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Topic - Winter mountain running

Daniel Sutherland on 16 Feb 2014
Can anyone give advice about footwear for running on mountains in winter? I've run on snow several times in the mountains but always on easy ground and with no possibilities of falling of the mountain, this limits my rout choice somewhat. Has anyone tried using the chain style shoe grippers for running in snow and ice? What are they like to run in and do they greatly affect your running style? Are there any running purpose ones?
Any help would be great.
highclimber - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

Get some kahtoola crampons and a lightwieght axe. Job sorted
IainRUK - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

inov8 mudclaw 300s kahtoolas and an axe.. I wouldnt use microspikes in mountains...

I used those for the winter Paddy Buckley no issues
Daniel Sutherland on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to highclimber:

Katoohlas yeah, and do you find them comfortable to run in? Is there much difference or do you really notice them?
highclimber - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

you can feel the straps through the uppers sometimes but most good fell shoes have a rigid enough sole to not feel the metal parts. I've not run on hard ice with them or rock.
Daniel Sutherland on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

Ok, thanks guys, I'll look at the katoolahs.
IainRUK - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

> Katoohlas yeah, and do you find them comfortable to run in? Is there much difference or do you really notice them?

Not really.. they trash my quads as they are so aggressive at stopping your stride.. plus easy to gash your leg.. but TBH if you need crampons on steep terrain you won't be running..
ablackett - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

I have done lots in Katoolah Microspikes in winter in the Lakes and always found them fine. People here seem to be talking about Katoolah Crampons, which are good if you have good snow cover, but they are aluminium, so you will trash them in a day on rocks.

Obviously, microspikes can come off, so you need to be aware that if one does slip off, and you slip and can't stop yourself with your axe, you could die, but running is all about making comprimises, travel fast and light and perhaps not 100% safely. The big advantage of spikes over crampons is that you can stick them on when it gets icy and leave them on over all types of ground and forget about them.
neal - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:
I've done a lot of running on snow. Inov8 mudclaws work well on most snow - I always have a pair a half UK size bigger than my normal pair, for winter running, so I can wear a warm pair of socks and on higher mountains some sealskin socks (don't keep your feet 100% dry but MUCH warmer - until they get trashed!)

When it gets too steep or icy, kahtoola microspikes are the business - lightweight, quick to put on and off, and they don't snag on grass etc as much as crampons so you can leave them on longer. They also allow you to run very naturally (unlike crampons). I'd disagree with IanRUK about not using them on mountains - I've used them on many Munros.

Rarely do you need any more than that but if it gets very steep, icy and/or very windy then light flexible crampons are required. I have some old 8 point walking crampons that I use which fit fell shoes well, were very cheap, but don't go compact for storage. Thinking of getting some kahtoola running crampons. Suspect the steel version is best for UK conditions (if you need crampons instead of spikes, it's probably rocky as well as icy). You can run in crampons, but not as well as microspikes.

I use a BD raven ultra for an axe, with a simple dyneema sling for a leash. Not quite as light as the CAMP aluminium axes, but a proper axe, will stop you in tricky conditions (I had to do ice axe arrest on Friday in high winds on ice on snowdon!) and also great for walking / general mountaineering.
Post edited at 09:42
neal - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

Also, I read some reviews of the Kahtoola alu crampons which suggested they aren't that much better than the micro-spikes - the spikes are pretty short (3/4 inch), whereas the steel are a tad longer.

IanRUK - do you have the alu or steel versions?
SethChili - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

I have Hillsound Trail Crampons . Similar to microspikes but more agressive and the main groups of points are connected by a metal frame which helps to keep them in contact with the ice . They also simple strap which stops them rolling off the shoe on rough ground .
I've used them for running in a variety of situations . They are excellent on hard packed snow , verglas covered rocky ground and sheet ice .
However , they have their limits . You cannot front point so once a seriously steep slope is reached you need to get your axe out and start chopping level steps to stand on .
IainRUK - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to neal:

Alu..

In Wales you'd use them so little that the weight was the main thing.

I've used microspikes and just find them dangerous..
IainRUK - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to neal:

Well I've done grade 1 snow climbs in mine, incomparable to the microspikes. As far as I know they are the excat same as the steal.. but 2-3 times longer than the microspikes.
neal - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

Thanks. Agree I wouldn't fancy grade I in microspikes! I find them great for running in snow conditions when you need a bit more than just fell shoes, but carry my flexi walking crampons (which have done vertical ice, albeit not on fell shoes!) if I'm going onto trickier terrain - and I have turned back when I didn't have them, and microspikes were a bit insecure (often when high winds added to insecurity).

The kahtoola website says the alu have shorter poiunts than steel (they do look very short): http://kahtoola.com/product/kts-aluminum-hiking-crampon/

steel look longer: http://kahtoola.com/product/kts-steel-hiking-crampon/

maybe they've changed since you bought yours?

Cheers, N.
IainRUK - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to neal:

Maybe, mine must be a good 4 years old..
Daniel Sutherland on 19 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

I was looking at the katoolahs micro spikes in tiso today which we're being displayed on shoes, I think I'll go for them as they didn't look to long and looked easy to use, I wouldn't be going anywhere that I hadn't been in summer or winter befor in them so will know the route so I'd not be needing anything like crampons, just better grip on snow and ice.
yorkshireman - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

> Has anyone tried using the chain style shoe grippers for running in snow and ice? What are they like to run in and do they greatly affect your running style? Are there any running purpose ones?

Yaktrax probably fall into this category and these are what I use although I've not tried anything else. They do the job well on sheet ice, without being too 'stoppy' and limiting your stride. They work OK in deep snow.

Since they're basically springs, with no spikes they handle running across non-snow/ice covered patches of ground without getting trashed too.

Like others have said, if you need much more than this then you're not really running any more.

I've thought about some snow/ice specific shoes such as the Salomon Snowcross but so far haven't taken the plunge.

I did a snow trail race in the French Alps two weeks ago and they were by far the most common piece of equipment among my fellow runners.
mountainpenguin on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

the inov8 orocs spikes are very nice but horrid on anything hard like a road.
ow arm - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

ive used yaktrak pro on snow/ice/rock with my usual inov-8 mudroc shoes. Also strapped my lighter ice axe to my running bag incase a descent is gnarly. This worked fine on the carneddau recently
Daniel Sutherland on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to yorkshireman:

The yak tax are a bit cheaper, considering I won't be running to often on snow/ice they maybe the better option.
IainRUK - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Daniel Sutherland:

yak trax are very much for running on trails..
Full moon addict - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to neal:

I use the steel ones but also have microspikes. microspikes are okay if not too steep and not loads of soft snow over ice. both struggle in those conditions. I'd always go with steel as you can just keep them on over rocks. the crampons are excellent for mixed. I've used them in the alps as well as scotland and the lakes. the short points are an advantage on mixed. I've used the crampons up to grade II, but its not the same as proper crampons and you need to be more careful and to rely more on balance. Grivel strap ons are also good and not that much heavier than the kahtoolas and give far more security. If there's a lot of technical ground I'd use these.
markk - on 08 Mar 2014
I used a pair of innov8 orocs for the first time last weekend on Ben Wyvis - they were good on flat ice and absolutely amazing for running back down hard neve. but very noisy and not very comfy on the stony path up to the snowline. In retrospect I might have been better in my normal shoes (Salomons), with a pair of poles for the icy bits & kahtoola k10's in the bag just in case, but running down the neve was great!

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