated to between and B.
The indigenous people of North America developed the most advanced and diverse snowshoes prior to the 20th century. Nearly every Indigenous peoples of the Americas culture developed its own particular shape of shoe, the simplest and most primitive being those of the far north. However, contrary to popular perception, the Inuit did not use their snowshoes much since they did most of their foot travel in winter over sea ice or on the tundra , where snow does not pile up deeply. Even smaller models, developed most notably by the Iroquois , are narrower and shorter, reflecting the need for maneuverability in forested areas.
The Plains Indians wore snowshoes on their winter season bison hunts before horses were introduced. Despite their great diversity in form, snowshoes were, in fact, one of the few cultural elements common to all tribes that lived where the winters were snowy, in particular, the Northern regions. Snowshoes were slowly adopted by Europeans during early colonialism in what later became Canada and the United States.
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The French voyageurs and coureurs des bois began to travel throughout the land of the Cree, Heuron, and Algonquin groups of indigenous North Americans in the late 17th century to trap animals and trade goods. In order to travel effectively in the terrain and climate, they utilized the tools of the native populations, such as snowshoes and canoes.
The Oxford English Dictionary reports the term being used by the English as early as The "teardrop" snowshoes worn by lumberjacks are about 40 inches 1. This form was copied by the Canadian snowshoe clubs of the late 18th century. Founded for military training purposes, they became the earliest recreational users of snowshoes.
This is made very light for racing purposes, but much stouter for touring or hunting. The tail keeps the shoe straight while walking. Another variant, the "bearpaw", ends in a curved heel instead of a tail. While many early enthusiasts found this more difficult to learn on, as they were thicker in the middle and rather cumbersome, they did have the advantage of being easier to pack and nimbler in tight spaces. Two forms of traditional bearpaw snowshoes developed: an eastern version used by "spruce gummers" consisting of an oval frame with wooden cross braces, and a western version with a rounded triangular frame and no wooden bracing.
Traditional snowshoes are made of a single strip of some tough wood, usually white ash , curved round and fastened together at the ends and supported in the middle by a light cross-bar. The space within the frame is filled with a close webbing of dressed caribou or neat's-hide strips, leaving a small opening just behind the cross-bar for the toe of the moccasined foot. They are fastened to the moccasin by leather thongs, sometimes by buckles. Such shoes are still made and sold by native peoples. Outside of indigenous populations and some competitions such as Arctic Winter Games , very few of the old-fashioned snowshoes are actually used by enthusiasts anymore, although some value them for the artisanship involved in their construction.
They are sometimes seen as decorations, mounted on walls or on mantels in ski lodges. Even though many enthusiasts prefer aluminum snowshoes, there is still a large group of snowshoe enthusiasts who prefer wooden snowshoes. Wooden frames do not freeze as readily. Many enthusiasts also prefer wood snowshoes because they are very quiet. While recreational use of snowshoes began with snowshoe clubs in Quebec , Canada who held events where races and hikes were combined with fine food and drink , the manufacture of snowshoes for recreational purposes really began in the late 19th century, when serious recreational use became more widespread.
In the late 20th century the snowshoe underwent a radical redesign. It started in the s when the Vermont -based Tubbs company created the Green Mountain Bearpaw, which combined the shortness of that style with an even narrower width than had previously been used Pospisil This rapidly became one of the most popular snowshoes of its day. In , experimenting with new designs in Washington 's Cascade Mountains , Gene and Bill Prater created the snowshoe known today. They began using aluminum tubing and replaced the lace with neoprene and nylon decking.
To make them easier to use in mountaineering , the Praters developed a hinged binding and added cleats to the bottom of the shoe. The Sherpa Snowshoe company started manufacturing these " Western " shoes and they proved very popular.
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Eastern snowshoers were a bit more skeptical at first, believing that the style was unnecessary in the east, until the Praters demonstrated their improved effectiveness on New Hampshire 's Mount Washington. These use an aluminum or stainless steel frame and take advantage of technical advances in plastics and injection molding to make a lighter and more durable shoe. They require little maintenance, and usually incorporate aggressive crampons.
Some, such as the "Denali" model made by Mountain Safety Research , use no metal frame and can be fitted with optional detachable tail extenders. Newer models have heel-lifters, called "ascenders", that flip up to facilitate hill climbing.
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The use of solid decking in place of the standard latticework of lacing came as a surprise to many enthusiasts, since it challenged a long-held belief that the lattice was necessary to prevent snow from accumulating on the shoe. In practice, however, it seems that very little snow comes through the openings in either type of shoe.
Eventually they were replaced with even lighter materials such as polypropylene. This tendency also gave way to the creation of inflatable snowshoes made of different fabrics such as cordura and thermoplastic polyurethane TPU. These more athletic designs have helped the sport enjoy a renaissance after a period of eclipse when winter recreationists showed more interest in skiing. In the U. In fact, ski resorts with available land are beginning to offer snowshoe trails to visitors, and some popular hiking areas are almost as busy in the colder months as they are on warm summer weekends.
As many winter recreationists rediscover snowshoeing, many more new models of snowshoe are becoming available. Ski areas and outdoor equipment stores are offering snowshoes for rent. Sizes are often given in inches, even though snowshoes are nowhere near perfectly rectangular.
Regardless of configuration, all wooden shoes are referred to as "traditional" and all shoes made of other materials are called "modern.
Notwithstanding these variations in planned use, larger users should plan on buying larger snowshoes. A common formula is that for every pound of body weight, there should be one square inch of snowshoe surface Users should also consider the weight of any gear they will be packing, especially if they expect to break trail. Those planning to travel into deep powder look for even larger shoes. Many manufacturers now include weight-based flotation ratings for their shoes, although there is no standard for setting this yet.
As is often the case with downhill skis, wood-frame snowshoes and suitable bindings are typically marketed and purchased separately rather than as a single piece. One common style is termed the "H" binding, as it consists of a strap around the heel crossing a strap around the toe and one at the instep, forming a rough version of the eponymous letter. On modern shoes, there are two styles of binding: fixed-rotation also known as "limited-rotation" bindings, and full-rotation also known as "pivot" bindings.
In fixed-rotation bindings, the binding is attached to the snowshoe with an elastic strap that brings the tail of the snowshoe up with each step. The snowshoe therefore moves with the foot and the tail does not drag. Fixed-rotation bindings are preferred for racing. They allow the crampon cleats that are under the foot to be kicked into a slope for grip in climbing, but are relatively awkward for stepping sideways and backwards as the tail of the snowshoe can drag.
Fixed-rotation bindings often cause snow to be kicked up the back of the wearer's legs; this does not tend to happen with full-rotation bindings. A series of straps, usually three, are used to fasten the foot to the snowshoe. Some styles of binding use a cup for the toe. It is important that a user be able to manipulate these straps easily, as removing or securing the foot often must be done outdoors in cold weather with bare hands, exposing him or her to the possibility of frostbite.
When putting on snowshoes, left is distinguished from right by which way the loose ends of the binding straps point: always outward, to avoid stepping on them repeatedly. In , Bill Torres and a younger associate developed the step-in binding, designed to make it easier for snowshoers wearing hard-shelled plastic boots serious mountaineers to change from snowshoes to crampons and back again as needed. Snowshoers often use trekking poles as an accessory to help them keep their balance on the snow. Some manufacturers have begun making special snowshoeing models of their poles, with larger baskets more like those found on ski poles which can also be used.
Other than that, no other special accessories are required.
Related Snowshoeing: From Novice to Master, 5th Edition (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert)
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