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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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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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JustJoe wrote:
Bob's a very safe hiker. :roll: :lol:


Image

Yes Joe, you're clearly the authority on hiking footwear. :roll: :P :lol:

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:41 am
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Mountain Maestro
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I agree with most folks here, that you need the full monty for many of the Winter peaks. I tend to air on the side of caution, and generally bring my crampons for most Winter assaults. I just leave them strapped to my pack for most of the Winter.
There are certain trails/peaks that come to mind: the Chimney on Osceola, the Franconia Ridge, Northern Presi's and any Winter (and Spring) trip on Mt. Washington. Wind blown snow can turn to ice in a hurry.

Microspikes/snowshoes would have been suicide on this hard packed ice/snow:
Monroe/Washington trip this past April
Image
Image

Sometimes, all it takes is just one slip, and you're on your butt sliding off to another dimension......

stay thirsty
Petch

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:48 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Petch

It looks like a fall in that second picture isnt going to send you sliding far. Ouch, my tailbone hurts looking at those rocks.


I went for the micro spikes in the quiz because I dont have good snowshoes yet. I have the old Yukon Charlie's that I have been waiting to break. They aren't breaking and this year I get new ones regardless so I can muscle my way up all 48 in one winter. My goal!

Happy Trails
Heather

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:55 pm
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that picture of Bob is too funny! :lol: I'm glad I asked about winter hiking as I (for some reason... lack of experience maybe :roll: ) assumed late fall/early spring would be easier than in the middle of winter. Opened up my eyes!

Allison

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:41 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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Yup, middle of winter is definitely easier. The descents are the best - no looking for roots or rocks to trip you up, if the snowpack is deep enough. You could still slip and fall, but would you rather slip and fall on ice/exposed rocks, or on a pile of snow? :wink:

And by the way....I had put on my Microspikes that day because we needed to step on some ice before getting to the ledges. I didn't take them off afterwards because I'm lazy. :lol:

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:06 pm
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If you are pursuing the winter 48 patch, the calendar prerequisites for the patch almost guarantee (but not 100%) good snow cover, and that you can get away with snowshoes.

Tim

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:20 pm
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I only recently started winter hiking, but second the notion that you need all three. I actually haven't used my crampons yet, but on a January hike up Jackson, there was a 10 ft or so sheet of ice. I had my spikes on, and barely made it up the sheet. One foot slipped but I caught myself and powered up. The next person, who also had on spikes, started sliding down and had the person behind her not had crampons on, they both would have slid off a ledge. Probably not to their death, but probably to a broken leg or arm. After recovering, she was hauled up by the folks with crampons. Better safe then sorry. You may not need them that often, but when you do...


Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:55 pm
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heather1377 wrote:
Petch

It looks like a fall in that second picture isnt going to send you sliding far. Ouch, my tailbone hurts looking at those rocks.


I went for the micro spikes in the quiz because I dont have good snowshoes yet. I have the old Yukon Charlie's that I have been waiting to break. They aren't breaking and this year I get new ones regardless so I can muscle my way up all 48 in one winter. My goal!

Happy Trails
Heather


Heather,
Yes, the comment was more for the first picture. I remember that day very well. That snow/ice was wicked hard packed. The second picture would definately give you a bad case of "Ash Rash".... 8)

Petch

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:24 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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Here's what can happen if you're above treeline in the Presis without adequate traction. Note the reference to "micro crampons" in the article, which were most likely Microspikes.

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroo ... 32910.html

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Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:27 am
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heather1377 wrote:
I have the old Yukon Charlie's that I have been waiting to break.


Hahaha, I break yours if you will break mine.

My Yukon Charlies were inexpensive and the right purchase back when I wasn't sure about winter hiking and backpacking.

They still work fine on the local golf courses and rail trails, but I would love to have an excuse to buy some with better traction and bindings.

