View Full Version : 12-19-09 Baldface Circle Trail

12-20-2009, 10:59 AM

I'm new to cold weather hiking after doing a lot of hiking in the spring, summer and fall.
Last weekend I put on my new showshoes and went up Kearsarge North. The MSR Denali Evo Ascent shoes worked well on the unpacked trail.
Yesterday I decided to try the Baldfaces (9.5 miles). I had the snowshoes and Microspikes with me. I couldn't follow the trail after the cabin. I would lose the trail and find it again, over and over. The snow was deep in spots and neither the showshoes or microspikes worked well. I sank all the way in and had no traction. It was very slow going. I did make it over both peaks but didn't get back to my car until 5:30pm with light from my headlamp. The trail was easy to follow at low elevation.
I'm looking for advice on winter hiking. Are these snowshoes only good for shallow powder or hard packed trails? What works for deep powder on an incline?

KD Talbot
12-21-2009, 11:12 AM
Tough little hills to be cutting your winter teeth on! Nice job!

Yep, those shoes are for packed trails and consolidated snow. You don't want to be in unconsolidated powder in them for very long.

Don't know what size shoe you're in. I wear a 30" and if I step off trail I might as well be in my boots.

You need the tails:


or bigger shoes if you're going to head out on unpacked trails.


12-21-2009, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the comments.
It was grueling. I also dropped my full Nalgene bottle during one of my many slips. It's somewhere between the S. and N. peak.
On the way to the N. Peak there were about 6 piles of moose poop all close to each other. Then I saw I large animal for a brief second out of the corner of my eye.
Here are a few pics.

12-21-2009, 02:59 PM
Are most of the White Mountain trails used enough that they get packed shortly after a snowfall?
I think I'll take your advice and get the tails.

12-21-2009, 05:45 PM
Nice pics of the obviously tough trek. We happily got to do som snowshoeing down here yesterday but I'm envious of everyone who's doing it in the mountains instead.

KD Talbot
12-21-2009, 07:52 PM
Are most of the White Mountain trails used enough that they get packed shortly after a snowfall?

On the weekends, yes. Not so much during the week, but some. The best way to find out is here:


and here:



Patrad Fischroy
12-22-2009, 08:59 AM
I think MSR offers both a 4 and an 8 inch tail for these. Depending on your size, you may need the larger one. They rate the 8 inch ones for weights of 225-275 lbs.