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 Winter hiking footwear 

Which do you use when hiking in winter conditions?
Microspikes!  11%  [ 1 ]
Crampons!  0%  [ 0 ]
Snowshoes!  89%  [ 8 ]
Something else! (post a comment)  0%  [ 0 ]
Brrrr-I don't hike in the winter!  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 9

 Winter hiking footwear 
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:44 am
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What do you guys make of these?

http://www.backcountry.com/la-sportiva-makalu-mountaineering-boot-mens?CMP_SKU=LSP0092&MER=0406&CMP_ID=DM_CRT001&mv_pc=r350&mr:referralID=244ca6ac-1135-11e1-9866-001b2166becc

They seem great for the crampons but look like they would be too stiff for snow shows. Also I am finding there are crampons that mount two different ways. some clip on and some strap on correct?

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:36 am
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Cruzin1a wrote:
They seem great for the crampons but look like they would be too stiff for snow shows.


Not quite sure what you mean by that. If you are ever going to have a problem it is shoes-to-crampons, not shoes-to-snowshoes. The binding system on snowshoes are prety much adaptable to anything you can fit you foot into except perhaps the widest and bulkiest of pack boots (which tend to be way too warm for hiking anywyas.

Quote:
Also I am finding there are crampons that mount two different ways. some clip on and some strap on correct?


Yes. The straps are designed to fit most boots. The step-ins (clip on as you say) require a stiff boot with a rear welt. In general the step-ins require plastic boots, which are another whole leauge of boot.

Brian


Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:49 am
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The boots I listed are a full steel shank that would accept step in crampons but I thought that might make them kinda stiff for snoeshowing. I guess the reason I brought all this up is that I experienced an icy section on Cardigan and that's a fairly small mountain. So it seems like ice is in my future if I am going to hike in the winter. I want what everyone wants, a boot that does it all lol.

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:03 pm
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Northface Artic Hedgehog
These seem nice but I don't see a lug on the back for the snowshoe strap.
http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-arctic-hedgehog-tall-boot-mens

Merrell Men's Whiteout 8
These have the snow show lug and look pretty nice.
http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/21453M/0/Mens/Whiteout-8-Waterproof?dimensions=0

It looks lie the strap on crampons would do for now. The next step would be learning how to use crampons. Feet covered in metal spikes might warrant an education :0)

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:31 pm
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Cruzin1a wrote:
The boots I listed are a full steel shank that would accept step in crampons but I thought that might make them kinda stiff for snoeshowing. I guess the reason I brought all this up is that I experienced an icy section on Cardigan and that's a fairly small mountain. So it seems like ice is in my future if I am going to hike in the winter. I want what everyone wants, a boot that does it all lol.


I think you'll be fine with those Merrell boots for crampons and snowshoeing (all the boots you listed would be ok - I personally like the Merrells though).

As for ice, you'll actually find it to be less of a problem in winter. I assume you're taking about a recent hike to Cardigan. This time of year (and also in the spring) you see a lot more ice on the trails because if it rains, it'll freeze overnight, and if it snows, sometimes it warms up enough to melt the snow, and then guess what? Yep, more freezing overnight. In the winter, at least below treeline, you'll encounter a lot more snow and a lot less ice. Above treeline, where the sun shines a lot more on the snow, you can get some amount of melting and re-freezing.

As for crampons...see other posts on this forum regarding them. I've done 4 seasons of winter hiking, including 19 4000-footers, and I've only used my crampons once (and that was just to try them out). They're still good to have as a "just in case" item, but with the agressive snowshoes that are out these days, and the availabilty of "in-between" traction aids such as Microspikes, crampons aren't quite as important. But if you go above treeline, bring them, just in case. And try them out in your backyard to get a feel for them first - that includes learning how to strap them on with your gloves on. You don't want to practice that out on a mountain in zero-degree weather.

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:34 pm
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Thanks for all the info. I re-read some of the threads and read some of the ones I hadn't seen. All great info. Yeah, the Cardigan hike was last year and there was several days of warmth and refreeze. That particular day there was a bout a 3 to 4 inch drop of fresh snow and I remember mentioning to my friend we might encounter some hidden ice in the rockier places and we did. We passed an AMC group on the top of Firescrew which was where we decided to turn around due to the recent fall I took and also the time of day. One of the guys leading the AMC group was over six feet tall and had crampons on. He was so big and tall he looked like a sasquatch lol. I am a member of the AMC and might attend one of their winter hiking series at Cardigan. Thanks again for the great info!

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:59 pm
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He may have just been teaching people how to use crampons even if they weren't absolutely necessary. I saw something similar once (in terms of AMC training)...I was coming back down from N. Kinsman on a January hike, and myself and the two guys I was with were just wearing snowshoes. We ran into a group of about 10 people being shown how to kick-step into the side of a slope with the toes of their hiking boots, even though you clearly could have just walked up the slope in bare boots. It was kind of comical.

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:03 pm
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