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Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:37 pm
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Here is a good anecdote to show how all this works:

I did Monroe with friends one winter. Silentcal was out on his (IIRC) second or third winter hike. He had microspikes, but just in case I brought my sisters crampons for him to borrow just in case. While adjusting them for him at the car I accidentally snapped the piece that makes the adjustment for foot size. So since he had no crampons to use, just his microspikes, I decided to leave my crampons behind as a show of solidarity. :wink: So we get up to the hut and start for Monroe. We notice on the climb up how slick and crusty it is. We got up just fine, but getting down was slow and scary for ust me and Jim. Everyone else was using their crampons and having no issue. It was one of those times I wish I had my crmapons when I did not. We DID get down without injury, yes. But it would have been MUCH more safe to have the crampons.

So like I said, 95% of the time microspikes will work. Yes you will probably hardly ever need your crampons much. But there will come a time when you DO need them, and believe me, I speak from experience, you are going to thank yourself for carrying them when that time comes.

Brian


Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm
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Great thread. Last year was my first year at attempting hiking in the winter. I bought microspikes and used them quite a bit. Near the end of the season I bought a pair of MSR Ascents. I love them. They served me well on a hike to Kinsman pond. I experienced many differing conditions as most noted before me here and I know I do not have the gear or experience yet to head above the treeline into rocks and ice. I fell on the manning trail on cardigan and slid for a good 20'. The only reason I stopped sliding was because there was a flat spot at the bottom of the fall/slide. The microspikes don't have anything in the toe so as soon as I stepped forward my back foot rolled towards the toe and I slid/fell. That accelerating feeling was a little unnerving lol.

One problem I have been trying to solve by reading posts here and searching the web is what would be the proper footwear. I had some cold toes when wearing my summer hikers, Asolo TPS 520 GTX's even with toe warmers, sock liners and heavy wool socks. My northface chillcats are great for shoveling and light snowshowing but they aren't very well insulated and they are pretty clunky. It seems for a better winter boot I either need a boot that serves snoeshowing or a boot that serves mountaineering because I haven't found one that would be good for both. So for the moment I guess I will go with a well insulated snowshoeing boot and stay below the treeline.

Any thoughts?

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:56 pm
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Cruzin1a wrote:
Great thread. Last year was my first year at attempting hiking in the winter. I bought microspikes and used them quite a bit. Near the end of the season I bought a pair of MSR Ascents. I love them. They served me well on a hike to Kinsman pond. I experienced many differing conditions as most noted before me here and I know I do not have the gear or experience yet to head above the treeline into rocks and ice. I fell on the manning trail on cardigan and slid for a good 20'. The only reason I stopped sliding was because there was a flat spot at the bottom of the fall/slide. The microspikes don't have anything in the toe so as soon as I stepped forward my back foot rolled towards the toe and I slid/fell. That accelerating feeling was a little unnerving lol.

One problem I have been trying to solve by reading posts here and searching the web is what would be the proper footwear. I had some cold toes when wearing my summer hikers, Asolo TPS 520 GTX's even with toe warmers, sock liners and heavy wool socks. My northface chillcats are great for shoveling and light snowshowing but they aren't very well insulated and they are pretty clunky. It seems for a better winter boot I either need a boot that serves snoeshowing or a boot that serves mountaineering because I haven't found one that would be good for both. So for the moment I guess I will go with a well insulated snowshoeing boot and stay below the treeline.

Any thoughts?


check out this thread: http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=3534

and this one:http://viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38148

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:54 am
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Peak Bagger
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BobC wrote:
Here's what can happen if you're above treeline in the Presis without adequate traction. Note the reference to "micro crampons" in the article, which were most likely Microspikes.

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroo ... 32910.html


I was on Madison that day. In fact, the SAR folks were staging in the parking lot when we got back out to the Valley Way Trailhead, and they asked if we had been on Adams and perhaps seen the hiker in question, which we hadn't. Anyway, the trail from the hut to the summit of Madison was packed snow covered by a hard, thick, sheer coating of ice. Microspikes would not bite into the hard ice at all, so we used crampons, which worked fine. Most people were using crampons that day. JP


Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:34 am
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I have had good luck with my Columbia Ice Dragon IIs - 600g, -45, waterproof, leather. They snowshoe well, microspike well, and accept a flexible crampon ala Grivel G10. They are comfortable and didn't break the bank.

Tim

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:52 am
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