View Full Version : Define crampon and snowshoe guidelines

01-05-2004, 09:40 AM
While I've done a bit of summer hikes in the ADK's, I'm new to the winter experience. I keep seeing requirements for crampons and snowshoes and was wondering for clarity and safety's sake, just what that meant. I have a pair of snowshoes with crampons on the base (at least that's what the manual tells me). They basically just look like some jagged teeth under the boot's sole plate. Is this acceptable for conditions that require "crampons" or do I need to get a pair of serious, over the boot crampons? Thanks for the help!

01-05-2004, 10:12 AM
Snowshoes or skis are required on all Adirondack trails when there is 8” of snow or more on the trail. The necessity for crampons (over the boot) depends on the type of hikes you are planning on doing. If you are planning on doing mostly flatter hikes, you won’t need crampons. Crampons become necessary on icy inclined conditions (general area’s with open rock). I just started winter hiking last year, so I sure there are quite a few others more knowledgeable than myself.

Enjoy you future winter hiking.

01-05-2004, 10:21 AM
I didn't think they would be very helpful on an icy ascent. There are some inclines along the trails (i.e. Phelps, Chimney Mtn, Snowy Mtn) that are slick enough in the summer rain, let alone winter ice.

Since we're on the subject then, if I were to get the ascent bug, do you know of any links that will help me figure out exactly what gear I should need. For instance, are my insulalated winter day hikers (LL Bean) gonna be enough, or should I look for something more heavy duty? This is very new to me, so thanks for any info you can share!

- Rob

01-05-2004, 10:27 AM
Here's a very good link: REI (http://www.rei.com/online/store/LearnShareArticlesList?storeId=8000&langId=-1&categoryId=Learn&stat=side_28)

01-05-2004, 10:52 AM
Along with ski_adk's questions. Are leather or gore-tex hiking boots adequate fro these winter peaks, or should you have plastic mountaineering boots with crampons?
Are the Tubbs snoeshoes with the corrugation type teeth at the hinge underfoot, adequate for all but the most extreme conditions?
and finally what are extreme conditions ( I am not referring to weather) is hardpack crusted snow? clear ice and bare rock? the vertical incline? if I am looking at the steep bare rock between cairns on most peaks, am I wearing crampons or am I barebooting, or do I have snowshoes with cleats? I know some peaks, Gothics, Iroquois and such have me scrambling on all fours in non-winter conditions.
I know these are a lot of questions and I am new to this forum, if there is a thread already addressing this, please just direct me that way.
This is my first post and have read a few threads but this is one I will be addressing soon. iI am hoping to walk on Big Slide over the Brothers this Feb (I hope) and am beginning my research. I am a hiker and outdoorsman, I know how to dress and deal with the weather, just am a neophyte in crampons, snowshoes and I guess, basic "trail ettiquette"

Looks like a active and "information rich" forum.


01-05-2004, 02:31 PM
For most dayhikes with snowshoes and crampons regular hiking boots should be just fine. It is pretty important that they are waterproof, especially if it is wet cold. If they are insulated that is a bonus. I have done about 10 of the HPs in the winter and found snowshoes to work in most cases. Even some of the steepest trails can be negotiated if you make sure to"set" your snowshoe teeth before taking your next step. This, combined with good pole placement, will work in most cases. I mostly use crampons when there is danger from exposure(where a fall would be dangerous) or my snowshoe crampons won't grip because the trail is too hard. I would recommend doing some easier trips like Phelps, Big Slide, Cascade, Porter,The wolfjaws, you get the idea. I'd stay away from places like Algonquin, Gothics, and other steep, exposed areas until you gain experience in the safer places. Getting hooked up with some experienced hikers would be a good idea. Have fun and be safe.

01-05-2004, 03:01 PM
Thanks Jim..will heed your cautions..