Coniston old Man with snow

Forum » Walk Reports » Lake District

By Scuba6936 on 05/02/18 at 3:44pm

Date started:04/02/2018
Distance:10.5 km or 6.5 miles
Ascent:803m or 2635ft
Time taken:5:00

Great Walk up Coniston Old Man today sun shining cold and snow on ground returned via Goats Water and back onto Walna rd Need to find the best kind of crampons for this kind of walking.

Comments please on types of crampon or micro spikes

By TallPaul on 05/02/18 at 4:24pm

Can't comment on crampons (I suspect Beth might be later) but when there's a bit of snow about I've got a pair of basic Kahtoola Microspikes which do me nicely.

I see that they've expanded their range a bit since I bought my pair.

By Lancashire Lad on 05/02/18 at 6:38pm

Proper climbing crampons will definitely give you the best possible grip on hard steep snow/ice, but you have to weigh up the pros and cons. i.e.: -

Very good "all-round - general usage" crampons that would be suitable for most walking boots would be something like Grivel Monte Rosa New Classic, or Grivel G1 New Classic.

However, if your walks don't include winter scrambles such as Striding Edge, Swirral Edge, Jack's Rake etc. and are on less steep terrain where walking poles might be more useful than an ice-axe, then microspikes will probably do everything that you need.

You should to be aware though, that in soft snow, microspikes are sometimes prone to "balling up", where snow builds up on the spikes and chains, markedly reducing their effectiveness. In such circumstances you have to regularly clear that balled-up snow away by banging on the side of the boot, or banging boots together. (In comparison, most proper climbing crampons these days have anti-balling plates as standard fitments).

Where microspikes really come in handy, is on very compacted snow or water-ice, such as is often found on the long sections of "pitched" paths that are regularly encountered these days.

I note that Paul uses Kahtoola Microspikes.

When not needing full-on crampons, I use a pair of "Outad Strap Type Crampons", which are pretty much identical to the Kahtoola Microspikes - but can be had for about a third of the price!

I got mine just over two years back. They are still regularly used and going strong after much use and abuse! See: - ... e+Crampons

My review of the product, (27 November 2015), is at the top of the reviews list below the product description. - I still think they are a superb item for what they cost).

Regards, Mike.

By beth on 05/02/18 at 6:44pm

Kahtoola Microspikes are brilliant at what they do, which is low angled icy paths. Take them on snow and they ball up quickly. On more angled terrain they can instill a false sense of security. Kahtoola also do a couple of sets of hiking crampons which do not have front points - a safety feature if you are prone to being a bit clumsy... You need to buy the anti-balling plates separately. They also do an extra flexible bar for bendy footwear, I.E boots or shoes that are not crampon rated. Think Needlesports do them. There's also the Grivel range, the G10 being aimed at hiking and these do have front points. Their Classic binding is the one to go for if you have ordinary relatively stiff boots.

Now the thing with crampons is knowing how to use them and their limitations. Along with crampons, winter walking means an ice axe and the ability to use them competently. A winter skills course, even a 1 or 2 day introduction will set you off on the right path, as it were. Some of the bigger providers like PYB and Glenmore Lodge have kit you can borrow.

By Scuba6936 on 05/02/18 at 7:00pm

Thanks guys, great info there and very useful. I was looking at the G10 and the outad micro spikes

WalkLakes recognises that hill walking, or walking in the mountains, is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.