After 22 years of use I finally wore out my Atlas 1033 snowshoes. I don’t feel too bad about it, in fact, I am a little proud of the fact I have worn them out. Last year I wore out the deck wrap on the tail of the right shoe and got it repaired at a shoe repair shop. This year the wraps on the left snowshoe wore through as did the rivets holding the binding and crampon to the aluminum frame. I shipped them out to Mountain Soles for repair, but they are running 1-3 weeks for repair orders and I expect shipping to/from will likely take another two weeks. Spring seems to be knocking at the door, so I decided to get a pair of comparable snowshoes and ordered a pair of Serrate 30 Snowshoes from REI. I opted for the 30″ size as a comfortable medium; I was concerned that 36″ would be too long and cumbersome. Most of my snowshoeing is in snow of medium depth or traveling over a previously packed trail. Sunday following Eric’s AAU tournament I got to try them out.
One big difference is that single pull bindings have developed in the past 20 years. My old bindings had three separate nylon straps to tighten while the new ones have a single pull for the front two straps. My size 13 insulated hiking boots just fit with the heel strap let all the way out; unfortunately I don’t think the binding will stretch much, hence I left the process for my kids to choose good waterproof boots for me as they know I love hiking in the snow. I covered a couple of miles on a familiar trail up Pen Bonc Hill. It was sunny and felt warm – I ended up wearing a baseball cap for eye shade and just a windbreaker over my long sleeve shirt. At the top of the hill I pulled on a fleece and sat for 10-12 minutes enjoying the near lack of sounds – only the breeze rustling the leaves of a few small beech trees. After a bit I stomped home.