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Walking spikes.

Walking spikes.


Postby Quixoticgeek » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:59 pm

Am in the market for a set of walking spikes for winter hiking.

I already have a set of Kahtoola Nanospikes which I use for walking in the City when the roads have turned into ice rinks.

For mountain use, I've narrowed down the choices to two:

  • Hillsound trail crampon ultra - 18 spikes - 424g (size m)
  • Kahtoola Microspikes 12 spikes - 394g

Does anyone have any experience of these two sets of spikes ? Are there any others I should be considering?

Cheers

J
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby tenohfive » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:34 pm

Pogu do something similar. But my understanding is that Hillsounds are closer to a true crampon than microspikes, be that good or bad.

I'm curious to hear what people have to say, particularly anyone who has used them for running in.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby dav2930 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:46 pm

I have a pair of Kahtoola microspikes (the older 10pt version which I find perfectly adequate, though the 12pt ones will be even better, i.e. at the heel). They are very useful in lean, icy conditions and on popular paths which can become very icy when snow is compacted under many boots. But for general snow you really need proper crampons which have longer spikes and anti-balling plates. Snow will ball up badly on Microspikes, which can become quite hazardous if not kept in check.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Michael Thomson » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:15 pm

I've used both, and they are both good in the right conditions.

The Hillsounds are my personal favourites, they are perfect for walks in lean conditions or in situations where the snow is well consolidated.

They are pretty poor on steep ground, so route choice has to be a factor too. Hillsound do a Trail Crampon Pro which is a bit more versatile in that respect, as is the Kahtoola KTS.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Ltuddenham » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:58 pm

MT, Excuse my ignorance but what does "lean conditions" mean?
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby dav2930 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:13 pm

Ltuddenham wrote:MT, Excuse my ignorance but what does "lean conditions" mean?

Basically, icy with only a thin layer of snow. Some of the classic gully climbs (e.g. Central on Great End) are a grade harder in 'lean' conditions because there isn't enough snow to bank out the steep pitches of ice.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Michael Thomson » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:04 pm

What dav said.

This weekend past is a good example, in the west the snow cover was light, where trails had been heavily traversed it had been compacted and then refrozen along with some meltwater that had pooled and refrozen. That led to sections that were pretty icy in patches above 800m or so. You get iced rocks and paths, but no major snow as such. You can use full crampons, but it gets awkward covering the rocky bits and it's a good way to blunt them pretty quickly. Perfect conditions for microspikes.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:53 pm

Try this from a few years back when we were first exposed to the genius that is/are microspikes: this discussion is especially good as it has me in it.... :wink: As with any great invention, it leaves you thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?"

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2058
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby dav2930 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:23 pm

That's a great thread Caberfeidh - especially your part in it! :lol:
I wore my Microspikes on Sharp Edge a couple of years ago when it was covered in thick ice but not much snow; they made the going so much easier than full crampons would have done. They certainly are a great invention and have become a winter essential I'd say. Just think how rich you'd be if you'd got in first!
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby prog99 » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:12 am

Michael Thomson wrote:What dav said.

This weekend past is a good example, in the west the snow cover was light, where trails had been heavily traversed it had been compacted and then refrozen along with some meltwater that had pooled and refrozen. That led to sections t

Or the glen clova hotel area last weekend.
I think the snow had fallen briefly as rain and then frozen as the temperature dropped. Lethal!
Walking pole very helpful for 3 points of contact.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Ltuddenham » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:33 pm

Helpful discussion.

And I just realised that the Quiraing featured in Caberfeldh's older posts, is used as one of the backdrops in the recent film adaptation of Macbeth, and looks stunning in the film.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:29 pm

Ltuddenham wrote:Helpful discussion. And I just realised that the Quiraing featured in Caberfeldh's older posts, is used as one of the backdrops in the recent film adaptation of Macbeth, and looks stunning in the film.


That area has been in a few movies; Stardust, Snow White And The Huntsman, the weird Ridley Scott "Aliens" one called Promethius, and of course Edward Woodward flies past in the opening scenes of The Wicker Man... I keep looking out for hillwalkers in the background of the movie set. It would be rather embarrassing to go to the movies and suddenly recognise yourself on the silver screen, squatting behind a boulder with your pants around your ankles, missed by the film editors but suddenly famous/infamous and ridiculed the world over... :shock:
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:43 pm

*Much like the infamous "Last Of The Mohicans Crisp Packet" missed during filming of a t.v. series shot in Glen Trool in the 1960s/70s. Only worse. Much, much worse...
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby IanEzzi » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:15 pm

Can vouch for microspikes in compact and icy conditions, used them for running in too when I lived in Vancouver.

However, can ALSO vouch for them balling up quite quickly, had a stupid slide in Crianlarich last winter when they had balled up in soft wet snow, would suggest they were worse than no crampons in some conditions.
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Re: Walking spikes.

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:40 am

IanEzzi wrote:Can vouch for microspikes in compact and icy conditions, used them for running in too when I lived in Vancouver. However, can ALSO vouch for them balling up quite quickly, had a stupid slide in Crianlarich last winter when they had balled up in soft wet snow, would suggest they were worse than no crampons in some conditions.


Agreed; everyone who recommends them says the same thing - they are great under certain conditions, i.e. icy, slippy paths but definitely not for use on soft snow and/or sloping hill ground. A great bit of kit for the long hike in along ice-rink style tracks. The well-used track from the Linn O'Dee car park up to Derry Lodge springs to mind. It gets like oiled glass, and tottering along on crampons totally kills your feet and blunts your expensive crampons. The trouble comes when people try to hedge their bets and use the microspikes where they should be using crampons.
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