Dec 5, 2013 at 6:23 am #1310605
Looking at them with 2 different points of view. Naturally I want the least weight as well as maximum efficiency. While price is no object, it really is. They may just sit in the pack or the closet most of the time with very minimal use, maybe 5 minutes out of an 8 hour hike.Dec 5, 2013 at 6:31 am #2051045
@vintagegentLocale: Galveston TX
I can't speak one way or the other about any other brand of microspikes, but I've gotten good results from the Kahtoola Microspikes. I've used them both on snow and on moderate glacier travel, and they really do give you a bit of extra grip. Plus they're relatively light and easy to put on and take off.Dec 5, 2013 at 6:48 am #2051048
delDec 5, 2013 at 7:18 am #2051052
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
If you expect light snow and softer icy conditions, Kahtoola Microspikes have proven themselves time and time again.
If you expect hard, glassy ice, Microspikes are not enough. You need crampons, like Kahtoola K10, Hillsound Trail Pro, or Black Diamond Contact Strap. Microspikes don't have enough bite.
In some areas you could only ever need Microspikes. They are remarkably effective most of the time. However, if you need the best traction, you could get away with only carrying crampons. They will make you tired faster than Microspikes and you will also wear out your crampons faster. Hence I carry both.Dec 5, 2013 at 7:25 am #2051053
I like instep crampons, personally:
Dec 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm #2051177
I just used Kahtoola Microspikes on a five plus mile hike in Maine with generally gentle elevation rise and a couple of steeper ones. At least 60% of the way the trail seemed like an ice floe. The microspikes worked very well; other hikers without them were unable to go over some more challenging boulders that we could safely ascend — and get down! The microspikes are light and easy to put on. I wear a size 13 wide and crampons have been historically hard to find and no fun to put on in the dead of winter. I am very pleased with the Kahtoolas — but I wish the biggest sizes were available in red!Dec 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm #2051221
Check out IceTrekkers. Handle hard, glassy ice and snow like a champ, plus they are lighter than micro spikes IIRC. They aren't as well known but I have been very pleased with them.
RyanDec 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm #2051424
Kahtoola Microspikes have served we well here in AK in all seasons, even in the summer on slick grass mountainsides. They are relatively light. If not those, instep crampons are likely the next best option.Dec 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm #2051428
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
The ice trekkers are good, and they are less expensive than the kahtoola's which I haven't tried. I like that the ice trekkers are lower profile than the micospikes (less spikey). I tend to think that this makes them a little better for mixed sections with rock and dirt and also less subject to wear. My uses are for winter, and more likely spring trail running in the boulder foothills.
Just lost one of my ice trekkers last week from my waste pouch, and I'm planning on replacing it with the same brand tomorrow if thats a good recommendation.Dec 6, 2013 at 6:07 am #2051445
I like the ICETrekkers as well. I assume we're talking about the Diamonds, that's what I have, and I agree with Serge re: the lower profile.
-Mark in St. LouisDec 6, 2013 at 6:17 am #2051449
Thanks guys. I appreciate the breakdown and the education.
I'll probably go with the Kahtoola microspikes, recommended to me by Hikin' Jim on a local forum. As with everything, there is no best. only best for a set of given conditions and Jim has hiked many of my local areas and knows the local conditions.
The Icetrekkers look nice, I could have used a pair when I in Tahoe or Michigan. I like the Streamtrekkers. They may be put on the list.Dec 6, 2013 at 9:12 am #2051506
Really depends on the conditions. The Kahtoola aluminum crampons don't weigh much more than the microspikes. They dull quickly on rocks. In winter I use the crampons more frequently and a glad I have them.
Again, you need the right tool for the job.
Many times I have been thankful for crampons for the two mile approach to Grubb's Notch and the traverse above it, if you are planning that hike. Ice axe too. Microspikes could have proven fatal.Dec 6, 2013 at 11:18 am #2051541
…Dec 6, 2013 at 11:37 am #2051545
I am thinking of Grubb's Notch and the traverse above it.
