[pct-l] Snow

gary_schenk at verizon.net gary_schenk at verizon.net
Tue Dec 22 12:42:02 CST 2015

 Have you ever tried to arrest with the whippet?


On 12/22/15, Richard Brinkman wrote:

Greetings PCT Community! 

I just wanted to share my experience with regard to snow for those planning to hike the trail next year or in the future. I hiked this year...a very low snow year. For the Sierra, I decided to use Hillsound trail crampons after hearing that microspikes sometimes roll off/around the shoe, but the 'trail crampons' I used were essentially the same as microspikes, and I had the same issue in the limited time I used them. Granted, that was a steep slope, but they still rolled up on my shoe. In a normal to heavy snow year, I would want a true crampon despite the few extra ounces. 

In place of an ice axe, I used a Black Diamond Whippet (trekking pole with ice axe mounted to the top of the grip). I hate stopping to get something out of my pack, and for that reason might think of just pushing through a possibly sketchy situation. 

I sent the 'trail crampons' home at Tulomne but maintained the Whippet through Sonora Pass, and was glad I did. Even in a low snow year there was still quite a bit of snow south of Sonora Pass. I fortunately never had to use it, but again was glad I had it with me for that section, especially since I was hiking in Altra Lone Peaks. I really didn't notice any extra weight with the Whippet, just a life saving device in my hand at all times.

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