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#49608 - 04/19/17 01:20 PM snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
What would you bring if you were to hike a very white Muir Trail corridor this July and planned to go up on a few higher peaks along the way (e.g. Black Giant, Mt Barnard) where big ass snow fields at steep angles clearly go beyond normal boots and pole action.

Full crampons and ice axe? Lots of weight, but may also come in handy on the regular passes in the early mornings.

Relying on regular hiking poles and some half-backed strap-on traction devices just don't sound like the tools I want to rely on when the snow gets steeper than 30 degrees.

Then there's always the option to leave the peaks be and focus on the deep water crossings and bring some crocs and floatation devices instead smile

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#49609 - 04/19/17 02:19 PM Re: snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer [Re: Fishmonger]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 48
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I'd go the full crampon / ice axe route for safety if it were me. Better to have and not need than the other way around.

For maximum weight savings get a pair of light weight aluminum crampons like the Petzl Leopard FL since you are focusing on snow travel and a lightweight Axe like the Petzl Ride. Combined the two would weigh in at 21 oz or 600g. I took a look at all the offerings from Grivel, Camp, BD, and Petzl for axes and crampons and those two look like the lightest combo.

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#49613 - 04/19/17 06:24 PM Re: snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer [Re: psykokid]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
I agree with the safe approach. Thinking back how steep Black Giant was on the "easy" route last time we went up without snow, that could get real nasty with snow and ice.

re lightweight options - thing is, I have already two sets of everything, and we are two who need the gear. Only one axe is light (Camp titanium mega fancy), the other is a big old Stubai with fiberglass shaft from the late 80s. Crampons are a pair of Petzl step-ins tested on the mountaineer's route in winter, and a pair of Chouinards from the 80s that was never used, heavy, but looks pretty capable. That is the first item I'd replace with new for max weight savings.

We may bring ice axes even if we don't do the big peaks, since there are places on the regular route that could benefit from having the axes available, even if it is just to hack a few steps into an icy shortcut up to Goodale Pass from Lake of the Lone Indian or similar obstacles. I need have a look at what is out there for light crampons.

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#49619 - 04/20/17 02:48 PM Re: snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer [Re: Fishmonger]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 110
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'd wear skis wink

Aluminum crampons from Black Diamond or CAMP. Just be careful to stay off rocks. I've been using my BD Neve strap crampons this spring - along with a CAMP Corsa Nanotech ice axe which hasn't actually come off my pack yet - I've been fine with ski poles. I booted up Langley, Bloody, and McGee last weekend with this setup. It's light and easy.

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#49622 - 04/21/17 06:02 AM Re: snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer [Re: goldscott]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: goldscott
I'd wear skis wink

Aluminum crampons from Black Diamond or CAMP. Just be careful to stay off rocks. I've been using my BD Neve strap crampons this spring - along with a CAMP Corsa Nanotech ice axe which hasn't actually come off my pack yet - I've been fine with ski poles. I booted up Langley, Bloody, and McGee last weekend with this setup. It's light and easy.


Summer snow is very different from what you get now. Hiking poles will work fine in most places even then, but the icy steep sections in some areas are where I'd want a real anchor. Walking up and down Muir Pass isn't what I a concerned about.

But there are many places where the crampons should be a huge help should we venture into anything steep. Even just crossing areas of big snow cups can be much more pleasant when you have traction. I certainly would not want to ski on that stuff smile

Need to decide if I want another CAMP super light axe or something more general purpose (Petzl Summit) that's a few ounces more but also has a longer shaft. But just like in your experience, these items will most likely just hang on the backpack for most of the summer. Looks badass though smile

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#49683 - 04/25/17 04:11 PM Re: snow travel gear for hiking/peak bagging this summer [Re: Fishmonger]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
the contenders for crampons

CAMP XLC 490 1 lbs 5 oz
Black Diamond Neve 1 lbs 4 oz
Grivel Air Tech Light 1 lbs 1 oz
Petzl Leopard FL - 12 oz

Petzl obviously looking good - all are pretty expensive if you need to buy two pairs and probably won't use them a lot...

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