Jan 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm #1232970
So I might be going on a trip to the grand canyon in March. My hiking partner informed me that I should look into some kind of traction device for the rim area as snow maybe an issue. So here is my question: how much Snow is there at the rim that time of year and if so what kind of crampon or spiky thing would you suggest. I use light hiking boots like the montrail namche. I have been looking at the kahtoola micro spikes and the kahtool kts steel crampons. The micro spikes look nice but I am not sure if they wood be enough. I thank everyone in advance for your info.Also is an ice axe needed at that time of year? Also I don't mind the weight of the steel crampons if they will be more useful overtime. If you think that the steel crampons are overkill and the microspike would be more useful overtime then I'd like to know this also.
Thanks again, JoshJan 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm #1467522
te – waParticipant
the only way to tell how much snow is in GC in march is to wait until March. Its really hit or miss.
I did hike a mile or so down the rim on the Grandview trail last spring and used yaktrax in a foot of snow. trail runners on feet. they worked well for $20Jan 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm #1467524
Snow at the rim usually is no more than 1 mile or so down the trail, if any at all. The inexpensive instep, 4 cornered ice cleats that fit around the boot with a single strap will be sufficient. They cost about ten bucks a pair and are sometimes sold at the store there at the Grand Canyon. Expensive mountaineering crampons would be difficult to walk in and would pierce the snow cover and become snagged on the rocks. I have never thought that I needed an ice ax. Most of these hikes involved snow either going down or coming back up and at times I have appreciated having the instep cleats.Jan 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm #1467526
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
Maybe Steve Evans will be finished with his ti walking crampon in time to use these. I would think they would work well for condition you would encounter.Jan 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm #1467531
Agree with John Kays. If I went again I'd get the cheapos at the rim store. When I went in March 2005, I did the screw shoe thing.Jan 2, 2009 at 10:37 am #1467573
I've hiked from the South Rim two or three times in March. The last time I was there in March, I arrived at the rim during Arizona's largest snowstorm of the year, yet the snow ended about 2,500 feet below the rim. I found that my YakTrax were sufficient and were needed more for going back up, when the trail was icy, than when going down. There definitely was no use for an ice ax.
Another thing to keep in mind: In March, it will be cold on the rim, perhaps below freezing in the morning. But once you get halfway to the river, the air will be much warmer, and you'll have no use for your warmest clothing. You can save weight if you're willing to be chilly for the first couple of hours of hiking down.Jan 2, 2009 at 11:51 am #1467582
@sschloss1Locale: New England
I used cheap, 4-point instep crampons on a couple of winter hikes in the Grand Canyon, and they were perfect. Unless it's snowed very recently, all the snow on the trail will be compressed into ice by all the hikers. All you need is something that bites into the ice a little bit.Jan 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm #1467662
Thanks everyone. I knew this was the place to ask. So I'm leaning towards the kahtoola micro-spikes. Anyone like them or not. Anyother brand someone could recommend. Looking for a useful traction device not just something I would use once and the rest of the time wish I had something better or something that will break.
JoshJan 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm #1467676
before you plop down $60 for ice walkers you may never need, take a look at these for $10.60
they are probably much lighter as well thus allowing you to remain a full fledged member of this forum :>)Jan 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm #1467685
Here is another alternative for light snow and ice http://www.surefoot.net
TonyJan 2, 2009 at 11:41 pm #1467693
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
It really depends on what trails you're looking at. All will likely be icey down a thousand feet or so. On some (S Kaibab, N Kaibab, Bright Angel, S Bass) this is merely an inconvenience, and a reasonably well-balanced hiker will need no spiky things. Others (Grandview, New Hance) have exposed bits that could more problematic.
Those $10 CMI things look like the ticket if you insist.
Btw, I did the Royal Arch loop last March, and had a fantastic time. It's a great time of year to be in the canyon. The most adventurous part of the trip was 4x4in' through the snow and muck to the TH.Jan 3, 2009 at 5:16 am #1467703
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
"So I'm leaning towards the kahtoola micro-spikes. Anyone like them or not."
I really like them. I don't know if you'll need them in the Grand Canyon but I use them all the time here in Colorado.
They are great in conditions where you don't need full-on crampons or snowshoes. I prefer them to instep crampons because the "teeth" at the heel and toe allow for a much more natural stride. And they are much more durable than Yaktrax.Jan 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm #1467939
Thanks everyone. I picked up the micro-spikes today because I felt like I would use them more in the long run and they seem like a good product. John Kays, guess I'll have to start my own cult called Backpackingsortoflight.
JoshJan 4, 2009 at 8:51 pm #1467966
I have a pair and they pop off and on pretty easy. Use around here is limited but I figure they should last me a decade or so.Jan 5, 2009 at 7:57 am #1468019
@angelazLocale: New England
I think the micro-spikes were a good call. Cheaper than the kahtoola kts and like another poster said, allows for a more natural stride. The general consensus from the few runners I've talked to is that the yaktrax tend to get destroyed a bit more easily. Plus, I like the additional bite that the microspikes have. Not as cheap as some of the other options but provides good, even traction throughout. Easy to take on and off and just throw in a pack. I've been very happy running with them on hills with ice.
And I'm probably going to have to become a member of Backpackingsortoflight :)Jan 5, 2009 at 8:05 am #1468022
You only have to break the 17 lb. base weight and have an extra day of food and at least a litter and a half of water in your pack when you get back to the truck.Jan 5, 2009 at 8:14 am #1468025
@angelazLocale: New England
Hahaha. I'm out then. My food is always GONE!! Even the extra emergency chocolate :(
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