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Kia ora all. Can people share their thoughts on using microspikes. Are they at all useful? Are they helpful for crossing slippery rocks? What are people's experiences of using them?
they are for walking on icy ground on ground that isn't very steep...
Heavily edited - I haven't worn microspikes & there are plenty posting now who have.
When people are traversing ice and rock, they don't generally take crampons on and off repeatedly because they keep alternating between ice and rock. I have done this many a time and you do learn to cope with the crampons on rock. Even in Brisbane we have climbed (called dry tooling) rock walls as high as twenty metres or more (like at Kangaroo Pt - across the river from the city) with axes and crampons. Some of the rubber items which stretch over boots to allow people to glacier walk for example ( a form of microspikes) are actually using the tungsten tips which you find on many a walking pole. These spikes are very effective on rock. You can ask anyone who has one of the poles. The cheaper poles tend to rely on steel and perhaps other alternatives. These are not as effective as the tungsten tips. The tips need to come into contact with the rock. It may not be as reliable with moss and other vegetation on the rock. It depends therefore on what you mean by slippery rocks.
Ive known a few people using them although Ive never bothered. My old tramping club even bought a few sets to lend out. They only sit a few mm below the heel of your boot so wont do much except on hard surfaces but they will grip rock etc although they will wear out quick but they are cheap
I’ve taken mine on many trips, whenever I think I’ll encounter snow. Never had any problems with them, never slipped on snow while wearing them. I’ve only used crampons a couple of times and to be honest have found the microspikes more reliable (they don’t come off my boots, while the crampons constantly pop off). Have worn them on rocks for short periods (between snow fields). Didn’t notice a difference with not wearing them.
@yarmoss are you refering to instep crampons or full crampons that you are using?
How interesting. I had to google to see what they were. I even see Grivel makes something similar "Rain" - a slip on device over the boots with spikes and chains. They don't look like instep crampons which have been about for awhile. On alpine tramps for possible hard snow/ice 'just in case' I've carried some Stubai aluminum crampons in preference to the Grivels - much lighter. I can see how these things could substitute the Stubai's or descending on steep tussock which i wouldn't use the Stubai's. Dunno, sometimes the control for the hazard can become a hazard. I would be interested to hear further accounts from those who have actually used them on backcountry tramps vs to shovel out snow from their driveway. They are affordable but more importantly look lightweight.
@waynowski Full crampons. No matter how hard I pulled on the straps to tighten they still would work themselves off at some stage, usually while walking on flat ground. Bad technique on my part, probably, but it certainly didn't instill confidence when on steep terrain.
@yarmoss the stiffer the boots the less issues usually
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Forum Gear talk
Started by Wanderwild
On 11 January 2020
Replies 18
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