ned at mountaineducation.org
Mon Jan 11 21:40:37 CST 2016
Scott and Peter, thank you!
All that Scott said testifies to how the particular items he used on three thru hikes worked well for him. I’m not so much a trailrunner fan, because of the weight I must carry as an instructor and probably somewhat weak ankles, thus the leather boots, but for those reasons they work well for me. So you have both sides of the coin. Now, you must take many smaller hikes in the same conditions you expect to be in on the PCT and decide for yourself what “works” for you!
I love our Kahtoola hiking crampons, whether the KTS in aluminum or steel or the K-10, both types work perfectly, predictably, reliably, and are virtually indestructible (I’ve been using mine for the last 5 years, and you know I’m out there for 180 days on snow!).
My feet do not get wet unless I’m crossing a creek, and I’m in stiff, heavy, traditional leather boots. Keeping them sealed on the outside, oiled on the inside, and dried out after creek crossings has caused them to last the same 5 years! I don’t think trailrunners can say the same. Let’s see, that would be about 30 months of both summer and winter trails. Not bad! After crossing a creek, all I do is pour out the water, put on my socks, and walk them dry. If my socks get wet in the process, I change them and hang the wet ones on the back of my pack to dry. Easy.
Ned Tibbits, Director
Mountain Education, Inc.
ned at mountaineducation.org
"To minimize wilderness accidents, injury, and illness in order to maximize wilderness enjoyment, safety, and personal growth, all through experiential education and risk awareness training."
From: Scott Williams
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2016 10:46 AM
To: Peter Necarsulmer
Cc: Mike Garland ; Ned Tibbits ; mailto:Pct-L at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Crampons
Yes he is the man to answer, and I'm sure Ned will chime in at some point. In 2010, a high snow year, I used Kahtoola Kts Aluminum Crampons. Two of us had these, and they were our favorite pieces of gear on the hike. We used them daily for almost 5 weeks. The others in our group had Kahtoola microspikes and those worked well also. The main differences are that the microspikes can possibly roll under your foot when you're on a steep and icy slope as they are metal spikes on an elastic web, whereas the Kts provide a solid platform under the heal of the shoe as with a traditional crampon so you can kick in steps and heal plunge more effectively, and they can't roll. The other difference is that the microspikes are a few ounces lighter. The Kts cramps have the front two spikes turned down so you don't stab your ankle when walking long distances. Traditional cramps have these front spikes straight out to facilitate serious icy climbing, something you hopefully won't have to do. They are built for walking.
In our group, all but one of us traversed the very snowy Sierra of that year in trail runners and loved how fast they dried after crossing streams and rivers. The one pair of boots in the group stayed wet much longer and proved a very tough pair of shoes to put on in the frozen mornings. We all eventually got into putting our shoes into plastic bags and bringing them into our sleeping bags about 3am so as to give them time to thaw out. One morning just after Mather Pass, camping on snow, the boots proved so difficult to put on, our good buddy almost brought out his stove to warm them and get them pliable enough to get his feet into them. Every other person I saw that year in the snow was using trail runners. Much of the experience of the Sierra in early season is not just the snow, but the constant fording of swollen streams, and for most of us, having shoes that dried quickly was a real benefit.
I used the same set up on the CDT in the early season San Juans and they worked just fine, and in mid March on the AT when we had several days of zero degree weather and a good dump of snow in the Smokies. My partner suffered frostbite to his fingers when his gloves got wet, but no one I met had any problems with their feet being cold in trail runners even then. Mine were insulated by the load of powder I accumulated with each step in the 3 foot drifts.
But, if you want the best for late season Sierra snow get the Kahtoola Kts Aluminum Cramps. That is unless there's something new out there. Maybe someone will pipe up with a better solution. But at this point in the year, who knows what the snowpack will be by June. If El Nino proves true to it's usual nature, it may bring lots of late season warm storms and you may have lots of dirt to walk on. But even with those, the higher passes will be icy I'm sure.
On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 9:50 AM, Peter Necarsulmer <necarsulmer at mac.com> wrote:
Ned is the man to answer. He's written extensively and very smartly on the best footwear for snow hikers.
necarsulmer at mac.com
> On Jan 11, 2016, at 6:41 AM, Mike Garland <mikegarland1957 at icloud.com> wrote:
> What type of crampons are recommended, should I be wearing hiking boots or stay with a trail runner tennis shoe, because of high snowfall
> Sent from my iPad
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