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Thread: Sharpening microspikes

  1. #31
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    If you were a serious winter hiker in eighties in the whites you wore Sherpas with the Tucker Claw.
    And in the 70s, we would lash a crampon half (from a crampon with a broken hinge) or an instep crampon to the bottom of our flat bearpaw snowshoes. EMS sold a bolt on version.

    That was back in the days when you expected to have to break the trail out.

    Gotta keep you young'uns straight...

    Doug

  2. #32
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Gotta keep the young'uns straight
    What a great thread!

    Bottom line is people have been trekking up our Winter New England hills for decades using a great variety of tools and techniques.

    Just do it!
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  3. #33
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough, I actually used Grivel G10s from Lake of the Clouds to Monroe and up to George today, and while I could have made do with sharp Hillsounds, the ice was probably too much for Microspikes. Then again, one could have gone around the ice, at no real extra danger, but conditions were good for easy cramponing and it never hurts to practice.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  4. #34
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubahhh View Post
    If the spikes are worn to the point of not being useful any more, it's likely something else is about to fail as well: chain links or the rubber binding. When mine get dull enough to need sharpening i buy a new pair (actually switched to Hillsound) and relegate the old ones to lawn-mowing detail (we have a very steep lawn!).
    Yikes!! I thought my lawn had steep parts. Do you have spikes on the lawnmower wheels? Just kidding. I suppose that you also aerate the lawn somewhat using them.

  5. #35
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Drifting off topic but I am curious on two things:

    1) Why do so many people not like crampons on steep trails? And not just the obvious Presi/Franconia ridges. Examples would be the steep climb of Ammo from Gem Pool to the Hut, the steep climb up either leg of the Hancock Loop, the steep climb up to North Tripyramid via Pine Brook, Osceola from the Kanc, etc, etc? Is it just the inconvenience factor of getting on/off? The weight? Cost of having all these options? I find microspikes unreliable on grades like this unless it is absolutely trampled into a firm sidewalk and snowshoes, particularly descending, are super awkward on terrain like that. The float of the deck frequently robs you of a lot of the traction from all the steep and awkward angles. I take falls all the time in semi-glissade "maneuvers". To me crampons are a no-brainer for that stuff yet I am commonly the only one, or one of a few people, I see in crampons in those circumstances.

    2) Several times on trail I've seen people wearing "mini" snow shoes, maybe 12-15" long. Those seem like a fantastic option versus spikes for the reasons Joshandbaron mentioned - rolling ankles from no float, etc plus bigger teeth for superior grip, etc. Do they still make such a thing? I don't recall seeing them when I've shopped snowshoes in the past. I feel like these would make a nice all-in-one "spike/crampon/shoe" option for a lot of conditions.
    Crampons are not in vouge because of the invention of two things, microspikes and the modern snowshoe. These two inventions can cover 98% of winter terrain in the Whites. When I started winter hiking in the early 80's, we bought two things. Rawhide snowshoes and full crampons. When I got my Sherpa snowshoes, it was like getting your first automobile. A major upgrade from the wooden snowshoe.

  6. #36
    Member briarpatch's Avatar
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    Sharped my Kahtoola KTS this weekend. Started on one point and hand filed to sharpen but the time to sharpen was too long. When to the bench grinder to removed the majority of material. Finished with the hand file in hopes to maintain the metallurgy. I had not inspected the KTS closely until reading through this thread and was surprised with the wear down on the points. I believe I have 6, maybe 8 years on them.

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  7. #37
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Drifting off topic but I am curious on two things:

    1) Why do so many people not like crampons on steep trails? And not just the obvious Presi/Franconia ridges. Examples would be the steep climb of Ammo from Gem Pool to the Hut, the steep climb up either leg of the Hancock Loop, the steep climb up to North Tripyramid via Pine Brook, Osceola from the Kanc, etc, etc? Is it just the inconvenience factor of getting on/off? The weight? Cost of having all these options? I find microspikes unreliable on grades like this unless it is absolutely trampled into a firm sidewalk and snowshoes, particularly descending, are super awkward on terrain like that. The float of the deck frequently robs you of a lot of the traction from all the steep and awkward angles. I take falls all the time in semi-glissade "maneuvers". To me crampons are a no-brainer for that stuff yet I am commonly the only one, or one of a few people, I see in crampons in those circumstances.

    2) Several times on trail I've seen people wearing "mini" snow shoes, maybe 12-15" long. Those seem like a fantastic option versus spikes for the reasons Joshandbaron mentioned - rolling ankles from no float, etc plus bigger teeth for superior grip, etc. Do they still make such a thing? I don't recall seeing them when I've shopped snowshoes in the past. I feel like these would make a nice all-in-one "spike/crampon/shoe" option for a lot of conditions.
    On #1, I think it depends on what people have for gear and where they go. The other thing you rarely seen are people on steep slopes with an axe. Lions Head winter would be a place to use on, however, generally if you don't know how to use one, you probably are better without it. (or learn how to use and practice)

    My personal preference would be to not bring crampons and Micro's (I have G-12's - sometimes I do) Destination, conditions and who I am hiking with determine what I bring. If hiking with my kids who have micros, I'll use micros as I don't want to just go through something they struggle with. Since I'm making group situations I want to be thinking like the group. On Ammo, I've changed in that steep section before the side trail to the falls, above the falls where the trail goes up over a rock (was very icy that year) and wanted the 12's and not too far before the hut where you have some ledges that in warmer seasons are wet but they ice up nicely in winter. In years with more snow, those upper ledges aren't that bad though.

    I know if conditions are thin in the beginning of the season, I'm more apt to just bring the Micro's as they are priced to be replaced or end up with a second pair and keep the old ones like a pair of early season "rock skis" (In fact my son's micros are really by second pair as I am between L and XL. For two pair of winter boot, I need to XL, the L's work with the other two and my lighter summer boots in case I bring the micro's for just in case & they are needed.

    Winter tends to be different from week to week and year to year. I've
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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