Feb 4, 2006 at 10:08 am #1217701
Part of a planned upcoming summer trip might involve crossing rather large snowfields at about 9000 feet. I am conflicted as to whether wearing my Vasque trail runners (which should be ideal for all other portions of the trip) will offer any kind of footing on snow/ice? I suppose I could try a pair of Katahoola’s…but $129 seems kind of steep. Has anyone had any luck walking on snow in sneakers? I am so miserable lately in boots that I would probably attempt another route if I had to wear boots.Feb 4, 2006 at 10:16 am #1349893
Eu Jin GohMember
If the snowfield is not too steep, and not glacier ice, Stabilicers or Yaktrax might work for you.Feb 4, 2006 at 10:23 am #1349895
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
I think Brian robinson used some sort of screw, that he screwed into the soles of his shoes instead of crampons on the AT section of the triple crown
it says on his gearlist:
Sheet metal screws (#6 hex-head, 3/8″) & nut driver
(instead of crampons)Feb 4, 2006 at 10:36 am #1349897
>> Sheet metal screws (#6 hex-head, 3/8″) & nut driver
I’ve had great success with this technique for Winter trail running on ice. The screws provide good traction. They are ultralight *and* inexpensive. But of course, they don’t keep the snow out of your shoes, or provide any floatation. I’m not running along a corniced ridgeline at 9000ft, either. ;-)
Here is the procedure I followed.
-MikeFeb 4, 2006 at 11:31 am #1349899
@pyeyoLocale: pacific northwest
If you do decide to add screws to your shoes are you left with screw holes when you hit dry land? I’ve also had good luck with instep crampons.Feb 4, 2006 at 11:41 am #1349900
>> are you left with screw holes when you hit dry land?
The holes are nearly self-sealing — dirt and grime don’t seem to get in. But, it’s probably not completely waterproof if you screw in too deep. And, if your shoes have a WP/B bootie, it will likely get punctured.Feb 4, 2006 at 11:52 am #1349902Feb 4, 2006 at 12:39 pm #1349903
Stabilicers look like they offer traction and a little more “float” potential than just screwing something into the sole of my shoes.
If I used these in conjunction with gators, I would still get my feet wet since my shoes are the breathable variety. Can anyone think of anything better than 2 13 gallon trash sacks to put over my shoes as a way to minimize the water absorbtion? Obviously I will have the condensation to deal with, but if I am only in the snow for a few hundred yards at a time…that should not be too bad.
Thanks for the help!Feb 4, 2006 at 12:50 pm #1349904
Scott, Check out he weight of the Stabilicers. They have a heavy version (I have them) and now a lighter version. Still heavy compaired to the screws.
I also have a pair of the new Steel – Katahoola’s 23.02oz and they fit my trail runners great..Feb 4, 2006 at 1:06 pm #1349905
I could not determine the weight of the stabilicers from the sites I went to. It is a shame to carry 2lbs of foot gear to cross what may be a half mile of snow…but the other option is a long route that involves probably the better part of 7000 to 8000 feet up and down in one day…or really nasty brush.
Now I am wondering if I could not make a light-weight stabilicer rip-off. Or I could use the screws and get my feet wet. I am fairly certain I can make a fire at the end of the day…which would help dry out.
The Katahoolas are the best option…but I would have to use them and sell them on e bay after…can’t have $120 tied up in crampons I would rarely use… got 3 mouths to feed!!!Feb 4, 2006 at 1:12 pm #1349906
>> I am fairly certain I can make a fire at the end of the day…Feb 4, 2006 at 1:18 pm #1349907
He started to untie his moccasins. They were coated with ice; the thick German socks were like sheaths of iron halfway to the knees; and the moccasin strings were like rods of steel all twisted and knotted as by some conflagration. For a moment he tugged with his numb fingers, then, realizing the folly of it, he drew his sheath-knife.
Let’s hope not!Feb 4, 2006 at 1:28 pm #1349908
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
what about a Crescent Moon Bootie and screw shoe combo?
they have an open bottom so you dont have to screw through the neopreneFeb 4, 2006 at 1:59 pm #1349909
I like this thinking Ryan. Pretty cost effective…light weight….and seems to suit my needs.Feb 4, 2006 at 2:21 pm #1349910
@david_bonnLocale: North Cascades
Keep in mind that it is impossible to give a satisfactory answer to your question. A lot will depend on conditions when you actually reach the snowfields in question.
There is also a heck of a difference between 9000 feet in California and 9000 feet in, say, British Columbia. There is also quite a lot of room in interpretation of the term “large”. The other question I’d have is how steep are these snowfields?
Having said that, I’ve done quite a bit of on-snow travel in the mountains of Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia on running shoes. Sometimes if I am expecting well-frozen snow I will take Katoolas or something similar. Generally I just go with the shoes and hope for the best. In a few cases that’s forced me into some awkward detours, but 99 percent of the time it has worked out fine for me.
