View Full Version : Spikes or Crampons

Double Bogey
09-10-2015, 10:15
Early Feb 2016 AT departure from GA. Should have snow and ice but for how long? Any advice or recommendations on spikes or crampons for a boot wearer?

Another Kevin
09-10-2015, 10:52
I'll let the Southerners weigh in, since I don't have direct experience with the snow conditions down there. But up here, Kahtoola Microspikes are my 'go to' for mild winter conditions (before I bring out real 12-point crampons or snowshoes). YakTrax, even YakTrax XTR, simply do not hold up to the rigors of the trail for me. Stabilicers are OK, but you're always replacing cleats on them. Microspikes, I wear even in town in the winter. Even with all the pavement walking I do, a pair last me 3-4 years.

I won't advise about crampons or snowshoes, because I suspect the answer is, "you probably don't need them." If the Southerners correct me, then maybe I'll jump back in and discuss what a beginner should look for. (But I will say that you do NOT want crampons unless you also have (a) an ice axe and (b) a class in winter mountaineering. Otherwise, crampons will simply lead you into greater danger.)

09-10-2015, 15:37
I started on 3/21/13 & wished I had my MicroSpikes all the way until around 4/8 (end of the Smokeys for me). Coming down from Clingman's Dome on 4/6 was like hiking down a bobsled run. Really nasty. Saw one guy's thru-hike attempt end due to injury that day. If you're starting that early, take MicroSpikes.

Good luck on your hike.

09-10-2015, 16:14
in 2013, I experienced snow and ice through mid April, well past Damascus. Like Kevin recommended, Microspikes are the way to go and all you would need.

09-10-2015, 16:57

09-10-2015, 20:41
Kahtoola Microspikes.