Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Hiking in the Adirondacks
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
Thisisdan26
Member
 
Thisisdan26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 38
Beginner Winter High Peaks Questions

I have yet to attempt a High Peak in the winter and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for where to get started?

Also, I have been looking into getting a pair of crampons and came across the Kahtoola "Microspikes". Has anyone had any experience with these? Would they be sufficient for one of the "easier" peaks in winter?
Thisisdan26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,270
Just like in summer, Cascade and Porter are a good bet. Not too long of a hike, not too difficult, and just enough exposure on Cascade to give you a good idea of what it's like to be above treeline in winter, without putting yourself in serious danger if you aren't properly prepared.

Most of us who hike in winter do use microspikes, but they aren't really a replacement for crampons. Microspikes are great on packed snow and some ice. When you need crampons, though, you really need them- and attempting to use microspikes instead is a good way to put yourself in danger.

Usually, though, crampons aren't often needed on trail in the Adirondacks. This is especially true later on in the season, when deep snows have covered up all but the steepest sections of ice. This winter has been a bit icier than normal, but even with the unusual conditions, many of the high peaks can still be hiked just fine with snowshoes (provided they have good traction) and/or microspikes.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
Thisisdan26
Member
 
Thisisdan26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 38
I was just looking at Cascade as a possible #1 Winter Peak for me, so thank you for the confirmation there!
Thisisdan26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
Norm
Member
 
Norm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
IMHO-A great question for a beginner to ask is "What do you guys know/have/or do now, that you wished you knew when just starting out."

1. I think lifts on snow shoes are a huge advantage in the high peaks. 2. Success getting to summit is really all about the conditions. Equipment just allows you to get up in different condition. (read the forums about trail conditions).

FYI- Although I am a 46r W, I still don't have a set of micro-spikes.

Good luck and I look forward to reading about you adventures!
Norm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
rdl
Member
 
rdl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: East Aurora, NY
Posts: 643
If you're interested in spending a weekend getting schooled on winter camping/hiking consider the ADK Winter Mountaineering School - http://www.winterschool.org/. Too late for this year but I think they do a pretty good job of prepping you for spending time outdoors in the Adirondacks.

And just from my observations this past weekend -- I saw some nasty falls from people in microspikes. There was lots of ice this past weekend and very little snow to cover it.
rdl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
ADKeagle
Member
 
ADKeagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm View Post
IMHO-A great question for a beginner to ask is "What do you guys know/have/or do now, that you wished you knew when just starting out."

1. I think lifts on snow shoes are a huge advantage in the high peaks. 2. Success getting to summit is really all about the conditions. Equipment just allows you to get up in different condition. (read the forums about trail conditions).
I'd add #3: bring a set of hiking/trekking poles!

I've never been a fan or a user of hiking poles. First snowshoe in the High Peaks I did was to the top of Mt. Jo. Didn't think I'd need them until I turned around to go down. After descending probably 500 ft on my face, I realized the benefit of having them in the winter.
__________________
- Kevin
ADKeagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
yellowcanoe
Member
 
yellowcanoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,177
Some microspikes are better than others. I have a set of Kahtoolas for walking around our block with moderate ascents descents. I used them on the lake yesterday but the new snow was wet..and the snow balled up covering the spikes. Made some slippery going.

The Hillsound microspikes are beefier and the spikes longer. We carry them for winter hiking in the Whites..and they are marvelous. However we don't get above treeline and our ascents are relatively mild for the Whites (about 900-1000 vertical in a mile)..For steeper gradients I think you would want to add real crampons. However I do find ten points (Grivel) very tiring for hiking and use them only when needed. Microspikes are fine for more gradual gradients..

One of my fears re real crampons is falling anyway and having a spike grab mid slide causing an ankle injury.
yellowcanoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
jonnyrue
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
YakTrax

For a later season winter hike (Presidents Day weekend), would mountain snowshoes and yak trax be sufficient for a gentler incline like Algonquin or Phelps? I have purchased more gear than I probably should have this year and would like to avoid having to buy full-on crampons!
jonnyrue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
rdl
Member
 
rdl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: East Aurora, NY
Posts: 643
Impossible to say. The summit of Algonquin could be totally snow covered in which case snowshoes would be fine. Or could be solid ice, in which case I'd want crampons, or could be bare rock. Best advice would be to check at the visitors center for current conditions and make the call then whether to do Algonquin which has a relatively large and exposed summit or Phelps which has more of a sheltered summit.
rdl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
redhawk
Senior Resident Curmudgeon
 
redhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In My Memories
Posts: 10,931
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyrue View Post
For a later season winter hike (Presidents Day weekend), would mountain snowshoes and yak trax be sufficient for a gentler incline like Algonquin or Phelps? I have purchased more gear than I probably should have this year and would like to avoid having to buy full-on crampons!
I wouldn't feel secure with Yak Trax. Microspikes maybe. Theit what I use and I'm very happy with them.
__________________
"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson
redhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #11
PA Ridgerunner
Just a hiker...
 
PA Ridgerunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jay, NY
Posts: 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyrue View Post
For a later season winter hike (Presidents Day weekend), would mountain snowshoes and yak trax be sufficient for a gentler incline like Algonquin or Phelps? I have purchased more gear than I probably should have this year and would like to avoid having to buy full-on crampons!
There is a section Algonquin, just below tree line that is FAR from a gentle incline. Some are pretty nervous descending that when it's completely dry. You might be surprised at the steepness of Phelps, as well. Here's the thing, if you find that it's too steep and icy, you can always turn around.
__________________
Steve

Rule #6: Don't take yourself so G.D. seriously. There are no other rules. - Zander
PA Ridgerunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #12
KMAC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2
I carry microspikes, crampons and snowshoes most all the time.
KMAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 10:30 PM   #13
kaj1001
Member
 
kaj1001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 8
FWIW, I don't think I have ever heard anyone say that they are happy with Yak Trax for hiking. They're ok on icy surfaces that are flat and even, but they seem to slide sideways at any hint of a side slope. Also, the rubber tends to get chewed up by the metal rings. I climbed Wright peak in winter conditions with them once. I purchased Grivel G 10's before my next winter hike.
kaj1001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #14
Zach
Last seen wandering vaguely
 
Zach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orwell NY
Posts: 941
My mother uses yak trax to walk on the road when it is snowy or icy. They are fine for that and she feels much more comfortable not having to worry about falling. I agree that they would not be helpful on a trail or steep slopes.
Zach
Zach is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.