Sherpa Snowshoes Modified Bearpaw Snowshoe
Price Paid: $120
I have owned and used the same pair of Sherpa snowshoes for over twenty years. the dimensions of the snowshoe are nine inches by thirty-six inches. the frame is coated (anodized) aluminum, the decking is made of a stiff rubber/neoprene, and the decking is attached to the snowshoe with neoprene lacing.
the binding consists of a sheet of neoprene that wraps around the boot with nylon webbing, with a separate piece of nylon webbing to secure the heel. the webbing cinches tight with a steel spring clip.
Sherpa snowshoes are no longer in production, but a Canadian company, Arctic Trekker, makes virtually the same snowshoe (and sells spare parts that work with Sherpas). i recently purchased a new set of claws (the "ice claw") for my snowshoes from Arctic Trekker, and they fit perfectly. (Sherpa called their aggressive claw a "tucker" binding).
if you plan on using snowshoes in the backcountry or on mountains, you will be happier with longer, sharper 'teeth' beneath your foot.
The only part i have replaced on these snowshoes is the bindings, once because the spring clip rusted so badly that it became unusable, and more recently to replace the claw with a deeper and more aggressive design. Rocks, roots, ice - nothing has done any damage, other than scratching the aluminum. This is truly bombproof gear.
These are larger snowshoes that are superior in deep snow, capable of floating a 200+ pound person plus sixty pounds of gear. the larger size makes them somewhat less maneuverable than smaller models. the bindings can adapt to a wide variety of boot types and sizes. the strapping can work its way loose over a long day - this is not much of a problem with plastic mountaineering boots, but it can be a challenge with other types of boots like Sorels. attaching a small square of neoprene to the heel webbing can help with this.
consider arctic trekker. i don't know the brand, but the design is a dead ringer for the old Sherpas.
Price Paid: free
Only problem is the binding which is cumbersome to lace and attach especially when it is cold. It tends to work loose and snowshoe turns a bit off track. An easier to use binding would be a great asset.
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