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Thread: Kahtoola-MICROspikes vs STABILicers

  1. #61
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    A Screwy Shootout

    Yesterday on a hike of the Carters and Wildcats, our merry crew wore a variety of non-traditional metal thingies on our respective footies. In the interest of challenging the entrenched full crampon mentality, I thought it would be worth adding our experiences to this thread.

    MEB gleefully agreed to have her boots screwed to the hilt at the trailhead, and both Cath and I just happened to have fully charged DeWalt screwguns and bagfuls of screws at the ready. So she was outfitted with a combination of 3/4" Holiday Ice Racing screws in her heel, and 1/2" Kold Kutter Ice Racing screws under the forefoot.

    Cath wore screwboots equipped with Kold Kutters with the addition of 2 Holiday Screws to the toe as "mini-front points".

    Drewski was equipped with a pair of medium Microspikes.

    Youngblood warily eyed the screwboot mania at the trailhead, but kept his distance from the screwgun, and kept his boots on his feet. He brought a pair of interesting looking, long toothed crampons to deal with the ice.

    I wore an aging pair of screwboots newly outfitted with the Holiday/Kold Kutter combo, which is nicknamed the "Can-Am Combo". I experimented with sinking the larger headed Holiday screws between the lugs on the sole rather than on the lug surface, to see if this would help prevent screw loss:




    Conditions were pretty icy, with a dusting of snow, and generally there were enough rock "nubs" to step on on some of the dicier ascents/descents, the iciest sections being in the steep up-and-downs among the Wildcats.

    Youngblood ( a.k.a. "the Riddler") put on his full crampons somwhere in the Carters, I can't recall exactly where, but the combination of hidden rocks and long points was making for uncomfortable going. Always looking for potential converts to the new school of alternative traction, I offered up my Kahtoola KTS crampons, which seemed well suited to both the conditions and his snappy pace. He procceded to zip along with nary a slip.

    So at the end of the day, everybody seemed pretty happy with their footwear despite the very icy conditions. I would probably give a slight nod to the Kahtoola KTS Steel as the overall winner of our informal shootout under these conditions, mostly due the dusting of snow which slightly decreases the penetration of screws/microspikes if the snow "wads up" on the sole.

    The Victor atop Hight:

  2. #62
    Senior Member drewski's Avatar
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    Micro's

    i thought the micro-spikes worked well--only 1 mistake...they fit tight--easy on/off..great day on the ridge...

  3. #63
    Member banjolady's Avatar
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    this is fascinating. i saw those microspikes which looked like yaktrax and stabilicers lite with the elastic and was nervous that they would fall off but people are saying they stay on. so tim, when you put the screws between the lugs on the boots is there a danger of them sinking thru and hurting your foot? i know you are the screwboot maven for sure. we've been doing screwboots down here in lower hudson valley ny for years--the challenge of the ramapo 1000 footers is usually pretty well met by screwboots or stabilicers. thanks for all the great info. i am ordering some microspikes.
    susan
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  4. #64
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    when you put the screws between the lugs on the boots is there a danger of them sinking thru and hurting your foot?
    YES!

    The thickness of the sole varies quite a bit, from one brand to another, and even from heel to toe on any boot. Sink a few in, remove the insole, and put your hand inside to make sure there are no protruding points, then put the rest of the screws in and check again. The shorter headed screws may not be tall enough to fit between the lugs and still protrude far enough to provide traction ( And the Holiday "Super Tracs" are very hard to find - mine were from All Sport Performance )

    Glad to hear that screws are "in" down your way!

  5. #65
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewski
    i thought the micro-spikes worked well--only 1 mistake...they fit tight--easy on/off..great day on the ridge...
    Drew, you might have ...ah.. grown past Mediums buddy.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

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