snow shoes are light so bigger is better in the pow, small ones are good for trails. Poles (collapsible) are must as they same a ton of energy keeping you balanced. I made mine out of two old ski poles, one child one adult, and a hose clamp. Use forums like this to find a partner to go with, if your lucky they will pass down some of their knowledge, of the avy danger and the terrain in the area.
Then get a splitboard and throw those snowshoes in the shed and forget about them. (having the weight of the board on the snow and your feet instead of your back is a big advantage. gliding the flats is nice too.)