This review was cross-posted from Loomis Adventures.com, who we’d really like to thank for this thorough and honest review…
Yukon Charlie’s Pro-Guide Aluminum Snowshoes are a basic, lightweight, and durable snowshoe designed for use on flat to rolling terrain. They feature 1-pull adjustable bindings that make putting them on and taking them off quick and easy. The snowshoe frames are built with 7000 series aluminum and have aluminum crampons. This package includes snowshoes, trekking poles, and a storage bag.
Size: 8″ x 25″ (up to 200 lbs)
Type: Varying Terrain
Material (frame): 7000 series Aluminum
Material (decking): HDPE
Binding: Fast-Fit 1-pull adjustable
Crampons: Forged Aluminum
In The Field:
As a recreational snowshoe, I have put my Yukon Charlie’s Pro-Guides through some very rigorous testing beyond their intended use. The 8″ x 25″ size has performed amazingly well for my thin, tall body. The snowshoes are relatively sturdy and well-built as a recreational-type snowshoe.
The bindings are my favorite feature. They secure or loosen by simply pulling a strap (a different strap for pulling versus loosening). I can put them on and take them off while wearing gloves, making it easy to adapt to varying conditions that may or may not require snowshoes. I have noticed the front binding strap (on the buckle side) rubs on the decking when the binding pivots. This is slowly wearing a small gouge into the decking as well as wearing the textile binding strap. It hasn’t caused any issues so far, as the wearing is minor. Increasing the distance between the edge of the decking and the binding strap by cutting away some of the decking would alleviate the issue.
In powder and soft snow, the snowshoes provide adequate flotation and are easy to walk in. The crampons bite into the snow, increasing traction and reducing slippage. In firmer, packed and uneven snow, my feet tend to pronate inward on the snowshoes, causing them to be crooked in a v-shape. I can still walk without difficulty, but more pressure is put on the inside front crampons. This results in minor bending of the side point due to the softness of the aluminum. This is easily fixed by bending it back with pliers, but eventually it may become too weak and break because of repeated bending. This does not occur in powder snow conditions, just on firm and icy conditions. This is to be expected with aluminum crampons versus stronger, more durable steel crampons. My wife has another pair of Yukon Charlie’s Pro-Guide snowshoes and has experienced the same pronation and bending of the inside front crampon point.
I have used these snowshoes to ascend steep (45°) icy slopes and have managed okay. This required walking up on my toes, utilizing the front crampon of the snowshoe. These Yukon Charlie’s are not designed for this type of ascent, but will work in a pinch. However, I would expect reduced longevity with this kind of repeated abuse. The included poles work alright, but collapse occasionally. See full review of the included trekking poles.
See “Snowshoeing on Mount Hood near Timberline Lodge”, “Snowshoeing Boy Scout Ridge on the Slopes of Mount Hood”, and “Snowshoeing Barlow Butte Trail” adventures where these snowshoes were used.
Yukon Charlie’s Pro-Guide Aluminum Snowshoes are good for what they are designed for: soft snow and gentle terrain. They lack the materials and design needed for steeper more technical terrain. For the average user who plans to snowshoe a few miles a trip a few times each year, these snowshoes are a great value.