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 Post subject: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
I saw some mention of the new Spark Verts http://www.sparkrandd.com/products/2012-verts/
over on the thread about the new spark website, but I am looking for more info.

Doubt anyone has gotten their hands on these yet, so my questions are more about the general concept of this type of equipment.

I see these as useful when there is deep snow and you want to get up something that is too steep to skin without post holing. But are these at all useful on harder surfaces? It does not seem like they would be.

Seems like if you may be encountering a range of conditions you would want your splitboard + skins for regular touring, these for really steep powdery climbs, mr chomps (or another splitboard crampon) for steepish hard pack, and regular crampons + mountaineering tool(s) for really steep hard pack / icy slopes. Thats a lot of gear to be carrying.

Which of those pieces of gear do people think is the least essential? What are people leaving at home most of the time? Other thoughts?

Thanks,
Josh


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:15 pm
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Location: mountains of portland, oregon
people have been using the verts for years, and they work for exactly what you'd think they work for. not on icy surfaces.

depends on recent conditions and choice of terrain for what you should bring.

for the most part my runs usually include skins, strap on crampons and ice-ax. although i am usually riding cascade volcanoes. skin till you can't then crampon it.

utah for example- has real light snow that doesn't stick to steep terrain. there you'd probably take skins, and some verts. skin till you can't then vert it.

if you choose to leave something at home, i'd think either the mountaineering stuff or the verts. these are for more specialized uses and conditions.

skins and mr. chomps can handle most runs and conditions a splitboarder would be interested in.

if you're doing some super long tour with varied terrain and conditions, 2.5 pounds for verts is not justified enough for me to carry it. longer you go= less base weight you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:50 am 
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Posts: 637
I've been raving about verts since I got a pair last year. They are awesome for going up, not really for long flats, hiking on rocks, or hard ice. I am in CO and haven't really been on any snow that was too hard packed for them. They are great for kicking steps up steep couloirs here in the winter. Spring freeze thaw, I'd probably bring crampons.

They are another tool in the quiver, they definitely have a place and I might consider buying these before buying a split if I was a kid looking to get into the bc for cheap. They are way better than snowshoes and way cheaper than a split. I have a few tours that I do that I prefer bringing the verts and a solid board. There's just something nice about going straight up the steeps instead of switchbacking all day.

Edit to add: I can't really think of a need for carrying Verts and a split ever. In the case of a long tour to a couloir, I'd probably bring the cramps.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
I bought a pair last year, but I've been wanting some for a long time, and they have great float even for a 200 lb guy like me. If you look at the top of the main page here on SB for galleries people have modded them to include metal spikes or even adapters for teleboots etc. But why pounce with extra weight of bindings. These vets look like a good deal with the lightrail base plates already installed instead of the yellow straps. Also they fit nicely in the backpack or in the car. Also I've used them to unbury my car ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:18 pm
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Location: reno
Got a pair of these from Will at Spark R&D and although I have not used them yet, I am glad to add them to my gear stash. Last season would've been a lot easier following BGnight up those steep waist deep powdery couloirs with them on my feet. :bananas:

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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:03 pm
Posts: 221
Location: British Columbia
Having never used them or seen them, I am wondering what makes them better than a good pair of snowshoes like MSR or the like. Seems like they would be lighter and smaller which is good. Although maybe not lighter with bindings attached.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
I have MSR snowshoes and they are so heavy. you are carrying your split board bindings regardless.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Location: Denver
KGN wrote:
Having never used them or seen them, I am wondering what makes them better than a good pair of snowshoes like MSR or the like. Seems like they would be lighter and smaller which is good. Although maybe not lighter with bindings attached.


no pivot, = much better at climbing steep snow

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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 4958
Location: California
shredgnar wrote:
I'd probably bring the cramps.


In powder??? :scratch: :wink:

Not saying to always carry verts when you're splitting...but I can think of tons of trips when they are good to have with your split. :thatrocks:


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
HikeforTurns wrote:
KGN wrote:
Having never used them or seen them, I am wondering what makes them better than a good pair of snowshoes like MSR or the like. Seems like they would be lighter and smaller which is good. Although maybe not lighter with bindings attached.


no pivot, = much better at climbing steep snow


I'm thinking of adding something for my Karakoram binders so I can make quick a quick accent with the Verts with adjustable angle :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:44 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Cupertino, CA
fitit wrote:
HikeforTurns wrote:
KGN wrote:
Having never used them or seen them, I am wondering what makes them better than a good pair of snowshoes like MSR or the like. Seems like they would be lighter and smaller which is good. Although maybe not lighter with bindings attached.


no pivot, = much better at climbing steep snow


I'm thinking of adding something for my Karakoram binders so I can make quick a quick accent with the Verts with adjustable angle :-)


You could get a second set of ride modes to attach to the verts to accomplish the same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
Yeah, except it would be nice to have the option to have a pseudo climbing heal like MSR's ascent snowshoes


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 Post subject: Re: Spark Verts
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:27 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Denver
With the way Verts work a climbing heel isn't going to gain you much if anything, in fact you may lose with such a device on Verts. The whole idea behind them is that they cup the snow and compact it down in columns. That is why they are fixed attachments. You just kick in and climb up with them. I've also never felt like I wanted a climbing heel when using them. To each his own though.


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