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#50041 - 06/08/17 07:11 PM Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions?
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Experts:

My wife is day-climbing Whitney next Tuesday with our adult son. Her boot/crampon combo is shown in the Amazon link below. Will this combo work in current conditions? I'm a little worred that a trail shoe with a slip on crampon will not be adequate. Any expert opinions are appreciated. She has been training hard for the past two months and has summited Mr. Shasta and King's Peak (Utah) in the past few years. Our son summited Ranier last year so between them, they're not complete novices. I'm just a little worried that a low cut trail shoe and Hillsound crampons are inadequate in current snow conditions. Looking for a little reassurance from some of you experts who've been on the mountain recently.

Thank you in advance!

https://www.amazon.com/Hillsound-Trail-C...ikes+for+hiking


Edited by Smokin Joe (06/08/17 08:08 PM)

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#50043 - 06/08/17 08:03 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
bsiwecki0 Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 11
Loc: South OC, California
Hey smokin Joe,

With these current conditions, and after reading of current reports of the trail, it would be very difficult to reach the summit. The 99 switchbacks from trail camp are still covered in snow and I believe people are climbing up the chute and switchbacking back down or glissading down with an ice axe.

Is this your wife's and son's first whitney trip? If so I recommend camping up in whitney trail camp but it's risky to reach the summit in that setup. If both are doing a one day gig of reaching the summit, it will take much longer anything above 9,000ft where there's still snow covered.

In my opinion, it's best to hold off till the end of the month or early July. I'm going up June 29th for the weekend but preparing to use my crampons and Ice axe if necessary..

Amazon tends to falsify with some gear online but it looks to me those are microspikes which are great when there's small compact snow which I can see myself using up on the trail crest and summit trail.

Hope this is a good reference, enjoy and good luck!

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#50044 - 06/08/17 08:09 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: bsiwecki0]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Thank you so much for the input. I appreciate it and will pass it on to my wife and our son.

Thank you!

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#50047 - 06/08/17 10:46 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Smokin Joe, those look like pretty aggressive microspikes. They aren't full-on crampons. Since the two hikers have experience on tougher mountains than Whitney, they have surely used real crampons, and so will know when they get there whether they are going to succeed or not.

They should be willing / ready to turn around if, in their judgement, the crampons she has aren't going to work.

I sure want to hear how they turn out. Please report back.

Hilsound link


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#50049 - 06/08/17 11:06 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Steve C]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Thank you Steve. I spoke with an employee of Sierra Elevation in Lone Pine this evening. They rent crampons. He told me that he has seen a significant number hikers using Hillsound crampons and low-height trail shoes in the last few days. He said that there is enough traffic on the mountain that the trails in the snow are such that he thought the Hillsounds with a trail shoe would be adequate and that a crampon with longer cleats would not necessarily be required. He did say the Hillsounds are perhaps sub-optimal relative to the longer cleats of a more conventional crampon but he felt the HIllsounds would probably be adequate. He said to a great extent the issues comes down to how adept you are at moving around on a steep slope with crampons. He said something to the effect that if they (my wife and son) can stay within already worn paths in the snow that they would not necessarily need to force the toe of their boot/crampon into snow or ice, that they could walk in the foot prints of previous hikers and therefore would not necessarily require more aggressive crampons.

I guess we will see how it goes.

Thank you for your input.

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#50052 - 06/08/17 11:14 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: bsiwecki0]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: bsiwecki0
Hey smokin Joe,

With these current conditions, and after reading of current reports of the trail, it would be very difficult to reach the summit. The 99 switchbacks from trail camp are still covered in snow and I believe people are climbing up the chute and switchbacking back down or glissading down with an ice axe.

Is this your wife's and son's first whitney trip? If so I recommend camping up in whitney trail camp but it's risky to reach the summit in that setup. If both are doing a one day gig of reaching the summit, it will take much longer anything above 9,000ft where there's still snow covered.

In my opinion, it's best to hold off till the end of the month or early July. I'm going up June 29th for the weekend but preparing to use my crampons and Ice axe if necessary..

