Loading Notifications...

OPINION: Microspikes - Use with Care, or Not At All

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 UKH Articles 10 Nov 2017
Kahtoola Microspikes, 5 kbTempted to swap crampons for microspikes? Think hard, urges Tomas Frydrych. They have a place, but in the UK's mixed conditions they can also be a liability.

Read more
 Arete 22 Nov 2017
In reply to UKH Articles:
IMO the only use for microspikes is walking along an icy pavement or car park. In any other conditions there are plenty of flexible and short point crampons out there. If you want to run, you can use something like a Hillsound Trail, although I know plenty of people who will happily throw their Monte Rosas onto anything without issue. There's a tonne of cheap and decent 10-point pons out there (g10, magix, irvis, etc.), or 8 point if you don't want front points. Microspikes do not belong in the hills. Numerous tragedies in recent years should be enough to put anyone off that idea.
Post edited at 22:56
2
 chuffer 29 Nov 2017
In reply to Arete:

>Numerous tragedies in recent years should be enough to put anyone off that idea.

Have there actually been any accidents or injuries directly relating to the use of Microspikes or Hillsounds in the Hills. I've not heard of them and know many people that use them successfully.

As the original article says there are limitations but to put that limit at pavement is plain daft.
1
 Denzil 29 Nov 2017
In reply to chuffer:

> Have there actually been any accidents or injuries directly relating to the use of Microspikes or Hillsounds in the Hills. I've not heard of them and know many people that use them successfully

A friend of mine in the Lakes wearing Katoohlas lost her footing and slid around 50 metres down an icy slope, only stopping by colliding with a boulder with her thigh. She still has a large lump to remind her. I continue to use them, but am aware of their limitations - used them near Pike o Stickle on Saturday when the snow got a little icy.
 petestack 02 Dec 2017
In reply to UKH Articles:

> Tempted to swap crampons for microspikes? Think hard, urges Tomas Frydrych. They have a place, but in the UK's mixed conditions they can also be a liability.

I came to similar conclusions on Binnein Mor a few years back and got myself some KTS Steel crampons.

In reply to Arete:

> IMO the only use for microspikes is walking along an icy pavement or car park.

But still completely disagree with this. MICROspikes are perfectly suitably for trail running, gently rolling hills etc. Just not steep hill ground (at any altitude) and some types of snow/ice surfaces more likely to be encountered in the higher hills. To say just for pavements or car parks is as extreme in one direction as suggesting they're suitable for ice climbing in the other!

 Arete 10 Jan 2018
In reply to petestack:
I was admittedly using hyperbole, which seems to have flown over heads. Yes, they are fine for general walks, and trail runs, but they are not appropriate for Scottish winter mountains.

In reply to chuffer:

Yes, 2015 (I think) - walker on Ben Lomond died while wearing microspikes. There are others but since there's no database I can go to you'll just have to either believe me or not. There are also the large number of non-fatal or narrowly avoided incidents you don't hear about, but speak to any member of an MRT and you'll hear plenty about the inappropriate use of microspikes.
Post edited at 15:54
 Manny Tulle 28 Feb 2018
In reply to UKH Articles:

I take both crampons and spikes on winter outings now.  For instance I used my spikes to go up the long SE slope of Beinn a Chrulaiste on Sunday.  It was safe enough (I could feel the spikes digging nicely into the crust on what turned out to be a fairly steep gradient) and in hindsight I could have used crampons which I changed into for the descent on the other, less steep, side. However the day before I had the crampons on all day to climb up to Stob Coire Sgreamhach via Sron na Laraig, but changed to spikes when we got to the floor of the Lost Glen - it was icy but not steep and there were patches of black ice on the path.  My companion slipped on black ice beyond the boulder field, so I was glad of my extra grip.  I had experimented with this dual approach coming off Stob Dearg (Buchaille) the year before.  Changed from crampons into spikes when the gradient eased in the corrie. So horses for courses, rather than weight saving.


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.