walking in the winter snow etc
im planning on going walking in the winter when it is snowing and ice is on the ground etc to get some landscape photos . If i was just staying to low land valley hiking in the snow would i still need an ice axe and crampons or if it is lowland would you use walking poles & crampons bearing in mind that walking poles are not very good at self arresting .If any one has any places they would recommend that would be great .
SO to summerise a pair of walking poles carbon fibre or a charlet moser walking ice axe which does have a camera tripod head screw hole in the head of the axe.
Allso any other hints and tips would be great! thanks
ok thanks even walking crampons ie grivel monte rosa new classics i guess it depends on the weather
Well they might laugh; more fool them.
Waiting for others to 'tool up' in winter conditions cos you might look 'careful' has always seemed daft to me.
Spikes good, lightweight crampons probably better should you be tempted to climb that icy slope for a better pic. An axe; probably not.
Valleys often get a lot of freeze-thaw and run off which makes them 'interesting' - and more icy than the tops on many occasions.
yup, i've used crampons in icy valleys and who gives a monkey's what people think - at least you can walk properly while they slither.
if you're staying low, you probably won't encounter the type of steep slope with rocks at the bottom that would make you need to self-arrest if you slipped, so if you're only on gentle gradients i wouldn't bother with an axe.
I have used Yetis, Traction grabbers and Icers detachable soles. The former two are variations on the idea of connected elastic rubber straps with studs on that are stretched over your shoes or boots. The last is a Vibram rubber sole fitted with studs that is strapped to your boot.
All three provide a substantial increase in grip over normal 3 season boots. The Icers soles are more robust and give a bit more grip than the other two. They also provide some extra thermal insulation to ones feet.
I have only used the above in conditions where a slip would not neccessitate self arrest and would not recommend them in these conditions. They all have essentially eliminated straightforward slips and trips on ice!
It is very pleasant being able to walk on slippery snow and ice without having to take extreme care to avoid entertaining onlookers.
Last January in England I was able to walk to shops carrying a rucksac in conditions where I would not drive a car.
John Clarke 5 wrote (see)
thanks posh totty so would anyone bother with walking poles in lowland walking in snow or just stick with crampons etc and leave the ice axe to snowdon or ben nevis etc
Yes, I often would. They can help provide a lot of stability and as folk have said, unless you are likely to be on a slope where a slip would really need self-arrest, can be far more use than an ice axe. (I have self arrested with ski-poles once but I wouldn't want to make a habit of it ).
Actually for a bit more security you can get poles which include a foldable 'pick' in the handle to provide you with something that could be used for self-arrest - they're aimed at ski-tourers but might be a good compromise for the type of walking you describe where a full axe is probably redundant a lot of the time. Grivel do one, and I think Black Diamond may do too.
If you go for crampons rather than something like Microspikes, I'd still be tempted to take a look at Kahtoolas, either the steel or alloy ones - they're light and pack up small, and you'll be unlikely to need to rely on the rather short front-points.
If you normally use walking poles then bring them along. I find them useful for bashing slick ice off steps and such like when the conditions are such that it is not yet worth putting on crampons.
Regarding microspikes so far I have found them excellent. I used them with trail runners and goretex socks to hike up a 3000m peak the weekend before last. This early in the season there was very little snow though with temperatures around -6C my toes were getting cold at the top. Having said that they weren't much use when I strayed into the odd pocket of powdery snow at the campsite but then I doubt normal crampons would have done much better (the problem was with the snow rather than the crampon). However if you use a fairly stiff walking boot (i.e. compared to trail runners) then may as well go for normal kahtoolas or similar walking crampons. I dont think that microspikes would offer you any big weight savings.
edited for spelling
I’m of the opinion that I’d rather carry an ice axe & crampons and not use them, or not have them and get into some difficulties and not have them with me. As it would only end in tears.
More fool the folk that laugh at you.
Well that philosophy has served me well in the past and I feel it’s a sensible approach.
I shall be investing in a set of micro spikes for myself and wife next time I'm home as she has already had a bit of a tumble last week when out with our dogs.
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