Traction Aids

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Sun_Ray
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Traction Aids

Post by Sun_Ray » Apr 01 2008 12:53 pm

Looking for advice for add on to hiking shoes when walking on snow or ice. Will be going down South Kaibab on April 15th and it's been in the low/mid 20's at night. I want to be prepared in case there is ice or snow on the trail for the first mile or so. Any info that can be passed on will be appreciated. I've seen what is available at REI but not sure what style or brand to buy. I will have my poles with me.
Brian
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big_load
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by big_load » Apr 01 2008 12:59 pm

The NPS recommends instep crampons, which is what I brought to the GC, but they're not all that comfortable in many conditions. My favorite traction aid for ice walking is Stabilicers. Another one that's popular around here and a little more robust is Kahtoola Microspikes.

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hikeaz
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by hikeaz » Apr 01 2008 2:48 pm

They sell the instep crampons at Babbit's in GC Village. They are likely about $10-$15. You might consider waiting until you get to the Rim (and look at the trail) to decide. (At one time Baabbitt's used to RENT crampons - they still may ... 928- 638-2854)
For what it's worth....... I do a week+ backpack into GC every April, and have for over 10 years, and I've never needed crampons.

PS - There is one product not mentioned called Yak-Trax.
kurt

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big_load
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by big_load » Apr 01 2008 3:17 pm

hikeaz wrote: PS - There is one product not mentioned called Yak-Trax.
OK, I'll mention those a bit. I wouldn't hike past the end of my driveway in YakTrax. Mrs. big_load and I used to wear them on slick days (especially shoveling our steep driveway), but they break too easily. We usually get about one season out of them, probably not adding up to more than a few miles. I have seen people using them on the trail, though.

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Re: Traction Aids

Post by Dschur » Apr 01 2008 3:32 pm

We have hike the canyon 3 or 4 times every winter and use the instep crampons. They work great for people that will only need them once or twice a year. The only problem I have is going up hill they like to slide off the foot. So I ordered some instep crampons with straps that go around the back of the foot using webbing instead of the rubber band kind from Campmor and have used them now for 5 or so years. They aren't as comfortable if you are wearing tennis shoes or that kind of footwear but for hiking boots are fine. You just have to learn to hike a little bit different with a stamp/walk to stick them in a little bit.
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by fairweather8588 » Apr 01 2008 3:48 pm

Another vote for the instep crampons that can be bought at the gc, the stayed in place (even on running shoes) and added a lot of traction. However like Kurt mentioned, there most likely won't be any ice anyways
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by Davis2001r6 » Apr 01 2008 4:55 pm

I used yaktrax last december to hike the 3 miles down grandview to horseshoe mesa when the trail snow/ice covered. Yeah they aren't the most hardy items in my pack, but for S. Kaibab in middle of April were taking about 10-15 switchbacks.

I don't think you'll need them, bring a set of trekking poles and take your time for switchbacks, I can't see you needing them that long at all.

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hikeaz
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by hikeaz » Apr 02 2008 7:53 am

From an aquaintance....

"We came up S.K. Saturday morning (3/29). No snow, a small bit of ice in a few places but you had to look hard for it through the mule manure. Crampons definitely UNnecessary."
kurt

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Re: Traction Aids

Post by Sun_Ray » Apr 02 2008 8:08 am

Thanks everyone for the feedback on crampons. I'll watch the weather, but it looks like there is no need and if there is, I'll buy or rent in the area. Thanks again, Sun Ray.
Brian
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Re: Traction Aids

Post by joebartels » Apr 02 2008 11:53 am

hikeaz wrote:"We came up S.K. Saturday morning (3/29). No snow, a small bit of ice in a few places but you had to look hard for it through the mule manure. Crampons definitely UNnecessary."
Yep, kind of like this 3/30/08 photo on BA
http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=60085
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