Traversing a snow slope is an important subset of “sidehilling”. Regardless of footwear, sidehilling is more tiring than walking on a flat surface and produces more wear and tear on ankles, knees, and hips.Feb 4, 2006 at 2:39 pm #1349911
Think Trinity Alps in mid July. Reports from the folks who live in the area (at lower elevations) are that it has rained quite a bit this winter. That said, even their level of experience (which is extensive in the area) leaves them to say you just never know what it would look like until you come up onto it.
From looking at the topos, it seems riding the ridge between Grizzly Lake and Papoose Lake requires slightly more than 2 miles of “sidehilling”. The snowfields look to be 200 to 500 yards in length, but the potential to skirt some of them could be there too. You just cannot tell everything you need to know about terrain from 7.5 min, maps. But that is why you plan as best you can…and create a backup plan. I would like to have some kind of snow protection if I do choose to try the of trail crossing. Since it won’t be deep fresh snow…or at a tremendous angle…I think the neoprene and screws would offer that next level of function that could make the difference.Feb 4, 2006 at 2:40 pm #1349912
I am glad to see that Cresent Moon has come out with their “Booties”. It is about time someone finally make some of these.
My version first made in Jan 2004. They were seconds Gore-Tex and Thinsulate and worked Ok. Keep my feet warm in my TNF Ultra 102’s. I was not able to test them below about 20 degrees “F”.
When Ryan talked about his light weight Neoprene overshoes I ordered some SBR which stands for Synthetic Blend Rubber and is considered “land use Neoprene. It is 2mm. I couldn’t find any 2mm Neoprene. I intend to use my old pattern and make another set of full-cover gaiters out of the SBR and see how that works.
The SBR came from Outdoor Wilderness Frabrics.Feb 5, 2006 at 7:40 am #1349938
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
“I could not determine the weight of the stabilicers from the sites I went to.”
Here are some weights, all in size medium:
stabilicer sports, 12 oz.
yaktrak pro, 5 oz.
hex screws, less than 2 oz. #8×3/8 also work well and give you a slightly larger head.
Neoprene overbooties used for winter cycling also work well over trail runners. You can find them now on clearance at Performance Bicycle for $20. If you go with these, you’ll have to size up quite a bit to get a good fit over trail runners.
Disclaimer: I’ve used all of the above for winter hiking in the lower elevations of the Colorado Rockies, not for sidehilling in alpine regions of the Alps. YMMV.Feb 14, 2006 at 7:08 am #1350554
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
To keep your feet warm.
Plastic bread sacks, one inside and one outside of
your insulating sock with a dab of duct tape over
the top of the instep on each to keep them from
sliding down or pulling up (and puncturing at the
toes). You can wear them for days if you are careful.
I have done this while wearing running shoes to
climb several glaciated peaks.
If the snow field is steep and has poor runnout, you don’t want to depend solely (pun) on crampons.
An ice axe or change in route is the answer. Even with a good runnout, an axe will let you cut steps
and avoid having to take the crampons.
Wear clothing with a textured surface, slick nylon
is not the way to go, those old wool knickers and
sweaters did a great job of slowing a slide. Take off
your silnylon poncho or quantum wind shirt and pants to cross.
If you are with a group, just one axe can be carried for cutting steps, or as an anchor with a rope for belay etc. in less extreme cases
It takes some judgement at the time, just like
stream crossings you have to be ready to abandon
your route for a safer one if things look bad.Mar 10, 2006 at 6:48 am #1352238
What kind of nut driver did Brian use? I am having trouble getting the screws in and do not want to buy a drill. What tool should I get?
I heard from Brian Robinson so got my answer.May 1, 2006 at 1:34 am #1355687
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
I’m a big fan of Gore-Tex socks. I wear them all day running in the rain and crossing streams. If the creek is high I wrap my foam sleeping pad straps around the top of the socks to seal the top for the crossing. I wear them over my standard socks, wear most any shoe or boot, strap on crampons and 1.5 0z. scree gaitors, put an axe in my hand and have hiked in snow all day and climbed steep, technical snow couloirs. I even have poor circulation in my feet and have kept warm and dry in snow. Definitely the best thing since sliced bread!
REI carries the Rocky brand for $50.May 1, 2006 at 3:34 am #1355690
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
I’d like to get GTX socks to work for me. Have failed thus far.
I’ve tried the Rocky GTX socks. Sized up. Even over a single pair of Smartwool liners they are too tight. Even at one size up, the toes are long and they need to be folded back. I’ve tried two size up and find that they are still a bit snug and the toes way too long.
What’s up? Do I just have weird feet? How do you size them for your use?
Thanks in advance for your time and info.May 10, 2006 at 4:32 pm #1356202
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Here’s an excerpt from a testimonial to GTX socks that I just posted on “The G Spot” on the “GTX Sock” thread. Hope it helps.
The current model (Rocky brand $50 REI)
looks like the old one with the “REI” brand label on it except the current model has alot more non-stretch GTX and a much smaller stretch GTX panel on it. As a result I had to go from a size 9 to a size 12! in the new design to put on over 2 pair of insulating socks (I only use 2 pair in full on winter conditions). This leaves me with alot of loose fabric. But to my surprise, after 25 miles of running in the rain I had no comfort or blister problems.
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