FAST OR EASY: WHICH MODE OF TRAVEL IS BEST?
Easy learning curve—just walk; max flotation in deep snow; light and packable; work with most boots; relatively cheap ($70 to $280)
Slooooow; less of an adrenaline thrill than skis
Rolling terrain, mixed snow and rock conditions, and dense forests too tight to ski
A.T. or tele skis
Fast; let you cover more terrain; exhilarating
Require practice; higher injury risk; more likely to take you into avy terrain; expensive ($1,500 to $1,800)
Broad ridgelines, couloirs, widely spaced trees, or faces less than 30 degrees steep
Faster than snowshoes; lighter than A.T. or tele skis by two to three pounds; more affordable ($300 to $600 for skis, bindings, and boots)
Less control on steeps or ice; waxable skis require practice (and patience!) to get the wax application just right.
Relatively flat or rolling terrain