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#49775 - 05/09/17 08:10 AM Snow Travel
pcieluch Offline

Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 43
Loc: duluth,mn
I was looking at a few trail journals of N bound PCT hikers and few are thinking about skipping the mountains due to the snow at elevation. So would not skis make more sense this season to cover those miles? One would think it would be a lot easier and you could cover many more miles in a day. Would using skis work?

Edited by pcieluch (05/09/17 08:12 AM)

#49776 - 05/09/17 09:42 AM Re: Snow Travel [Re: pcieluch]
bobpickering Offline

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 354
Loc: Reno, Nevada
The short answer is that skis are great… when the conditions are just right, you have all the right expensive gear, and you have the skills. If conditions (like lack of snow) force you to carry your skis, they are a HUGE pain in the ass, and you have to hike in your very heavy, clumsy ski boots.

I’ve skied from the Whitney summit to the “ROAD CLOSED” sign, but it wasn’t much fun navigating breakable crust in the moonlight with a 50-pound pack. On the other hand, I once made it from Red Banks on Mt. Shasta to the car in thirty-something minutes, and I carried my skis the last ¼ mile.

#49777 - 05/09/17 12:48 PM Re: Snow Travel [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
I was thinking something along the same lines as Bob.

If you are proficient with skis, they might help you -- in some places. But there are so many places they would just be a burden: any steep descent, where there is a zig zag trail. skis just don't work there.

Going up, skiis aren't any faster than hiking ...well, maybe a little better if the traction for boots is bad.

Skis are great in wide-open terrain, when it's flat or even better when you have a light to moderate descent. But in the Sierra, those ideal areas are limited, maybe even few and far between. So any advantages the skis have just don't match up to the extra weight to carry over the distances where they couldn't be used.

They would certainly be useful if travelling the Sierra earlier in the season -- late winter, for example, but by now, not so much. I've hiked many miles over consolidated snow in spring time/early summer. It isn't noticeably slower than hiking on a dry trail.

#49796 - 05/12/17 07:53 PM Re: Snow Travel [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline

Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
You will also have little to no proper spring corn: more like either ice or mashed potatoes.
Wherever you go, there you are.