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microspike, crampon suggestions.
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scree ride
microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/05/2013 07:23:37 MST Print View

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.

David McBride
(VintageGent) - F

Locale: Galveston TX
Kahtoola, perhaps on 12/05/2013 07:31:00 MST Print View

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.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/05/2013 07:48:56 MST Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/20/2015 10:12:16 MDT.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
micros and pons on 12/05/2013 08:18:03 MST Print View

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.

McDowell Crook
(mcdcrook) - M

Locale: Southeast
spikes on 12/05/2013 08:25:49 MST Print View

I like instep crampons, personally:

jim logan
(jim_logan) - MLife
Microspikes on 12/05/2013 14:33:48 MST Print View

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!

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/05/2013 16:05:24 MST Print View

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.


Herman E
(hre814) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Microspikes on 12/06/2013 00:21:17 MST Print View

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.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
icetrekkers on 12/06/2013 00:44:06 MST Print View

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.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: icetrekkers on 12/06/2013 07:07:44 MST Print View

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. Louis

scree ride
Kahtoola microspikes on 12/06/2013 07:17:15 MST Print View

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.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 10:12:05 MST Print View

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.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 12/06/2013 12:18:54 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/06/2015 13:54:04 MDT.

scree ride
Re: Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 12:37:05 MST Print View

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.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 12:58:22 MST Print View


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.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 13:07:58 MST Print View

Google "C2C2C2C".

I never new ....

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Ice Axe Leash? on 12/06/2013 13:14:18 MST Print View


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.


Edited by rosyfinch on 12/06/2013 13:16:45 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 13:18:15 MST Print View

Google "C2C2C2C"

Oh my!

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.

Edited by ngatel on 12/06/2013 13:19:59 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: microspike, crampon suggestions. on 12/06/2013 13:23:04 MST Print View

"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......

scree ride
to clarify on 12/06/2013 14:13:17 MST Print View