Author Topic: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?  (Read 610 times)

humansnail

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microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« on: 20:47:49, 21/01/19 »
 I already own crampons and an ice axe but was looking to add a pair of microspikes to my winter collection. Last year I spent a fair few weekends practicing walking on different gradients using crampons, self arresting and cutting steps. That was all great fun but............ getting to the hills/steeper parts of the hills -  not so much.
On quite a few occasions when crampons would have been overkill (walking along a valley/up a gentle slope etc) I slipped/fell.
I'm assuming that microspikes are what is needed for the approach to the “steep bits”.
As I already own crampons, I won't be using the microspikes in particularly challenging/difficult situations. I'm looking to practice my ability to walk in crampons as much as I can, so I will be getting them on at the first opportunity!
So, is it necessary to shell out 40 quid plus for some khatoolas or will something cheaper do the job? Amazon throws up many options with good reviews for about half the price.

Please don't think I'm taking winter walking lightly, I'm certainly not. I've been caught out before and it was pretty scary! :o Lesson learnt! ;D   However, I'm always skint, don't care about name brands and always looking for a bargain – so if you have used and approved something cheaper, I'm all ears! ;D If the consensus is no, I'll wait it out and count the pennies a bit longer.
p.s – sorry for the long post. I just didn't want anyone to think I was planning on buying a £5 pair of spikes and heading up sharp edge in my shorts and t shirt! I'm just wondering if it's necessary to spend £40+ for the period of the walk before the crampons go on.
Thanks,
HS

April

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: 21:21:08, 21/01/19 »
You might want to try Grivel Ran? I plan to get these when I need to replace my Pogu spikes. The reviews seem to be ok and Grivel is a trusted name.

We use microspikes more than our crampons most of the time in winter, it is worth buying a decent pair that will last, the Ran are cheaper than the Pogus or Kahtoolahs. That said, we've not needed to use either this year as yet  :(

https://www.alpinetrek.co.uk/grivel-ran-snow-spikes/
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

richardh1905

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: 22:24:32, 21/01/19 »

A good article on microspikes here -


https://www.thebmc.co.uk/using-micro-crampons-and-mini-spikes-for-winter-hill-walking


I've never used them myself - I use heavy boots in winter conditions that are excellent for kicking steps, and are stiff enough to take crampons if need be.
« Last Edit: 07:57:12, 22/01/19 by richardh1905 »

motorlaunch

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: 22:50:11, 21/01/19 »
I use a pair of Yaktrak Pro for walking on icy ground. They are quite adequate for the walk in.

pdstsp

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #4 on: 08:37:10, 22/01/19 »
I use Yaktrak Extreme on easy ground and find them very useful - they are not a substitute for a full crampon, but on occasion they are great for giving a little more grip.  They kept me upright on a couple of walks back from apres ski last week too .. hic.

April

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #5 on: 08:47:43, 22/01/19 »
A good article on microspikes here -
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/using-micro-crampons-and-mini-spikes-for-winter-hill-walking

I have a slight issue with the article as it says people use microspikes as an alternative to crampons. Many people use them in addition to crampons and take both microspikes and crampons out with them and use either depending on the conditions. We have done this for years.

For instance, once we were going up Ullock Pike the path had compacted snow and ice on it. Crampons would have been overkill, so we put microspikes on and were able to walk on the frozen path. We saw 4 blokes with B2 mountain boots on trampling the heather to the side of the path where the ice and snow hadn't been compacted to avoid slipping. They had ice axes with them and I assume crampons in their packs. If they had used microspikes on this part of the route the heather would not have been damaged. A lot of damage must be caused by walkers doing this avoiding ice and snow thing every year in the winter, widening paths and killing off heather.

The OP is right, microspikes are handy to have along with crampons and the OP, humansnail, is aware of what each should be used for. I wouldn't be without mine in the winter and it looks like I might get to use both this weekend  O0
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

richardh1905

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #6 on: 15:29:42, 22/01/19 »
Good point about erosion, April - I suppose that you must be much more conscious of the effects of so many trampling feet in the Lakes.

humansnail

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Re: microspikes - kahtoola alternatives?
« Reply #7 on: 20:53:15, 22/01/19 »

Thank you for all of your replies. The grivel ones look just what I was after, I'm glad I asked! O0 Thanks April, I'll be ordering those in the next few days. Also, thank you to everyone else who posted suggestions and info, I also had a look at the yaktrak ones that were recommended too.