I just got through talking with the dude at Patroller Supply. Seems that he just got an order of Ten pairs of Verts in. I know some people were interested in these last year. He managed to get a few pairs in but the supplier/manufacturer does not put these out easily. I guess Verts are more of a hobby for this guy than a business. Anyway, ten pairs are up for grabs so if you want a pair now is the time to get 'em.
Do Verts work well in firm conditions, or they really only for steep & soft?? I've never been able to figure out if they can substitute for crampons on firm snow. I remember reading a Shasta TR where jimw was using them as everyone else ascended on crampons. Thanks..
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 pm Posts: 1850 Location: in between
Firm snow is a no go with Vert and IMO they won't substitue for crampons. But, in semi-firm snow they can be good for kicking steps, but can be problematic if you lose your footing with them on. With a little trial and error on safe slopes you can see their limits.
Aside from that, I think they kick ass and its a good tool to have, especially if you know you'll be doing short, steep lines. Also a good idea for deep days when topping out might be difficult. They set a staircase like nobody's business.
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:23 am Posts: 26 Location: Southern Kookifornia
Verts work fine for short, non-technical hard-pack pitches. You can kick steps in with the "teeth" on the front to get up icy stuff. I haven't broken a pair yet, but I can see the damage being done when I kick steps. For me, they work great for mixed conditions ascents where you'll find softer and harder stuff, with the majority not being rock hard.
I wouldn't recommend them for solid ice or hardpack slopes over 35ish degrees, as I have tried both was exteremely gripped (my ass, not my feet!) Also keep in mind that they are for ascent only - try to walk downhill in a pair and you will see what I mean very quickly.
Still, they weigh a lot less than crampons. If it is blue ice death sheet I don't want to be riding it anyway.