That may be all I ever do, think about it. I do want to be prepared.Dec 6, 2013 at 11:58 am #2051553
If there has been significant winter snowfall, then by April or so the snow gets pretty hard and icy. Little sun hits the trail during winter due to all the trees and the orientation of the trail. When you come down to the final mile before Grubbs, it is steep below the trail and can be very slippery. The traverse can be awful too.
Since I usually do this alone, I take extra precautions. I have finished the trail when some of the "regulars" turned around because of the ice and only had microspikes. I am not trying to pass myself as some sort of winter travel expert, but am glad I had the tools to complete the route rather than hiking back down ~ 8,000 feet and 8 miles.
I have hiked down Skyline and it is one of the most physically demanding painful hikes one can do. Those who can do C2C2C2C have my respect!!
Also, make sure you have good navigation skills. The route can be extremely difficult to find in winter and you can head up one of the gullies before the Notch… you will often find footprints going the wrong direction. I did this on my first winter trip and was able to cross country to the traverse instead of going back down… it was safer but much more time consuming. Just keep your eye out for Grubbs.Dec 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm #2051556
I never new ….Dec 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm #2051558
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
re the slinger: "Steel clip attaches to the spike or head of your ice axe; girth hitch the other end to your climbing harness"
I am SHOCKED that REI and BD would write this… can you imagine taking a fall, sliding down an icy slope… perhaps tumbling with that ice axe clipped to the slinger at one end and girth hitched to your climbing harness????? Just because you have an axe and know how to self-arrest doesn't mean you will be successful. If you lose control and can't get it back you want to be as far away from that axe as you can get; not tied into it!!! (can you say, 'meat grinder'?)
re: slider, that looks okay..
re: paracord… too thin, will dig into your flesh
I bought a pre-sewn dynema climbing sling (about 1/2" wide) and cut it to the length that I wanted. Girth hitched it to the beaner hole in the axe head and made a wrist loop such that when extended my hand is in the right spot for self-arrest or using as a vertical ice tool. I have never felt the slack was in my way when holding the axe by the head, in walking position.
BillyDec 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm #2051562
To clarify, it is Cactus to Clouds, to, Clouds to Cactus.
10,800 feet up and then 10,800 feet down. About 34 miles round trip.Dec 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm #2051564
"To clarify, it is Cactus to Clouds, to, Clouds to Cactus."
Hey, wherever you're doing that cam2cam stuff is your business. Though among the cactus must be a bit thorny……Dec 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm #2051579Dec 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm #2051594
How's the sizing on the Kahtoolas, I'm like right in the middle.Dec 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm #2051625
If you are right on the border size-wise, you might want to base it on what shoes/boots you will be wearing. The Kathoola microspikes go on and off by stretching the rubber bit around and over your shoes. If you wear them with heavier hiking boots with heavy soles, then you might size up. If you are wearing them with light trail runner type footwear, then maybe size down.Dec 13, 2013 at 7:15 am #2053861
Kahtoola has 2 sizes for the KTS. Small/medium and medium/large, with both fitting a size 9. I usually wear a size 9 in the winter. I went with the larger size and am glad I did. The difference in length is adjusted by a sliding leaf spring that connects the step with the heel. In my case, it could be cut some to shave some weight. It's good to have extra length for larger winter shoes.
I went with the steel, I could see myself wearing down the aluminum. Not a lot of difference in weight. There's not much to them.
Thirty-two dollars off at Campsaver with free 2 day shipping.
Now I suppose an ice axe is in order. The BD Falcon or the Falcon Pro both look to be good choices. According to the REI guide I should have one about 70cm.
I think I would prefer a Petzl. I have poles for walking and I prefer the curved handle on the Petzls. Defiantly not 70 centimeters either. There's cheaper axes out there as well that may fit the bill. It will rarely be used and I'm not ice climbing, but it is safety equipment and needs to be good quality. Just looking for input.Dec 13, 2013 at 7:23 am #2053862
CAMP Corsa. 7.2 ounces.Dec 13, 2013 at 7:40 am #2053871
Do I really need to go the full 70 cm (closed fist to ankles) or would 50 or 60cm be sufficient?
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