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Old 10-16-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
BradleyC1316
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Microspikes?

I was in the high peaks last weekend and intended to hike Wright, Algonquin, Boundary and Iriquois. With the wetness and cold over night lows there was a little bit of ice on some of the exposed rock. The ice was mostly patchy and there was a lot of bare rock but it was still enough ice that finding good footing was tricky. Aftet getting home I was looking and found Kahtoola Microspikes. If there was all ice it looks like the Microspikes would be perfect, but how do they work when you are going back and forth between ice and bare rock, and how do the spikes hold up?
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
DSettahr
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I've not used microspikes, but I do know crampons are designed for the occaisional contact with rock. It does wear the crampon tips down a little bit, but you can resharpen them.

I would guess that using microspikes on open rock isn't a big deal. If you're worried, you can always take them off and put them back on again (annoying, but I sometimes do this with crampons for larger patches of open rock).

I'm sure someone else with better experience with microspikes will put in their 2 cents.
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
yellowcanoe
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I have had microspikes for two years. They seem to be sharp enough. We use them starting now in the Whites and for six months through spring. I would say we use them in conditions you describe a couple of times a week for three months total. They are handy on hardpack snow and ice trails. That of course would not apply to the High Peaks where you are required to wear snowshoes or skis IIRC..In the Whites we dont have that reg and use Kahtoola microspikes whenever we can. Thats pretty often unless are lucky to get right out there after a fresh dump.

I also use them to walk the dog three miles a day during most of winter. Half a mile of my route is on pavement and I do not take them off.

I think the first thing to let go would be the rubber. The spikes themselves are fantastic.
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
That of course would not apply to the High Peaks where you are required to wear snowshoes or skis IIRC..In the Whites we dont have that reg and use Kahtoola microspikes whenever we can.
The High Peaks regulation is that if you're hiking through 8 inches of snow or more, you need snowshoes or skis.

Realistically, if you're using traction equipment in conditions that require them (extensive ice, etc), and where using them doesn't put yourself in additional danger, nor does it ruin the packed path, you probably wouldn't get in trouble. The regulation is to prevent people from hiking with just boots or boots and crampons through soft snow, endangering themselves and others by ruining the packed snowshoe path. (Yes, there are people who try to go hiking in the High Peaks in winter with out and snowshoes, and who keep their crampons on their feet all the time!) I agree that it is a poorly written rule.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:28 PM   #5
TBPDPTI
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They are great quality items, and they are not at all expensive. I'd recommend a pair of them. I personally have not had any problems using them on any surface.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Perfect for the conditions you described. I always try to avoid walking on bare surface with them as much as I can, but they are so easy on/off. They are so inexpensive, if you wear them out no big deal. You'll probably have a failure in the rubber before the spikes.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyC1316 View Post
I was in the high peaks last weekend and intended to hike Wright, Algonquin, Boundary and Iriquois. With the wetness and cold over night lows there was a little bit of ice on some of the exposed rock. The ice was mostly patchy and there was a lot of bare rock but it was still enough ice that finding good footing was tricky. Aftet getting home I was looking and found Kahtoola Microspikes. If there was all ice it looks like the Microspikes would be perfect, but how do they work when you are going back and forth between ice and bare rock, and how do the spikes hold up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Perfect for the conditions you described. I always try to avoid walking on bare surface with them as much as I can, but they are so easy on/off. They are so inexpensive, if you wear them out no big deal. You'll probably have a failure in the rubber before the spikes.
Their ad says that they are good for bare rock as well. I do see reviews by people who say they work fine on bare rock. I've used them on and off trail in icy/crusty conditions and they are wonderful. I've used them on occasional rock surfaces, but I think if I had mostly rock, or at least more bare rock than ice, I would take them off. As with ice, I wouldn't trust them on very steep rock. Also, I've found they are less dependable on the descent, though serviceable.

It sometimes is a difficult judgment call as to what to wear and for how long. This can be a tricky time of year. Sometimes one might be tired, it's cold and windy, and you just don't feel like changing into or out of them. That's when trouble can happen.

Dick

Last edited by Dick; 10-18-2010 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the information
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:41 PM   #9
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They hold up pretty wel on rock. They are easy to take on & off though I hate having to do that.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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I used a pair of microspikes today on Cascade for the first time (thank you folks at EMS for suggesting them). They were great. I hardly knew they were there and i never slipped once. I used them on some bare rock and they seemed fine. I agree that they are not as effective on the descent but they did keep me from taking the fast lane down. I would highly reccomend them for anyone heading into the backcountry this time a year where there is a chance of ice.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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use the EMS 20% coupon now at the stores or online...
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:06 PM   #12
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I have used MicroSpikes and LOVE them. They take about 60 seconds to take on/off, about as complicated as putting on socks. Compared to crampons, which take a few minutes to take on/off, you'll use MS more often because they're so much more convenient.

Prior to using MS, I felt that I didn't need crampons because my MSR Lighting Ascents had great traction. Looking back on it, I'd have gotten crampons if MS hadn't been invented.

Others may disagree; we'll still be friends.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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Just got my first pair awhile back...looking forward to using them...before these I either used a pair of yak-trax....(which truly suck), or a set of Atlas crampons that worked good for steep ice but weren't much fun to leave on & walk with...it was a pain in the butt taking them off & puting them back on..
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #14
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Microspikes on my walking around the block shoes as of today. We dont get plowed until it really snows..and the inch is now packed down to a solid sheet of ice. Good base till May.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:27 PM   #15
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Microspikes were the preferred footwear today at the Marcy area search. Volunteers were not allowed to participate without some type of foot grip gear. Per ranger's instructions, I turned several people away, but given the option many ended up buying microspikes at the Loj store. They worked well, unless you are traversing a steep slope like we were all day today. The toe of the ms tends to slide around toward the uphill side of your boot.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #16
fritz
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M Spikes

I have been useing them for 2+ years. Most of our regular SAR team folks use em as well
We use them
just about year round for slippery leaf/ mud conditions (training & Searches)as well

I give them a AAA+++
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #17
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Micro-spikes = Killer app.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:15 PM   #18
Cory D
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I refer to them simple as the best hiker oriented invention of the last decade. Most of the copy cat type ones are also very good. If it was that damn easy to make things "like" it why the hell did it take so long in the first place!
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #19
Joe R
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I hiked Snowy Mountain on Saturday (11/27) with microspikes and wished I had my crampons instead (especially near the summit) Subsequently when I hiked Pillsbury on Sunday (11/28) I wore my crampons and what a difference ! Too bad it was white-out conditions when I got to the top of both firetowers, but oh well, what a weekend it was !
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:22 PM   #20
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I climbed over Colden from Lake Colden on Monday (22 NOV), and I think crampons would have been nice near the top (I've never used crampons before), I was really glad I had the Microspikes. They are absolutely awesome.
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