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 Post subject: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:42 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
I hesitate to ask this question b/c I don't want to sound like a complete tool (also, I wasn't sure where to post this). Anyway, here goes: do any of you soft booters use Kahtoona MICROspikes, Yaktrax, or something similar for traction when hiking? This would be for times when you need a bit more traction (e.g. hardpack), but regular crampons would be overkill (I do own crampons for the steeper/icier times). I wear Salomon Malamutes and, as some of you know, they don't have a good sole for hiking. Pretty good boot otherwise. There have been a few times where I was hiking and couldn't get traction, but couldn't really kick decent steps, either. Crampons would have been overkill. Has anyone else ever been in this situation or am I just nuts? Either way, feedback is welcome. Thanks guys/gals.


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:35 am
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Location: Valdez, Alaska
I haven't used them on my snowboard boots, but I love my Microspikes. I don't think they're really in the same category as Yak Trax, which are more for walking around town, as far as I can tell.


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
I've hiked plenty in Microspikes though I have not used them with by board boots. They work great and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be a good option for snowboard boots. Yak Trax are really lame. Weak and lame, in fact. Microspikes are way better in every way. I say go for it.

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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Location: OR
I was just looking at the kahtoola site and checking out their microcrampons. http://www.kahtoola.com/hiking_crampons.php With the front points, this is exactly what I needed last weekend kicking steps in semi-breakable crust.

I guess it really depends on expected terrain and application but I don't think the microspikes would be very useful to myself as I'm not so worried about slipping flat-footed.

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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:42 am 
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I use the micro spikes and they work great for the less gnarly approaches on icey or wind-packed moderate slopes (30-40 degrees maybe?). Lots of ridge hiking on volcanic icey stuff were i ride. All my buddies have more expensive gnarlier crampons and i keep up with them just fine on 99% of our mountain (i just put up with the sissy crampon comments :cry: ). They slip easily onto soft boots...


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
Thanks everyone. Stuka, I was checking out the micro crampons, too, and they seem pretty cool. I bet they would do a great job. I'm just trying not to shell out that much money particularly since I have a regular pair of crampons already (I have the Grivel G10's). The micro crampons might be a happy medium, though (between full on cramps and micro spikes).

Zude, I'm glad that you've had success with them. Good to hear. That's what I was thinking I'd use them for: less gnarly approaches on hardpack, etc., when a full-on crampon would be overkill. Don't let your buddies' insults get to ya! Just remind them that you're covering the same ground that they are, but you didn't have to shell out money for a pair of cramps :D Or just tell them that you're so badass that you don't NEED regular cramps!


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:53 am 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
Ironically I just used my Microspikes with my snowboard boots for the first time the other day. We had to walk down the last 500 vert feet to the car over chunky boilerplate and sheet ice on the trail. They worked great. Regular crampons would have been total overkill. However, since the Microspikes are mostly held in place with the rubber rand, they can shift when doing steep climbing/descending/traversing, or even fall off in deep snow.

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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:08 pm 
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+1 for Microspikes, just make sure you get the sizing dialed in. I used yaktrax for many years and microspikes are years ahead and will serve you well on everything up to terrain where you absolutely need real crampons.


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
I have full-blown crampons plus the Kahtoola K10, aluminum KTS, and Microspikes. For general cruising around on solid snow or very low angle ice the Microspikes are awesome. They pack down tiny, fit over almost any footwear (my size mediums fit nicely over my size 10.5 Burton Driver X boots), and are very light. They are no good for front pointing or any long sidehills. The KTS aluminum are the next step up with 3/4 inch points and a nice strap system. I usually have my wife wear those. It is possible to bend the aluminum teeth and they will wear down if you walk on rock. The K10 crampons also fit my snowboard boots beautifully and are a great compromise when you need lots of traction but don't want the stress of full crampons where you need to be careful about how you walk so you don't trip yourself or shred your pants. They don't fold down nearly as small as the other Kahtoola offerings though. That is the one thing I don't like about them.

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Jones Solution 163W
Venture Zephyr 164/260
Never Summer SL 163X
Burton Spliff 148
Voile Mojo RX 166
BD, G3, and Gecko skins
Sparks!


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
philip.ak wrote:
However, since the Microspikes are mostly held in place with the rubber rand, they can shift when doing steep climbing/descending/traversing, or even fall off in deep snow.


I tried these Stabilicers for 'fun' and I noticed they shifted as well, but they are great when walking from the car across a slick path up to a cabin or something.
Image

But when it comes to ice, the real deal is the way to go.


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:04 pm 
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+1 microspikes, light years ahead of yaktrax, have had dozens of days with both.


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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:00 am 
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Location: Amsterdam
I don't use crampons much, so this might be a worthless idea, but i've been thinking of putting together a crampon that would use a Spark binding and Mr. Chomp as a base. All you really need is a simple metal piece for the front spikes and rear that slides in. It would be lighter and faster to put on if you're already in touring mode. And much easier to pack, because flat.

Does that make any sense?

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 Post subject: Re: MICROspikes or Yaktrax for soft boots?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:41 am
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Location: Altadena SoCal
Not to threadjack but. . .
ieism wrote:
putting together a crampon that would use a Spark binding and Mr. Chomp as a base. All you really need is a simple metal piece for the front spikes and rear that slides in. It would be lighter and faster to put on if you're already in touring mode. And much easier to pack, because flat.

Check out Jerry Scott's blog entry on his gear from a few years ago.
He attached old 'pons to 'pucks' (fashioned out of plastic cutting board) which slide into the slider plate.
Image
The finished product. (I imagine this would look lower, leaner, and lighter with modern Sparks)
Image

This just seems like a simpler binding-integrated crampon (although perhaps not lighter) than one assembled in the field; but I would love to see what you come up with.

Back to the OP - I got a friend who swears by Yaktrax for icy approaches. I think he's crazy but they've never failed on him.


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