Amazon tends to falsify with some gear online but it looks to me those are microspikes which are great when there's small compact snow which I can see myself using up on the trail crest and summit trail.

Hope this is a good reference, enjoy and good luck!



bsiweck10:

Your description of snow conditions on the mountain currently confirms what I have been learning tonight. It sounds like the best approach will be to hike up the chute and then glissade or switchback back down the chute because the designated switch-backs are still snow-bound. I'm just nervous for my wife and son. She is 59 but is in excellent health and physical condition and has been training hard the past 10 weeks. She has used crampons once before (a few years ago on Shasta) but I don't believe she has ever used an ice ax. My son is only 30 and in pretty good shape. He got good training and experience with an ice ax last year on Ranier, so I am hopeful that between them they will be safe.

I have found a massive amount of useful information on this site which I am sharing with my wife. I'll be on pins and needles until they return.

Thank you,

Smokin Joe


Edited by Smokin Joe (06/08/17 11:15 PM)

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#50053 - 06/08/17 11:14 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for posting the feedback you got from Sierra Elevation. They probably talk to more Whitney hikers than anyone else around. What they said sounds reasonable.

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#50058 - 06/09/17 08:22 AM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
bsiwecki0 Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 11
Loc: South OC, California
Wow that's amazing your wife is 59 and staying in good shape! Good luck on their voyage up whitney. Take care.

-brian

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#50061 - 06/09/17 09:03 AM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 109
Loc: The OC
I think they will be fine. There's a transition point between boots/crampons, runners/hiking crampons (such as the Hillsounds pictured), and then runners/micro-spikes.

Because it's a fuzzy line completely dependent on time/conditions, my general rule of thumb is:
- early season (Apr/May), not much traffic, snow on the 2m ridge line past the Chute = boots/crampons
- mid season (now), lots of traffic, 99 still closed, not much snow on 2m ridge = runners/Hillsounds
- mid season (next month) - tons of traffic, 99 opening up, but still icy, no snow on 2m ridge = runners/spikes
- prime-time - most snow gone, 99 open = runners

I've got both boots/crampons and runners/spikes. I either try and go when the snow is fresh and not many people are around, or go later when most of the snow is gone.

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#50066 - 06/09/17 12:04 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Hobbes]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Hobbes
I think they will be fine. There's a transition point between boots/crampons, runners/hiking crampons (such as the Hillsounds pictured), and then runners/micro-spikes.

Because it's a fuzzy line completely dependent on time/conditions, my general rule of thumb is:
- early season (Apr/May), not much traffic, snow on the 2m ridge line past the Chute = boots/crampons
- mid season (now), lots of traffic, 99 still closed, not much snow on 2m ridge = runners/Hillsounds
- mid season (next month) - tons of traffic, 99 opening up, but still icy, no snow on 2m ridge = runners/spikes
- prime-time - most snow gone, 99 open = runners

I've got both boots/crampons and runners/spikes. I either try and go when the snow is fresh and not many people are around, or go later when most of the snow is gone.


Thank you Hobbes. Your post is reassuring.

Smokin Joe

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#50068 - 06/10/17 05:33 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: Smokin Joe]
itsworthit Offline


Registered: 06/10/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
I used those exact crampons there Yesterday, and they worked perfectly. I did however have good waterproof boots plus gaiters, and I think that is an important factor. With those shoes I am guessing you will have wet cold feet the whole time due to the creek crossings and the damp snow. Staying on the paths in the snow is a great suggestion, but we ended up walking in deeper snow many times for different reasons. I definitely recommend glissading down the chute. It was fun and did not feel dangerous to me even though it was my first time doing it. I would think anyone able to hike to the top of the chute should be more than capable of sliding down it safely.

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#50072 - 06/10/17 08:52 PM Re: Will this boot and crampon combo work in current conditions? [Re: itsworthit]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Thank you for the information. Will pass it on to my wife and son.

Smokin Joe

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